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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

UK.gov rushes out broken 'Orphan Works' system as EU Directive comes in

+Comment The Government has rushed out its controversial “Orphan Works” licencing scheme – but it’s broken on arrival, and if it doesn't start working almost at once it probably won't get the chance. The rushed release is no coincidence. It means, perhaps, that the UK can technically claim that it had a “pre-existing Orphan Works scheme …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Oct 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 cyber-cop: Dark-net crooks think they're beyond reach (until now)

Hundreds of website domains seized, 17 arrested and $1m in Bitcoin confiscated – Thursday was, apparently, a busy day for the West's cyber-cops. Operation Onymous, in which police and g-men in more than a dozen European countries as well as the US, has claimed some big scalps including the Silk Road 2.0, Hydra and Cannabis Road …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Nov 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 …
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 …
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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

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 …
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
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

New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality

Comment 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
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Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU

Europe’s data protection watchdogs say there’s no need for Google to notify webmasters when it de-lists a page under the so-called "right to be forgotten" ruling. The Article 29 Working Group (A29), which is made up of the EU’s national data protection authorities, has also agreed that such de-listing requests should apply to …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Nov 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 …
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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 …
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
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EU phone home! Cloudy transatlantic cable coughs, gags, chokes

Updated 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

Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

Worstall on Wednesday The European Union is arguing that the so-called "right to be forgotten" (you know, sure, I was a paedophile mass murderer but it was only the once and I've been to confession now so nobody should know about it) in Google and other search engine results should be extended to the Google.com domain, as well as those aimed more …
Tim Worstall, 03 Dec 2014

Something will happen in Google 'dominance' probe. Just don't ask me what - EU antitrust chief

Europe’s new Competition chief has vowed that there will be next steps in the antitrust probe into Google's alleged "abuse of dominance" – she just doesn’t know what they are yet. Margrethe Vestager was up in front of the European Parliament in Thursday’s round of Commissioner-designate grilling. In response to a question from …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Oct 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

A former White House security advisor has suggested that you, dear reader, are naive if you think hosting data outside of the US will protect a business from the NSA. "NSA and any other world-class intelligence agency can hack into databases even if they not in the US," said former White House security advisor Richard Clarke in …
Jack Clark, 24 Feb 2014

Angela Merkel: Let US spies keep their internet. The EU will build its own

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lent her support to the idea of building out new European data networks to help keep Europeans' email and other data out of the hands of US spies. In the latest edition of her weekly podcast on Saturday, Merkel said she planned to raise the issue among other topics in a meeting with French …
Neil McAllister, 17 Feb 2014

Yelp files competition complaint against Google search biz in EU

Updated Local services review site Yelp has formally submitted a complaint against Google's search business to Brussels' competition officials. It comes as the European Commission's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia pushes to bring an end to a lengthy probe of the ad giant by sealing a proposed settlement deal with Google, even as …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Jul 2014
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Intel pleads for €1bn EU fine to be overturned, is DENIED

Remember when Intel gave rebates to PC makers who bought its chips? The world’s largest computer chip maker has now lost its attempt to overturn the ancient €1bn fine from the European Union over its anticompetitive war with rival AMD. The record €1.06bn fine was handed down by the European Commission’s antitrust division …
Apple iPod Classic

EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple

In a move that'll be cheered by phone users the world over, the European Union has decided that mobile phones should have a standard charger plug. In a unanimous vote, the EU's Internal Market Committee decided that there's no good reason the charger should be treated as a proprietary secret. As German MEP Barbera Weiler put it …

EU Competition chief: So what if I didn't tame Google? You're all 'irrational' anyway

Analysis Europe’s unelected competition czar has signed off with a sour burp aimed at his elected critics in Parliament. "I don't think antitrust investigations should be part of the conventional political debates," Joaquín Almunia complains in the Wall Street Journal. He was quizzed on his failure to deal with Google, a case which …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 2014

Italy's 'Google tax law' could fall foul of EU discrimination rules

The European Commission has warned that Italy's proposed "Google tax law" would likely break European Union rules on non-discrimination, Reuters reported. The Italian government first floated the idea of the law last month, which became known as the "Google tax law" for what is seen its obvious target. The rule would require any …

GSMA: EU net neutrality reforms are the enemy of business

Proposed reforms designed to ensure net neutrality across the European Union will hinder innovation to the detriment of businesses and consumers, according to a leading global mobile operators' association. The GSMA, which represents almost 800 mobile operators worldwide, said that EU proposals to prevent internet service …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Mar 2014
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Data Retention Directive CLASHES with EU citizens' privacy rights, says top lawman

A seven-year-old EU directive that requires telecoms outfits to retain details of phone calls and emails - such as traffic and location - clashes with the 28-member bloc's privacy rights for citizens, a Court of Justice Advocate General has said. Pedro Cruz Villalón believes that the 2006 data retention directive "constitutes a …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Dec 2013
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EU pulls out antitrust probe, prods Euro pay-TV contracts

The EU is launching an anti-competition probe of major Hollywood studios and Europe's biggest pay-TV networks over their exclusive licensing deals. The European Commission's antitrust division said it was looking into the territorially exclusive contracts to see if they stopped broadcasters from being able to offer their …

OK, EU chiefs, 3 years of copyright wrangling - let's get it sorted. Now this white paper... DOH!

+Comment Europe’s copyright reform process has stalled after a dispute between European commissioners – and reportedly some intense pressure from Silicon Valley’s “Third Senator”, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. The current reform process got going in May 2011 with a “blueprint” for IP rights reform, kicking off a long and cautious …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014

Telcos can be forced to turn copyright cop, block websites – EU law man

ISPs across Europe can be instructed to block websites that provide access to pirated material, an EU advocate general said in a non-binding court opinion published yesterday. Pedro Cruz Villalón said that telcos can be ordered to, in effect, operate as buffers between their subscribers and site operators who infringe copyright …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Nov 2013

MEPs demand answers from EU antitrust chief about planned Google search biz deal

MEPs have asked Brussels' competition boss Joaquin Almunia to explain to the European parliament why he thinks that a planned settlement deal he recently struck with Google over its dominant search biz in Europe is good enough to address concerns about the ad giant's alleged abusive tactics. In a letter – seen by The Register – …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Feb 2014
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EU hunts down online cross-border lawbook bureaucra-snaggles

The European Commission is to conduct an "in-depth review" of the risks present in conflicting laws and jurisdictions that apply online. The Commission made the announcement in a new communication it issued last week on internet governance. The Commission identified "a number of contradictory legal decisions" that have been …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Feb 2014

Meta search engines may infringe database rights: EU Court of Justice

Operators of websites in the EU that allow users to search for content on other sites and then display the information on their own site may be in breach of intellectual property laws as a result of a recent ruling by the EU's highest court. In a judgment issued last month, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) said that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Jan 2014
Great Wall of China

You can't have that many! China scuppers US, EU tech tariff talks

The EU and the US have accused China of continuing to block attempts to get rid of trade tariffs on technology goods by asking for far too many exclusions. The various governments have been discussing the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), where China has been trying the …

EU Justice Department stalls India's security clearance

India’s outsourcing giants are likely to face more delays in their frustrated bid to tap a potential IT services market worth $30 billion, after a report emerged suggesting the EU still has big data security concerns with the country. The EU and India have been trying to finalise their Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Jun 2013
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EU delays vote on roaming, open internet after TRANSLATION fail

The European Parliament's industry committee has postponed a vote on putting an end to roaming charges across the EU by 2015 and ensuring that telcos don't get to charge companies like Google to pay for faster interwebs. The Industry, Research and Energy committee (ITRE) was due to vote on a legislative report on roaming charges …
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EU network tech boss: Europe to take the lead on 5G (thanks, Huawei)

At the 5G@Europe Summit on Monday, Brussels networking czar Thibaut Kleiner said that Europe will "lead" the way with 5G, and that this will mean growth in the IT sector and the economy at large. The Munich event was heavily sponsored by Huawei and while panel members included representatives from French telecom and networking …
Simon Rockman, 11 Feb 2014

Google strikes deal with EU competition chief over abuse of search dominance claims

Google has secured a settlement deal with the competition wing of the European Commission over its alleged abuse of the EU's search market that will be legal-binding for five years. The ad giant has attempted to reach such an agreement several times, only to be knocked back by antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia. But today, …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Feb 2014

Vodafone turns to EU, asks it to FORCE 'fair' fibre pricing

Vodafone needs to get high-speed handsets into the hands of consumers to effectively compete in the market. But the company also needs to worry about how to handle all that data – and it's hoping the European Commission will help it get its hands on some cheaper fibre. It is hoping the EU will introduce mandatory price …
Simon Rockman, 27 May 2014
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EU probe into Apple's taxes: It's NOT to do with double-Dutch-Irish anything sandwiches

As already reported here at El Reg, Apple is being investigated by the EU over its tax “deal” in Ireland. The interesting part of the whole story is that it has pretty much nothing at all to do with all of the things that people normally complain about concerning Apple's taxes. It isn't, for example, about the way that the …
Tim Worstall, 12 Jun 2014
European Union Flag

Netflix and other OTT giants use 'net neutrality' rules to clobber EU rivals

+Comment Cable giant Netflix and other big firms are using calls for greater net neutrality to drive down the prices they pay, according to recently published research. Referring specifically to the Dutch internet market, late last week John Strand of Strand Consulting said: “Net neutrality law (which limits operators’ ability to manage …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2014

Cameron on EU data protection rules rewrite: 'Hold it so we get it right'

Britain's Prime Minister insisted today that he had successfully put a stop to Brussels' vice president placing what one Downing Street source told The Register would be an artificial date on the rewrite of Europe's 18-year-old data protection law. David Cameron - in response to a question from Labour leader Ed Miliband - said …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Oct 2013
A garden gnome depicted stretched out across picnic table... with a pipe in one hand while the other props him up. Has a confrontational look in his eye...

EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report

The European Commission is set to accuse Apple of profiting from unlawful state aid from Ireland thanks to the sweet tax deals the firm has enjoyed for the last 20 years, a newspaper has reported. Sources whispered to The Financial Times reported (behind its paywall) that the EC’s antitrust authority will this week reveal some …