Articles about Government

Ink hands

What's ordered in Vegas, doesn't stay in Vegas? $6.7m of printer ink 'stolen by office worker'

A Las Vegas woman stole printer ink worth $6,715,531 from her employer and sold it to a reseller on the other side of America, it is claimed. When Jennifer McCain-Bray worked as a purchasing analyst for the Las Vegas Valley Water District – a public utility – she ordered millions of dollars of extra printer ink and toner, had …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2016
Baby on a computer. Photo by Shutterstock

UK govt to launch a tech creche for military-focused startups

The UK's Ministry of Defence is to launch a “defence and security accelerator” for startups dabbling in so-called “miltech”. A helpful MoD press release explained that the creche will be “an innovation hub that will accelerate ideas from conception through to application, against challenges that seek to maintain military …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Jul 2016
Mobile banking, image via Shutterstock

Not enough competition in payment processing tech, thunders regulator

A UK government regulator is calling for greater competition in banking payment infrastructure provision. The Payments Systems Regulator’s (PSR) market review into the ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure that supports the three major UK payment systems – Bacs, Faster Payments Service (FPS), and LINK – concluded …
John Leyden, 29 Jul 2016

The return of (drone) robot wars: Beware of low-flying freezers

Something for the Weekend, Sir? There was a time when I used to spend my free hours looking for a man. Oh yes, many a day I’d hang about aimlessly for hours, just waiting for the right man to turn up. Sometimes I’d look for a man in uniform, other times he’d in civvies, but all I wanted was the kind of man who would – well, how can I put this? – “deliver the …
Alistair Dabbs, 29 Jul 2016
Sketch of AirTrunk's planned data centre in Derrimut, Melbourne

Startup AirTrunk plans big new data centres in Melbourne, Sydney, Asia

Exclusive A startup data centre builder/operator called AirTrunk has applied to build a substantial data centre on the fringes of Melbourne. AirTrunk outed itself to financial press a couple of weeks ago, claiming it has plans for bit barns in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong, a tenant ready to rent substantial space, perhaps …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2016

Flame Canada, flame Canada ... Botched govt payroll computers spew smoke ahead of probe

The Ottawa data center housing Phoenix – the Canadian government's bungled payroll system for federal workers – was shut down on Wednesday after smoke was detected inside. The Shared Services Canada server warehouse also housed computers handling government email, as well as some government websites, which were switched off, …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2016
schoolchildren_kids_victorian_cropped

AT&T fined for school gouge

US watchdog the FCC has fined AT&T for overcharging on the internet service it provided to schools in Florida. The Commission will take a $106,425 penalty from the telco after it was found to have violated laws limiting the fees it can charge for government-subsidized E-Rate service. The E-Rate Program rules state that …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2016
Vladimir Putin

Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

Vladimir Putin's air force is flying strategic reconnaissance missions over the UK. Not only is the Ministry of Defence relaxed about it, they're even hosting the Russians in Oxfordshire. What's this all about? The UK and Russia, along with 32 other countries, are signatories of the Open Skies treaty. This was originally …
Gareth Corfield, 28 Jul 2016
Heartbeat graph

Apps record your heartbeat but now you worry the Census will remember your name?

Australia will conduct a census on August 9th and for the first time will retain name and address details in the data set created by the nationwide data dredge. That's got privacy advocates worried that your data could be linked to multiple other government data sets, so much so that friend of The Register Jack Skinner has …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016

Couple in the cooler for sucking $1m out of Uncle Sam via IRS 'Get Transcript' scam

Two people have been jailed for their involvement in a scam that exploited the US IRS "Get Transcript" website to defraud the American government. A couple from Austell, Georgia, laundered more than $1m as part of a larger swindle that abused weaknesses in the taxmen's website to get the personal data needed to file fraudulent …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2016

Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

In the latest of a series of implausibly appalling statements, Republican presidential nightmare Donald Trump encouraged the Russian government to hack into the servers of US government officials in order to provide him political ammunition against his Democratic rival. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Trump said …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jul 2016
Q in James Bond

NATO holds up £2.5bn platter of IT procurement deals: Help yourselves

Anti-Soviet defence pact NATO's IT division wants to award €3bn (£2.5bn) worth of “cyber, air and missile defence” contracts, spanning everything from buying new keyboards to improving space satellites. The NATO Communication and Information (NCI) Agency's bumper pack of potential deals includes a £2bn (€2.5bn) satellite …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Jul 2016
cheating_648

Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

After roughly 20 years, agile software development has wheedled its way into most every developer's mind as The Way Good Software Is Done. Like flossing, while we can all agree agile is a good idea, we're not quite up to snuff on keeping all our teeth in our heads, so to speak. A recent Gartner survey [registration required] …
Michael Coté, 27 Jul 2016
Projects at risk

MPs reiterate risks of mega £10bn Aspire contract overhaul

UK MPs have warned that HMRC (HM Revenues and Customs) may struggle to overhaul its expensive £10bn IT systems with Capgemini, and that further cuts could ultimately waste more taxpayers' cash. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published today said the body remains concerned that HMRC may struggle to integrate …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2016
Dirty VW Beetle in Sleeper

VW's first US settlement nearly settled

Volkswagen's “dieselgate” part-settlement has received preliminary approval from a US judge. It's the start of a long, slow process for VW to clear its name after it was caught programming diesel engine management systems to enter a low-emission (and low power) state when undergoing emission tests. If the arrangement between …
Russian hacking

Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Poll Security intelligence firm ThreatConnect thinks it has found a smoking gun that links the leaked US Democratic Party emails to Russian hackers. The biz has analyzed the communications methods used by Guccifer 2.0, which is thought to be a team of miscreants who obtained the somewhat embarrassing internal emails and gave them …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016

Pokemon GO-ZILLA: Safety fears after monsters appear in Fukushima danger zone

Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co is upset that Pokemon Go players on the hunt for monsters are being lured into the Fukushima Nuclear Exclusion Zone. The fictional creatures were apparently spotted close to the destroyed Daiichi nuclear reactors by Tepco officials. The presence of the collectible cyber-animals could tempt …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2016

Europe gives Privacy Shield one year to work

Europe's data protection authorities will hold fire for one year on the new Privacy Shield agreement, withholding any potential legal challenges until mid-2017. In a statement [PDF] by the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), the influential body noted it was still unhappy with the final text of the agreement – which replaces the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jul 2016

Hacked? Call White House

President Obama has published a directive aimed at establishing a clear chain of command for reporting cyber attacks. The Presidential Policy Directive for incident reports lays out the process for private companies to report a hacker attack to the federal government. This, the White House hopes, will not only give businesses …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016
STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

Comment There are whispers circulating in the aether that if PrivacyShield is deemed adequate for transfers of personal data from the European Union(EU) to the USA, then in a post-Brexit Britain, something akin to PrivacyShield can allow for adequate transfers of personal data to the UK. Such an “adequacy” determination would mean …
Iraq fake bomb detector in use

Iraqi government finally bans debunked bomb-finding dowsing rods

So-called Advanced Detection Equipment (ADE) used by the Iraqi army to find explosives have been scrapped – more than three years after the devices were proved to be fakes. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered a halt to the use of the dowsing-rod-like gadgets after they failed to detect explosives on a truck that killed …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jul 2016

Schrems v Facebook: 2018

The case against Facebook for breaking data privacy law, brought by law student Max Schrems, is not going to be decided for at least another year. Schrems posted the schedule devised by the Irish High Court in his case, noting that it was "lengthy" and that it had been four years since his original complaint, and 18 months …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jul 2016

Alleged hacker Lauri Love will learn his fate in September, says judge

Lauri Love will not find out whether he will be extradited to the US until September, District Judge Nina Tempia said today at Westminster Magistrates' Court. Judge Tempia will hand down her judgment on the US authorities' attempt to have Love handed to them for trial on Friday 16 September at 2pm. There were more than 20 …

BlackBerry's licensing strategy looks smart – and a lot like Nokia's

Analysis BlackBerry didn’t show a new phone in New York City at its annual Security Summit last week, and CEO John Chen sounded a bit fed up that the assembled press corps kept asking about phones. But there was enough in his comments to glean how BlackBerry’s device strategy has evolved - and it’s following a familiar path taken by once …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016
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Is digital fraud big in UK? British abacus-botherers finally have some answers

Reports of fraud have doubled, according to official statistics – because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is now including cyber crimes in its figures. The UK's ONS reckons, in crime statistics released last week, that more than two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million online fraud offences took place in …
John Leyden, 25 Jul 2016
Plan b, image via Shutterstock

What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

Leaders of many British tech firms were less than thrilled to hear that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. “I was shocked and horrified,” says Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of hosting firm Memset, who we spoke before the June 23 vote. Her comments were echoed by others. Mike Laven, chief executive of fintech …
SA Mathieson, 25 Jul 2016

By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Without much fanfare, the Semiconductor Industry Association earlier this month published a somewhat-bleak assessment of the future of Moore's Law – and at the same time, called “last drinks” on its decades-old International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The industry's been putting together the roadmap every …
Strike a match

Cryptography vs. bigotry: The debate Australia needs to have

Australia's newly-elected senator Pauline Hanson has called for a ban on muslim immigration on national security grounds. But her position is ignorant and bigoted because it takes an idea to turn someone to terror and it's now impossible to stop the flow of ideas. Once Hanson realises that stopping immigration won't of itself …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2016

White House to bung electric car industry $4.5bn in loans

The White House has said the US federal government will underwrite loans totaling $4.5bn to expand the use of electric cars. But before you go rushing to Elon Musk asking for a set of Falcon doors, note that it is only for building out charging infrastructure. The Department of Energy has expanded its existing loan program to …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jul 2016

Silicon Valley's contribution to the US Republican Convention: Gayness

Analysis If ever there was any doubt that billionaire Peter Thiel was a contrarian, he put it to bed last night in a short speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, US. The Paypal cofounder and early investor in Facebook already stood out as a supporter of Donald Trump in Silicon Valley – an industry that despises the …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jul 2016
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

IT contractors in Blighty could bear the brunt of UK government plans to clamp down on self-employed workers not paying the correct employment taxes - with HMRC targeting 20,000 public sector contractors. The taxman is currently consulting on whether to shift responsibility for compliance with the intermediaries legislation, …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2016
NBN logo

nbn™ talks up HFC upgrades to gigabit speed

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has started to talk up the scalability of the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks it will use to provide services to many Australians. The company commissioned analyst firm Ovum to research the role of HFC in broadband around the world. In what …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
Verne Global data centre server racks from above

UK councils refuse to push data into the cloud

The majority of the UK's local councils run two or more data centres each, suggesting cloudy adoption is still a long way off for local gov, according to Freedom of Information research. Requests sent to the UK's 100 largest local authorities revealed that two-thirds of councils run at least two bit barns and store 90 per cent …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2016

GOP delegates suckered into connecting to insecure Wi-Fi hotspots

A Wi-Fi hack experiment conducted at various locations at or near the Republican National Convention site in Cleveland, US, underlines how risky it can be to connect to public Wi-Fi without protection from a VPN. The exercise, carried out by security researchers at Avast, an anti-virus firm, revealed that more than 1,000 …
John Leyden, 21 Jul 2016

HMRC research finds 'resistance' to proposals to shift contractor tax compliance burden

There is "general resistance" among both the public and private sectors to plans that would shift responsibility for ensuring that third party contractors are paying the right employment taxes from the individual to public sector employers, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has found. Employers surveyed by HMRC were concerned …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Jul 2016

UK's digital strategy must account for Brexit, say MPs

The UK government must explain how its long-awaited new digital strategy will be impacted by the country's decision to leave the EU, a committee of MPs has said. The Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee in the UK parliament made the call in a new report on the digital economy in which it also said there is a need to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Jul 2016
Symantec director government affairs Brian Fletcher (left) with Microsoft assistant general counsel Cristin Goodwin. Image: Darren Pauli, The Register.

Microsoft and pals re-write arms control pact to save infosec industry

Microsoft and a team of concerned engineers from across the security sector have joined forces to suggest a major re-write of the arms control pact the Wassenaar Arrangement, as they fear the document's terms are a threat tot he information security industry. The pitch is the result of brainstorming by the group to redefine …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
Gavel

WhatsApp goes to Rio (again), but the battle is far from over

WhatsApp is back in Brazil, and the company hopes this time it's permanent. After a magistrate ordered a nationwide block on the service, the matter was taken to the country's Supreme Court. When The Register reported on the situation yesterday, that appeal was still under consideration. Readers have now alerted The Register …
Image by KYTan http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1088876p1.html

Asian nations mull regional 'Europol' in fight against cybercrime

RSA APAC A closed-door meeting of cabinet ministers from more than a dozen countries met yesterday to mull the creation of a Europol-style organisation to crack down on cyber crime in the region and abroad, The Register has learned. The Asian organisation is conceptual only, but has support from countries including China, Malaysia, …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
Australian money at a crime scene

Data retention grants still not flowing to Australia telcos

Australia's telcos and internet service providers still have not been told when they will receive promised grants to help them implement mandatory metadata collection. Australia passed metadata retention laws in 2015 and they came into force on October 13th, 2015, albeit with a two-year grace period in which to satisfy the …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2016
WikiLeaks

300k Turkey govt emails leak

The Turkish government is blocking WikiLeaks after the whistleblowing website published a huge archive of emails from officials of the ruling Justice & Development Party (AKP). The archive was obtained from the inboxes of AKP staffers and members of parliament before the attempted military coup last week. The initial batch …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Profits down, image via Shutterstock

Logicalis: Top line shrinks as UK restructuring continues

Restructuring at Logicalis that weighed heavy on the integrator’s financials in recent times will be over and done with at some point before the, er, end of next February. Datatec, the London-listed parent of Logicalis and networking and comms distie Weston, today issued a heads up for first quarter trading ended June - sales …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jul 2016
Penguins and wellies, image via Shutterstock

UK.gov digi peeps hunt open source chief

The British government’s Digital Service is looking for a chief penguin to head up open source. GDS has created a brand-new position for an individual to conduct open source technology projects, adoption and working practices for the government's IT arm. Moreover, the chosen candidate will be charged with forging …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Jul 2016

Los Desaparecidos di Disruption: The Final Days of Conservative 2.0

¡Bong! Special We’d been jeered, we’d been jostled. Overnight, we’d become un-people. Now in this dank, windowless subterranean concrete cell, I cast an eye around my companions again. Loyalists and traitors alike had been thrown together. Lords Feldman and Finkelstein. Matthew Hancock. Ed Vaizey. Oliver Letwin. Dangling by hooks through his …
Steve Bong, 20 Jul 2016
Image by beccarra http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1124891p1.html

Hacker shows Reg how one leaked home address can lead to ruin

Unrestcon It takes nothing more than a home address for hacker "Nixxer" to find enough information to ruin your life. Nixxer is one of Australia’s most skilled good-guy social engineers and at a recent event, and in subsequent chats with The Reg, demonstrated the potential damage rather than actually ruining a life. But the arsenal he …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jul 2016

How's this for irony? US Navy hit with $600m software piracy claim

A German software developer has accused the United States Navy of illegally copying $596m worth of its product. Bitmanagement Software GmbH claims that the Navy has copied "hundreds of thousands" of copies of its 3D modeling and tracking software BS Contact Geo without paying. They have filed suit [PDF] in the US Court of …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016

Handover of US internet control to ICANN officially blocked in Republican policy

The planned transition of the internet's critical technical functions from the US government to a technical body may come under further attack after the Republican Party officially agreed to block it on Monday. The Republican Platform for 2016 [PDF] was formally approved during a chaotic first day of the party's national …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jul 2016
Raised hands vote

Eat me, Michael: 98% of EMC shareholders back Dell mega-gobble

EMC shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept Dell's $60bn plus offer to merge the two companies into a new entity called Dell Technologies. At a special shareholder meeting at EMC's Hopkinton, Massachusetts, headquarters, 98 per cent of those present, representing 78 per cent of the shareholders, voted to approve the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2016

US govt is in, EFF told to take a hike in post-Safe Harbor wrangling over privacy and EULAs

An Irish high court judge has accepted the US government into a high-profile case involving Facebook and mass surveillance – but rejected a number of civil liberties groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). In a judgment [PDF] published Tuesday, Justice Brian McGovern noted that the United States government …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jul 2016

BlackBerry chief: We don't have to make phones to make phones

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said his company has an internal project to bring Android security up to the level of its BlackBerry 10 platform, which should bear fruit after the release of Android N. He also hinted at a future based around brand and technology licensing. "We have a tremendous amount of technology. We can stay in …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2016