Articles about Legal

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
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Ofcom: Legal separation will force Openreach to eat more fibre

Sharon White, the boss of UK comms watchdog Ofcom, hopes plans to legally separate Openreach from BT will force it to increase its investment of two million fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) connections over the next four years. White was speaking at a briefing following the announcement by the regulator this morning that Openreach …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2016

Florida Man cleared of money laundering after selling Bitcoins to Agent Ponzi

A money-laundering case in Florida has unraveled after a judge declared Bitcoins are not a valid form of money. Judge Teresa Pooler cleared [PDF] defendant Michell Espinoza of running an unlicensed money exchange and money laundering charges on the grounds that the Bitcoins he sold to two undercover investigators were goods …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016
private investigator

Uber's dud private dick given a hard time by judge in stiff surge case

A private investigator hired by Uber potentially broke the law while digging up dirt on someone suing the taxi app biz, a New York judge has ruled. Information gathered by the dodgy sleuth cannot be used in court by Uber, the beak added. Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick were sued by New Yorker Spencer Meyer, who accused them …
Iain Thomson, 25 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

Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

The United States case against alleged Kickass Torrents (KAT) boss Artem Vaulin is built on data obtained from Apple, Facebook and Coinbase. The criminal complaint (PDF) against Vaulin details how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a lengthy online probe into the alleged …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

EFF declares anti-piracy DMCA unconstitutional in new legal showdown

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a lawsuit claiming that a controversial anti-digital-piracy law in the US is unconstitutional. Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) – which became law 18 years ago – has long been controversial due to its heavy restrictions on what people are allowed …
Kieren McCarthy, 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
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 …

Everyone's favorite infosec biz – Blue Coat – must cough up $40m to rival in patent rip-off row

Blue Coat has lost its appeal challenging a nearly $40m patent infringement lawsuit brought by rival security company Finjan. The California Northern District Court upheld the 2015 jury decision awarding $39,528,487 to Finjan for infringement by Blue Coat on five of its patents: 6,804,780 identifying downloadable files 6, …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016
Aster_fraud_Detection_Sphere

Teradata and Nuix are dancing in the dark

Teradata has teamed up with Nuix to enable customers to process "dark data" using its Aster Analytics technology. It says Aster is a more capable analytics engine than Nuix, while Nuix is a more capable data extraction and indexing engine than Aster. Combine the two and, for an eDiscover or compliance infraction detective, …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2016

Diablo 'decisive' court victory

A long-running and convoluted breach of contract lawsuit between Netlist and Diablo Technologies concerning flash DIMMS appears to be over, with Diablo prevailing over its former development partner. In a statement, Diablo's law firm McDermott Will & Emery hailed a decisive victory in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2016
Banned

WhatsApp gets another Brazilian whack as magistrate blocks it again

Update The standoff between Brazil's legal system and Facebook's WhatsApp messaging platform continues, after a Rio de Janeiro judge ordered all carriers to block the app as of next Tuesday. WhatsApp claims 100 million users in the country. While judge Daniela Barbosa has declined to publish her reasons in full, she says the order …

Correction: There was no hangman's noose, claims Hyperloop countersuit ... it was a cowboy's lasso

An extraordinary fight at tube-travel company Hyperloop One has hit warp speed with a court filing filled with more wild claims. Faced with accusations of physical threats, financial mismanagement and nepotism in a lawsuit from its former CTO Brogan BamBrogan, the company's management has fired back with a 46-page cross- …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jul 2016
Apple patent drawing

Shock: Apple patents the phone book

Apple has been granted a patent that suggests its future MacBooks will come with built-in phone hardware, giving the notebooks mobile broadband connectivity. The patent, granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, describes a method for embedding high-speed LTE hardware into the shell of a notebook computer, using the …
Shaun Nichols, 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
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

Governments Googling Google about you more than ever says Google

Google has published its latest “Transparency Report”, the disclosure in which it reveals how many times governments asked it to cough data on users. And this time around there's mixed news. In the “yikes!” column is the fact that governments asked Google for data 40,677 times between July 1 and December 31 of 2015, and asked …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2016

LTE-U vs. WiFi fight gets closer to a settlement

FCC filings by Broadcom reveal the chip-maker is still feeling bullish about the controversial LTE-U (LTE-Unlicensed) push. In a world of squeezed spectrum, US carriers are keenly watching the development of LTE-U, because it would let them borrow Wi-Fi frequencies if they're not being used. That idea is controversial because …
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

Shelfware wars should be conceded, admits Microsoft compliance boss

The UK head of Software Asset Management (SAM) and Compliance at Microsoft, Mark Bradford, admitted at a recent seminar held by one of its enterprise licensing sellers Bytes that Shelfware issues “should be conceded”. Bradford said his group, responsible for working with channel firms to perform reviews of customers, didn’t …
Martin Thompson, 18 Jul 2016

McCain: Come to my encryption hearing. Tim Cook: No, I'm good. McCain: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you

US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has thrown a hissy fit over the refusal of Apple CEO Tim Cook to attend a Senate hearing on encryption. Opening the Committee on Armed Services' hearing on cybersecurity this morning, McCain went out of his way to note that Cook has declined the senator's invitation to give testimony alongside …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2016
Privacy image

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
shutterstock_238128856_phone_theft

Gaming apps, mugging and bad case of bruised Pokéballs

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Back in the 1970s, cockney actor Mike Reid’s catchphrase on children’s TV was “Runaround – GO!!!” For the benefit of American readers... oh look, it’s too difficult to explain. However I would love to hear him shout “Pokémon – GO!!!” if only to alleviate the relentless publicity over what counts as children’s entertainment …
Alistair Dabbs, 15 Jul 2016

Server techies 'stiffed on overtime pay' banned from ganging up on HP

Hewlett-Packard has succeeded in breaking up a class-action lawsuit brought by its tech support workers who say the IT giant stiffed them on overtime pay. In an order [PDF] handed down yesterday, Judge Beth Labson Freeman said the enterprise field-support technicians can't band together against the Palo Alto goliath, and must …
Shaun Nichols, 14 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

EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

Analysis The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

IPBill During a committee stage debate in the UK's House of Lords yesterday, the government revealed that the Investigatory Powers Bill will provide any Secretary of State with the ability to force communication service providers (CSPs) to remove or disable end-to-end encryption. Earl Howe, a minister of state for defence and deputy …

Openreach boss Clive Selley wants Ofcom to wrap it up already

Interview The Sword of Damocles has not entirely disappeared from above Openreach. Earlier this year, the UK communications watchdog Ofcom stopped short of recommending a full decapitation of the British broadband provider from its parent BT. Crucially, though, it has kept the option on the table. In the next few weeks the regulator is …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016
Ben Mezrich, Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History

Russian gang who exploited hacked bank accounts jailed

Five members of an international money-laundering gang based in London have been jailed after cops unravelled their malware-enabled conspiracy. The gang, composed exclusively of Russian nationals, was led by a pair of men who were both named Aslan. Aslan Abazov, 30, of Cromwell Road, London SW7,was sentenced to seven years …

Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Lawyers for Tupperware, purveyors of the middle class plastic food containers, have written to El Reg denying it has anything to do with that nasty containerisation tech so beloved of the storage world. According to an email sent to us last week and neatly hidden from our sight by ever-vigilant spam filters, the Tupperware …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Jul 2016
Man in helmet looks uncertain, holds up shield. Photo by Shutterstock

European Commission straps on Privacy Shield

The European Commission has this morning adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, which will enter into force as soon as all member states are notified of the adequacy decision (PDF). Privacy Shield, which has been adopted after months of negotiations, is an agreement between the EU and the US which ostensibly ensures that …

Keep up the pressure on the telcos, Canada

Sysadmin Blog Bell Canada has lost their second appeal of the July 2015 decision by the CRTC requiring the opening of fibre networks by Canada's major telcos for wholesale consumption by third party ISPs. The result solidifies Canada's presence amongst the nations embracing Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) and heralds a round of massive changes in …
Trevor Pott, 12 Jul 2016

Don't doubt it, Privacy Shield is going to be challenged in court

Analysis The European Union's attempts to make data transfers to the United States compliant with privacy laws are an opaque exercise, so much is obvious, but will they work? It's clear that it is necessary to retain the Transatlantic data trade – in economic terms, but also as a means of preventing the Balkanization of the internet. …

Facebook deleted my post and made me confirm pics of my kids weren't sexually explicit

Usually when you read about Facebook blocking accounts or taking down videos it's because something serious has happened: like a woman filming her boyfriend dying at the hands of traffic cops; or someone going on a racist rant. But this morning it happened to me. Facebook informed this lowly reporter that it has removed one …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jul 2016

Google slammed over its 'free' school service

Two Swedish researchers have torn into Google's free school service, accusing the online giant of purposefully misleading users in order to continue profiting from the sale of children's data. Maria Lindh and Jan Nolin from the University of Borås have published a research paper [note: paid access] that digs into the policies …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jul 2016
Illustration of a "bitcoin" dissolving into numbers. Photo by SHutterstock

Kim Dotcom pregnant with Bitcoin's mutant offspring

Kim Dotcom running a breeding program to birth anything is not a happy thought, but the legally-contentious New Zealand resident has been doing just that in an attempt to create yet another online content locker. Dotcom has taken to his preferred medium, Twitter, to outline his plans as follows. I can tell you that Megaupload …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
stack of newspapers with a pair of ethernet cables next to them

EU votes for Privacy Shield

The EU-US Privacy Shield agreement has been agreed by representatives of the EU's Member States. Privacy Shield was constructed as a replacement for the Safe Harbor agreement which covered the transfer of EU citizens' data to the US. Safe Harbor collapsed following legal action spurred by the Snowden revelations, which …
Abstract newspaper letters

ICO smacks lying spammers

The Information Commissioner's Office had said that passing off nuisance calls as legitimate market research “will not wash”. Steve Eckersley, the head of enforcement at the ICO, has issued a "stop order" against Bolton-based Change and Save Ltd that lied to claim it was phoning people as part of a lifestyle survey – a …

Teen faces trial for telling suicidal boyfriend to kill himself via text

Analysis A teenager will stand trial for sending dozens of texts to her boyfriend encouraging him to take his own life. Massachusetts' highest court rejected an appeal from Michelle Carter's legal team that the texts to Carter Roy back in 2014 were protected under the First Amendment. She now faces an involuntary manslaughter charge …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jul 2016

Even Silicon Valley rolls its eyes as controversial Zenefits ex-CEO reveals he's back in business

It's a Silicon Valley trope, even a badge of honor, that failure is good. Fail fast, fail often. Learn from failure. There are even failure-based meetups where would-be Zuckerbergs share tales of having done miserably. But former Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad is pushing the envelope on what even Silicon Valley is willing to …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Jul 2016
Tappy phone testing machine

Huawei sues T-Mobile US: Why can't we be FRANDS with benefits?

Huawei is suing T‑Mobile US for patent infringement – claiming the American carrier's core network is reliant on its technology and yet T-Mob isn't opening its wallet. In a lawsuit filed to the notoriously plaintiff-friendly Eastern Texas District Court this week, Huawei said T‑Mobile US has been using software and hardware …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jul 2016
Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning 'suicide bid'

Imprisoned WikiLeaker Chelsea Manning has been hospitalized after what was reportedly a suicide attempt. Manning, 28, is serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking over 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables, and video of a US airstrike killing a Reuters journalist and his …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016

Ofcom is to get powers to fine mobe providers for crap service

Digital Economy Bill Communications provider Ofcom has gained powers to fine mobile operators up to £2m if they fail to comply with coverage obligations under their spectrum licence. The new penalties will be introduced under the 150-page Digital Economy Bill, which significantly boost the regulator's powers. The Bill granted the regulator powers …
Kat Hall, 06 Jul 2016

'Double speak' squawk users as Silent Circle kills warrant canary

Silent Circle has quietly euthanized its warrant canary for 'business reasons' leading privacy pundits to freak out over double negatives and double speak. The much-loved privacy company offers the hardened BlackPhone geared to business folks who want to frustrate the surveillance state and criminals. Like others, its warrant …
Darren Pauli, 06 Jul 2016

Wealthy youngsters more likely to be freetards than anyone else – study

The well-groomed throng of bourgeois protesters that shunned the weekly Waitrose shop and headed for London’s Parliament Square on Saturday had something in common other than a common desire to remain in the EU. The demographic that closely mirrors keen Remain voters is more likely to download content illegally than any other UK …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jul 2016
Cheesy pic of man holding face in shame as accusatory finger emerges from display. Photo via Shutterstock

Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

Digital Economy Bill The UK government is to lay its digital bill before Parliament today, which, among other things, is intended to create a legal right for every household to access 10Mbps broadband. Age verification will also be required for people browsing pornographic websites, supposedly for the protection of children from online porn. The …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Mind the GaaP: UK.gov needs to get a grip on digital

Analysis The UK government’s digital strategy is among the many things Brexit has put a lit match to, and, amid the current EU exit plan bunfighting, it’s unlikely to top any “Right, what the hell do we do now?” lists. Faced with the fallout from Brexit on IT systems, Whitehall technocrats will no doubt want to erect – or dust off – an …
Kat Hall, 05 Jul 2016