Articles about Government

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 …
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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

DDoS trends: Bigger, badder but not longer

DDoS attacks once again escalated in both size and frequency during the first six months of 2016. Netscout's DDoS mitigation arm Arbor Networks warns that attacks greater than 100Gbps are far from uncommon. The security firm has monitored 274 attacks over 100Gbps in the first half of 2016, versus 223 in all of 2015. The …
John Leyden, 19 Jul 2016
Ambulance

UK South East Coast Ambulance slammed for creaking emergency dispatch IT

Ambulance service union the GMB has called for an urgent review of the UK's South East Coast Ambulance’s computerised dispatch system for control centre staff handling emergency calls. The union says staff have reported constant loading errors and regular system crashes that leave dispatchers unable to answer calls, contact …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2016

Top IT bod Sally Howes leaves the UK's National Audit Office

Sally Howes, the executive lead at the UK National Audit Office responsible for working with departments on their IT programmes, has stepped down after six years in the role. Howes joined the NAO in 2010 as a director, and was appointed executive leader with responsibility for digital and innovation in 2013. She also oversaw …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

UK 'emergency' bulk data slurp permissible in pursuit of 'serious crime'

Bulk collection of data from phone calls and emails by carriers acting under government orders could be permissible in the pursuit of “serious crime”. That’s the preliminary ruling in a case brought by Brexit chief minister David Davis against PM Theresa May before the European Union’s highest court. The ruling suggests bulk …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Jul 2016

Australia gets one-quarter of a minister for national infosec

If you were hoping tech would get some kind of boost in the Turnbull government's third ministry, prepare for disappointment. Mitch Fifield retains communications, and Fiona Nash remains minister for regional communications – which at least means the telcos don't have to spend the time and energy getting to know capturing …
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US gov open data, code push

The White House has set a deadline of September 15 for all US government departments to post details of their "open government" plans. The letter [PDF] from the country's chief technology officer Megan Smith and chief information officer Tony Scott requires all departments to post what they are doing with a host of open …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016

For $800 you can buy internet engineers' answer to US government spying

The long-awaited response from internet engineers to Edward Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance by the US government has been launched in Berlin. The CrypTech project launched an alpha prototype of its open-source crypto-vault at the 96th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and held a two-day workshop …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
Study Confirms High Effectiveness of Low Speed Autonomous Emergency Braking

What will laws on self-driving cars look like? Think black boxes and 'minimum attention'

The recent high-profile crash of a Tesla driving in Autopilot mode has sparked a rush to develop new laws for self-driving cars. Just as there is a race on in the engineering departments of many large car companies to develop autonomous car technology, so legislators are working fast to develop the rules to cover it. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
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UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

The closure of the UK government's Department of Energy & Climate Change should result in a major rethink of the organisation's shambolic and costly £11bn Smart Meter programme, campaigners have urged. Last week DECC was merged with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to form the newly anointed Department of …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
Three cows image via Shutterstock

Ed Vaizey booted to backbench, Hancock booted to DCMS

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May's reshuffle last week resulted in higher pile of bodies than a Game of Thrones wedding. Among a number of big hitters to be axed, including George Osborne, was digital and cultural minister Ed Vaizey. Vaizey had held that position since 2010 and is succeeded by former Cabinet Office minister …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
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£19.5m for quantum tech

Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have pledged to invest £19.5m to support quantum technology projects. The funding competition launches today and is aimed at businesses, although partnerships with academia are allowed. The registration deadline is 28 September. The government have defined …
Katyanna Quach, 18 Jul 2016
Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

Brexit has left a regulatory black hole for digital, say MPs

Brexit has left the UK peering into a digital regulatory void, according to MPs. The government must provide greater clarity on digital regulation and ensure it stays on track in light of the EU referendum result, the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee finds in a report published today (PDF). Issues that …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2016
drone

AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

Vid AT&T is planning to rapidly expand its use of drones – it can already put one of the gizmos in the air virtually anywhere over continental United States. Speaking at its Shape tech expo in San Francisco on Friday, Art Pregler, AT&T's drone program director, said the telco giant is using the flying gadgets to augment its 20,000 …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016

Coup-Tube: Turkey blocks social networks amid military takeover

Access to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter is blocked in Turkey tonight amid an ongoing attempted military coup in the NATO nation. The cyber-blockade has failed to prevent pictures from the unfolding uprising spilling onto the internet, though. An intervention by a faction of the country's armed forces is underway right now as …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016
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Cloud giants demand overhaul of America's privacy rules on overseas servers

Technology trade organizations have urged the US Congress to replace the country's antique privacy protection laws – after a New York court stopped American prosectors from seizing emails from servers offshore in Ireland. A Second Circuit Court in the so-called "Irish Warrant" case, brought by Microsoft against the US …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
Defeated-looking young man puts his head against table in front of laptop and pile of papers in conference room. Pic via Shutterstock

IPO spews email addresses to hundreds of recipients. Twice

The department entrusted with the protection of corporate data is seemingly somewhat less bothered when it comes to guarding personal info. The Intellectual Property Office yesterday made the classic schoolboy error of sending out an email containing hundreds of recipients in the 'to' field. Realising its blunder minutes …
Kat Hall, 15 Jul 2016

Security gurus get behind wheel of driverless car debate

Security experts have already waded into the UK government's consultation into self-driving technologies. The two month session comes against a backdrop of increasing concerns about connected cars. Infosec vendors argue security needs to be considered alongside other issues such as changes to driving regulations (the Highway …
John Leyden, 15 Jul 2016

Successful fintech: UK has some, but it's not in Silicon Roundabout

Open up the business pages of any national newspaper and much of the coverage is focused on the latest fintech startup, the marvel that will transform the global financial system, backed – inevitably – by big name venture capital firms. But is this obsession with fintech deserved? A cool analysis of the phenomenon long term …
Marcus Gibson, 15 Jul 2016
Autopilot

Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Tesla is misleading drivers about the efficacy of its Autopilot feature and is putting lives at risk, according to Consumer Reports. The automaker's autopilot system, when engaged, is supposed to control the speed of the vehicle and its distance from other rides and objects – but it's more of a super-cruise-control than a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016

Google quietly takes gag off Mississippi AG after wrecking ads probe

Google has, without fanfare, dropped its legal action that muzzled an investigation into the ad giant's conduct by the State of Mississippi. The state's elected attorney general, Democrat Jim Hood, has taken on Wall Street, the tobacco industry and the KKK, but even he must have been surprised by Google's 44-page restraining …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

Updated Microsoft has won a landmark legal action against the US government over protecting the privacy of non-US citizens on non-US servers. The appeals court decision invalidates a key legal tool the US government uses to apply extraterritorially. The software company voluntarily put itself in contempt of court by challenging Uncle …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016