Articles about European Union

Woman throttling man. Pic: quan ha

European Parliament rejects amendments to net neut rules, waves through law

MEPs voted against changes to net neutrality rules in the European Union on Tuesday lunchtime. It comes after key internet figures, including the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners Lee, warned EU politicos not to wave through the regulations without amendments due to a number of loopholes in the proposed law. …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Oct 2015
Fountain pen

Silicon Valley fights European Court of Justice ruling with small print

Robbed of their Safe Harbor 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

Austria's highest court mulls class action status for Schrems v Facebook

Austria's highest court is poised to consider whether the Schrems vs Facebook case should be granted class-action status. Complainant Max Schrems, who has tirelessly campaigned against Facebook's alleged privacy violations, said that the claims of thousands of others needed to be heard in court. "It would not make a lot of …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Nov 2015

Silicon Valley freeze-out: EU watchdog tells firms clock is ticking to limit data transfers

Companies have been put on notice by Brussel's top privacy bod, who has warned them that the transfer of EU citizens' data to the US must be limited – and this must happen soon. It comes several weeks after a landmark decision in the European Court of Justice nullified the questionable US-EU Safe Harbour Agreement. "No one …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Oct 2015
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EU's Paris terror response includes 'virtual currencies' crimp

The European Commission's Justice and Home Affairs Council met last Friday to consider responses to the terrorist attack on Paris and among the actions the meeting decided are now necessary is a look at how to crimp virtual currencies. The Council's decided on 13 responses to the Paris attacks, including a call for member …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Nov 2015

No VAT on Bitcoin, rules ECJ, but capital gains still apply

Transactions of and for Bitcoin are not subject to value-added tax (VAT) the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled today. A judgment delivered by the ECJ today stated that "transactions to exchange a traditional currency for the 'Bitcoin' virtual currency or vice versa" are not subject to VAT. The case arose due to a …
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, “ …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jun 2015
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

Small Euro telco lobby group births small Euro telco lobby group

ECTA Regulatory Conf '15 "We’re not going to pilot the first generation of VR games because the infrastructure isn’t good enough," according to the European Commission's head of broadband, Anna Krzyzanowska, who added: "That might be one of the greatest opportunities lost in the current time." The EC's policy wonk made the comment during a discussion …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2015

Israel joins EU in spiking Safe Harbour

Menlo Park Road’s VCs at first sniffed at the consequences of the Schrems v Facebook case on Silicon Valley’s global ambitions, but they should seriously be looking at how their investments conduct business. The global Silicon Valley freeze-out continues to spread, with Israel’s data protection authority ILITA declaring …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Oct 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

Deutsche Telekom to file anti-Google EU antitrust charge – report

German telco Deutsche Telekom is to file an antitrust complaint with the European Commission against Google, according to the New York Times. The giant owns the T-Mobile networks in Germany and the USA, and has stakes in several others. The complaint will allege, reports the NYT, that restrictive contracts imposed on handset …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2015

Brussels flings out Safe Harbour guidelines, demands 'safer' new framework ASAP

The Oxford Dictionary states the following for its definition of the word "safe": "Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost." On Friday morning, Brussels' vice-president Andrus Ansip got a little tautological by once again calling for a "safer" Safe Harbour agreement between the European …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Nov 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. …
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

Nokia publishes offer for remaining Alca-Lu shares

Nokia's acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent has entered the home straight, with the Finnish company publishing its offer for all outstanding shares in the target. The offer covers Alcatel-Lucent ordinary shares, American depository shares (ADS), and OCEANE convertible bonds, which will be converted either to Nokia shares or Nokia …

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
European commission photo via Shutterstock

No, the EU is not going to make hyperlinks illegal

You may have read that the European Commission intends to prevent hyperlinks to copyrighted material. The good news is that this isn’t true. The bad news is that there is a real proposal to change copyright law that could change how we use hyperlinks – the bedrock of the World Wide Web. How does the humble hyperlink fit into …
Andres Guadamuz, 16 Nov 2015
David Cameron during PMQs on Wednesday, 28 October. Pic credit: Parliament TV plans to legislate on smut filters after EU net neutrality ruling

Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed today that the Tory government planned to legislate on smut filters, following yesterday's net neutrality ruling in the European Union. Cameron told MPs during PMQs that he had "spluttered over my cornflakes" when he read this morning that the EU measures would fail to think of the …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Oct 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

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 …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 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 …
Jennifer Baker, 05 May 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
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

Criminal Ruskie BOFHs help hackers steal $790 million in three years

Kaspersky investigation unit boss Ruslan Stoyanov says a Russian cyber scum group of just 20 professional hackers have have made a tidy US$790 million in three years by emptying the world's bank accounts. Stoyanov says some $509 million is thought to have been ripped from the wallets of individuals and businesses from the US, …
Darren Pauli, 23 Nov 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
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
Pierce Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies

Europe seeks a few good geeks for hacking cars and homes

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) responsible for researching computing threats to the continent has widened its remit to include checking out car and smart building hacking. ENISA has decided on its 2016 work schedule and, as well as its continuing job looking for security holes and best …
Iain Thomson, 27 Oct 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

Neuroboffins use supercomputer to partially build DIGITAL RAT BRAIN

A section of rat brain has been digitally reconstructed by a huge team of 82 scientists, some of whom had been working on the project for decades. The research was led by scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), who said that they had only completed a "first draft reconstruction of a piece of …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Oct 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
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