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 surge …
Jennifer Baker, 27 May 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 individual …
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

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
Facebook

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 antitrust …
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. A …
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
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 claimed …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Nov 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

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

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
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
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
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 to …
Jennifer Baker, 13 May 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
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
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 far …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Jun 2015
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
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
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
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
The track of K6RPT-11 on aprs.fi

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
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 president …
Jennifer Baker, 01 May 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 commissioners …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Oct 2012
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
facebook_shock_648

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

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 protection …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Apr 2015

'Nothing to see here', says ECJ as Safe Harbour opinion delayed

Sources at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have denied there's a conspiracy behind the publication delay of a crucial opinion in the Europe v Facebook case. The ECJ attorney general (AG) was due to give his opinion on 24 June, a decision which could potentially bring down the Safe Harbour dataflow agreement between the EU …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Jun 2015

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
Bond tries to decipher is tailor

'I thought we were pals!' Belgium, Netherlands demand answers from Germany in spy bust-up

Belgium and the Netherlands have joined Austria and Luxembourg in getting really rather upset that German spies, er, spied on them. But what really as the Belgians worked up is that the information collected by the German intelligence agency (BND) was passed on to the NSA. On Friday, Belgium's justice ministry announced it is …
Jennifer Baker, 29 May 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
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
Two teenage girls - one whispering in other's ear

Commish: Pssst, wanna see that Google chargesheet?

Google’s rivals will be given a tiny, sneak preview of the charges ranged against the search monster in the coming weeks, sources have confirmed to The Register. The Commission is, as always, cagey about the details, so complainants in the ongoing anti-trust case will be given only a redacted version of the Statement of …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Jun 2015
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, its …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 May 2013
Data Centre

EU steps (marginally, tentatively) towards new data protection law

European ministers are expected to reach some sort of agreement on new data protection laws later today, according to reports and sources, although discussions before a final decision are set to continue for months yet. Justice and Home Affairs ministers from across the EU are meeting Monday in Luxembourg and the main item on …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jun 2015
Sky2

'I don't NEED to pay' to watch football, thunders EU digi-czar

Europe’s new digital chief’s passion for ending geo-blocking has been explained: he’s missing out on his beloved Estonian football. The European Commission’s VP for the digital economy and former Estonian prime minister, Andrus Ansip, has reiterated his determination to end so-called geo-blocking in every speech he has made …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Dec 2014
Micro SIM Card

Brussels accuses chip makers of collusion

A five-year investigation in Europe into collusion into the smart card market is heating up, with the European Commission issuing a 90-page “statement of objections” to big-name vendors including Philips and Infineon. The European Commission complaint centres around the silicon used for SIMs, chipped passports, bank cards and …
The Register breaking news

Google preps for Brussels wrist-slap

Reports are emerging that European regulators have won a small victory over Google in their dispute about the impartiality or otherwise of the Chocolate Factory's search results. According to the New York Times, the antitrust investigation will end in the next couple of days with the European Commission accepting a settlement …
germany

Euro Commish OKs €3bn German broadband aid scheme

Germany has got the green light from the European Commission to push ahead with a publicly funded scheme to roll out next generation access (NGA) broadband networks. The €3bn project is to provide high speed internet access throughout the country, including in rural areas. “This aid scheme will make faster broadband services …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jun 2015
The Register breaking news

Brussels clears Liberty Global's £15bn Virgin Media takeover

US billionaire John Malone's company Liberty Global saw its £15bn bid to buy UK telco Virgin Media cleared by competition officials in Europe today. The takeover was waved through completely unchallenged by the European Commission, after the cable giant confirmed it wanted to acquire Virgin Media in February. The antitrust wing …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Apr 2013

Ruskies behind German govt cyber attack — report

Russia is the chief suspect in the recent hack of the Bundestag, according to esteemed German mag Der Spiegel. Officials within the German government are still refusing to publicly point the finger, but sources close to the Bundestag’s tech department have told El Reg that all indications point to a state-sponsored attack. …
Jennifer Baker, 04 Jun 2015
The Register breaking news

Brussels blesses British BDUK broadband boost blurt

Maria Miller's mercy dash to Brussels earlier this month appears to have paid off, after the European Commission confirmed today that it had cleared £530m in state aid investment for broadband deployment in the UK - along with what appear to be limp-wristed concessions. "BDUK [Broadband Delivery UK], as a national competence …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Nov 2012

Foreign firms must obey EU laws no matter where they're based, says EU. Hear that, Google?

In the midst of the ongoing antitrust negotiations with Google, Europe’s competition chief doesn’t give a fig where the search engine is from — it must simply obey EU laws or else. “In this, as in any other investigation, we are indifferent to where the companies involved happen to be headquartered," said Competition …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Apr 2015
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Uber app expands in France despite govt opposition ... and laws

Taxi drivers in Nantes, Strasbourg and Marseille have been protesting after Uber announced on Monday that it would expand its Uberpop service to those cities. Alexandre Molla, Uber France’s director of expansion, told Le Monde that this was just the beginning and that “a VTC offer (voitures de transport avec chauffeur) would …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Jun 2015
Dread Pirate Roberts

EU legal eagles to vote on lonely pirate Reda's copyright report

The legal affairs committee of the European Parliament will vote today on Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda’s controversial copyright report. The report is not legislatively binding, but will contribute to the debate surrounding forthcoming copyright reforms. A new draft law is expected to be proposed by Digi Commissioner Gunther "H- …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jun 2015

It's the EU and me against the world – Euro digi-chief

Europe must stick together or the US will suck out our brains data; so warned Europe’s digi chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger on Tuesday. Speaking at the European Commission’s big flagship Digital4EU event, he reiterated the importance of the proposed Data Protection Regulation. Referring to Google and Facebook, Oetti said: “They …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Feb 2015

Angry Austrian takes a hit in David and Goliath Facebook battle

The Vienna Regional Court has thrown out a case against Facebook brought by Austrian Max Schrems, on procedural grounds. Last August, Schrems filed the lawsuit containing a long list of alleged violations of EU privacy laws with an Austrian court. Using a specially-designed app, 25,000 FB users joined the class-action suit. A …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Jul 2015