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Articles about Government

India to develop an API for entire government

India has released a “Policy on Open APIs for Government of India” (PDF) that calls on the nation's government to develop APIs to let departments share information with each other and with the public. Many of India's government agencies are infamously moribund and Indians bemoan the short working hours, can't-do attitude and …
Houses of Parliament at night-time

UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

The United Kingdom government has formally adopted the open document format (ODF) as the standard format for government documents. The announcement says PDF/A or HTML are now the standard “for viewing government” while ODF is now expected “for sharing or collaborating on government documents.” There's some pointed language in …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2014
heart.chile

Claim: Microsoft Alt-F4'd Chilean government open-source install bid

Microsoft successfully lobbied against a law that would have seen Chile's government adopt open-source software, says Elmostrador, a newspaper in the South American nation. The publication's report tells the tale of Vlado Mirosevic, a left-leaning politician who is the leader of the Chilean Liberal Party and its only …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2014
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

Azure Australia certified good enough for government work

Microsoft's Australian outpost still won't say when its pair of local Azure bit barns will go live for folks beyond the current cloud test dummies, but is waving around a newly-acquired letter that proves it “has appropriate and effective security controls in place for the processing, storage and transmission of Unclassified …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Oct 2014
eyeofSauron

Poll: Australians hate government data retention plan

Polling by Essential suggests that Australians aren't behind the government's plan to force the telecommunications industry to retain data about subscribers' online activities. According to the research, only the government's own base of voters is in favour of the data-retention* plan, with 59 per cent of Coalition voters …
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

Australia mandates* cloud use by government agencies

Australia's Department of Finance has updated its Cloud Policy to say “... agencies now must adopt cloud”. Those italics are the Department's, and it also has some qualifications for the edict, namely that cloud should only be adopted “where it is fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data and delivers value for money …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Oct 2014

Twitter sues US government for right to disclose NOTHING

Twitter has sued the US government in a bid to gain approval to publish more granular transparency reports. As the avian network's veep for legal Ben Lee has blogged, “Our ability to speak has been restricted by laws that prohibit and even criminalize a service provider like us from disclosing the exact number of national …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Oct 2014

NSW government agencies bend over and take it from telcos

Even though telecommunications contracts are an eternal staple of government contract management, government agencies in the Australian state of New South Wales lack the expertise needed to get the most out of the agreements they sign with carriers. That's the conclusion of a report prepared for the government by the auditor- …

Free government-penned crypto can swipe identities

The PLAID (Protocol for Lightweight Authentication of Identity) cryptography kit appears to be insecure. PLAID is a homebrew cryptography system designed by Centrelink - the Australian government agency that shovels out tens of billions a year in welfare payments. The system has been considered for use by US government agencies …
Darren Pauli, 31 Oct 2014

AWS levels up in game of government security – and now one step below classified access

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has leveled up its US government security certification, winning the right to handle more sensitive work from the Department of Defense (DoD). The company has, of course, blogged the news that it has won provisional authorization to operate levels three to five of the DoD's cloud security model. Level …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2014
dropbox privacy security eye

FAIL.GOV – Government asks Dropbox for accounts that don't exist

Dropbox has released its transparency report for the first half of 2014 and says it's handled 120 search warrants, a pair of court orders, 109 subpoenas, between zero and 249 national-security-related requests and 37 requests from governments other than that of the USA. None of the requests pertained to business accounts. …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Sep 2014
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

Thieves steal more iPhones than any other handset, warns UK government

Apple iPhone owners in England and Wales are the most likely group of citizens to have their handsets snatched by thieves, the UK government warned today. Whitehall published its first Mobile Phone Theft Ratio report (PDF) on Sunday morning. It comes after Home Secretary Theresa May said earlier this week that the government …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Sep 2014
india

Indian government flings ONE HUNDRED BILLION rupees at startups

India's new and tech-savvy government has created a one hundred billion rupee startup fund. Even once converted into US dollars that's still $1.6 billion. And India doesn't see that as the end of the matter: as the budget speech (PDF) by finance minister Arun Jaitley makes plain, the new fund is intended to “act as a catalyst to …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2014

German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags

The German government has ordered the local station chief of the CIA to leave the country immediately – after a second German government official was arrested in an investigation into US surveillance on its erstwhile ally. "The representative of the US intelligence services at the embassy of the United States of America has been …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 2014

Cisco okayed for UK government comms

Cisco has had a bunch of products certified as secure by the GCHQ's information security arm, the Communications & Electronics Security Group (CESG). The certification only covers the products to handle information up to the UK government's “Official” classification – that is, most government information. However, as the …
india

IT industry to benefit from India's new government

New Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata political party will be good for Indian IT on two fronts, analysts say. Modi was elected two weeks ago after a marathon campaign and election at which over 800 million people were eligible to vote. The Bharatiya Janata political (BJP) secured over 171 million votes and …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2014
A boat full of Fail

Qld government in social media policy linkrot FAIL

Watch what you post – that's the message of a cringe-makingly awful video created by the Queensland Government's Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Seeking to remind banana-bending public servants – those that remain after savage cuts – that they need to be mindful of anything they do on social media, the video (below, …
management regulation2

Japan preps new law to bolster government cyber defences

Japanese lawmakers are urgently preparing a new bill designed to allow the government’s information security agencies cut through the bureaucracy that is crippling their ability to deal with online threats. The proposed law would give the National Information Security Centre (NISC) and its Government Security Operation …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Mar 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata

Australia's federal government should store metadata collected by the nation's Internet service providers (ISPs), because the government already operates suitable facilities in which to do so. ISPs have suggested that if the government persists with its metadata retention plans they would have to pass the costs of storing data …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jul 2014
Container Vessel at Sea

US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports

The US Government has imposed a $750,000 fine on an Intel subsidiary for exporting encryption to China, Russia, Israel and other countries Wind River Systems was fined for exporting products that incorporated encryption to foreign governments and to organisations on the US government restricted list. The controversial move means …
John Leyden, 17 Oct 2014

UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco

A government body tasked with flagging up troublesome Whitehall projects has been accused of secrecy and ineptitude over its handling of the Department for Work and Pensions' widely panned Universal Credit programme. MPs sitting on the Public Account Committee said in a report published today that the Major Projects Authority, …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Aug 2014
Dunce

Government won't name expert reviewers of Australia's national curriculum

Subject matter experts engaged to review Australia's national curriculum, including the new digital technologies curriculum The Reg has tracked, have been appointed. But the Department of Education won't name the reviewers until the final report on the curriculum is revealed. The Reg makes the above statement after receiving the …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jun 2014

Curious to know if the UK's Tory-led government is a MEGA SPY? Answer: Yes

It was revealed this week that Britain's surveillance of our online and telephone activity rocketed since the the Tories and Lib Dems formed a Coalition government in 2010. Home Office minister James Brokenshire published the figures on Thursday in response to a question from the chair of the cross-party home affairs select …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Nov 2014

French telco vendors line up with government on 5G

A group of French telcos is warning that Europe could fall behind Asia in the race towards 5G, and has launched a joint effort to stave off the threat. “Club France”, reports Paris financial outlet Les Echos, is an Alcatel-Lucent-led effort whose members include Orange, Thales, LTE chip-maker Sequans Communications, and base …

Oz government science funding to rise...

The federal government is sending mixed signals to the science community, with key science funding legislation offering an upwards blip to the Australian Research Council, followed by a sharp fall. Shortly after it emerged that the CSIRO was going to have to reduce its headcount, the rejigged funding to the Australian Research …
ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Toure

Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet

The Arab States will push for greater control of the internet next week – by arguing that only governments should steer how the web is run, rather than independent bodies. In a late submission [PDF] to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meeting in Busan, South Korea, the 22 states collectively asked for revisions to …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Oct 2014
DJI Phantom Quadcopter

Drones face privacy regulation under Oz government plan

A parliamentary report into regulation surrounding the use of drones has recommended that Australia consider creating a tort of privacy invasion – something ruled out by the country's attorney-general George Brandis as recently as April. In an example of the strange bedfellows politics can make, privacy activists and farming …
The Opal-card-ready 'flip' cover for Samsung's Galaxy S3

NSW government gets into the smartphone case business

Today's Sydney Morning Herald reports that the right-leaning government in the Australian state of New South Wales has decided to outsource lots of public service jobs because it believes there's a limit to what governments should do. Why, then, is the same government entering the business of selling mobile phone cases? The …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Mar 2014
Cherry

NBN Co to government: 'unchain us'

NBN Co has asked the government to release it from restrictions it says constrain its ability to compete with other carriers seeking to cherry-pick lucrative markets. Regulation of competitive networks is emerging as a hot issue for the government, with TPG in particular touting a high-profile fibre-to-the-basement project …
Huawei New World Coffee Shop

New Oz government keeps Huawei ban after spook briefing

The brief thawing of Australian government attitudes to Huawei has turned out to be a false springtime, with the nation's new Attorney-General George Brandis deciding that the decision to keep the Chinese giant out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) will remain. According to the Australian Financial Review, the decision …
Flying pig

SHOCKER: CIA CIO CAN confirm that AWS cloud safe for big government

In an eyebrow raising presentation the chief information officer for the US's foreign spying wing, the CIA, has praised the cloud computing capabilities of Amazon Web Services and said the agency wants to expand its use of the company's tech. CIA CIO Doug Wolfe spoke at an event in Washington on Tuesday where he said he was …
Jack Clark, 25 Jun 2014

Oz Government: TPP papers will stay secret

Australians interested in knowing just what's going to be in the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership agreement will have to hope someone leaks the latest text, with the government resisting last week's Senate order to produce the documents. According to Fairfax, the government says the treaty text will only be made public …
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Oz government expanding data centre footprint

The Australian government is continuing its cloud rollout with a new tender for data centre services. In line with a policy that's attracted criticism from international providers, the government is sticking with its requirement that Australian government data is kept onshore. The tender, posted on August 30, is looking for …
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Rule of law: Turkish court nixes government Twitter ban ... for now

A court in Turkey's capital has ordered the lifting of the government ban on Twitter in the restless nation. The administrative court in Ankara overturned the week-long ban on Wednesday in response to complaints by journalists’ unions and the country's Bar Association, representing its lawyers, that blocking Twitter contravened …
John Leyden, 27 Mar 2014
Francis Maude

UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

The UK Government has decided that Open Document Format, the OpenOffice-derived file format, is the best choice for all government documents. The Cabinet Office's Standards Hub explained its thinking on the matter and published the recommendation this week, using the following language: “When dealing with citizens, information …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jan 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australian government websites in "compulsory mod" mode during election campaign

Australian federal government websites – everything in the gov.au domain that's managed at the federal level – are frantically putting moderators onto anything that resembles online engagement. From the time that the Prime Minister visited the Governor-General in Yarralumla to request that she dissolve the parliament, “caretaker …
Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

New South Wales government promises open data by default

The Australian State of New South Wales has released a new Open Data Policy (PDF) that determines “Data is open by default” in the state and that “Agencies start from a position of data openness, with the prerogative in favour of data release, unless there is a specific, overriding reason for data not to be released in …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Nov 2013

US government green-lights data swapping for security firms

Security firms looking to share research data with their peers need not fear the US Federal Trade Commission or Department of Justice any more. The FTC and DOJ issued a joint policy statement on Thursday assuring the security community that they will not pursue antitrust cases against companies that share their security …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Apr 2014
Ten protestors at the NBN Day of Action

Surprise! Government mega-infrastructure project cocked up

That Australia's National Broadband Network is late, over budget and chaotically managed will come as no surprise to aficionados of government infrastructure projects. It's just the latest in a long and inglorious rollcall of politicians pissing our money away on things they simply don't understand. Ten protestors at the NBN …
Tim Worstall, 06 Aug 2014

Telstra plans to keep hands on government BEEELIONS

Telstra has assured shareholders that having gotten one hand on an $11 billion (net present value) payment from the government, the cash will have to be pried from its cold, dead fingers. Since it was Telstra chair Catherine Livingstone who was speaking, and she was speaking to shareholders at the carrier's annual general …

India government: 'net should not be censored

India's communications and IT minister, tasked with attracting foreign investors to the country's tech sector, has defended controversial IT laws while saying that Internet censorship should be minimal. Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made the remarks to The Hindu Business Line in response to criticisms of Section 66 of the country …
The Register breaking news

Qld opens government data for app prize

Australian app developers short of funds but long on the business of extracting useful information out of government data have the chance to top-up their finances to the tune of $AU5,000 courtesy of a Queensland government competition. Alternatively, given your point of view: having ditched most of its IT staff in a budgetary …
ISIS Islamists in Iraq

ISIS: Iraq KILLS the INTERNET: VPNs, social media and chat apps blocked by government

Iraq has widened its internet ban to include virtual private networks and mobile data in a bid to halt the progress of brutal offensives in the country led by the extremist militant group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis). Described as "fascist" and "criminal" by Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, Isis has …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Jun 2014
EOS Facility at Mt Stromolo

Space-junk RAYGUN wins Australian government funding

A proposal to use lasers to clean up space junk is a step closer to reality, courtesy of $AUD20 million of Australian government funding. Led by EOS Space Systems (based at Australia's Mount Stromlo, home of one of the country's major observatories), the collaborators will start small, developing lasers that are able to identify …
Twitter for Mac Old

Twitter may sue US government over right to disclose snooping orders

Twitter says that the current compromise allowing tech companies to disclose some of the data requests orders made in secret by the US intelligence services isn't good enough, and it may sue to get the right to be more transparent. "We think the government’s restriction on our speech not only unfairly impacts our users' privacy …
Iain Thomson, 07 Feb 2014
Close-up of a woman's lips, slightly pixelated as if on a CRT TV

Singaporeans THANK government for BANNING IaaS site

Singapore has reportedly decided to block infidelity-as-a-service ashleymadison.com, the site with the cheeky motto “Life is Short. Have an affair.” Singaporean netizens got angry about the site's impending arrival in the island state back in October and petitioned their government to instruct the Media Development Authority ( …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Nov 2013

Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law

The dog-ends of the “Google Review” of copyright sailed through the Lords yesterday and will become law on 1 October – creating work for the courts and quite possible, legal headaches for the government. Having given itself the power, last year, to make sweeping changes to copyright by the back door – through secondary …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jul 2014
Percentage of responses to government requests for Google data

Google 'Transparency Report' shows rise in government groping

Google has released the latest update to its data detailing how often it is asked by law enforcement agencies around the world to cough up data about its users, and says company's “we’re … seeing more and more governments start to exercise their authority to make requests.” That quote comes from an post by Richard Salgado, the …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Mar 2014

Oz government knew about PRISM BEFORE Snowden leaks

In a hardly-surprising revelation, it's emerged that Australian government security agencies knew about PRISM before Edward Snowden went public with his leaks about the surveillance system. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation had requested access to a protected briefing to the Attorney General that was prepared in March. …
Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

Q: What's government-owned, designed to kill, and now more transparent? A: DARPA!

While one part of the US government tries to slink further back into the shadows, another is pushing itself into the light via a new transparency scheme at DARPA. The US's defense boffins at DARPA announced the launch of the its Open Catalog on Tuesday – an initiative designed to drum up support from the wider research community …
Jack Clark, 05 Feb 2014