Feeds
The Register Columnists

Jane Fae Ozimek

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
The Register breaking news

ContactPoint may be cannibalised for parts

ContactPoint may be dead, but the government could yet find a use for some parts of the old system when its new national signposting service finally surfaces, some time in the next couple of years. That appears to be the general gist of a letter sent by Tim Loughton, Secretary of State for Education to Professor Eileen Munro, …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 19 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Europe bites Hungary over media and internet censorship

A rumble of protest is spreading across Europe in reaction to a new media censorship law in Hungary. Yesterday, Europe’s Digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes told an Extraordinary meeting of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee that the EU had been in touch with the Hungarian …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 18 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Tunisia: Goodbye Ben Ali, hello (internet) freedom

The first glimmerings of internet liberalisation were evident in Tunisia this weekend. CNN reports that filters on popular sites such as Facebook and YouTube have been lifted, and this appears to have led to speedier access speeds across the local internet. Whether this is enough to placate a populace enraged by years of …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 17 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Badness-browsing Belgian busted on Brit break

A Belgian man last week week pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children while on a visit to Manchester. According to a spokeswoman for Manchester Magistrates Court, where Tim Verrydt appeared on Monday 10 January, the 23-year-old of Kappellestraat, Mol, Belgium, owned up to 21 separate charges. The majority of …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 17 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

No need for speed, says Oz communications shadow

It's been a bad week for Australia’s Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has taken quite a drubbing across the blogosphere after suggesting that Australia's cities did not need home connection speeds of up to one terabyte per second. According to the Delimiter’s Renai LeMay, the internet was awash with insult, …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 14 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Ombudsman slams DWP, HMRC data dumbnesses

Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham today slammed bungling government departments for a series of systemic failures that left one of their clients distressed, fearful and out of pocket. Further upholding charges of maladministration and injustice against the departments involved, Ms Abraham warned that unless government bodies …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 12 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Developer accuses TfL of 'fudging FOI requests'

Transport for London (TfL) is allegedly blocking attempts by the public to use Freedom of Information laws to obtain information from it, according to campaign group Big Brother Watch. At issue is whether TfL has the right to impose terms and conditions on FOI requesters, limiting their use of any information to purposes …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 11 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

MP says she was misquoted over DNA test call

Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy has rejected reports in the weekend press that she had "led calls" for the DNA testing of the entire 1-million-resident-strong Bristol area. A reporter on the Sunday Express, where the story originated, also wrote that McCarthy had said that men should be singled out for testing. This resulted in …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 11 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Police reject Labour MP's call for Bristol-wide DNA test

Bristol police have pooh-poohed a Labour MP's call for all men living in Bristol to provide DNA samples in the hunt for the killer of Jo Yeates. Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East and Shadow Junior Minister for the Treasury, was reported in yesterday’s Sunday Express as calling for Bristolians to provide their DNA to …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 10 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Facebook boobs over breastfeeding page... again

Facebook had one of its nipple-related related brainstorms last week, banning, unbanning, then re-banning breastfeeding support group, The Leaky Boob. The Leaky Boob group allows almost 11,000 mothers to share their experiences on breastfeeding – as well as providing casual visitors with a treasure trove of advice and tips. Well …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 10 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Oz net filter jams up with smut, may be pulled out altogether

A former Australian regulator recently speculated that there may be changes in the works for Australia's smut regulation, suggesting that self-regulation may eventually follow. This is ahead of a review of the classification system that is being conducted by the Australian Law Review Commission (ALRC). Does the future for the …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 07 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Disappearing filth leads to dropped charges in extreme smut case

The stumbling progress of extreme porn case law continues with Newcastle magistrates dropping a charge of possessing a single image of extreme porn – because local police and prosecution appear to have lost the evidence. Not only is this embarrassing, but anyone out and about in the Newcastle area who happens across the dodgy …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 06 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

ACPO exec wants 'ugly mugs' database to protect sex workers

Society needs to be having a radical debate about the laws on prostitution – and the answer, according to Deputy Chief Constable Simon Byrne, ACPO's lead on prostitution and sexual exploitation, involves funding a national database of "ugly mugs". That is, a database of dodgy punters – or men suspected of attacking sex workers …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 30 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Councils show true grit in the face of ... FOI requests

Local Councils may not be getting any cannier at ordering in salt to coat the roads during the current unprecedented cold spell – but they’re certainly getting a lot cleverer at covering their tracks when it comes to answering Freedom Of Information requests. Last year, it was the BBC that caught them unawares, using FOI to …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 23 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

National Identity Card holding chumps have buyer's remorse

The horror that was the National Identity scheme may be dead - its end pronounced yesterday – but it is not altogether gone and now, zombie-like, supporters of the ID card are returning to haunt the Coalition. And while el Reg has not been known for its support of the scheme – or the NI register that under-pinned it – it is …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 22 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

BAA accused of banning passengers from filming travel chaos

It seems that UK airport bosses are not content with keeping passengers in the dark as to when they will ever leave the ground. Angry passengers who'd rather be swilling their eggnog in foreign climes have told El Reg that British Airports Authority (BAA) staff are stopping passengers stranded at Heathrow – and other airports – …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 21 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Daily Express social network pwned by slew of smut

The Daily Express MyExpress web service has been swamped by masses of sex spam text in a mighty pwn which may have begun two years ago. Reader profiles on the site have been turned into handy catalogues of naughty practices, seemingly by Eastern European hackers and to no obvious end. The reams of text have the appearance of …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 21 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

New UN committee could hand governments internet control

The endgame in the long-running battle over who is to control the internet may be upon us, with the appointment of a little-reported but highly significant new UN committee to look into initiatives for policing the internet. This follows the decision at the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) 2010-2011 …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 20 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

No more books on Ireland's banned book list

It’s the end of the world as we know it! Or at least, the end of book-banning craic in Ireland, which for some of the god-fearing citizens of that country possibly amounts to much the same thing. Our story, reported in full in the Saturday’s Irish Times, begins back in 1930 when the newly-formed Irish State, reeling in shock at …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 20 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Amazon randomly censoring incest books

Confusion over the censorship policy at Amazon continues to mount, with news this week that the company now appears to be removing incest-themed material from its Kindle. Evidence that not all was well in the world of Amazon first surfaced in a discussion thread on Amazon’s own Kindle Community forum. Author Jess C Scott asked …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 17 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

MPs shocked at Taser supplier overlap

A parliamentary committee challenged the Home Office's choice of Taser provider to the UK Police, questioning whether the new supplier was a little too closely linked to the previous one. The matter arose during a meeting of the Home Affairs Select Committee, which last week reviewed Home Office policy in respect of Taser …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 16 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

ICO makes mincemeat of nativity data protection piffle

The Information Commissioner’s Office (pdf) is sending a seasonal note to schools to reiterate that parents taking pics of their offspring kitted out as angels or shepherds is not a Data Protection matter. Meanwhile, Leicester police - previously castigated as bearers of bad tidings - have declared goodwill to all men bearing …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 09 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Operation Ore decision a 'serious miscarriage of justice' - lawyer

The solicitor who brought the Operation Ore appeal that was finally rejected today has questioned whether the British courts had the expertise to consider deeply technical cases. Chris Saltrese, the solicitor who brought the case on behalf of Anthony O'Shea, told us today that in his view, the verdict was "not based on the …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 06 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Judges reject Operation Ore appeal

The Court of Appeal has rejected claims that some individuals prosecuted under Operation Ore for incitement to distribute indecent photographs were themselves the victims of credit card fraud. Operation Ore was a major, long-running investigation by UK police into individuals who appeared on a US-based database – Landslide – …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 06 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Gov pays Greens to lobby it, says report

Government is handing over far too much of our hard-earned dosh to environmental campaigners, who then use the money to further distort government policy in favour of the interests and ideological preoccupations of narrow political elites. That is the conclusion of a report – Taxpayer Funded Environmentalism (pdf) - published …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 03 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Herts cops 'ate the evidence' at scene of crime, court told

Police may occasionally be accused of losing, abusing or even tampering with evidence – but eating it is almost certainly a first for any police force anywhere in the UK. Such was the allegation made by prosecutors at the Old Bailey, in respect of a case of torture and intimidation alleged to have taken place earlier this year …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 03 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Councils 'spend shedloads on CCTV'

Local authority spend on CCTV may be nearing the £500m mark according to The Cost of CCTV, a report by Big Brother Watch, published today. The report reveals the results of surveys carried out across Britain, and collates FOI responses from some 336 of the country’s 418 local authorities. The actual figure, from those who …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 30 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Canada steps closer to legalising sex work

Diametrically opposed views on how to deal with sex workers were on display this weekend, with Canada teetering on the brink of legalising prostitution, and the UK’s Met warning media owners that they could face criminal charges if they carry ads for massage parlours and saunas. The federal government in Ontario is in a lather …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 29 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

MP wants age verification for net smut

A Tory MP has proposed that all UK-based ISPs should implement an opt-in age verification system to gain access to internet porn. Claire Perry, Tory MP for the Devizes Constituency, put the proposal to the House of Commons during an adjournment debate last night. It will undoubtedly be music to the ears of newly-formed charity …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 24 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Now Oz to ban online cigarette ads

Once a government has become used to the idea of banning things, it can be a hard habit to give up – as Australian voters who still enjoy the occasional cigarette are likely to soon find out. This time last week, Down Under's Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, stood up in the Australian parliament and introduced a new …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 24 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

China-inspired charity aims to sex-down society

A new charity, SaferMedia, has been launched to combat the menace of the sexualisation of society. Its demands for cleaning up the internet are likely to be fed into an official government review of sexualisation in childhood later this year. Around 70 delegates from a range of concerned organisations met in the Grand Committee …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 23 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Erotica 2010: One big Teese, and a bit of a flop

Whether it was the cold or the recession, Erotica 2010 – the 15th year of the international sex exposition – appears to have ever so slightly wilted. It is not exactly shrivelled, but is a little smaller; not the proud, thrusting standard-bearer of the UK’s adult erotic industry it once was. A quick totting up through the …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 22 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Anti-bullying charity demands more laws on cyber-bullying

Today is the last day of National Anti-Bullying Week, and UK charity BeatBullying has been talking up the need for new laws. But the organisation can't seem to pinpoint what precisely is needed, given that existing laws cover pretty much every aspect of the issue. The not-uncontroversial BeatBullying mounted an online petition …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 19 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Christians vs metalheads in FB flame war

If you want to start a contemporary religious war, what better place to launch it than through Facebook? Residents of Sydney, Australia who had been looking forward to a "black metal festival", scheduled for next weekend, must now find other entertainment, as Catholic group, Catholics Taking Action (CTA), successfully mounted a …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 19 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Gov and telcos in Aussie wiretap death match

When it comes to telecomms technology, who are you going to trust? Senior executives in some of Australia’s largest telcos? Or a high-ranking bureaucrat from the Federal Attorney-General’s Department? It’s a close call, but lines were drawn and disagreements laid out in the open yesterday as the Senate's Legal ad Constitutional …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 12 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

US opts out of carbon trading

Are market solutions, long touted as having a key role in combating global warming, on the way out? Or is news last week of the upcoming closure of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) a sign that "cap and trade" is an idea whose time has passed? At issue is the question of how to encourage companies to reduce carbon emissions, …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 10 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Lincs authority lets schools decide on Pagan lessons

If you’re looking to improve your child's chanting skills or enhance their moon dancing, Lincolnshire may soon be the place to go – as the county decided this week to let individual schools decide on the teaching of pagan doctrine. At present, some six world religions are studied in that County’s schools. According to the …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 10 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Did UK.gov break the law with its child database?

Did the Department of Education (DoE) – or Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), as it was then known – knowingly break the law in its establishment of the ContactPoint database? The instant answer is: we don’t know. However, a history of excuses, delay and avoidance of awkward questions is starting to mount up. If the …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 09 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Police get ready for body parts audit

UK police forces are steeling themselves for an audit of body parts. The grim task will enable forces to take stock of the parts collected as evidence over the years and release to relatives those parts no longer needed for legal purposes. The need arises first and foremost because body parts form are also evidence at a crime …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 08 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

'Pervy' private chat case springs back into life

The prospect of a dramatic extension of the Obscene Publications Act is once more back on the agenda, as the Crown Prosecution Service last week re-opened a case in which an individual is accused of obscene publishing in respect of a private online chat. The issue, described by one legal commenter as "the most significant …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 04 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Volunteer biker gang foils Westminster CCTV car fleet

A band of bikers have recently taken to helping motorists in Westminster identify the London borough's fleet of CCTV smart cars. The ominous grinding sound in the background is either the sound of gears being changed – or Westminster council welcoming the move from between gritted teeth. The present confrontation follows a …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 03 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Murder victim-mocking troll jailed

The penalty for crossing the line online can be pretty severe – as internet troll Colm Coss discovered to his cost last week. Mr Coss, 36, from Ardwick, was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison for persistently leaving vicious and hurtful messages on tribute sites for the deceased. Among his targets were a Facebook page for the late …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 01 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

MPs wake up to 21st century and internet

A good caning for Google and calls for an internet Bill of Rights were just two of the topics exercising MPs' minds last week in the course of a milestone debate on the issue of internet privacy yesterday. The debate was called by Robert Halfon, MP, who opened by expressing concerns about the emergence of a "privatised …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 31 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Over 100,000 stops-and-searches: zero terrorists

When it comes to wasting police time, the biggest offenders appear to be...the police. That, at least, appears to be the conclusion of the Home Office. Its official statistics, published today, show that while police stopped over 100,000 individuals last year to "prevent acts of terrorism", there was not a single arrest for a …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 28 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

How average is your sex life?

Last week was a fairly average week – and Wednesday a fairly average day. Hardly surprising, since Wednesday was actually World Statistics Day. This was, however, no ordinary statistics day. Sponsored by the UN, it was the very first such day, dedicated, according to the official site, to encouraging "the international community …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 25 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

UK gov vets the vetting process

After a bit of a false start earlier this month, the official Coalition review of the current vetting and barring system (VBS) – as well as the associated criminal record checks – kicked off last week. According to a release from the Home Office on Friday, the review will consider the fundamental principles and objectives behind …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 25 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

NHS: Big tech might be OK for patient power

The Department of Health has released its consultations on patient rights and the future of IT. Does this mean no more security fails, privacy breaches and wastage ahead? The consultations are well-intentioned and on the right track, but according to one-time contender for the Tory leadership, MP David Davis, the NHS track …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 22 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Hand over illegal porn at the border, please

Relief is at hand for confused travellers who are not too sure what sort of smut they're allowed to import into Australia. Previously, visitors to God’s Own Country were asked to fill out a card including a declaration as to whether or not they were carrying any pornography. Objectors said that not only did this fail to serve …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 20 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

YouTube clasps naked dancer to bosom

It's official: smut is now allowed on YouTube – so long as it's artistic smut. And with this recognition that not everything that is naked is evil, YouTube appears to have scored one up on the slightly more straitlaced types over at Facebook. More seriously, by instituting a formal appeals process, it may have set the ball …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 19 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Keep your PC clean - or we'll shut you down

When it comes to protecting our personal and financial data online, the Australian solution – of cutting off users who fail to maintain their PC security - may have a lot of appeal. But in the week when UK consumers are asked to turn their minds to questions of online safety, the real focus may need to be not so much on …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 19 Oct 2010