BT turned on “Web protect” for me

I checked my email this morning and… surprise! 🎉 BT had decided to enable a feature I didn’t ask for, without asking for my permission. How exciting is this? (Answer: not at all exciting, it is infuriating)

Thankfully, they deemed my email server worthy of being accessed, which is why I could get my email using my BT line.

Information about this “protective” service is scarce on the control panel. It says it will show a warning when trying to access “suspect” websites:

How are they exactly planning to do that is particularly concerning to me, so I tried to dig in further into the details:

But there are no clarifying details on the ‘details’ section, and I still have so many questions.

  • Who makes this list?
  • Who decides what is “suspect”?
  • How do you get “suspect” websites out of the list?
  • How do you add exceptions?
  • How are you going to show me this “warning”?
  • Are you banning by IP?
  • By domain?
  • By port?
  • Are you just looking at plain text content?
  • Are you going to be rewriting the content displayed to my browser and other software used to access the internet?
  • If you’re rewriting this, where are you rewriting this?
  • Where is this detection happening?
  • What is the data retention policy [on the list of websites I have accessed] if this service is not run in-house?
  • And if you rewrite content on the websites, what else can you do? Insert ads again? Is this a PHORM revival?
  • And most importantly: Why?

I am going to guess they are trying to stop the spread of virus like the one that infected a gazillion computers last week. But this is not their job. Their job is to deliver data packets through the tubes, not poke at the contents of said packets.

😒