Articles about Brussels

Stranded Brussels airport passengers told to check Facebook

An “electrical fault” wiped out Belgium's air traffic control systems nationwide this morning, according to Belgocontrol, which is responsible for air navigation above Belgium and Luxembourg. A power surge knocked out the air traffic control system, as well as back-up power generators. An investigation into what caused the …
Jennifer Baker, 27 May 2015
Uber launch party by CC2.0 sharelalike attribution

Brussels taxi union to disrupt the disruptors over Uber service

Brussels taxi drivers have threatened to bring the city to a standstill if the authorities don’t start arresting Uber drivers. In a vote on Thursday night the GTL taxi union gave the government until September 1 to haul the ride-share app drivers into jail or face Paris-style turmoil. In June, taxi drivers in the French …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Aug 2015

Brussels paws Android map apps to see if they displace Euro rivals – report

The European Commission has reportedly widened the scope of its investigation into Google's alleged anti-competitive Android operating system tactics in the 28-member-state bloc. According to Bloomberg, officials at the antitrust wing of the European Commission have fired off missives to companies seeking their views on …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015

Brussels flings out Safe Harbour guidelines, demands 'safer' new framework ASAP

The Oxford Dictionary states the following for its definition of the word "safe": "Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost." On Friday morning, Brussels' vice-president Andrus Ansip got a little tautological by once again calling for a "safer" Safe Harbour agreement between the European …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Nov 2015

Likes of Google to have undue influence in Brussels, say activists

The EU is in danger of signing away its ability to regulate major US companies - for instance Google and Facebook - according to lobbyists opposed to the way transatlantic trade talks are going. Round eight of negotiations on TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement) is taking place in Brussels this …
Jennifer Baker, 05 Feb 2015
Costumed pirate

Cutlasses rattle in Brussels as Black Spot copyright report argument heats up

MEPs have been scribbling furiously in response to Pirate MEP Julia Reda’s report on copyright. Reda told El Reg that her non-legislative report on the functioning of the so-called Infosoc Directive had received more than 550 amendments – a staggering number for a report that isn’t even legally binding. Reda’s report [which we …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Mar 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google meets more EU apparatchiks than anyone else in Brussels

Google tops the list of companies lobbying in Brussels, according to a report published on Wednesday by Transparency International (TI). TI analysed the 4,318 lobby meetings declared by the top tier of European Commission officials between December 2014 and June 2015 and found the Chocolate Factory came out on top for …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Jun 2015
Sad cloud

EU governments are CRAP at cloud, moans Brussels' infosec watchdog

European governments haven’t got a clue how to implement cloud services. So say the EU's own cybersecurity experts. ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) has released a report on the adoption of something it calls “Gov Cloud”, defined as “a deployment model to build and deliver services to state agencies …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Feb 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

B is for Brussels: Google's corporate rejig WON'T insulate firm against antitrust probes

Brussels confirmed late on Tuesday that Google's radical corporate shape-shifting that spawned parent company Alphabet would not "insulate" the Chocolate Factory from the EU's competition probes. The European Commission's competition spokesman Ricardo Cardoso told The Register: We have seen press reports that Google is …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Aug 2015

Look out, it's 'H' from Brussels: New Euro digi-czars take post

It’s official. Europe’s new digital dream team will feature Andrus “The Robot” Ansip and gaffe-prone Günther “H” Oettinger.* Data protection commander-in-chief will be Vera Jourova (who also gets the pick 'n' mix portfolio of justice, consumers and gender equality), while Margrethe Vestager will do battle with Google under the …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Oct 2014

FURY erupts on streets of Brussels over greedy USA's data-slurping appetite

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Brussels on Friday to express anger about secret trade talks between the EU, US and others that they believe would damage the 28-member-state bloc's data protection rights. More than 1,000 people marched in the centre of the EU quarter to protest about the Transatlantic Trade and …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Dec 2014

What's up, Zuck? Facebook asks Brussels to probe its GIGANTIC WhatsApp deal

Facebook has asked the competition wing of the European Commission to probe its $19bn buyout of WhatsApp in a move to apparently nullify a host of investigations being sparked in multiple EU nations. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, Facebook appears to be keen to swerve …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 May 2014

Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

The European Union government in recent years has proven to be perhaps the most willing to take on the world's major tech companies over digital rights and wrongs. But that could come to an end if planned measures allowing companies to sue governments for lost profits are implemented as part of the next EU-US trade agreement. …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Jul 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google close to inking search biz deal with Brussels: report

Google is reportedly edging closer to scoring a settlement deal with competition officials in Brussels regarding the ad giant's alleged abuse of its dominance in the European search market. According to Reuters, Google has submitted a "much better" revised package of concessions to the European Commission's anti-trust chief …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Jan 2014
Google and Microsoft

Brussels' antitrust boss not budging on planned Google competition deal

Brussels' antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia is refusing to reverse the planned settlement deal he has agreed with Google over the company's alleged abuse of its dominant market position on search. His seemingly stubborn refusal to change direction on the proposed agreement was highlighted this week during secret, two-hour-long …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Mar 2014
Original "Airplane" image from Paramount Pictures

Brussels' transport chief demands a single European sky to end 'air traffic gridlock'

EC officials are pushing for countries in the 28-member bloc to bring an end to "gridlock in the skies" above Europe, by urging them to be more flexible about national airspace. The EU's transport commissioner, Violeta Bulc, said during a speech in Rome, Italy on Friday that attitudes needed to change to address what she …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Nov 2014

Google gets all lawyered up for ‘ambiguous’ EU anti-trust case

Giant ad flinger Google has launched a 130-page legal counter attack on the EU's plan to open anti-trust charges against it, according to reports. The EU Commission believes the company has abused its dominant position in the market for general net search services by systematically favouring its own shopping comparison product …
Kat Hall, 03 Nov 2015

Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us

+Analysis A few days ago President Obama wrote a cheque he knew he couldn’t cash - and this week the European Parliament will write another. Reports suggest that the Parliament is drafting a motion calling for the break-up of Google and its ilk. Much like Obama’s net neutrality pledge, it’s meaningless, but even so, it’s still hugely …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2014
The Register breaking news

Desperate broadband minister in Brussels cash splash dash

Culture Secretary Maria Miller, chief of UK broadband policy, has raced to Brussels this morning to have crisis talks with the European Commission's competition boss, Joaquin Almunia, in a move to get state aid clearance for the £530m rollout of broadband networks in rural parts of the UK. The Department for Media, Culture and …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Nov 2012
Julia Reda MEP, Pirate Party. Pic: Joachim S. Müller

Last Pirate in Brussels: Put ME in charge of yer IP treasure chest. Yarr!

Analysis With more individuals than ever posting their words and pictures to social media and sites like Flickr, you may think it's an odd time to weaken the copyright controls and protections we have over our work. Yet Europe has got itself into a unique pickle over copyright – and it was advised this week to slash such protections as …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jan 2015

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras brings the EU to its knees

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras managed to bring the European Parliament’s live streaming service to a standstill this morning. The Greek leader was giving an unusual speech to MEPs in Strasbourg following Sunday’s referendum, but despite much crowing from the EU Parliament press department about how everyone would be able …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Jul 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

More oompa loompas needed to push Google's EU agenda

Google and Facebook are throwing people and money at the EU in an effort to ensure more laws go their way. Both companies are recruiting new policy wonks to influence law-makers in Brussels. Google is after two public policy and government relations analysts – one to work on the European Commission and the Council, the other …
Jennifer Baker, 13 May 2015
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

Small Euro telco lobby group births small Euro telco lobby group

ECTA Regulatory Conf '15 "We’re not going to pilot the first generation of VR games because the infrastructure isn’t good enough," according to the European Commission's head of broadband, Anna Krzyzanowska, who added: "That might be one of the greatest opportunities lost in the current time." The EC's policy wonk made the comment during a discussion …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2015

Ad rivals whimper: Hey Commish, we've 'ad it up to here with ad giant Google

There’s seemingly no let up in Google’s European antitrust woes, as yet another new possible battlefront opens. Advertising competitors OpenX and AppNexus have complained whinged to the European Commission that the Chocolate Factory is using unfair contracts to stop customers employing rivals services (erm, hmmm, theirs …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jul 2015

Google can't hide behind Alphabet, EU competition commish warns

Google's parent company Alphabet could face more competition charges in Brussels, antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager has signalled. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, she spoke about the lengthy, multiple probes into Google's business practices, and said that each investigation was at a different stage, …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Oct 2015
The Register breaking news

Microsoft to comply with Brussels over browser choice gaffe

Microsoft has reportedly agreed to comply with any sanctions laid down by competition officials in Brussels, who are currently probing the software giant's allegedly mistaken banishment of a "browser choice" screen, which would have allowed European customers to pick which browser they wanted to run on their Windows-based …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Sep 2012

Danish telcos hang up on merger plans after EU pressure

Telenor and TeliaSonera have abandoned their merger plans following pressure from the European Commission. In an official statement on Friday, the pair called off the deal as they were unable to meet the Brussels competition watchdog’s demands. The Commish opened an in-depth investigation into the deal in April. “The merger …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015
European Union Flag

Google's latest Brussels self-abuse proposal needs 'concrete tech'

Agitators in the European Parliament are pressuring Brussels' competition chief to properly market test Google's new round of proposals to the Commission on its alleged abuse of dominance in the search business. MEPs approved the so-called Tremosa Report on Thursday, which - among other things - urges antitrust commissioner …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Oct 2013
Silhouette of spy discerning password from code uses a command on graphic user interface

'Progress made' as EU aims to get new data protection laws ASAP

The second round of negotiations on the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) saw real movement on Tuesday, according to negotiators. Sources familiar with the discussions told El Reg that a tentative political agreement has been reached already on Chapter 5 and Article 3. These two elements focus specifically on …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jul 2015
The Register breaking news

Brussels looks set to OK Apple e-book collusion deal, sources say

Brussels officials have reportedly indicated that a settlement deal proposed by Apple and four of the publishers in Europe's competition probe into ebooks price-fixing with be accepted by the Commission. According to Reuters, which cites two unnamed sources, an offer from Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, the Hachette …
Team Register, 06 Nov 2012
Taxi Driver

Belgian minister set to legalise Uber

After Uber’s woes in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, Belgium looks set to overturn its existing ban on the (taxi and/or tech) service and bring it within legal regulation. Brussels' mobility minister Pascal Smet has set out a plan to regularise the service, which is still technically illegal in Belgium despite the …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Apr 2015
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

Top Eurocop: People are OK with us snooping on their phone calls

Europol's director Rob Wainwright - the EU's top cop - told a conference in Brussels on Wednesday that “the public accepts that private phone calls may be intercepted. Society accepts that this is a reasonable way to run a democracy." The now familiar refrain of “give us all your data if you want us to keep you safe” was not …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Jun 2015
The Register breaking news

Brussels 'set to clear' state cash for UK broadband deployment

Europe's competition commissioner has reportedly signalled that he will allow state investment by the UK to improve rural broadband within the next few weeks. According to the Financial Times, only "minor changes" are required by Joaquin Almunia before the plan is granted approval from officials in Brussels. Other …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Oct 2012

Should all Europeans be able to watch Estonian football? Consultation launched

Europe’s Digital Commissioner wants to know what you think about copyright rules for satellite broadcasters and cable companies. On Monday, digi veep Andrus Ansip launched a public consultation on his favourite topic – geoblocking. The consultation asks whether 22-year-old EU rules that define where and how satellite …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Aug 2015
Meme of a dog "typing" at a computer, with the large font phrase "I have no idea what I'm doing' above him.

Europe yawns at EU robo-commish Ansip's digital plans

Eurocrats' proposals to change how Europe's independent TV and film makers do business aren't needed – according to the EU's own research, released on one of the quietest Fridays of the year. The European Commission wants to force the producers to outlaw territorial licensing as part of its "digital single market" strategy. …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Sep 2015
The Register breaking news

Brussels reviews Google's plan for not being abusive and dominant

The competition wing of the European Commission confirmed this morning that its officials were currently poring over Google's latest search business remedy proposals, after the company submitted a document to Brussels yesterday. "We have received proposals by Google which we are now analysing," said Antoine Colombani, who is a …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Feb 2013
Woman throttling man. Pic: quan ha

European Parliament rejects amendments to net neut rules, waves through law

MEPs voted against changes to net neutrality rules in the European Union on Tuesday lunchtime. It comes after key internet figures, including the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners Lee, warned EU politicos not to wave through the regulations without amendments due to a number of loopholes in the proposed law. …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Oct 2015
Breakwater at Portland Harbour

Companies need answer to Safe Harbour worries, says minister

The move to strike down Safe Harbour has created worrying uncertainty for companies, the Conservative minister for intellectual property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, has said. Responding to a Parliamentary question on the European Court of Justice’s judgement last month on the Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner case, Neville- …
Kat Hall, 04 Nov 2015
The Register breaking news

Rivals to Brussels: Google labelling its own stuff won't help us

A Microsoft-backed lobby group that is fighting Google's alleged dominance of the search market in Europe has claimed that any concession by Brussels competition officials that involves labelling could do more harm than good for the ad giant's rivals. ICOMP's legal counsel David Wood argued today that Google's proposed remedy …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Feb 2013

Muscles-from-Brussels Vanhamme crams into Dell EMEA role

The IT channel's very own muscles from Brussels Dominique Vanhamme has pitched up at Dell to run its networking business across EMEA. The tech industry veteran left Huawei Technologies in September after a year on board, claiming stifling bureaucracy and a lack of empowerment by China HQ hastened his exit. "I've been in …
Paul Kunert, 25 Feb 2013
Telephone. Copyright: macinate

EU’s digi VP: More telco consolidation! What about competition?

After just one year in the job, Europe’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has already made a name for herself as being tough on telecoms mergers. Now her colleague, veep Andrus Ansip, has publicly backed her, telling industry representatives in Brussels this week that competition, not M&As, is the future. Last …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2015

Europe's digital grand fromage Oettinger: I'm not resigning

Europe's Digital Commissioner, Günther H-dot Oettinger, has denied rumours that he is to step down from his post. Oettinger, who has been in the job for just a year, said on Thursday that the rumours that he is to quit the Commission for a position in the private sector were unfounded. The gaffe-prone Günther was formerly …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2015
Twitter for Mac New

Oi, Twitter! Sign this or we won't talk to you, growls EU

Twitter could soon find itself cold-shouldered by top European law-makers. The deadline for all companies and organisations wanting to lobby the EU to update their information on the so-called Transparency Register passed this week. The annual update was more important than usual this year since the Commission, under …
Jennifer Baker, 01 May 2015
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Time to lop off Europe's confusing IT rules, says pressure group

EU lawmakers will be pressed for clearer rules on software licensing, support contracts from IT vendors, and intellectual property by the Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL). The group has formed a strategic relationship with the non-profit Free ICT Europe to lobby Brussels to shift the balance of power away from major IT firms …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Oct 2015
The track of K6RPT-11 on

EU-US safe harbour talks are lingering just outside port, says US

In a visit to Brussels this week, US Under Secretary Catherine Novelli told reporters that an agreement on a revised Safe Harbor framework was just weeks away. But the European Commissioner responsible for data protection, Vera Jourova, said there were still obstacles to be overcome. The Safe Harbor agreement is a legally …
Jennifer Baker, 05 Jun 2015

Furious Flems fling privacy rule book at Facebook

Belgium has made good on its promise to take action over Facebook’s privacy breaches, and will haul Zuck's ad empire into court on Thursday. A recent report for the Commission de Protection de la Vie Privée (CPVP) said Facebook trampled users’ rights, tracking them across the web whether they want it or not. Unable to fine the …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Jun 2015
Apple iPhone 5s: back, front, and side views

Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

Just spent 50 quid on the latest iPhone dock? You'd better start saving for a new one, because the EU has set a timetable for its plans to force all phone manufacturers to use the same charger. Although the EU is well known for its diversity policies, it has been planning to homogenise phone chargers for some time. Ultimately, …
Jasper Hamill, 20 Dec 2013

Stop the war between privacy and security – EU data watchdog

Security and privacy are not mutually exclusive says Europe’s privacy watchdog – and people should stop saying they are. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, told a Brussels conference he was concerned that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to justify measures which weaken …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Apr 2015
Prinz microscope set

NATO gets a front-door to look for Microsoft backdoors

Microsoft has renewed its 12-year-old agreement with NATO which, among other things, lets the organisation check for bugs, vulnerabilities, and backdoors in Redmond's products. The company announced the agreement here. The essence of the release is that NATO's Communications and Information Agency, NCI, has signed with …
The Register breaking news

Foundem urges Brussels: REJECT Google's search biz offer

UK-based price-comparison site Foundem has urged competition officials in Brussels to reject Google's formal offer of concessions, which is intended to address the ad giant's alleged abuse of dominance in Europe's search market. Google commands a hefty 90 per cent share of the search business in the European Union. In April, …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 May 2013