Articles about European Union

Fountain pen

Silicon Valley fights European Court of Justice ruling with small print

Robbed of their Safe Harbour protection, US cloud giants are taking shelter behind a new data-export and privacy fig leaf. Microsoft and Salesforce have become the first to publicly invoke “model clauses” – saying customers can continue shipping data outside the EU and onto their servers in the US despite Tuesday's ruling by …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Oct 2015
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End well: this won't. European Copyright Society wants one EU law to rule 'em all

Copyright laws in every EU country should be the same, the European Copyright Society (ECS) has said. In a letter to the European Commission's digital commissioner Günther Oettinger (4-page 499KB PDF), the academic think tank on copyright said "actual Union-wide unification … of copyright" as opposed to simply further …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Jan 2015
Logo of Iceland's Pirate Party

Pirate Party runs aground in European Parliamentary elections

Update Voters have not been entirely kind to The Pirate Party in elections for the European Parliament. Sweden's two Pirate Party European Members of Parliament have not been re-elected, with the local authorities tally suggesting a collapse in the Party's vote to 2.2 per cent, down from 2009's 7.1 per cent. In Finland, where Pirate …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2014
management regulation1

European Court of Justice allows digitisation of library books

The Fourth Chamber of the European Court of Justice has ruled that libraries can scan books, even if publishers deny them permission to do so, but that subsequent reading can only take place on “dedicated terminals”. The ruling came in the case of Technische Universität Darmstadt v Eugen Ulmer KG, decided on Thursday. The facts …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Sep 2014

European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive

A European Union directive that required ISPs to retain data for two years has been deemed "invalid", Brussels' highest court ruled today. The measure "entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Apr 2014
European Union Flag

European Commission plans net neutrality push

The European Commission (EC) has proposed to enshrine net neutrality in its statute books, with President José Manuel Durão Barroso signalling his intention to adopt the “connected continent” agenda proposed by commissioner for the Digital Agenda and veep Neelie Kroes. Barrosso yesterday delivered the European Union's State of …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

EU competition inspectors RAID European telcos

The competition wing of the European Commission confirmed today that it was investigating alleged antitrust practices among a number of telecoms giants operating in the 28-member-state bloc. It declined to comment on which countries and companies were subjected to unannounced inspections on their premises at the beginning of …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2013
European Union Flag

European Parliament reports HACK ATTACK, turns off public Wi-Fi

The European Parliament has disabled its public Wi-Fi network following the detection of a suspected hacking attack which has been linked to the exposure of weak security practices at the institution by a French media outlet. The private network of the European institution is thought to be secure but techies are advising users …
John Leyden, 26 Nov 2013

White House 'deeply disappointed' by Europe outlawing Silicon Valley

The US government is "deeply disappointed" by the European Court of Justice's decision to effectively kill the long-standing "safe harbor" agreement covering the flow of people's personal data across the Atlantic. Under European law, personal information on EU citizens must stay within the Continent for privacy reasons. To …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Oct 2015

ESA launches new ground-monitoring satellite

The European Space Agency (ESA) successfully launched a second satellite for environmental monitoring in the early hours of Tuesday morning from French Guiana. The Sentinel satellite will add high-resolution optical imaging capability to the European Union's Copernicus environmental monitoring system. According to the ESA, “the …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jun 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Commish grants Google two more weeks to work on EU antitrust defence

Google has been given another deadline extension as it prepares to mount a defence against antitrust charges in Europe. The search monster will now have until the end of the month to get its affairs in order, EU Competition Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso confirmed on Friday. Google had already been given an extra six …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Aug 2015
Pulling the plug

Sorry Samsung, Philips, LG, Technicolor: EU upholds €1.4bn cartel fine

The European Union's General Court has upheld a €1.4bn (£1bn) fine against Samsung, Philips, LG Electronics and Technicolor for cartel-like behaviour, while reducing fines imposed on Toshiba and Panasonic. In 2012, the European Commission fined the companies €1.47bn for participating in either one or both of two distinct …
Kat Hall, 10 Sep 2015


The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project is in hot water with the European Parliament for failing to manage EU funds properly. The Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee MEPs this week advised against approving 2013 spending by ITER personnel due to delayed disbursements and growing budget costs. Although …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Mar 2015

EU reduces science cuts as Juncker finds €500m down back of sofa

Fears that European Union funding for scientific research would be drastically cut have been somewhat allayed. European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker had wanted to siphon off money from the €80bn Horizon 2020 research programme to the European Fund for Strategic Investments, but following pressure from MEPs and …
Jennifer Baker, 29 May 2015

Angry Austrian's Facebook safe harbour case to be seen by Bot

The top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will give his opinion on the so-called Europe versus Facebook case on 23 September. The ECJ revealed on Monday that Advocate General Yves Bot’s opinion would be given later this month after it was postponed in June. The case involves “Angry Austrian” Max Schrems, who …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Sep 2015

You call THAT safe? Top EU legal bod says data sent to US is anything but

The top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said the current agreement between the EU and US is not worth the paper it’s written on . Advocate General Yves Bot’s opinion on the so-called Facebook vs Europe case is not legally binding, but the court’s final ruling almost always follows his advice. The case was …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Sep 2015
Green light

EU rubber-stamps Nokia's proposed Alcatel-Lucent gobble

The proposed mega-merger between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent cleared a major hurdle on Friday, with the European Commission having given the deal its blessing. "The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the parties are not close competitors and since a number of …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jul 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

REVEALED: The 19 firms whose complaints form EU's antitrust case against Google

A new report says the companies whose complaints have been included in the European Union's formal antitrust charges against Google have been revealed, even though the European Commission is still keeping the official list of complainants under wraps. According to the report by Reuters, at least 30 companies filed complaints …
Neil McAllister, 27 Apr 2015

Europol operation crushes phiendish global phishing ring

Police have arrested 49 men from Spain, Nigeria, and Cameroon in connection with electronic bank account raids that plundered some €6 million across Europe. The men were arrested as part of Operation Triangle, an effort involving police from Spain, Italy, and Poland together with authorities in Belgium, the UK, and Georgia. …
Darren Pauli, 12 Jun 2015
Photo by Monika Flueckiger (WEF)

Round Two in Sky vs Skype trademark scrap goes to Murdoch's men

Update British broadcaster Sky UK has won round two in its trademark infringement battle with Skype. The European Union General Court found on Tuesday that the two names are too similar and could cause confusion. In 2012 and 2013 the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) upheld Sky’s complaint, but Skype then appealed …
Jennifer Baker, 05 May 2015

Ex-Microsoftie in worthless Euro netizens data security promise

An ex-Microsoftie has launched a new cloudy startup that promises to keep the data of Europeans "safe" by storing it only within the EU. But that pledge is utterly worthless, given that – for example – NSA chums are still likely to come calling for access to that data from their security counterparts in the 28-member-state bloc …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jun 2015
Zuck balloons

Facebook policy wonk growls at Europe's mass of data laws

Facebook's Brussels lobbyist Richard Allan took to the pages of the Pink 'Un on Wednesday morning to have a good old moan about "multiple" EU nations digging around the free content ad network's data-slurping biz practices. He complained that the actions of national privacy watchdogs within the 28-member-state bloc posed a …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Apr 2015
Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

EU graciously lets Dutch splurge €33m on 'leccy car charger network

The Netherlands is to fork out nearly €33m in public funds for electric car chargers after the European Commission gave its permission for the plan to go ahead on Monday. EU Competition Commish Margrethe Vestager said that the plans were within EU state aid rules and would not unduly distort competition, adding that “electric …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Jul 2015
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

Euro Commission wants to pick your brains on telcos and net access

The European Commission on Friday launched two vast public consultations on internet speed and quality. The so-called 360° review of telecoms and internet rules is open until December 7 and is seeking input from users, organisations, public bodies and businesses. The telecoms questionnaire looks at network, service and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015
server room

US SaaS firm bows to Snowden concerns with UK-based datacentre

Project management as a service vendor Clarizen will open a European datacentre this summer as it seeks to assure customers here that the US government will not rifle through their Gantt charts whenever they feel like it. The San Mateo-based firm will partner with Equinix to serve European customers from an Amsterdam-based …
Joe Fay, 25 Jun 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
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Now India probes Google, threatens $1bn fine over 'biased' search

Google has confirmed to The Register it is being probed in India over allegations that it unfairly promotes its own services over rivals in web search results. The California goliath faces a fine up to $1.4bn – a tenth of its annual profit – if it is found to have broken monopoly laws in the country. The Competition …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2015
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock

NSA? Illegal spying? EU top lawyer is talking out of his Bot – US gov

The US government has responded to Europe's top lawyer, who last week said sending people's private data to the United States is illegal. Uncle Sam is not happy. At the heart of the matter is the so-called safe harbor agreement between the US and the EU. You cannot by law pipe people's private information out of Europe unless …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Sep 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

Boffins bothered by EU prez's proposed science funding cut

Lobby group Science Europe has added its voice to the growing outcry over European Commission plans to do away with a large chunk of scientific research funding. In a statement on Thursday night, the group said that proposals to remove €2.7bn from the €80bn budget of nano-science project Horizon 2020 were a mistake and would …
Jennifer Baker, 20 Mar 2015

KREMLIN: Google is ABUSING ITSELF, misusing its mighty market position

The Russian state is to take action against gigantic advertising company Google for abuse of its dominant position across internet services, according to reports. The Wall Street Journal cited sources in the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service as saying that the agency's probe into a complaint from rival Yandex had found …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2015
1984 by cc 2.0 attribution

You have the right to be forgotten 41.3 per cent of the time says Google

Google has published some details of its efforts to comply with the Court of Justice of the European Union's “right to be forgotten” decision that compelled search engines to remove links if citizens ask them to do so. In a new transparency report published a year to the day after the ruling, Google reveals it's received 254,271 …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2015
EE Power Bar

Exploding Power Bars: EE couldn't even get the CE safety mark right

Exclusive EE failed to label its "Power Bar" phone charging devices with the correct marking to show that the product complied with European safety directives, The Register has learned. The embarrassing cockup comes after we revealed that EE management had been warned about safety risks with its Power Bar, ahead of its launch in April …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Aug 2015

TTIP: Protect our privacy in EU-US trade deal or ELSE, snarl MEPs

MEPs have called on American and European negotiators to guarantee citizens’ right to privacy in an international trade deal. Members of the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee said last week that an “unambiguous, horizontal, self-standing provision” in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) must …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Apr 2015

Germany to fork out BEELLLIONS for farmers' broadband

Under-investing cable companies in Germany are to get a €2.7bn hand-out to bring high-speed broadband to the countryside. Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told national daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the grants wil be given in an effort to give every German household speeds of at least 50Mbps by 2018. …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Aug 2015
Emily O'Reilly, European Union ombudsman

US kills EU watchdog's probe into EU cops sharing EU citizens' data

The US has blocked Europe's official ombudsman from accessing Europol documents regarding surveillance and terrorist financing – forcing the watchdog to end a probe into America's relationship with the Euro cops. Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency, and the ombudsman investigates complaints of …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Jan 2015

EU data protection tsar spams lawmakers with his unwanted opinions

The EU's independent privacy watchdog has stuck his oar into negotiations on a new EU-wide data protection law. Despite having no formal role in drafting the new Data Protection Regulation, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli has sent his unsolicited recommendations to the three institutions involved …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Jul 2015
Cookie Monster

Google turns cookie monster on AdSense, DoubleClick clients

Google has warned its AdSense and DoubleClick customers to sort out their cookie tracking policies before the European Commission gets pissy with them. In a blog post published on Monday (July 27) by Jason Woloz, the Chocolate Factory’s security and privacy programme manager for display and video ads, the search monster said …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Jul 2015
Medieval writing. Pic: Hans Splinter

In EU-US data sharing we trust – but can we have that in writing, say MEPs

European lawmakers won’t blindly accept an EU-US agreement on new data sharing laws without important legal questions being answered and fine print being read, according to several prominent MEPs. After four years of talks, the EU and the US reached a “gentleman’s agreement” on data sharing for law enforcement last week. On …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Sep 2015
Google HQ logo. Pic: Bob Dormon

Hurry up and just SLAP GOOGLE, MEPs fume at EU commish

The European Parliament took the EU’s executive arm to task on Tuesday for failing to give Google a good kicking resolve the ongoing investigation into Google’s alleged abuse of dominance in the search market. In a statement endorsed by members of the European Parliament (MEPs), it welcomed “further investigations into Google's …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Mar 2015
Belgian cricket. Original pic: Simon Blackley

We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

Battle lines are forming over the EU’s promised copyright reforms, with Brussels’ lobbying machine going into overdrive. On Thursday, the European Film Agency Directors (EFAD), a network of directors of 28 film agencies based inside the European Union, begged the EU Commission to drop its plans for a major copyright overhaul, …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Mar 2015

EU anti-trust watchdog ponders TeliaSonera/Telenor merger

The European Commission is worried that a proposed merger between TeliaSonera and Telenor would be bad for consumers, and is now pondering whether to approve the deal. Both companies provide telecoms services in several European countries, but in Denmark the merged entity would face little competition, leaving the public with a …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Apr 2015

Japan, EU: we'll research 5G unicorns together

We don't know what 5G will look like yet, apart from fast and probably expensive, but Japan and the European Union have agreed to cooperate to research the coming-in-2020 mobile standards. Under the agreement announced Friday, the partners will work together on standards efforts, and to harmonise the radio spectrum to be used in …
President Putin on horseback

Russia copies EU commissars with own right to be forgotten law

Russia is to push ahead with a new “right to be forgotten” law (RTBF) modelled on the EU version, according to local news reports. Last year the European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirmed that EU citizens have the right to request search engines remove links to outdated or irrelevant information about them. The Kremlin has been …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Jun 2015

Grumpy EU ministers agree shaky pact on new data protection law

EU states' justice ministers seemed to be competing to sound the most disappointed as they grudgingly agreed to move forward on a new data protection law. Although a compromise general approach was reached, most countries found fault with the text of the proposed General Data Protection Regulation – quite a feat considering the …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jun 2015
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Götz A. Primke

Gaffe-prone EU digi chief: We still want our single digital market

CeBIT 2015 Following another gaffe-heavy week last week when he compared net neutrality activists to the Taliban, Europe’s digi-commish Günther H. Oettinger was back on firmer ground today at CeBIT. The EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society gave a keynote speech at the international conference, which describes itself as “100 …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Mar 2015

European HP workers take IT giant to court over 'high handed' job cuts

HP's European Works Council* is suing the firm and terminating its works council agreement with the global giant, claiming HP has obstructed the European consultation process over its mega redundancy programme. It now plans to negotiate a new agreement under more recent legislation. Globally around 27,000 29,000 HPers will …
Paul Kunert, 12 Nov 2012
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google shouldn’t worry while EU commissars fight over policing tech giants

Comment Try getting through a day without using Google, Facebook, Amazon, PayPal or a music service. Even if you heroically avoid stepping on any of their properties, it’s likely that your activity will have been tracked and recorded. Few things affect your online life more than “platforms”. They’re almost impossible to avoid, and the …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Sep 2015

Facebook dunks Instagram in new search filter sheep dip

Facebook has beefed up Instagram's search functions to pull the photo-sharing service into line with the rest of Mark Zuckerberg's siloed empire. It's hardly a surprising move, given that the announcement comes just weeks after Facebook confirmed plans to blast the photo filter app with ads. Instagram's revamped search feature …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jun 2015
Columns of coins in the cloud

March deadline nears for FAT, JUICY Euro Commish cloud service contracts

EU cloud service companies have until 5 March this year to bid for lucrative EU Commission contracts. The Commish tender call aims to secure about 2,500 virtual machines and 2,500TB of storage for up to four years. The plan is to enable EU institutions to use cloud-based IT services before the end of 2015. As yet, there is no …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Jan 2015