Articles about Brussels

UK passport control photo via Shutterstock

CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme

Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme to recruit and retain overseas talent in a post-Brexit Britain. The call from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) came as it emerged that European Union citizens have started to look to countries other than Britain to take up working positions. CBI deputy …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Jan 2017
Cookie Monster

EU tosses Europe's cookies... popups

The EU’s most famous contribution to the internet era could be snuffed out soon, and few will mourn it. As expected, Brussels will no longer mandate that websites receive the user’s consent for placing cookies on their device. Scrapping the consent form is one of the options floated in the European Commission new public …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2017
Cookie Monster

Brussels cunning plan to save the EU: No more Cookie Popups

Beleaguered Brussels bureaucrats have come up with a cunning plan to make us love the European Union again. They might relax the world’s most hated internet regulation. Directive 2009/136/EC, also known as the "Cookie Directive" has obliged websites hosted in member states to pester users with a popup if the site uses cookies …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Dec 2016
Cargo train coupling photo via Shutterstock

AWS' UK cloud hitched to British-based iron

Amazon has opened its long-awaited AWS jumping off point for UK cloud customers by renting racks in two separate third party-run British-based bit barns. Up to now, AWS customers in Britain were served by company-owned server farms in Dublin, Frankfurt and one on the east coast of the US, but the business acknowledged demand …
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

Look out, Brussels: Google's moving the goalposts, barks price comparison rival

Google’s leading European competition critics say its search results are a “significant leak in its money-making machines,” drawing regulators attentions to the ad giant’s conflicts of interests. The FairSearch founders, Adam and Shivaun Raff, accuse Google of moving the goalposts in the battle over price comparison engines, …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Dec 2016
Terminator head

Copyright crimefighters FACT change tack after Hollywood calls The Terminator

British IP crimefighter FACT has "pivoted" after the Motion Picture Association cut half of the UK body's funding. The Federation Against Copyright Theft has been fighting TV and movie piracy on behalf of big audiovisual operations like Hollywood Studios and Sky, work that includes bringing private prosecutions. But earlier …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Nov 2016
HAL

Spark meets HAL: Apache's cluster master goes deep

As a phrase, "democratisation of data" is rather glib – but it does have a serious purpose. The thinking: making use of company data should not be the preserve of just "professionals". This was certainly a theme at the recent European Spark summit in Brussels. Spark, the open-source framework used for building clusters run by …
Maxwell Cooter, 03 Nov 2016
Trading exchange, photo via Shutterstock

UK fintech firm reaches for Ireland Brexit escape hatch

A UK fin-tech firm will seek regulation in Ireland if the government doesn’t preserve financial services passporting rights in its EU exit talks. Regulation in Ireland would allow LMAX Exchange, which describes itself as “one of the UK’s fastest growing technology firms”, to keep doing business with other EU member states. …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Oct 2016
EU flag photo via Shutterstock

NHS patients must be taught to share their data, says EU lobby group

Bemoaning the results of a survey showing that more than a third of people don't trust the NHS with their personal information, a new EU-funded lobby group has stressed the need for a “new culture of openness” in allowing patient data to be shared between studies. eTRIKS, which describes itself as “the result of a …
Ireland map, photo via Shutterstock

Ireland reaps benefits of Apple's tax schemes, even without EU bounty

Even without the €13bn tax bill which Ireland was told collect from Apple, the nation's arrangements with Cupertino is driving tax revenue and spending increases in its budget for 2017. The Irish government has this week put forward its budget for the next year, including an extra €1.3bn package of spending increases and tax …
Man on bicycle talks on mobile on busy Brussels street. Photo by Alredo Cerra via Shutterstock

ICO boss calls for EU-style data protection rules post-Brexit

The UK’s new information commissioner reckons that a post-Brexit Britain should adopt data protection laws similar to those of, er... the EU. Elizabeth Denham made the comments during her first speech (transcript here) as UK information Commissioner at an event in London last week. Denham said the EU’s General Data Protection …
John Leyden, 03 Oct 2016
youtube_648

EU's YouTube filter plan was revised '37 times'

The European Union's plan to get YouTube clean up its act – the proposed updates to copyright for the Digital Single Market – went through 37 revisions before emerging earlier this month: and the movie chiefs were nervous. Wiggin’s partner and Brussels chief Ted Shapiro lifted the lid on the backroom wrangling that led to the …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK

EU law: Brussels burps up aspirational copyright tweaks

Analysis Brussels’ widely leaked copyright reforms [PDF] have been formally published. The proposals are intended to “reduce the differences between national copyright regimes and allow for wider online access to works by users across the EU.” They will be tossed about and amended in European Parliament for many months. But with an …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Sep 2016
Man with a vaper apparatus - face obscured by smoke/vapour. Photo by Shutterstock

Sorry Nanny, e-cigs have 'no serious side-effects' – researchers

+Comment More research into electronic cigarettes has reported positively on the devices, finding evidence of their use as smoking cessation aids and finding that they do not appear to cause any serious side-effects. An update to the Cochrane review on electronic cigarettes has restated the findings of the initial research, which was …
A confused man

EU court: Linking to pirated stuff doesn't breach copyright... except when it does

Analysis The EU’s bizarre, home-brewed doctrine of copyright evolved further today, with a ruling that URLs linking to infringing material are not themselves an infringement, except when they are. Confused? You should be – and perhaps that’s the idea. Today’s Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) verdict in the Svensson case, …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Sep 2016
lottery

Spinning that Brexit wheel: Regulation lotto for tech startups

The reality of running a new business or doing something innovative is that you're hunting for cracks and niches that others have not yet filled – spaces too small for the big girls and boys already in the market. And many of those niches are fragile, formed in part by chance, opportunistic spaces in the current markets and …
vestager_648

EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

Updated The European Commission has ruled that tax arrangements between Ireland and Apple were in breach of the EU's state aid laws, and said the American corporation needs to cough up €13bn in back taxes, plus interest. Delivering her judgment in Brussels this morning, the EU's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said: …

Radicalisation? UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'

Analysis Today's report by a Parliamentary committee called for everyone from the government to the press to combat terrorism by creating "counter-narratives" to those used by ISIS to justify its actions. It also argued that it was the responsibility of the press and social media sites to facilitate the creation of these “counter- …
Andrus Ansip, EU vice-president. Pic: Shutterstock

Top digital Eurocrat issues non-denial about hyperlink non-tax

Comment European Commission vice president Andrus Ansip has denied plans to impose “a tax on hyperlinks”, even though the EU can’t tax hyperlinks, and nobody has asked for URLs to be taxed. URLs, as you might suspect, would be very hard, if not impossible, to “tax” anyway. The great Polish writer Stanisław Lem used to disguise satires …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Aug 2016

EU ministers look to tighten up privacy – JUST KIDDING – surveillance laws

European ministers are debating a clampdown on encryption and a further increase in surveillance in response to mounting terrorist threats. Bernard Cazeneuve, France’s interior minister is due to meet his German counterpart, Thomas de Maizere, to discuss possible regulations to limit the use of encrypted communications across …
John Leyden, 23 Aug 2016

How Brussels works: if you can’t beat them, join rewrite an EU directive

Analysis The biggest European telcos are poised to use Brussels to enact their revenge on American internet platforms, and on OTT providers like WhatsApp, the Eurocrats’ house journal The Financial Times claims. This isn’t exactly news, as a “sop to telcos” was exactly how we described what to expect last year, after we were leaked a …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2016
Still from tv show three's company  copyright  	DLT Entertainment The Program Exchange FremantleMedia /cbs

Three owner Hutch lobs sueball at EU over failed O2 buy

The owner of mobile network Three UK, CK Hutchison, has lodged a legal challenge against the European Commission. The Telegraph, which broke the story, says a filing has been filed with the General Court (formerly the Court of the First Instance), after the European Competition Commission blocked the acquisition by Hutchison. …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jul 2016
A coffee pot used to brew tea

Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

El Reg towers was plunged into internal strife today, with the production desk struggling to keep the news production line humming as senior editors were forced to launch an investigation into the question that has split the editorial team down the middle: is it acceptable to add the milk to the tea pot? The rift opened up at …
Clodagh Doyle, 29 Jul 2016

European privacy body slams shut backdoors everywhere

Europe's privacy body has reiterated its pro-privacy, anti-backdoor stance. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli has long expressed the view that “privacy versus security” is a false dichotomy. In 2015, he told a conference in Brussels that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to …

Don't doubt it, Privacy Shield is going to be challenged in court

Analysis The European Union's attempts to make data transfers to the United States compliant with privacy laws are an opaque exercise, so much is obvious, but will they work? It's clear that it is necessary to retain the Transatlantic data trade – in economic terms, but also as a means of preventing the Balkanization of the internet. …

Kotkin on who made Trump and Brexit: Look in the mirror, it's you

Interview Two American writers have attempted to grapple with the rise of “populism” exemplified by Donald Trump and Brexit, with both starting (if not finishing) from the Left. Both Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges and The New Class Conflict by Joel Kotkin both make uncomfortable reading for the complacent chatterati. Both …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jul 2016
drone

Post Brexit EU will spend 'stability and peace' budget funding Chinese war drones

The European Union wants to spend part of its “peace building” overseas aid budget on equipping African and Middle Eastern countries' armed forces, according to reports – which could include the provision of Chinese-built drones. The Financial Times reported yesterday that Brussels bureaucrats are planning to amend the rules …
Gareth Corfield, 05 Jul 2016
London stock exchange, photo via Shutterstock

London Stock Exchange's German mega-merger: It's a go, despite Brexit

The London Stock Exchange takeover by its German competitor Deutsche Boerse (aka the "Merger of Equals") should still be going forward despite Brexit, but a planned vote by their respective shareholders throws another wildcard into how job cuts are shared between London and Frankfurt. The £12bn deal, announced in March, is due …
Dominic Connor, 04 Jul 2016

Evernote riles freetards with two-device limit

Evernote has unveiled the switch that followed the bait, in the form of a new pricing structure that stops users of its free note-making application from synching more than two devices. Its "Remember Everything" pitch now comes with a restriction that's as popular as a UKIP T-Shirt in Brussels, and users aren't happy. Adding …

Gun-jumping French pols demand rapid end to English in EU

Brexit A brace of French politicians has demanded a rapid post-Brexit de-anglicisation of EU business, potentially leaving the English-speaking majority of Ireland scrabbling for their Gaelic phrase books. The Gallic complaints about the English language came as the Irish Language Commissioner detailed Irish Irish speakers' …
Joe Fay, 27 Jun 2016
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Brexit government pledge sought to keep EU-backed UK science alive

BREXIT Scientists and politicans have called on the Brexit government to keep funding EU-backed projects at current rates or risk becoming a backwater. Nicola Blackwood, chair of Parliament's Science and Technology Committee, urged the Brexit Government to move quickly to reassure scientists and their collaborators in the EU that the …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Jun 2016

Don't laugh: Ofcom's a model for post-Brexit Europe

BREXIT With a stunned Europe absorbing the departure of the second biggest member of the EU, our much-criticised Ofcom could provide a guiding light for new ways of co-operating. Ofcom receives plenty of stick here at The Register: most recently for its handling of OpenReach and its insistence on a four-network mobile market, which …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2016

Vendors suspend tech orders as Brexit slaps Brit pound

BREXIT If there is one thing the IT industry despises it is uncertainty and there was lashing of the stuff poured across the UK following the Brexit vote. Most major vendors already came out in favour of the Remain camp - including Microsoft, IBM, HPE, SAP, EMC, Cisco and many others - the result was so unexpected for the community …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jun 2016
European flag with sad face

Mandarins plotted to water down EU data protection regs

Exclusive Even before Blighty voted to leave the EU, the government was plotting to water down far-reaching data protection regulations from Brussels - The Register can reveal. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was due to come into place by 2018 and have been described as the biggest shake-up of EU data protection laws in …
Kat Hall, 24 Jun 2016
Ireland and Great Britain map, image via Shutterstock

Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Comment I'm just about old enough to remember the 1975 Europe referendum. Old enough to remember leaflets thudding onto the doormat (for every 'NO', there were three for ‘YES’). Most vividly of all I remember my father and our Austrian GP, who lived a few doors down in Teesside, discussing the EEC as he walked his dog past our house. …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2016

Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

Britain outclasses anywhere in the EU for attracting inward investment, partly because it is in the EU, and Brexit will leave some of those tens of billions looking for a new target. Since Ireland already does well in this, Brexit could turn out rather well for the emerald isle. On the surface, a UK exit from the EU could mean …
Dominic Connor, 16 Jun 2016
His master's voice

EU bureaucrats claim credit for making 'illegal online hate speech' even more illegal

The European Commission has claimed the credit for getting Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to agree on a code of conduct which will address "illegal online hate speech", despite the companies already following practices demanded by EU bureaucrats. The three-page code of conduct (PDF) seeks to establish how online …

SWIFT CEO promises security improvements

The head of the SWIFT financial network has put forward a five-part plan to improve security after its systems were the focus of several cyberattacks. Gottfried Leibbrandt gave a keynote on Tuesday at a financial services conference in Brussels and promised the organization would work harder to ensure that incidents like last …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 May 2016
Tractor sprays wheat crops under a blue sky. Photo by Shutterstock

SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

In a rebuke to the EU, and environmental activists worldwide, the biggest scientific metastudy yet conducted of genetically modified foods concludes they’re good for human health and the environment. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an advisory body of scientists, finds no evidence of risks over …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2016

Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Revolutions have started for flimsier reasons than draconian new laws that assault the population’s health. In the past, a ruling bureaucratic class has had to do something demonstrably stupid to signal to the people that it’s unfit to govern: like dramatically increase the price of staple foods such as bread, or introducing …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 May 2016

Congress calls for change to NSA spying law

The legal justification for the NSA to tap the internet's backbone was put on the table Tuesday in a hearing of the Senate's Judiciary Committee, with some senators vowing to add privacy protections to the law as expert witnesses noted the FBI was likely reading the love letters of US citizens rather than tracking down …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 May 2016
O2 XDA Argon

French maverick sniffs around O2

European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is expected to block Three UK owner CK Hutchison’s takeover of O2 this week, leaving BT as the dominant player in the UK’s mobile market. BT, lest you forgot, is also the monopoly wholesaler of broadband, and the single largest retail provider of broadband too, with a 31 per cent share …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 May 2016

Hey, YouTube: Pay your 'workers' properly and get with the times

Analysis The latest record industry middleman takes more than ever from the mouths of musicians, at least compared with the old record industry middleman. Head of the recording industry trade group BPI Geoff Taylor says that video music consumption doubled, but revenue only rose by 0.5 per cent. Taylor contrasted this with a 70 per …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 May 2016

Why has Microsoft stopped being beastly to Google?

Analysis "You can't deprive a gangster of his gun" – Noel Coward Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees things differently from his predecessor Steve Ballmer. And one of the first thing Nadella saw differently is Microsoft’s relationship to Google. On assuming the hot seat, he couldn’t understand why Microsoft was obviously at war with …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016

European Union set to release anti-competition hounds on Google

The European Union looks to be formulating plans to charge Google with anti-competitive conduct over the Android operating system. The move coincides with a flank attack on Google, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp filing a complaint about the legality of the Alphabet subsidiary's search and news services. The grounds for the …
Man on bicycle talks on mobile on busy Brussels street. Photo by Alredo Cerra via Shutterstock

Europe's new privacy safeguards are finally approved, must invade EU nations by 2018

Analysis The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been ratified by the European Parliament. The final seal of approval follows successful passage through the EU Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Following four years of discussions and amendments, the GDPR is now officially EU law and will …
John Leyden, 14 Apr 2016
Three store maidenhead

Ofcom wants you to thank it for resurrecting the spectre of BT's 1980s monopoly

Comment Years ago, we used to mock Ofcom for its Ofcom-branded bottled water, and its tediously technocratic “evidence based” approach, something which is actually enshrined in the 2002 Act that created it. Throughout its first decade, Ofcom chief execs stood regally above the fray, knowing that a regulator’s decision must be …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Apr 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

EC cooking up rules change for aggressive tax avoiders

The European Commission is reported to be updating its planned rules for tackling aggressive tax planning. Brussels’ legislators are understood to be updating existing tax plans that would force companies to say where their money is held. Under the proposed rules, firms operating in EU member states with a turnover of more …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Apr 2016

UK competition watchdog gripes to Brussels about Three-O2 merger

Britain's competition regulator has written to Brussels to put the brakes on the proposed £10.25bn merger between Three and O2 unless a fourth mobile operator is proposed. In a letter to Europe's competition chief Margarethe Vestager, chief executive of the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, Alex Chisholm, reiterated the …
Kat Hall, 11 Apr 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

Three to chop off £3bn of its network in bid to woo EU over O2 merger

Three UK is making a last-ditch attempt to win EU approval of its £10.25bn O2 merger with a number of sweeteners, including £3bn in network deals with competitors, according to reports. According to The Telegraph, Three's owner, CK Hutchison, has signed deals with Virgin and Sky that will guarantee space on its expanded mobile …
Kat Hall, 07 Apr 2016