Articles about Government

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

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 …
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 …
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
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

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
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
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
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

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

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- …
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

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

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

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
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
Bill Gates Reddit video

Reddit: Don't worry, we didn't tell that foreign government about your /r/brony addiction

4chan-with-karma-points Reddit has published its first dossier on government demands for users' private records – and the stupidly popular messageboard says it handed over the goods 32 times last year. According to the website's transparency report for 2014, world governments asked for Redditors' details just 55 times, peanuts …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jan 2015

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, …

Australian Government funds effort to secure wearable data pulses

Wearable health devices could feed Australians' health data into official databases to improve diagnosis under security research funded by the Federal Government. The researchers want to find ways to secure wearable consumer devices and validate the identity of users in order to enable health practitioners to trust data feeds. …
Darren Pauli, 02 Dec 2014

Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Mathematicians have been computing the value of pi for years*, but cooks have struggled to be anywhere near as exact about a certain pastry-based homophone. Now the cream of the culinary world could face the cops unless they stick to new rules about what constitutes a proper pie. A man called Bill T Wulf has launched a petition …
Jasper Hamill, 02 Dec 2014
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
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

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
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

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 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

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 …

How does the US government run the internet? This is how

The US government has posted a step-by-step guide to how it authorizes changes to the internet's root zone – the heart of the world's domain-name system. The 16-page slide deck [PDF] published by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) sheds light on what has been a …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Dec 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 …
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
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 …
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
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 …

'Security, privacy' main barrier to 'government cloud' rollout in EU

Security and privacy issues are holding back "the cloudification of governmental services" in the EU, according to a new report. The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) said concerns about how sensitive data is protected in a cloud computing environment have not been resolved. It said data security …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Mar 2015
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 …

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 …