Articles about government

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Gov claws back £645m in BT broadband from subsidy

The government has clawed back £645m from BT under its state-subsidised superfast broadband contracts tendered in 2012. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS) has estimated 900,000 additional UK homes and businesses could gain access to speeds of 24Mbps thanks to the cash windfall. But this seems …
Kat Hall, 11 Sep 2017
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Lord Sugar phubbed in peers' debate on 'digital understanding'

Fellow peers phone snubbed (or phubbed) Lord Sugar's speech in a debate last week, which included calls for an ID card system to be resurrected and plenty of hand-wringing about the Government Digital Service. In what might sound like an oxymoron, 32 Lords stepped forward to air their thoughts in a debate brought by Baroness …
Kat Hall, 11 Sep 2017
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Shocking: Former Amazon analyst fed frat brother insider info

A former financial analyst at Amazon.com pled guilty on Thursday to securities fraud for helping a former fraternity brother trade Amazon stock based on insider information. Brett D Kennedy, 26, a resident of Blaine, Washington, acknowledged that in April 2015 he provided confidential financial information – Amazon's Q1 2015 …
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Kurat võtku! Estonia identifies security risk in almost 750,000 ID cards

The Estonian government has discovered a security risk in its ID card system, potentially affecting almost 750,000 residents. "When notified, Estonian authorities immediately took precautionary measures, including closing the public key database, in order to minimise the risk while the situation can be fully assessed and a …
Kat Hall, 5 Sep 2017

UK.gov unveils six areas to pilot full-fat fibre, and London ain't on the list

Government has revealed the first six areas in Blighty to trial speeds of 1Gbps in a £10m pilot, as previously revealed by The Register. The areas include Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. In August, the Department …
Kat Hall, 4 Sep 2017
HMRC photo via Shutterstock

80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35 – report

The vast majority of UK government IT projects are suffering delays due to freelancers quitting over the IR35 tax clampdown, according to a survey of contractors. Of 405 IT freelancers surveyed by Contractor Calculator, 79 per cent said the projects they have been working on were delayed as a result of contractors leaving. In …
Kat Hall, 4 Sep 2017
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US cops can't keep license plate data scans secret without reason

Police departments cannot categorically deny access to data collected through automated license plate readers, California's Supreme Court said on Thursday – a ruling that may help privacy advocates monitor government data practices. The ACLU Foundation of Southern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation sought to …
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Bitcoin Foundation wants US Department of Justice investigated

Spooked by prosecutions of Bitcoin sellers and pending money laundering rules, The Bitcoin Foundation on Tuesday said the cryptocurrency isn't really money and asked lawmakers to investigate the US Department of Justice's pursuit of merchants selling it. In a letter [PDF] to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Llew Claasen, the …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Aug 2017

Deputy AG Rosenstein calls for law to require encryption backdoors

The deputy US Attorney General said he wants legislators to force technology companies to decrypt people's private conversations. Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday told a crowd of over 600 police officers that software developers should be required by law to unscrambled end-to-end encrypted chatter on demand – and if the engineers …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2017

Hate it when your apartment block is locked to Comcast etc? Small ISPs fight back

A group of small ISPs is asking America's broadband watchdog to ban exclusivity deals that lock apartment buildings to a single broadband provider. Incompas, a Washington DC advocacy group for ISPs and telcos, told the FCC in a filing [PDF] that it should end the practice of landlords and building owners making deals with a …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Aug 2017
Police search

US cops point at cell towers and say: Give us every phone number that's touched that mast

US telecoms giant Verizon says police are increasingly asking it to cough up massive dumps of cellphone data rather than individual records. This according to the latest Verizon US transparency report for the first half of the 2017 calendar year. The dossier tracks government requests for phone records both of individual …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Aug 2017

Cloudflare: We dumped Daily Stormer not because they're Nazis but because they said we love Nazis

Cloudflare has explained why it made a rare exception to its strident free-speech policy in its decision to cut ties with white supremacist cesspit Daily Stormer. As noted by El Reg a few hours earlier, Cloudflare today terminated the hosting and anti-DDoS services it was providing the neo-Nazi website. After GoDaddy and …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2017
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Big legacy tech companies in UK govt start to feel pinch – report

Big legacy tech firms are finally feeling the pinch of the government's contract "disaggregation" plans, although Brexit could halt that trend - according to an annual report by analyst firm TechMarketView. BT and DXC (formerly HPE's enterprise services biz and CSC) saw a double-digit percentage drop in their government biz, …
Kat Hall, 15 Aug 2017
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UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Analysis Amazon - whose AWS business has been increasingly drumming up biz with the UK government - has once again come under fire for its tax arrangements in the Blighty. According to its Companies House filing, the firm’s corporation tax halved in 2016 to just £7.4m, on sales of £1.4bn - prompting calls from Margaret Hodge MP, former …
Kat Hall, 11 Aug 2017
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Re-identifying folks from anonymised data will be a crime in the UK

The British government is planning to impose criminal sanctions on people who intentionally re-identify individuals from data that should have protected their identities. The plans will be set out in the Blighty's Data Protection Bill – due to be introduced to Parliament next month – and could see an unlimited fine levied on …
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Slacking off? ICO probe throws up concerns over instant messaging

Even the most archaic of organisations have been swept up by the march of technology – including the British government. For some time now, that great bastion of glacially paced change has allowed its staff the rather small pleasure of communicating via instant messaging software Slack, instead of relying on reams of dreaded …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Aug 2017

Programmer's < fumble jeopardizes thousands of medical reports

A bug in code that generates medical reports could force patients in Ireland to repeat their hospital and clinic scans. The Emerald Isle's healthcare bosses have admitted a flaw in the PACS software used to store documents in its National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) causes some records to not display a single, …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Aug 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Coming soon to a Parliament near you – UK's Data Protection Bill

The UK's new legislation on data protection is to get its first airing in Parliament next month, the government has said. The Data Protection Bill, announced in the Queen's Speech at the end of June, will replace existing data protection legislation on both corporate data and data processing by law enforcement agencies. The …
Rebecca Hill, 3 Aug 2017

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