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Alexander J Martin

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Alexander is a staff reporter at The Register. His PGP public key can be found here on Keybase.
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French authorities raid Google's Paris HQ over tax allegations

Google's office in central Paris was raided this morning by police, directed by French financial officials, over alleged underpayment of taxes. More than 100 investigators and five magistrates were involved in the raid, which happened shortly after 5am on Tuesday morning, Reuters reported. This has been confirmed to The …
Live news illustration with microphones and cameras

Taxmen raid Google in Paris

Google's office in central Paris was raided this morning as part of an ongoing investigation into the company's tax affairs. The company, now nested under Alphabet, allegedly owes le taxman français £1.3bn in unpaid taxes. The Register will be reporting in more detail shortly. ® Live news illustration with microphones and …
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Apache TinkerPop made TLP

The Apache Software Foundation has announced TinkerPop™ as its most recent Top-Level Project. Aside from being hilariously named, TinkerPop is a graph computing framework which works with both graph databases and graph analytic systems, ostensibly providing developers with all the tools they need to build all the graph …

G4S call centre staff made 'test' 999 calls to hit performance targets

Five former Lincolnshire police employees have been suspended today from their jobs at G4S after allegedly calling 999 during quiet periods to improve their performance ratings. It has been alleged that the staff made more than 600 "test calls" to 999 for the purposes of improving their performance ratings, which The Guardian …
Teen argues with her father. Photo by Shutterstock

Half of EU members sidle up to EC: About the data-sharing rules. C'mon. Chill out

Ministers from half of the European Union's 28 member states have signed a letter asking the EU Commission to drop its “barriers to the free flow of data”. The letter was sent to the EU's digitally focused folk ahead of Wednesday, when the commission will publish the findings of its inquiry into online platforms (“search …
One Nation Under CCTV

Home Office U-turns on surveillance camera review muddle

Presumably after finally reading his report*, the government has thanked the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) for "clarifying" after he explained that he had not asked for the "enforcement powers" it had refused to give him. Earlier this month, The Register reported on the extraordinarily curt letter the government sent …

Adobe launches Spark: Amateur graphical fun!

Adobe has launched Spark in a hope that its graphics software can be tooled for the mobile age. Launched as part of the backup-gobbling service Creative Cloud, Spark is intended to embiggen the San Jose-based business's animation suite, although it's still only available on iOS. It rebrands some of the company's apps from …

Russia student coders win

Students from St Petersburg State University placed first in the International Collegiate Programming Contest world finals. According to the scoreboard, students from Shangai Jiao Tong University and Harvard placed second and third respectively in the 40th annual programming competition operated under the auspices of ACM. …
Royal coat of arms on a court building. Pic: Elliott Brown

I spy a secret High Court: We're no 'star chamber', it says in 4-year report

The only court where you may appeal our spies' illegal activities in the UK has finally published a report covering its activities from 2011-2015, defending itself against accusations that it is a “star chamber” which “always meets in secret and never rules in favour of complainants”. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), …
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The PC is dead. Gartner wishes you luck, vendors

The PC market is doomed. We know this. You know this. Gartner knows this, but it reckons vendors can bleed out a few more pennies if they start selling high-end rigs for gamers. "PCs are no longer the first or only devices users are choosing for internet access," said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner. …
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Android Pay debuts in UK

Google has launched its contactless payment service, Android Pay, in the UK. The service, which uses NFC chips to enable transactions and integrates "everywhere contactless payments are accepted", comes to the UK directly from the US. It arrives with standard industry security measures for contactless payments. More …

Home Office declares: Detained immigrants shall have internet

The Home Office has issued guidance demanding that immigration detainees are provided with internet access so they can maintain “links with friends, families and legal representatives and to prepare for removal.” Publishing Detention Services Order 04/2016 (PDF) the Home Office has responded to an independent review into the …
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Manchester cops to strap on 3K bodycams

Just a few days after a counter-terrorism incident which involved precisely zero terrorists, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has started to deploy 3,000 body-worn video (BWV) cameras to its coppers. After enabling the evacuation of 75,000-seater Old Trafford on the final day of the Premier League, for what turned out to be a …
CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope

Informatica hires Attanasio

Newly private data management business Informatica has nabbed former IBM-er Lou Attanasio. Informatica reported that Attanasio will come in as an executive veep and chief revenue officer. He will lead the company's global sales efforts, and leaves his role as GM Global Sales for IBM's Hybrid Coud Portfolio. His LinkedIn …
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Spied upon by GCHQ? You'll need proof before a court will hear you...

The UK's only judicial body for hearing complaints against the intelligence services has ruled claimants must show why their communications are "potentially at risk" of being collected by the government's mass-surveillance activities. On Monday the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) handed down its judgment which threatened …

Nuisance caller fined a quarter of a million pounds by the ICO

A claims spam company from Blackburn has been fined £250,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after making over 17.5 million nuisance calls. Check Point Claims had harassed people illegally with automated calls encouraging them to claim compensation for job-related hearing loss. The ICO launched its …

GCHQ (openly) joins Twitter

British surveillance agency GCHQ has joined Twitter. Four years after His Holiness the Pope gave the blue bird his email address, the spooks have signed up (with an immediately verified account, natch) with the official handle of @GCHQ. Hello, world. https://t.co/SROtSsE8KB — GCHQ (@GCHQ) May 16, 2016 Andrew Pike, …
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Banning computers makes students do better on exams – MIT

Students who have access to computer devices in the classroom do significantly worse than colleagues without them, a study has found. In a study by MIT's School Effectiveness & Inequality Initiative, titled The Impact of Computer Usage on Academic Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial at the United States Military …
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Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could

Updated A Scottish council has published a new policy paper which justifies its "investigating officers" creating fake accounts for snooping purposes on social media, though it denies ever having conducted such covert surveillance. Bordering the city of Edinburgh, East Lothian Council has published a nine-page Surveillance through …
Policeman claps in London street

Non-police orgs merrily accessed PNC without authority, says HMIC

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which inspects Britain's police forces, has reported on several cases of misuse of the Police National Computer (PNC) by non-police organisations. The PNC is a law enforcement database that holds personal information about people arrested by police or convicted of crimes – as …
Northern Ireland nature scene. Photo by Shutterstock.com

Ireland handed another $100m by Silicon Valley for startups' handout

The mad money bags at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) have announced they will be throwing an additional $100m at Ireland's Strategic Investment Fund, doubling the bank's involvement in the nation's tech sector. SVB pledged its first $100m, to be paid over a five year period, back in 2012. While not notably different from most …
Newsroom

GCHQ plugs DevOps

Eavesdropping agency the Government Communications Headquarters has published a DevOps research paper titled Boiling Frogs. Feeling technological disruption "as much as other government departments" the secretive unit has offered "this internal research paper publicly, not to present policy or guidelines, but to stimulate …
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GitHub pricing change

GitHub has announced it is offering unlimited private repositories for its paid members while restructuring its pricing model. The San Francisco-based Git repository hosting service has said that, as of today, there will be just two ways to pay for GitHub.com: Personal: $7/month Organization: $9/user/month, $25/month for …
Lauri Love. Pic: Courage Foundation

Lauri Love: 'Britain's FBI' loses court attempt to evade decryption laws

The National Crime Agency's (NCA) application to force alleged hacktivist Lauri Love to decrypt computer equipment seized from him two years ago has been declined by a Westminster judge. At a hearing this morning in Court Seven at Westminster Magistrates' Court, the NCA's application to make Love disclose his passwords was …
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping "endorse" the investigatory powers bill. Ad image supplied by Don't Spy On Us...

Investigatory Powers Bill: As supported by world's most controlling men

IPB This morning in London, on billboards and in print, the world's most authoritarian leaders are "endorsing" the UK's Investigatory Powers Bill. The "New" Snoopers' Charter would make the UK "a world leader in surveillance," according to the Don't Spy on Us coalition, a collective of civil liberties organisations behind the …