Articles about Federal

Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Trump's FCC will soak net neutrality in gas and toss in a lit match

Supporters of net neutrality are preparing to defend FCC regulations passed two years ago in the face of what is increasingly looking like a determined effort by the Trump Administration to undermine them. Earlier this week, Trump named a third person to his FCC transition team and, as with the previous two, she is a vocal …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Dec 2016

Soon only Ticketmaster will rip you off: Concert scalper bots face US ban

The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill that will make it illegal to grab large quantities of online tickets with an automated bot. The Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act prohibits both circumventing website controls that try to impose purchase limits and the sale of a ticket if it has been obtained through such a …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Dec 2016
Photo by Phil Stafford / Shutterstock

Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

US advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has renewed its demands for a recall of Tesla's Autopilot feature following a number of crashes. Earlier this week, a Tesla smashed into a construction barrier truck on a German motorway at high speed. Consumer Watchdog said the "growing list of Tesla crashes demonstrates the urgent need to …
Kat Hall, 01 Dec 2016

Wow. What a shock. The FBI will get its bonus hacking powers after all

Three last-ditch legislative efforts to block the changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure have failed, and from tomorrow the Feds will find hacking your PC a lot less of a hassle. The rule change was introduced by the Supreme Court in April. It will allow the FBI and police to apply for a warrant to a …
Iain Thomson, 30 Nov 2016
Space_Shuttle_launch

Nutanix makes thundering great loss, stock market hardly blinks

A thundering great loss: that’s the first thing to notice about Nutanix’s latest quarterly results. It’s more than three times worse than the loss of the previous quarter: $162.2m vs $49.9m and the year-ago quarter’s $38.5m loss; sales grew only 19 per cent sequentially so the rate of loss-making would seem to have accelerated …
Chris Mellor, 30 Nov 2016

'Mirai bots' cyber-blitz 1m German broadband routers – and your ISP could be next

A widespread attack on the maintenance interfaces of broadband routers over the weekend has affected the telephony, television, and internet service of about 900,000 Deutsche Telekom customers in Germany. The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) issued a statement indicating that the cyber-assault, which was …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Nov 2016
inspector clouseau

'NBN leak' documents sent to Jason Claire are privileged, says House of Reps committee

Some of the “NBN leak” documents seized by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are covered by parliamentary privilege, says the House of Representatives Privileges Members' Interests Committee, which yesterday published its report into the documents. After a complaint by nbn™ over documents passed to the opposition's former …

Have some sympathy for the AT&T devil

Analysis When the first fixed-line phone systems were installed, you paid for everything, but particularly for each minute of each call. Later they had broadband added to the copper and a flat rate began to become the order of the day. As phone calls went to IP, the same applied to calls for the most part. While there are upper limits …
Faultline, 25 Nov 2016
Plane. Image via shutterstock

Melbourne man arrested for broadcasting fake messages to pilots

Melbourne man Paul Sant has been charged with unauthorised broadcasting over to pilots over radio bands restricted to aviation users, causing one plane to abort a landing to Tullamarine Airport. Sant, 19, is alleged to have placed 16 separate transmissions to pilots at Tullamarine and Avalon airports between 5 September and 3 …
Darren Pauli, 24 Nov 2016
police

FYI: The FBI is being awfully evasive about its fresh cyber-spy powers

Senior US senators have expressed concern that the FBI is not being clear about how it intends to use its enhanced powers to spy on American citizens. Those are the spying powers granted by Congressional inaction over an update to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. These changes will kick in on December 1 …
Iain Thomson, 23 Nov 2016
Photo by Andrew Cline / Shutterstock

Pre-Trump FCC – get a grip on mobe data caps, racist Stingray spying, urge Dem senators

Leading Democrat senators are pushing the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address a number of hot topics, including zero rating and the use of the Stingray cellphone-tracking technology, before the Trump Administration takes over in January. In a letter [PDF] sent Friday, seven senators including Elizabeth Warren …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Nov 2016

Veeam kicks Symantec's ass over unpatentable patents

Veeam has defeated two four-year-old legal challenges from Symantec, initiated before Symantec split from Veritas and its data protection software. Symantec claimed Veeam was infringing Symantec patents back in 2012. The big bad S referred to several patents in its claims: An '086 patent refers to a virtual machine backup …
Chris Mellor, 22 Nov 2016
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference. Credit: 360b / Shutterstock.com Release Information: Editorial Use Only.

Merkel calls for balanced approach to data protection

EU countries must not be too restrictive in how they apply EU data protection laws or risk damaging the development of big data projects, German chancellor Angela Merkel has said. Germany has traditionally been cautious over data collection, but if countries are too restrictive then "big data management will not be possible", …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Nov 2016

FTC report highlights challenge of how to best regulate 'sharing economy' platforms

User rating and review services provided by online platforms can help reduce the need to regulate the "sharing economy", according to a report by a US regulator. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report (100-page / 2.26MB PDF), said, though, that the deployment of "trust mechanisms" alone might not "address externalities" …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Nov 2016
NBN CEO Bill Morrow

NBN costs creating budget time bomb: Deloitte

Once a fan of Australia's National Broadband Network, Deloitte Access Economics is now warning it's a time bomb for the federal budget. Last week, the federal government tipped in a loan of AU$19.5 billion so nbnTM could finish its NBN rollout. Deloitte is now warning that the network doesn't cover the government's total $49 …

Trump hires very best, greatest net neut haters to head FCC transition

President-elect Donald Trump has hired two strong opponents of net neutrality rules to head up his transition team for the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Economist Jeff Eisenach, who worked in the Reagan Administration at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and does a lot of corporate work for Verizon, and Mark …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Nov 2016
Photo by Windover Way Photography / Shutterstock

US telecoms industry weighs up the Trump effect

Comment As in every sector of US life, the telecoms industry is trying to work out what the shock election of maverick candidate Donald Trump to the presidency will mean for its operators and suppliers. There are few clues, of course – telecoms, even broadband, were not major campaign issues; Trump obviously has no track record of …
Wireless Watch, 21 Nov 2016
SLS cryo propulsion system in Marshall test stand

NASA trying to rein in next-generation super-heavy lifter costs

Poor NASA: it's got a president who doesn't like its climate research and wants it to pay more attention to putting humans on the Moon and Mars – but its launch vehicle for that kind of mission is costing too much. That vehicle is the Space Launch System, a rocket hoped to be capable of one day hauling loads up to 130,000kg …

The encryption conundrum: Should tech compromise or double down?

Versus16 Silicon Valley should work with the US government in Washington to arrive at a solution that gives law enforcement access to encrypted comms, but that respects individual privacy. That's according to former White House counterterrorism and cybersecurity official Daniel Rosenthal, who was debating where the issue of encryption …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Nov 2016
Melbourne, Australia -May 19, 2016: Blue and white Police tape cordoning off a building site like a crime scene, Australia 2016. Editorial Credit: STRINGER Image / Shutterstock.com   Editorial Use Only.

The case for a police-civilian cyber super-agency in Australia

Opinion The Australian Federal Government is wasting millions of dollars on redundant cyber-capabilities. It should scupper its competing agencies and strip powers from others, and hand the lot to a resuscitated Australian High Tech Crime Center police-civilian super-agency that would be distributed across Australian capital cities. …
Mark Arena, 17 Nov 2016
Elon Musk. Picture by Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media, licensed under CC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Elon Musk wants to launch 4,000 satellites and smother globe with net connectivity

Opinion Money-burning madtech mogul Elon Musk has asked US regulators for permission to launch more than 4,000 satellites in a $10bn project to create a global satellite internet network. The scheme was spotted by Reuters, which reported that a filing with the Federal Communications Commission showed that Musk wants to create an array …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Nov 2016

Experts to Congress: You must act on IoT security. Congress: Encourage industry to develop best practices, you say?

Congress provided a masterclass in selective hearing Wednesday when urged by experts to do something about the increasing risk posed by poor IoT security. At a session of the House's Energy and Commerce Committee into last month's attack on DNS provider Dyn that caused widespread disruption to online services, several security …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Nov 2016

IBM offers Trump its ideas to Make America Great Again

Big Blue's big boss, Ginni Rometty, is hoping to dance on the tightrope that Big Orange has brought to the White House. Trump's unexpected election puts the technology industry in a tight spot, because many associate it with the economic conditions Trump exploited throughout his campaign. Globalisation demonised as a destroyer …
Ronnie Barker and Tenniel Evans in The Navy Lark

Navy STEALS? US sailors dispute piracy claim

The US Navy is hitting back at the allegations it illegally copied more than a half-billion dollars worth of software. The military branch has filed a response [PDF] to the copyright infringement claims filed earlier this year by German developer Bitmanagement. Those claims accuse the Navy of paying for just 38 licenses of …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2016
Extradition

UK Home Secretary signs off on Lauri Love's extradition to US

It appears that appeals for clemency have come to naught after the UK Home Office confirmed that the extradition order for Lauri Love has been signed off by Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Love is facing charges that he was part of #OpLastResort, which stole large amounts of data from targets like the US Federal Reserve, the …
Iain Thomson, 14 Nov 2016
A businessman in handcuffs

Former Autonomy CFO indicted in USA for misleading investors

Updated The long-running spat between HP and the company formerly known as Autonomy has taken another turn, with Autonomy's former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain indicted in a San Francisco court last week. The move was immediately criticised by a collective of former Autonomy executives as the Department of Justice (DoJ) “ …
Monkey

2016 in a nutshell: Boffins break monkeys' backs to turn them into tragic shuffling cyborgs

Scientists trying to find a cure for spinal injuries have claimed a notable success. Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, has produced a paper describing how his team mapped and recorded the neural activity in monkeys standing and walking on treadmills. The eggheads then crippled …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2016
Bear

Russia shoves antitrust probe into Microsoft after Kaspersky gripes about Windows 10

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is investigating whether Microsoft abused its position in the market with Windows 10 – after Moscow-based Kaspersky complained to the watchdog and EU regulators. In a lengthy blog post this week, the antivirus biz's founder Eugene Kaspersky argued that Microsoft deliberately used …
Iain Thomson, 11 Nov 2016
California

Silicon Valley VCs: We're gonna make California great again – on its own

With protests against Donald Trump's US presidential election victory turning violent in California, a group of venture capitalists from Silicon Valley are funding an initiative to allow the Golden State to secede from the US. Dubbed Calexit, the movement has found a sponsor in Shervin Pishevar, MD at Sherpa Capital – an early …
Iain Thomson, 10 Nov 2016

Silicon Valley's oligarchs got a punch in the head – and that's actually good thing

Comment Looking for silver linings from the Election of President Donald J Trump? There may not be many – but I might just have found one. A Republican trifecta (controlling the White House and both Houses) would be the big news today as it signals a "change election", and it hasn't happened since 1928. But Trump is Trump, so that isn …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Nov 2016

Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

The United States Presidential Election has been run and at the time of writing looks almost certainly to have been won by Donald Trump. Which means we now have a decent idea of what's in store for the global technology industry in the next four years. And it looks like a wild ride: Trump's policies include a clamp down on H- …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Nov 2016
A man handcuffed to a briefcase

Chinese chap in the clink for trying to swap US Navy FPGAs with fakes to beat export ban

A Chinese national starts a 15-month stretch behind bars for trying to swap reprogrammable chips destined for the US Navy with fakes, and smuggle the real gear out of the country. Xianfeng Zuo, 38, was sentenced on Friday in Connecticut after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods. Zuo, of Shenzhen, …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Nov 2016
Image by Alexander_P http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-493324p1.html

Password reset warrior arrested for popping 1050 student accounts

An Arizona man has been arrested for hacking 1050 email accounts at two united States universities, plus attempts to do so at some 75 other educational institutions. Jonathan Powell, 29, is alleged to have used password reset features to change logins for some 1050 accounts at the universities before breaching connected social …
Darren Pauli, 07 Nov 2016
Dudley Do-Right Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Canada confiscates snoops' data nets after illegal trawling dragged up too much metadata

Canada's Federal Court has rapped the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's (CSIS) knuckles for retaining too much citizen metadata. Its judgement (in a secret case, with relevant names redacted) was handed down in October and published last Thursday. Justice Simon Noel was more than peeved that the CSIS gathered data …

FBI drops bombshell, and investigation: Clinton still in the clear

The FBI's backed away from its almost-unprecedented (and much-criticised) intervention in the US Federal election, announcing there's nothing to investigate in the “Anthony Weiner e-mails”. The news has broken in a Tweet from Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. FBI Dir just informed us "Based on our …
Cow photo via Shutterstock

Ubuntu Core Snaps door shut on Linux's new Dirty COWs

Canonical has released Ubuntu Core 16 for IoT, featuring Linux self-patching for a generation of users against future Bash or Dirty COWs. Ubuntu Core 16 features Snaps, a zip file concept Canonical says will streamline IoT device updates protecting against hackers and data loss. Snaps shipped in Ubuntu 16.10 but Ubuntu Core is …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Nov 2016
Girl magnifying glass, photo via Shutterstock

Privacy Commission wants new rights for personal data control

In August, The Register called for the Australian government to put in place an independent agency to oversee use of citizens' data. In a report released today, the country's Productivity Commission (PC) has called for the same thing. The PC makes the call in its draft Data Availability and Use report, announced here. It calls …

Rhode Island sues HPE for making its DMV even more miserable

The US state of Rhode Island is suing Hewlett Packard Enterprise over a car-crash IT project to overhaul its vehicle licensing system. In a lawsuit [PDF] filed to the State Superior Court on Tuesday, the Rhode Island Department of Revenue and Department of Administration accused the enterprise giant of breaching contract on an …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Nov 2016

Delayed Ingram Micro sale to Tianjin Tianhai gets green light from US regs

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has approved the $6bn takeover of Ingram Micro, the world’s largest tech distie, by Chinese shipping magnate Tianjin Tianhai. The proposed buyout hit the rails earlier this summer when the Shanghai Stock Exchange fired a bunch of financial questions to Tianjin, …
Paul Kunert, 02 Nov 2016
The first X-51A and its booster rocket mounted ready for release from B-52 mothership. Credit: USAF

Hypersonic cruise missile scores US$175m DARPA cash

Raytheon has scored nearly US$175 million to work on DARPA's ongoing research into hypersonics. This time, it's not about a hypersonic plane: the program that got its contract announcement on the United States Federal Business Opportunities register today is for a hypersonic weapons system. HAWC – the Hypersonic Air-breathing …
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Cloudflare ordered by judge to help unmask two website owners

Updated A subpoena can be served against Cloudflare compelling it to reveal the identities of two website owners, a New York judge has ruled. The content delivery network has effectively been told to identify the people behind LibGen and BookFi in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by academic book publisher Elsevier. "The …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Oct 2016

America has one month to stop the FBI getting its global license to hack

In one month, an obscure procedural rule tweak will come into effect allowing US cops and federal agents to potentially hack any computer in the world using a single warrant issued anywhere in America. No one in Congress has voted on this legal update. It means a warrant granted somewhere within the US can be executed on the …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2016
The UK's sole F-35B in flight. Crown copyright

F-35 'sovereign data gateway' will stop US reading pilots' personal data? Yeah right

Lockheed Martin, designers of the super-expensive F-35 fighter jet, is working on a system claimed to reassure foreign customers that the US won't be able to read their pilots' personal data. According to Flight Global, Lockheed Martin is working on a sovereign data gateway (SDG) to reassure F-35 customers that the US won't be …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Oct 2016
Topless man in boxer shorts

Australia spending AU$4.8m to do something about revenge porn

Australia's Department of Communications has found AU$4.8m to “go towards the development of a national online reporting tool to help counter the effects of non-consensual sharing of intimate images,” otherwise known as revenge porn. But the department doesn't know just how the money will be spent, or whether it will result in …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2016

SpaceX to explosion conspiracy theorists: There's no grassy knoll at Cape Canaveral

Video Conspiracy theorists can stop looking for a grassy knoll near SpaceX's Cape Canaveral launch complex: the company reckons it's close to explaining why its September launch failed so spectacularly. The explosion destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket, roughly US$200 million of Facebook satellite payload, and extensively damaged the launch …
Mr Robot: Credit USA Network

DMCA updated – toaster penetration testing gets green light in America

A year late, the US Librarian of Congress on Friday published an updated list of exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's prohibition on circumventing digital access controls. These exemptions to Section 1201 of the DMCA describe the circumstances under which – until the rules get revisited in two years time – …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Oct 2016

No nudes, bloated apps, Android sucks and 497 other complaints about Apple to the FTC

Exclusive Apple and its products prompted almost 500 complaints to the US Federal Trade Commission in the past 22 months – a number that suggests the iGiant has cut the rate at which consumers express dissatisfaction. That of course doesn't include social media ire about the new MacBook Pro. The Register sent a Freedom of Information …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Oct 2016

FBI reopens Hillary spillery

Newly discovered messages linked to the private email server run by Hillary Clinton when she was US Secretary of State are being investigated by the FBI. The Feds previously probed the Presidential wannabe's system and basically found nothing. It was feared hackers had ransacked the server looking for juicy sensitive files. …
Iain Thomson, 28 Oct 2016

'Fappening' hacker gets 18 months in US federal clapper

The 36 year-old hacker behind some of a massive public leak of private celebrity photos has been sentenced to 18 months prison. 36 year-old Ryan Collins, of Pennsylvania, was one of two suspects in the September 2014 leaks known online as the Fappening or CelebGate. Celebrities impacted include Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, …
Darren Pauli, 28 Oct 2016
Bitcoin, photo via Shutterstock

Bitcoin exchange boss going down for washing ransomware cash

A Florida ex-school board member has pled guilty to making a false statement in relation to the running of an illegal bitcoin exchange. The FBI says Anthony Murgio and Yuri Lebedev ran Coin.mx as an unlicensed currency exchange, cloaking transactions including facilitating ransomware payouts as "collectable memorabilia" and …
Darren Pauli, 28 Oct 2016