Articles about Administration

Mike Pompeo

CIA boss: Make America (a) great (big database of surveillance on citizens, foreigners) again!

While Washington is busy with the inauguration of President Trump, not all political business has stopped. The incoming administration is hoping to get its new CIA boss appointed today, but the Senate is having none of it. Trump's pick for the top job is Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who has some interesting views on data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jan 2017

Welcome to the Wipe House: President Trump shreds climate change, privacy, LGBT policies on WhiteHouse.gov

With Donald Trump taking over the presidency Friday morning, a different type of transition has also taken place: a digital transition. A novel approach was taken with respect to the Twitter accounts of the president, vice-president and first lady: the accounts were both retained and cloned to new accounts – if you followed @ …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2017
Donald Trump thumbs up photo via Shutterstock

Trump's 'cyber tsar' Giuliani among creds leaked in mass hacks

Passwords used by Donald Trump's incoming cybersecurity advisor Rudy Giuliani and 13 other top staffers have been leaked in mass hacks, according to a Channel 4 investigation. Giuliani, incoming national security advisor Lt Gen Michael Flynn and various cabinet members of Trump's administration had their details included in …
John Leyden, 20 Jan 2017
Tesla

Deadly Tesla smash probe: No recall needed, says Uncle Sam

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into a fatal Tesla crash last year has determined that the car manufacturer should face no further action and has improved safety considerably. The investigation was launched after Joshua Brown, a 40-year-old ex-Navy SEAL, slammed into the side of a tractor …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jan 2017
Made in China

IBM, Microsoft, US Govt all to blame for globalisation backlash: Jack Ma

Silicon Valley’s tech plutocrats have kept a relatively low profile at Davos, the WEF’s schmoozefest for corporate, government and NGO elites. But into the void stepped Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. Alibaba is the gigantic, tat bazaar that has eclipsed the company it copied: eBay. Ma used to encourage new hires to perform …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jan 2017

Is Qualcomm price gouging phone makers? Not everyone thinks so

Analysis America’s competition commissioners didn’t want to prosecute Google, which operates a monopoly in over a dozen markets, so why are they complaining about Qualcomm? Yesterday, the FTC filed a complaint against the San Diego chip giant following a South Korean indictment, and two EU probes into Qualcomm’s practices. Qualcomm …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jan 2017
Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

In the final days of his administration, President Barack Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning's remaining sentence, meaning she'll be free on May 17, or shortly afterwards. Private Manning was cuffed and charged by US military police in 2010. Three years later, she was given a 35-year sentence after being found guilty of …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jan 2017

Valley techies to protest outside Palantir – Trump adviser's creepy citizen database biz

Silicon Valley engineers will protest outside the headquarters of data analytics firm Palantir Technologies Wednesday, demanding greater transparency over how its databases may be used by the incoming Trump Administration. "Palantir and Peter Thiel should be held accountable for potentially enabling Trump's efforts to deport …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2017
gushing fire hydrant, photo via Shutterstock

Samsung fans flames of burning Galaxy Note 7 mystery

Samsung's figured out why its Galaxy Note 7 phablets burned up the mobile phone market last year, but won't say why until next week. The Register hailed the Galaxy Note 7 as the world’s best Android phone after fondling a pre-release unit in early August 2016. Four weeks later, when actual product hit the market, reports …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017

FCC's Wheeler gives passionate defense of net neutrality rules

Video Tom Wheeler, chairman of America's comms watchdog the FCC, has given a passionate defense of net neutrality rules in his last public speech – and warned his fellow commissioners not to go backwards by removing them. He called the rules "rooted in reality, not ideology" – a clear poke at the Republican leadership that will take …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2017

UK's largest hospital trust battles Friday 13th malware outbreak

Malware has infected hospital computers at the UK’s biggest NHS trust. Barts Health, which runs six London hospitals, shut down parts of its network on Friday to prevent the spread of the as-yet-unidentified software nasty. The organization oversees Mile End Hospital, Newham University Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, St …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2017
A robot and person shaking hands

Europe mulls treating robots legally as people ... but with kill switches

The European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs has proposed a legal framework for robots that clarifies whether they should have the legal status of people, even as it recommends the inclusion of kill switches in automated systems. "A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics," said …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jan 2017
Giuliani

Donald Trump will take cybersecurity advice from, um, Rudy Giuliani

The transition team for US president-elect Donald Trump has announced that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani will advise the incoming administration on how to secure America's digital infrastructure. We're told that the Donald may hold meetings with senior private industry executives with experience in online security. …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jan 2017

Thanks, Obama: NSA to stream raw intelligence into FBI, DEA and pals

A last-minute rule change signed off by the outgoing Obama administration has made it much easier for the NSA to share raw surveillance data with more than a dozen government agencies. The changes [PDF] are tacked onto executive order 12333, which was enacted by then-President Ronald Reagan to allow intelligence agencies to …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jan 2017
Trump Tower in New York

AT&T CEO clambers up Trump's tower, explains why he should shower gold for Time Warner

AT&T boss Randall Stephenson has been spotted at Trump Tower in New York City – reportedly in an effort to sell the president-elect on his company's plan to buy Time Warner. The CEO was seen entering the Trump headquarters on Thursday for a meeting with The Donald. Reuters cites sources familiar in reporting that the meetup …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2017

IBM: Hm, medical record security... security... Got it – we need blockchains

IBM says it will partner with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a study of whether blockchain technology could be used to securely transfer medical information. Big Blue says that its Watson Health unit will work with the FDA on a study aimed at pitching a framework for the use of blockchain technologies to make the …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2017

Crims shut off Ukraine power in wide-ranging anniversary hacks

Hackers of unknown origin cut power supplies in Ukraine for a second time in 12 months as part of wide-ranging attacks that hit the country in December. The attacks were revealed at the S4x17 conference in Miami in which Honeywell security researcher Marina Krotofil offered reporters some detail into the exploitation that …
Darren Pauli, 12 Jan 2017

FCC slams Verizon, AT&T over zero rating, gives T-Mobile US a hug

US comms watchdog the FCC has issued new guidelines on the controversial practice of "zero rating" and whether it is illegal or not. The upshot is that it has given T‑Mobile US's Binge On service a green light, but comes down on AT&T's Sponsored Data service and Verizon's FreeBee Data 360 as illegal. We already knew from …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2017

Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

Recent Mirai-style attacks against home broadband routers have had some effect but the majority of users have failed to act. A survey of 2,000 broadband users found the majority (53 per cent) have not changed the Wi-Fi password and other default settings, potentially opening themselves up to attack. The poll by ISP comparison …
John Leyden, 11 Jan 2017

St Jude patching Merlin@home heart kit

Months after steadfastly denying its heart implants have serious security vulnerabilities, St Jude – now owned by Abbott Laboratories – has issued a patch. The company's press release is here. Last year, a pentester and an investor pulled a now-notorious double act on St Jude, shorting its stock before publishing the …
Ocean from above photo via Shutterstock

NASA taps ESA satellite Swarm for salty ocean temperature tales

Research scientists working at NASA have hit upon a potentially revolutionary way of measuring the heat hidden deep in Earth's oceans: track the subtle shifts in our planet's magnetic field caused by tides, swells, eddies, and even tsunamis. Put simply, the salt in ocean water makes it conductive, and as it ebbs and flows it …
Rik Myslewski, 09 Jan 2017
Elon Musk

Weather stops SpaceX from blowing up more satellites

Sorry, Musketeers, you'll have to wait until at least January 14 to see how many satellites SpaceX can get into space. The company's Falcon 9 was due to return to space today, but the weather turned against Elon Musk. The launch will hoist seven Iridium satellites into orbit. SpaceX had gotten as far as completing a test …
Elon Musk

Elon's SpaceX gets permission to blow up another satellite or two

America's Federal Aviation Administration has cleared SpaceX to launch satellites into Earth's orbit using the science upstart's rockets. This comes after the watchdog scrutinized the cause of last year's dramatic explosion on a SpaceX launchpad: on September 1, a refueling cockup strongly encouraged a Falcon 9 rocket, along …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jan 2017
Wages

Google gives up YOUR private data to US govt – but won't hand over its OWN staff personal info

The US Department of Labor is suing Google for details of its staff's wages – though the Chocolate Factory claims it's bending over backwards to comply with the bureaucrats' demands. This is the same advertising giant that loves keeping tabs on hundreds of millions of netizens, and coughs up people's private information to …
Iain Thomson, 05 Jan 2017
Assange

Assange confirmed alive, tells Fox: Prez Obama 'acting like a lawyer'

Julian Assange has been interviewed for the first time in months, putting to bed rumours he'd been kidnapped, while also disputing claims that Russia contributed to WikiLeaks' offerings during the US Presidential election. In a half-hour extract of an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity, Assange tackled allegations that it …
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

NASA eyes up supermassive black holes, neutron stars

NASA will embark on a new mission to explore supermassive black holes, neutron stars, and pulsars hidden within the depths of space. The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission was chosen among 14 other proposals during the rigorous selection process for NASA's Astrophysics Explorer programmes. It's expected to …
Katyanna Quach, 04 Jan 2017

Busted Oracle finance cloud leaves Rutgers Uni unable to foot bills

Rutgers University is struggling to pay its bills on time amid a prolonged outage of its Oracle-powered management systems. It is claimed this IT failure led to power outages within its campus after supplies were cut off due to non-payment. The hedgerow-league college, in New Jersey, US, has publicly admitted its Cornerstone …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jan 2017

Russian 'grid attack' turns out to be a damp squib

Updated Russian hackers have not penetrated America's electricity grid, in spite of an end-of-year media flurry saying they did. The story was triggered because an anonymous source told the Washington Post miscreants had infiltrated the grid, when in fact – as the story was later amended to read – one Burlington Electric Department …

Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling

President Barack Obama has ordered the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies in response to "malicious cyber activity and harassment" by Putin's government for attempts to undermine the 2016 election. In a statement issued on Thursday, Obama ordered a number of actions in response to "the Russian government’s aggressive …
Kat Hall, 30 Dec 2016

Netgear: Nothing to see here, please disperse. Just another really bad router security hole

Netgear has downplayed the significance of newly discovered flaws in its WNR2000 line of consumer routers. The vulnerabilities could hypothetically allow a remote attacker to execute code and take over the device without authentication, claims Pedro Ribeiro, the security researcher who discovered the bugs. “It is a LAN based …
John Leyden, 23 Dec 2016
Uber moving its self-driving cars via self-driving truck

Uber's self-driving cars get kicked out of SF, seek refuge in Arizona

Analysis The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on Wednesday revoked the registration of 16 self-driving Uber vehicles, sending a signal to the regulation-averse startup that the agency is not to be publicly defied. Privately, it appears to be a different matter. Uber's subsidiary Otto has been, by its own admission, testing …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Dec 2016

Strong non-backdoored encryption is vital – but the Feds should totally be able to crack it, say House committees

A bipartisan House working group on encryption has today come to the conclusion that encryption is vital to US national interests, even as it seeks to mitigate the problem the technology can pose for law enforcement. Citing the Federal Bureau of Investigation's effort earlier this year to force Apple to help the agency decrypt …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Dec 2016
negotiation

Wassenaar weapons pact talks collapse leaving software exploit exports in limbo

Security researchers face continued uncertainty after talks broke down between US negotiators and 40 other countries over the state of exploit exports. The negotiations concern the Wassenaar Arrangement, an arms-control pact in which members agree to limit the export of certain types of weaponry and "dual-use products." …
Iain Thomson, 21 Dec 2016
Vomit

No Soylent for Santa after key ingredient supply is choked off

If you were planning to leave out cookies and a generous glass of Soylent for Santa, you should forget all that and hoard your stocks for yourself. A key supplier has announced it is cutting off the super-gruel maker. TerraVia, which provides the algae-based flour and oils used in Soylent, said that it was unhappy with being …
Iain Thomson, 20 Dec 2016
empty_pockets_648

Beeb flings millions more £s at Capita for telly tax collection

El Reg can confirm that two things Brits love will be paired together for another couple of years - the Beeb has again extended Capita's telly tax collection contract. The original deal was signed in 2002 for £500m, and renewed in 2012 for eight years at a cost of £560m. Today it emerged the agreement will now stretch until …
Kat Hall, 19 Dec 2016
Photo by MediaGroupBestForYou / Shutterstock

'I told him to cut it out' – Obama is convinced Putin's hackers swung the election for Trump

Analysis Outgoing US President Barack Obama has promised to take action against Russia over its alleged interference in the presidential election campaign. American intelligence agencies have concluded that hackers linked to the Kremlin infiltrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee as well as the email account …
John Leyden, 17 Dec 2016

FCC chairman confirms he will step down, make way for Trump choice

Analysis Following weeks of speculation and a refusal to state his plans, on Thursday chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Tom Wheeler, announced he would step down from the role on January 20, allowing president-elect Donald Trump to select a new head of the US comms watchdog. "Sitting in this chair has been the …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Dec 2016
Top Gun

Red Hat feels the need – the need for OpenStack speed

Red Hat’s released its dual-support mode OpenStack Platform 10, for rapid cloud adoption. The branded OpenStack box continues Red Hat’s drive to reduce the headache of installing and running the open-source cloud for those of us who are not rocket scientists. But OpenStack Platform 10 also accompanies a shift in build, …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Dec 2016
Money falling, image via Shutterstock

.biz, .us, .co master Neustar grabbed by the privates in $2.9bn deal

Neustar has agreed to sell itself for $2.9bn to a San Francisco-based investment firm, taking the public company private. The company's board voted unanimously to approve the offer from Golden Gate Capital that will see it pay $33.50 a share – a premium of 45 per cent from the date when it first disclosed a financial interest …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Dec 2016

Climate change bust up: We'll launch our own damn satellites if Trump pulls plug – Gov Brown

California Governor Jerry Brown promises that no matter how "absurd" the upcoming Republican presidential administration's response to climate-change science, the state of California will be ready with a robust response – with weapons ranging from satellites to databases to lawyers. Speaking at the American Geophysical Union's …
Rik Myslewski, 14 Dec 2016
Trump meeting with tech leaders

Tech titans tentatively trot toward Trump Tower to talk turkey today

US president-elect Donald Trump today meets Silicon Valley's tech leaders face to face for a frank chat about what to expect under his administration. Among the big names getting down on one knee and kissing the ring, er, we mean, attending the summit are: Apple boss Tim Cook, Tesla kingpin Elon Musk, Amazon founder and …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2016

If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

Online retailers in America will soon be required by law to disclose to state governments what purchases their customers – meaning, you – have made. That extraordinary situation is the result of a long-running legal case that the US Supreme Court this week refused to hear. This means a decision by the Tenth Circuit [PDF] …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Dec 2016
Snowden

Snowden: Donald Trump could get pal Putin to kick me out of Russia

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has warned Donald Trump, as US President, could do a deal with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to extradite or imprison the whistleblower. In an hour-long live-streamed video interview on Periscope with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey today, Snowden argued the US had trapped him in Russia when it …
Iain Thomson, 13 Dec 2016
Mindful Bill Gates

Bill Gates joins $170bn climate change investment club

Bill Gates is leading a $1bn climate-change venture with a roll-call of tech’s biggest names. Microsoft’s co-founder has joined Breakthrough Energy, described as investing in “reliable, affordable, zero-carbon energy, food and products for the world.” The first investment is reported to be in clean tech. Gates is reported to …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Dec 2016

SpaceX delays manned Dragon capsule launch

Elon Musk's SpaceX has delayed the first manned launch of its Dragon capsule intended to carry astronauts into orbit by one year. SpaceX intends to send astronauts to the International Space Station via the capsule, which has already made several supply deliveries to the station. The first launch was originally scheduled for …
Kat Hall, 13 Dec 2016
iran_flags_648

Dell trips over US sanctions by selling PCs to Iranian embassies

Dell has admitted it violated United States sanctions against Iran. The company has filed an IRANNOTICE and explained the violation in its latest Form 10Q. The violation is not serious because the United States' sanctions are very broad, covering “goods, services, technology, information, or support” that could in any way …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Dec 2016

Russian hackers got Trump elected? Yeah, let's take a close look at that, says Obama

President Obama has bowed to pressure and announced a formal investigation into Russian hacking aimed at influencing the recent presidential election. White House spokesman Eric Schultz announced on Friday that the Obama administration would seek to have the report wrapped up before President-elect Donald Trump takes office in …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Dec 2016
Q in James Bond

UK.gov state of the nation report: Infosec's very important, mmmkay

The UK government’s first annual report on the implementation of the 2015 National Security Strategy has reaffirmed that cyber-security remains a key priority. The 39 page report (pdf) lists cyber-security alongside Russia’s actions in Syria and Ukraine and terrorism as among the greatest threats Britain faces. The range of …
John Leyden, 09 Dec 2016
Christopher Lee as Dracula

Latest loon for Trump's cabinet: Young-blood-loving, kidney-market advocate Jim O'Neill

Having chosen a climate-change denier to head the US government's environment agency, an opponent of minimum wage for the Labor Department, a creationist for Education Secretary, a mine-owner for Commerce, and a wrestling exec to oversee small businesses – president-elect Donald Trump is now considering putting a man with very …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Dec 2016
Ajit Pai

Say bye-bye to net neutrality next year, gloats FCC commish Pai

In a speech to a right-wing think tank, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai explained how 2017 will be the year that net neutrality dies in the US, and that municipal networks can forget about existing as well. On Wednesday, Pai gave a speech at the Free State Foundation in which he lambasted the FCC for taking on more responsibility …
Iain Thomson, 08 Dec 2016