The backlash against the BBC's mooted new Wi-Fi detection capabilities continues.
Some letters published in today's Telegraph:
SIR – It is disquieting that our national broadcaster is allowed to trample over privacy laws to police its online business (“BBC to deploy detection vans to snoop on internet users”, report, August 6).
HM Revenue and Customs, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and every single bank can all supply me with secure internet services without resorting to hacking into my Wi-Fi connection to check that I’m complying with terms and conditions. They achieve this by issuing me with a username and password. Why is this not an option for the BBC?
The sight of this self-righteously strident media mafia subverting anti-terrorism legislation to strong-arm viewers into funding its grotesquely top-heavy salary bill is unedifying.
SIR – Phlegmatic and dull the English must be, or how else could the nation put up with TV Licensing’s appalling treatment of anyone who has no licence, assuming that they are criminal if they decide not to soak up television programmes.
Let us hope the spying software employed by the BBC to invade our privacy will lead to some a revolt. If the BBC can do it, who next?
But why must we put up with such a procedure as having to buy a TV licence? A subscription system must be cheaper and much more effective.
SIR – As a BBC licence payer, I object to people stealing the service. Television programmes are expensive to make, so why should individuals not have to pay for them? How would Sky, Amazon or Netflix produce programmes if these were watched at no cost?
Technology to identify services carried by Wi-Fi just from the frequency and volume of the data packets sent is well established. It implies no loss of personal privacy.
SIR – Sell off the BBC. Let it live on the money it makes selling its successful production, and remove the disgraceful hypothecated tax of the “licence fee”.
SIR – Detector vans themselves may not be a myth, but it is undeniable that the BBC (following a long drawn‑out freedom of information request) has admitted that no one has ever been prosecuted on TV detector van evidence.
Such evidence is not admissible in court, as the full details of the operation of the detection equipment would have to be made available to a defendant to use, if he wished, in his defence. Full details of speed cameras, for example, are available in speeding prosecutions. But details of detection equipment have never been released by the BBC or TV Licensing.
By the way, I do have a TV licence.
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