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China gets free pass from EU commish as telco probe dropped

The EU has decided to make friends with China despite earlier worries that it may have been giving an illegal boost to telco manufacturers. On Monday, the European Commission decided to drop an investigation into alleged illegal subsidies and dumping of telecommunications equipment by Chinese exporters. Following “intensive …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Oct 2014
BrickArms' Toy taliban figure

EU, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft: We'll fight terrorists... with WORKSHOPS

The EU, and several of the world's biggest and most powerful tech companies, made little progress in finding ways to combat terrorists' use of online media, following a meeting and dinner on Wednesday night. EU government ministers met Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft representatives. Although terrorist groups (most …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Oct 2014
flag.Germany

Steelie Neelie orders Germany to sort out its mobe charges – or EU will go FULL LEGAL

Steelie Neelie has warned Germany – for the fifth time – that if it doesn’t sort out its proposals on mobile termination rates, the Commission will take legal action. The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda may be on her way out, but Neelie Kroes has seemingly reached the end of her tether with the German telecoms …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Oct 2014

Oi, lobbyists. Cough up your details – EU's new first vice-president

Tech lobbyists trying to water down EU laws may soon find themselves in the spotlight, if new EU Commission supremo Frans Timmermans gets his way. The Dutch politician – who is set to take up the EC's number two spot next month with the official title “First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Oct 2014
European Union Flag

Security policy and EU data protection: Don't waste a good crisis

Register now to watch our webcast with tips on formulating a security policy in light of upcoming EU data protection regulation. Watch this live event on 6 November at 11:00 GMT - if you can't make it, just sign up and we will email you when the recording is available. Handy synopsis for you Websense research finds that 40 per …
Miatta Momoh, 09 Oct 2014
Costumed pirate

Economics prof denies digital pirates plundered €20bn from EU coffers

A European academic has rubbished claims by the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) group that digital piracy cost the EU more than €20bn between 2008 and 2011. Making the assumption that the creative and service sectors performed at the same level, a grand total of around one million jobs and €47bn of …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Oct 2014

Nicked iCloud snaps: Celebrities were 'dumb' – new EU digi boss

You’re so dumb! That’s the new EU Digital Commissioner’s message to celebrities who had their iCloud accounts hacked. Let’s hope Gunther Oettinger hasn’t saved any sensitive information in the cloud or his words may come back to haunt him. The German politician was speaking at the European Parliament yesterday in a bid to gain …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Sep 2014
European Union Flag

EU privacy boogeyman unleashed by the very people with boogeyman-slaying weapons

Another day, another report scaremongering about Europe’s big reforms for laws that protect people's personal information. According to a fresh piece of research from Kroll Ontrack and Blancco – experts in data recovery and erasure respectively – 81 per cent of European IT managers surveyed are unfamiliar with the proposed new …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Oct 2014
Euro notes

Microsoft outspends world's tech firms with '€5m' EU lobby bill

Microsoft spends more than any other tech company in the world on lobbying the EU, if you believe the figures in the non-obligatory EU Transparency Register. A new online tool called LobbyFacts.eu allows data from the register to be automatically sorted, compared, ranked and analysed in ways not possible through the official EU …
Jennifer Baker, 01 Oct 2014

Crikey! Three can buy O2, EU regulator says

The European Commission has approved Telefonica’s sale of O2 in Ireland to mobile network operator Three, in a deal originally proposed in June. This makes the network the second largest in the country behind Vodafone, but, as ever in these deals, the Hutchison Whampoa-owned Three - which paid €850m for the network - claims …
Simon Rockman, 02 Jun 2014

EU operators PLEAD for MERCY, may get roaming rates cut ‘reprieve’

Policymakers are set to propose “no change” in wholesale telecoms roaming rates in the EU as part of a review of the system in 2016, according to a report. The Financial Times said it had seen a draft proposal from the Italian presidency of the European Council which indicated “long-fought proposals on roaming and spectrum …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Sep 2014

Knives out for new EU rules forcing govts to reveal hacker attacks

Talks began on a new computer security law for Europe on Tuesday night. National ministers, the European Commission and MEPs got together for the first time in an attempt to nail down the wording in the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive. When it was proposed by the commission early last year, the draft …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Oct 2014
Micro SIM Card

Mobile SIM chip-makers 'will be fined by EU' for price-fixing, say sources

EU antitrust regulators are set to fine Samsung, Philips, Infineon Technologies and other tech firms for fixing the prices of chips used in mobile SIM cards, familiar folks whispered to Reuters. The European Commission kicked off a probe of the chips used in telly smart cards, passports, mobiles and ATM cards all the way back in …
Facebook WhatsApp

EU blesses $19bn Facebook-Whatsapp marriage

The European Commission has approved the merger of Facebook and WhatsApp, ruling they are not close competitors – despite both offering free online messaging. After sending out lengthy questionnaires to the pair's rivals, the commission gave the nod to the proposed deal. Competition chief Joaquín Almunia explained: “While …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Oct 2014

New EU digi tsar survives Twitter grillling

Europe’s new digi Super-Commissioner Andrus Ansip threw himself into the lions’ den today with a public Twitter chat. Challenged at his Parliamentary hearing by MEP Julia Reda to talk to the public, Ansip put his money where his mouth is and attempted to wade through hundreds of questions on Twitter. Chief among questioners’ …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2014
Qualcomm PdQ 1900

Qualcomm to get it from both sides? EU probe may be coming – report

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm could be facing into an antitrust probe from the EU at the same time as it fends off a similar investigation in China, according to Reuters. Sources whispered to the news agency that the European Commission may be about to open up an official line of inquiry into a complaint made by Icera, an Nvidia …
Screenshot of Microsoft promotional video touting Office 2013's cloud integration

Most cloud apps flout EU data protection rules – study

Three in four cloud services do not conform to the current EU Data Protection Directive, according to a new study. Enterprise cloud visibility firm Skyhigh Networks found that nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of the cloud services used by European organisations do not meet the requirements of the current privacy regulations, …
John Leyden, 21 Oct 2014

New EU data chief won't scrap Safe Harbor with US sans Plan B

The EU's "Safe Harbor" data privacy agreement with the US might not really be safe, but Europe's new Justice Commissioner-designate said on Wednesday that she won't ditch the rule without an alternative. Věra Jourová was in front of the European Parliament for her turn in the hot seat ahead of her appointment. MEPs from three …
Jennifer Baker, 01 Oct 2014
Viviane Reding

EU Parliament rubber-stamps 'irreversible' data protection reforms

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding scored an important victory in the European Parliament today after securing support for a rewrite of the 28-nation bloc's data protection laws. Proposed changes to the DP Regulation secured 371 politicos in favour, 10 against and 22 abstentions. Altogether 276 MEPs voted for the DP …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Mar 2014
Adobe Media Server for HDS/HLS streams on HP servers

Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data

Apple, Cisco, Verizon and AT&T are considering joining Microsoft’s battle against the US government to safeguard customers' privacy – but European corps should also take note. Microsoft is embroiled in a legal case to resist US authorities’ efforts to seize emails stored on servers in Ireland. The warrant was issued in December …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Oct 2014

Viv Reding quits justice commish role - heads for EU parliament

European justice commissioner Viviane Reding resigned from her Brussels' post today, after taking up her recently won seat in the European Parliament. The Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party politico said in a short Facebook post that her MEP mandate had begun on the same day as the "drastic reduction of tariffs of ' …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Jul 2014
Use google.com button

SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links

The BBC will publish a summary of articles removed from Google search rankings under the infamous "right to be forgotten" rules. At a public meeting, the Beeb's editorial policy chief, David Jordan, said the public also had a "right to remember". A ruling by the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove links …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Oct 2014
Euro notes

EU competition chief goes after Amazon’s delux Lux tax deal

Europe’s outgoing competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, confirmed on Tuesday that he has launched an investigation into Amazon’s tax dealings in Luxembourg despite his imminent departure of his post. Almunia, who is due to leave office at the end of this month when his replacement, Margrethe Vestager, comes in, recently …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Oct 2014
European Union Flag

It's official: EU chiefs WILL probe Apple's Irish tax deal

The European Commission officially announced today that it is looking into the possibility that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland in 1991 and 2007. The Commish is examining whether deals done with the Irish tax authorities constitute state aid. Apple’s European arm is incorporated in Ireland and, like most …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Sep 2014

Want the EU to work on making cloud snoop-proof? Speak up, my good 'stakeholder'

The public has less than two weeks to respond to one of the vaguest European Commission consultations ever… but one that will decide where the Commish spends its money. The deadline for submissions to the public consultation on Cloud Computing and Software has been extended by a week to 17 October. But unlike many consultations …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Oct 2014

EU's super-commish for tech: Geo-blocks on cat vids, music – NOT FAIR

Andrus Ansip, the new EU super-commissioner for all things digital, says he will work to completely abolish geo-blocking of media in Europe – and urged telcos to get on with pushing out high-speed mobile broadband. What started out as a relatively boring and predictable hearing before the European Parliament on Monday took a …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Oct 2014

Surprise! Google chairman blasts EU's privacy ruling

Google's chairman Eric Schmidt has attacked judges in the European Union's top court, who ruled earlier this week that the ad giant can be held responsible for the type of personal data that appears on its results pages. The multinational was shocked by the decision, which - in effect - ordered Google to respect existing privacy …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 May 2014
Panasonic Viera TX-P42GT30

EU waves remote at Liberty Global's Dutch telly takeover

Liberty Global must sell its Dutch premium pay-TV movie channel Film1 if it wants to take over cable telly operator Ziggo, Brussels' antitrust chief has warned. Since the planned buyout will bring together the first and second largest cable television networks in The Netherlands, the European Union’s competition commissioner …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Oct 2014
Spying image

What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

More than 30 big US tech firms are breaking international agreed-upon US-EU Safe Harbor commitments to safeguard Europeans’ data, according to a complaint filed with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday. The Washington-based Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) claims tech giants such as AOL, Adobe, Salesforce, …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Aug 2014

Right To Be Forgotten in the US: Americans wanna be like EU-oo-oo, says watchdog

The US should be more like Europe – and introduce the controversial "right to be forgotten" ruling – says a top American consumer-defending organisation. In a letter to Google CEO Larry Page and exec chairman Eric Schmidt, Consumer Watchdog asked the search supremos to extend the EU's privacy ruling, dubbed the "right to be …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2014

EU dangles $6bn threat over Google in endless search abuse probe

Formal charges will be meted out to Google if its latest offer to tweak its search engine in Europe fails to satisfy regulators, Brussels stressed today. The American web giant is accused of abusing its dominance position in search – for example, allegedly unfairly burying its rivals way down in its web search results. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Sep 2014
European Union Flag

EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

Europe’s caretaker Commissioner for Justice says Google et al are trying to throw a spanner in the works of data protection. Speaking at an event in Lyon on Monday, Martine Reicherts, who was appointed Justice Commissioner when her predecessor Viviane Reding became an MEP in May, said certain parties are “trying to use the …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Aug 2014

EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'

EU countries appear to be divided on how to implement a recent European Court of Justice ruling that calls on Google and other search engines to remove certain links from their indexes. The 28-state bloc's independent data protection advisory board - the Article 29 working party - met on Tuesday to discuss how removal requests …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jul 2014

New EU data chief: 'We share common targets with the United States'

After failing to impress the European Parliament in her grilling last week, the new Commissioner responsible for data protection has further explained her position on agreements with the US and data protection. Asked whether she would suspend the Safe Harbour data sharing agreement with the United States, Věra Jourová said that …
Jennifer Baker, 06 Oct 2014
Telephone. Copyright: macinate

Landline deregulation: Big EU telcos have Skype to thank

Traditional telcos have caught a break from the European Commission with the fixed telephony and the wholesale fixed call markets set to be immediately deregulated. However, Steelie Neelie Kroes, the outgoing digital agenda commissioner, denied that this was a sop to get lots of very large and powerful companies on-side, via the …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Oct 2014

EU ministers respond sleepily to Viv Reding's 'Snowden wake-up call' on data protection

The European Union's justice commissioner Viviane Reding is convinced that her proposed data protection package will be adopted next year, even though ministers continue to disagree on some of the more delicate points laid out in the planned rules. Brussels' vice president said ahead of a meeting with the justice and home …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jun 2014

Pinterest who? EU rules social network CAN'T trademark its own name

A trademark ruling in Europe could stop Pinterest from expanding onto the continent, as the EU's office rules that the company doesn't own the rights to the name "pinterest". The EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market has ruled against the crafts'n'cupcakes website, deciding that London-based social news aggregator …
anonymous logo

Apple, Google mobe encryption good news... for TERRORISTS – EU top cop

People don’t know the difference between privacy and anonymity, says EU top cop Troels Oerting: they want the former, but the latter will make life too easy for criminals. The Europol Assistant Director and head of European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) was joining a chorus of lawmakers and law enforcers reacting to news that Apple …
Jennifer Baker, 02 Oct 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Steelie Neelie 'shocked' that EU tourists turn mobes off when abroad

Nearly half of European tourists say they would never use mobile internet in another EU country and over a quarter turn off their mobiles altogether over fears of monstrous phone bills when they get home. The European Commission, which is trying to get roaming charges abolished, surveyed 28,000 EU citizens and reckon that …

EU privacy A-Team tells Google: Get a grip and obey OUR laws

The EU's advisory panel on privacy and data protection has warned Google to comply with Europe's laws in an unusually strongly worded statement. The Article 29 Working Party vowed to investigate if Google refused to abide by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling – Google Spain v Gonzalez et al – that decreed Google was not …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jun 2014

EU's year-long, muddled search for a privacy head rumbles on

The European Union is yet to find a replacement for its current data protection boss Peter Hustinx, who was supposed to vacate the post in January but stayed on after it became clear that none of the candidates were suitable successors. Late last month, Brussels officials finally re-advertised jobs for the European Data …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Jun 2014

Freshly uploaded EU digi-Czar is CLUELESS ON TECH but it's no big deal, says Steelie Neelie

It doesn’t matter that the incoming EU Commissioner for all things digital doesn’t really understand technology, so says Europe's current digi commish Neelie Kroes. Günther H* Oettinger, the man set to take over Steelie Neelie's role in November, is not renowned for being particularly up on Web2.0, with a marked lack of interest …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Sep 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

New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality

The incoming EU Commissioner for all things digital, Günther Oettinger, was quizzed by the European Parliament on Monday night. Truthfully, most of the questions lacked teeth. While the answers to his written questions were bland and lacking in any real content, Oettinger seemed to have decided that saying “infrastructure” over …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Sep 2014
O2 XDA Argon

EU regulators quiz mobe industry over Hong Kong group's new bid

EU competition regulators are going to the mobile ISP industry with new concessions from Hong Kong firm Hutchison Whampoa, as it seeks approval for its $1bn bid for O2 Ireland. Sources whispered to Reuters that the conglomerate has offered the European Commission a new deal for Telefonica's Irish company after an initial …
shutterstock_copyright_theft_burn_sidey must credit and link to shutterstock

One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review

The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Dec 2013
management regulation1

EU antitrust bods: Motorola, Samsung too dominant to take on poor little Apple

Motorola and Samsung have escaped with a stern finger-wagging from the EU after using standards-essential patents (SEP) to stop the sale of Apple devices in Europe. The European Commission’s antitrust division said that Moto’s attempt to enforce an injunction on Apple gear based on a smartphone SEP was “an abuse of a dominant …
A Dyson vacuum cleaner

Brit inventor Dyson challenges EU ruling on his hoover's energy efficiency ratings

Brit inventor James Dyson is challenging the EU's labelling policy for hoovers in court, claiming that it doesn't do his vacuum cleaners justice. Dyson said that the EU's energy efficiency rating system was based on dust-free lab conditions that were completely different to the way that hoovers performed in the home. The firm is …
Akamai_web_monitor

EU phone home! Cloudy transatlantic cable coughs, gags, chokes

A major transatlantic cable linking the EU and the US appears to have been cut, causing major problems for cloud operators. Global frontend security service Cloudflare and huge hoster DigitalOcean both reported significant connectivity problems on Monday as a consequence of a fault in the Telia transatlantic cable. Most large …
Jack Clark, 19 May 2014

EU warns United States: SHAPE UP on data protection OR ELSE

The US has until this summer to fix problems identified in the way an EU-US framework for the transfer of personal data between the regions operates, a senior EU official has said. Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, said that the EU-US "safe harbour" agreement would be suspended if the US fails to take "legislative …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Jan 2014