Articles about Government

Australian attorney general George Brandis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australian government mulls secret terror court proposals

The Australian government is taste-testing new anti-terrorism proposals to give police access to information gathered by its spook agencies. Dropped to the Murdoch press over the weekend, the idea is to create secret courts to look at information from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and other security …
USA/ Etats-Unis sign by https://www.flickr.com/photos/us-mission/ CC 2.0 attribution noderivs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Former VMware staffer blows whistle on government pricing plan

VMware and Carahsoft, a company that bills itself as “Your Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider”, will repay US$75.5 million to the US government for what the Department of Justice (DoJ) characterises as “misrepresenting their commercial pricing practices and overcharging the government on VMware software products and …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Jul 2015

Oz government to put dark fibre net on the auction block

The Australian government's dark fibre network, ICON, is one of the many assets slated for sale under tonight's federal budget announcements. ICON – the Intra Government Communications Network – has a total of 150,000 km of dark fibre linking 400 sites in Canberra, and is used by 88 agencies. The Department of Finance says the …
Magnus at Pawsey

Western Australian government funds Pawsey supercomputing centre until 2021

Scientific HPC fans in Australia will be breathing a sigh of relief that the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has secured state government funding through to 2020-21. The Western Australian government has announced the AU$21.6 million allocation in its 2015-16 budget, which will help keep Pawsey's supers sufficiently super for …
NBN logo

Australian government sun to set on NBN funding

BUDGET 2015 The 2015 Federal Budget has set the date at which the government will drive the national broadband network (NBN, not nbnTM) to a quiet country road, open the door, and drive off. In the firm belief that the multi-technology-mix-architected NBN will be ready by the 2016/17 budget year (and that the current government remains in …
Anonymous video screenshot

Canadian government websites hosed, Anonymous takes credit

Canada's government websites and email servers have been knocked offline in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The assault was apparently a simple flood-the-pipes operation rather than an attempted data-heist. At 5pm local time, according to Bloomberg (presumably in Ottawa), sysadmins were working to get services …
Australian attorney general George Brandis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australian government demands signoff on telco network designs

Australia's attorney-general has dropped some new telecommunications legislation designed to drag carrier networks into the orbit of the nation's top legal officer. The plans, announced last week, would give the government power to demand information about carriers' networks and order changes to networks, with a civil penalties …

US government tweaks internet handover date: 1 October 2016

The US government will officially hand over control of the top level of the internet on 1 October 2016 – a year later than planned. The Department of Commerce announced on Monday that it will extend the IANA contract, today held by domain overseer ICANN, by one year, meaning that it will expire on 30 September 2016. At that …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Aug 2015
NBN Logo

Australian Government hopes to untangle NBN migration mess

Australia's government is looking for industry input into National Broadband Network (NBN) migration policy, and wants submissions by August 20. Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's statement says the new round of consultation seeks a migration framework that is both industry-led and focussed on the end user. The …

Ark of the Government deal confirmed, joint venture established

In a massive departure from the usual big supplier merry-go-round of government IT contracts, the Cabinet Office has confirmed a £700m legacy "Crown Hosting" deal with small data centre biz Ark, as revealed by El Reg last week. In a statement, the department claimed the joint venture company, in which Ark will own a 75 per cent …
Kat Hall, 20 Mar 2015
Clog dancers. image via shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-138156878/

Dutch government websites KO'd by 10-hour DDoS

The Netherlands government’s websites were taken offline for around 10 hours on Wednesday following a DDoS attack. The motive for the sustained packet-flinging assault – directed against the Dutch government website's hosting provider, Prolocation – remains unclear. A brief statement (Google translation here) by the Dutch …
John Leyden, 12 Feb 2015
The new Pirate Bay logo

Swedish government wins legal case to seize Pirate Bay domains

The Swedish government has won its case to seize piratebay.se and thepiratebay.se, but the site is already back up under another domain with a new logo to show it isn't beaten. The new round of whack-a-mole flared up on Tuesday when The Stockholm District Court ruled in a case brought by government prosecutors against Swedish …
Iain Thomson, 20 May 2015

Labour has a pop at the government over missed GDS targets

In a pre-election pop at the coalition, Labour has slammed Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude for the Government Digital Service's failure to meet even half of its digital targets for online services. The GDS budget increased from £9.7m in 2011/12 to £23.3m in 2013/14, with spend on IT specialists rising to £7.9m over the …
Kat Hall, 27 Mar 2015
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Australian government's 'cyber-security' review delayed

One day after Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott promised a more hard-line approach to national security, the government has delayed a cyber-security review. Over the weekend, the PM's YouTube channel carried a statement (video at the end of this story) in which he complained that Australia's treatment of immigrants-turned- …

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 …

Government's rushed NBN migration plan off to the ACCC

Industry objections notwithstanding, the federal government has okayed Telstra submitting its revised NBN migration plan to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). In spite of industry concerns that the arrangements favour the incumbent, communications minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the finalisation of …

Stop climate change by drinking Coca-Cola says Oz government

If you want to understand the quality of advice the Australian government wants in the climate change debate, you need only need one passage from page 56 of a new report into the energy sector. Discussing carbon capture and storage, which currently has “failed technology” status nearly the whole world around, the government's …
ABS population density calculated on the national grid

Australian government may take leave of its census

Updated Australia's government is considering radically restructuring its national census. The exercise, which cost $AU440 million in 2011, is under the microscope as the government assembles its 2015 budget. Fairfax reports that the census could be delayed or replaced with a smaller survey. The Australian is less certain of the census …

Australian carriers try to head off government telco security bill

Australian attorney-general George Brandis' plans to turn his department into a national telco chief security officer are to be carpet-bombed by a coalition of industry groups opposing the proposed laws. In a submission leaked to the ABC and The Australian Financial Review and since sighted by The Register, a bunch of industry …

US government asks internet community how long it should extend IANA contract

The US government has asked the internet community how long they think it will take to decide on and implement changes to the top level of the internet, and so how long it will need to extend the current IANA contract. In letters sent to the chairs of the two different groups working on transitioning the critical internet …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 May 2015
shutterstock_56353756-band

Government embarks on futile mission to censor teen music vid viewing

The government and major UK music labels have agreed to make a pilot programme permanent. UK-produced music videos will now have an age rating. And that will definitely stop kids from watching, and definitely not cause them to rush off to see what the fuss is about. If, for instance, we told you that in the of 132 music videos …
Simon Rockman, 18 Aug 2015

Citizens denied chance to vote in local-government IT cockup

Failures in local government IT systems have threatened the legitimacy of some of today's parliamentary elections by denying large numbers of citizens a chance to vote. The scandal so far appears to be concentrated around the constituencies within Hackney London Borough Council, where voters, in their hundreds, are being …
Privacy image

Dutch DPA says government's data retention plans still illegal

The Netherlands' Data Protection Authority has criticised that government's proposed data retention legislation. The government put forward amendments to its data retention regime in response to the April 2014 European Court of Justice decision that invalidated the EU's Data Retention Directive (along the way causing trouble for …
Keyboard where return key is marked communication and to its left is a key with the Cuban flag. Copyright: xtock, Photo via Shutterstock

Cubans defy government's home internet ban with secret home-made network

Cubans are fighting back against restrictions on their use of internet with SNet, a secret network. Also known as StreetNet, it pools the resources of citizens, who are effectively prohibited from using the internet. The Washington Post reports that while the full fat internet in Cuba is government-controlled – home internet is …
Simon Rockman, 26 Jan 2015
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
Oracle Termites

Government locked into £330m Oracle contract until 2016

The Home Office is locked into a £330m mega-contract with Oracle and Fujitsu until 2016 – despite recent moves to slash costs by shifting its ERP system into a shared services centre run by French mega-integrator Steria, according to a Freedom of Information response. The contract was signed in 2009 for an Oracle E-Business …
Kat Hall, 08 Dec 2014
China

We caught Chinese technology spies RED-HANDED, claims US government

Six Chinese nationals acting as university professors and graduate students have been arrested on charges of stealing wireless technology from US firms and exporting it to the Middle Kingdom. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged the group with attempting to lift intellectual property from two Silicon Valley companies: …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2015

Working over Christmas? Government tech suppliers will be

The government’s tech procurement arm is asking suppliers to burn candles brightly over the festive season by filling in a 700-question Network Services tender after redrafting it. An OJEU contract notice for the framework, worth between £100m to £2bn over four years, was rewritten because suppliers claimed it was convoluted. As …
Paul Kunert, 22 Dec 2014
eyeofSauron

Telstra: we don't collect the metadata the government wants now

Yet again, the coaching that spooks and bureaucrats have given Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis has proven to be at odds with the realities of the telecommunications industry. In today's hearing into the government's metadata retention scheme, dominant telco Telstra said it does not retain any IP address assignments …
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
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

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
Airbus are overjoyed about having the biggest one around.

Airbus plots exit from government comms biz

Airbus is reportedly considering selling its public safety radio business, with Alcatel-Lucent and Thales apparently interested in writing a cheque to obtain the operation. Bloomberg's off-the-record briefers say that €500 million-plus business is slated for sale by the end of the current quarter. Originally formed when …
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

Why the US government reckons it should keep phone network kill-switches a secret

Analysis The US government has argued that the rules around how and when it is allowed to shutdown phone networks must remain secret because the disclosure could endanger lives. In a court filing [PDF] this week, lawyers from the Department of Justice argued that public disclosure of Standard Operating Procedure 303 (SOP 303) "would …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015

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- …

UK government says goodbye sat navs, hello Xbox, e-cigs and Spotify

Sat navs are officially dead. The UK's Office for National Statistics has dropped them from its basket of goods used to calculate inflation - a sad end to a once-leading tech product. "'Sat navs' are being removed from the basket of goods this year, partly because many drivers now navigate using smart phones, but also because …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Mar 2015

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
AeroMobil

Flying cars will take to the skies in 2017, if government allows

A Czech firm thinks it's finally solved one of the tech world's most desirable objects, the flying car, and says the first consumer vehicles will be ready to lift off by 2017, government regulations permitting. Youtube Video Speaking at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, the AeroMobil company founder Juraj …
Iain Thomson, 17 Mar 2015

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
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
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

Why Feed.Me.Pizza will never exist: Inside the world of government vetoes and the internet

The world's governments are revealing their egos and priorities by vetoing short domain names. After a row between DNS overseer ICANN and nation states, government officials have been given veto rights over two-letter domain names used with dot-word gTLDs. For example, Italy, which operates .it, doesn't want anyone buying it. …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2015
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

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

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 …

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
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