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Uber delivery person

MPs draft bill to close loopholes used by 'sharing economy' employers

A draft UK law bill intended to close loopholes in so-called "gig economy" employment practices has been published today by Parliament's Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committees. The joint report and draft bill is intended to address the use bogus "self-employment" status as a route to …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2017

Boffins befuddled over EU probe into UK's tax rules for multinationals

Experts are mystified as to why the European Commission has launched a probe into the UK tax arrangements of multinationals. Last week the commission opened an investigation into a UK government scheme it claims exempts large companies from anti-tax avoidance measures, believing the dispensation may break EU competition rules …
Kat Hall, 30 Oct 2017

UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

The government is poised to usher in mandatory porn checks this week, with reports it will require users to provide details from a credit card to prove they are over 18. The legislation was introduced in the Digital Economy Act in April, and will require websites serving up adult content to verify users' ages or be blocked by …
Kat Hall, 17 Jul 2017

EU ministers approve anti-hate speech video rules

European Union ministers have approved new rules for video that will oblige Facebook, Google, Twitter and others to remove hate speech and sexually explicit videos online or face stiff fines. "We need to take into account new ways of watching videos, and find the right balance to encourage innovative services, promote European …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 May 2017
washington

Democrats draft laws in futile attempt to protect US internet privacy

Less than a week after President Trump signed the law allowing ISPs to sell customers' browsing habits to advertisers, Democratic politicians are introducing bills to stop the practice. On Thursday, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) submitted a bill [PDF] that would enshrine the FCC privacy rules proposed during the Obama …
Iain Thomson, 6 Apr 2017
Facebook Lite app

US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

A newbie congressman has floated his first ever US law bill – one that demands visitors to America hand over URLs to their social network accounts. House Rep Jim Banks (R-IN) says his proposed rules – dubbed the Visa Investigation and Social Media Act (VISA) of 2017 – require visa applicants to provide their social media …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Feb 2017

UK govt admits it pulled 10-year file-sharing jail sentence out of its arse

Exclusive The UK government's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has admitted it simply made up an official justification for 10-year jail sentences for copyright-infringing file sharers. In response to a freedom of information request by The Register asking for details on the "unpublished research" that was cited in defense of the …
Robot eye opens. Image via Shutterstock

MP wants to stitch 'digital' misuse laws into one bill

An MP has urged the government to consolidate the current 31 pieces of legislation touching on the misuse of digital devices into a single bill in order to tackle the growing number offences. Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru MP, brought the Criminal Offences (Misuse of Digital Technologies and Services) (Consolidation) private …
Kat Hall, 10 Mar 2016

Dumping chapter and verse on someone's private life online may be outlawed in Utah

Legislators in Utah have proposed a law that would bring serious criminal penalties for those who post others' private information online with the intent to harass. HB 225 would amend the state's existing cybercrime laws to add provisions against the distribution of personal information. The bill, floated by state …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Feb 2016

Strict new EU data protection rules formally adopted by MEPs

Strict new rules forcing companies to pay four per cent of their global turnover in fines if they breach the European Union's data protection regulations have today been formally agreed. The legislation will create a uniform set of rules across the EU "fit for the digital era," said the EU in a press release. It said they …
Kat Hall, 17 Dec 2015
Joanna Shields, former CEO of Tech City UK

'Govt will not pass laws to ban encryption' – Baroness Shields

The government has "no intention" of introducing legislation to weaken encryption, minister for internet safety and security Baroness Shields told the House of Lords in the wake of the TalkTalk cyber attack debacle. The debate was brought by Liberal Democrat Lord Strasburger, who claimed Cameron "does not seem to get" the need …
Kat Hall, 28 Oct 2015
Congress

Hey techies! Ever wanted to adopt a Congresscritter? Now's your chance

A former US congressional staffer has created a campaign to put people with technology backgrounds in a position to work with US lawmakers. The Tech Congress fellowship would put people with backgrounds in computer science and engineering on Capitol Hill working with members of congress and congressional committees to help …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Oct 2015

If hackers can spy on you all then so should we – US Senator logic

Following the cyber-attack during which dossiers on four million US government employees were stolen from Uncle Sam's servers, staggering out of the smoldering blast crater is Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). And he's not happy. In his soot-covered hand is a copy of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), and this week, …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jun 2015

NSA-restraining US law edges closer to reality, leaves just 6.81 billion under mass surveillance

A law bill to mildly curb the NSA's blanket surveillance of innocent Americans has taken an important step toward being passed. On Thursday, the US House of Representatives' justice committee voted 25 to two in favor of a revised version of the USA Freedom Act – the original was killed last year in the Senate. Now it's …
Iain Thomson, 1 May 2015

'Aaron's Law' back on the table to bring sanity to US hacking laws

The so-called "Aaron's Law," named after the late activist Aaron Swartz, is back before US Congress having been reintroduced on Wednesday in both houses. Silicon Valley rep Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and tech-savvy senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) have put the legislation on the table a second time after it was effectively ignored last …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Apr 2015
Sleeper

Legalising London's bed-hopping economy is POINTLESS

Exclusive There is no evidence to support claims that London residents have been fined for using sites such as Airbnb, despite moves by the government to push through headline-grabbing "sharing economy" legislation, El Reg can reveal. Last month, the government announced it would introduce an amendment to allow London residents to use …
Kat Hall, 12 Mar 2015
Obama outlines NSA reforms

Mr President, is this a war on hackers – or a war on people stopping hackers?

Analysis This week, President Obama unveiled three new fronts in his war on scary computer hackers – but so far very few people are impressed, and a lot of folks are very worried about the direction he is taking. Obama outlined three areas he is looking to concentrate on in the coming legislative session: better information sharing …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jan 2015
Pwned

Had a data breach? Well, SPEAK UP, big biz – Obama

The White House is lobbying Congress to pass a breach disclosure law, forcing firms to admit security breaches within 30 days in cases where customer data has leaked. The legislative push comes in the wake of high-profile breaches at retailers including Target and Home Depot, highlighting a lack of uniform breach disclosure …
John Leyden, 12 Jan 2015

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