Posts Tagged FOI

More BBC iPlayer Encryption FOI Materials

I received some further materials from the BBC about the iPlayer encryption issues. My request is covered in the BBCs’ Final Response. They released 2 documents, one I specifically asked for entitled “Pan-BBC Approach to Combating Piracy“, another entitled “Public/Press reaction to introduction of SWF Verification on iPlayer – Briefing Paper”.

They again denied my request for details on the mystery rights holders, however I have since noticed Alan Cox made a similarish request relating to the FreeView HD encryption and his response lists the following organisations as having indicated interest to the BBC in the Freeview HD encryption proposal:

  • ITV
  • C4
  • S4C
  • Five
  • BBC Worldwide
  • Disney
  • Fox Entertainment
  • Sony Pictures
  • Time Warner

I’ve sent the following reply to the BBC:


Thank you very much for this. I am glad to hear the BBC intends
to publish a blog entry relating to these issues soon. It is very
much a goal of mine in all this to seek to provoke useful, productive

I am very disappointed that you have chosen to deny my request
for information on which organisations are making encryption
requirements on the BBC. I note that have you supplied such
information to an extremely similar request that covered the HD DVB
encryption, at:

I do not quite understand how the DVB-T2 EPG encryption issue is
different from the iPlayer encryption/DRM issue. I would ask you
review your decision in light of the above to ensure your decisions
are consistent.

I am also disappointed you were unable to supply further documents.
E.g. you must surely have recent documents covering the SSL/TLS
authentication encryption scheme for iPlayer, brought to public
attention recently with the launching of the iPad iPlayer. Such
documents seem to fairly clearly fall within the scope of my recent
requests, and yet somehow none of the documents I have received have
mentioned this scheme. I would ask you review your response to ensure
you have not accidently missed out such documents – it seems you must

I thank you again for your time in all this. I apologise again for
the burden, but I stress again that I feel there is a strong public interest in this.


Paul Jakma

Comments (6)

BBC Response to my iPlayer DRM FoI Request

Got my response from the BBC regarding who is forcing them to implement content protection,  as their upper-management has publicly stated, and how they came to their decisions on it. It’s pretty disappointing really.

They’ve refused my request to determine exactly who is requiring it of the BBC, on the grounds that this information is held “for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature'”. The 2nd part they refused generally on the grounds of it being too burdensome – my request was phrased poorly it seems. They did release one document though, though heavily redacted.

Feel free to read the “final response”response and the released document, ERTG “Content Protection Update”.

Suggestions on what, if anything, to do next would be useful.

Comments (3)

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