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GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

GCHQ, police to team up to hunt down child abuse on the darknet

GCHQ is to team up with the UK's National Crime Agency to target paedophiles sharing child abuse images on the "dark net". The as-yet-unnamed unit will focus on developing technology capable of scouring the underbelly of the internet for child abuse-related chat and image exchanges. It will also focus on the most prolific …
John Leyden, 11 Dec 2014

Car-crash IT: HUGE write-off for Universal Credit - PAC

Just £34m of IT investment will be re-usable from more than £600m spent on the Universal Credit car-crash IT programme "if" a digital version of the system ever arrives, a Public Accounts Committee hearing has indicated. "The truth is of what we've invested in live, only £34m will go over to digital," said PAC chair Margaret …
Kat Hall, 11 Dec 2014
eBay

eBay planning massive job cuts following PayPal split – report

Holiday good cheer may be short-lived for eBay employees this year, many of whom could reportedly lose their jobs not long after the Christmas shopping season. According to The Wall Street Journal, the online tat bazaar is considering cutting as much as 10 per cent of its workforce in the New Year, with most of the 3,000 layoffs …
Neil McAllister, 11 Dec 2014
Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff's coders jailed for role in $65bn ponzi scheme fiasco

Two software developers who helped notorious crook Bernie Madoff pull off an $18bn fraud will each spend up to the next two and a half years behind bars. At a hearing in New York on Wednesday, US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain sentenced George Perez, 48, for his role in Madoff's infamous ponzi scheme – arguably the largest …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2014
management regulation1

China's smartmobe darling Xiaomi locked out of India

Simmering tensions over smartphone patents in India are heating up, with a court smacking down Chinese mobe-maker Xiaomi following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson. The Delhi High Court granted Ericsson an ex parte injunction against the Chinese vendor, according to intellectual property blog Spicy IP, because Xiaomi had …

Merry Xmas, Neohapsis, here's your Cisco-dollars

Cisco is beefing up its security intelligence-gathering, snapping up privately-held advisory Neohapsis for an undisclosed sum. Neohapsis is a Chicago-based security advisory and bug archivist outfit, and will boost Cisco's risk management, compliance, cloud, application, mobile and infrastructure security offerings, according to …
An abandoned Telstra facility on the Stuart Highway

SURPRISE: Oz gov gives itself room to NEVER finish the NBN

The Vertigan panel's report on telecoms regulation in Australia was delivered in October and was mostly ignored by the nation's federal government, but the document has provided a fig-leaf for the abandonment of last year's pre-election promise* to complete the network (albeit with different technologies). According to the …
Road closed

Alleged Silk Road boss's lawyers want murder-for-hire evidence blocked from trial

Attorneys representing Ross Ulbricht – the alleged mastermind behind the Silk Road online drugs souk – have asked a New York court to bar evidence that Ulbricht sought to have six people killed, claiming it would unfairly prejudice the jury in his upcoming narcotics trafficking trial. Prosecutors have alleged that Ulbricht, …
Neil McAllister, 11 Dec 2014
gTLD graphic

Wanna buy a dot-word? If you want a .pizza the action, now's a chance

Roundup Everyone loves pizza. Even though the industry is responsible for cluttering millions of people's mailboxes with flyers, you'll still take a look and think about ordering one. Well, expect to see one minor change in those flyers from now on – the addition of new .pizza domain names – thanks to the launch of the internet registry …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2014

Net neutrality: Cisco, Intel, IBM warn FCC NOT to crack down on ISPs

More than 60 technology companies, from Cisco to Intel and IBM, have asked the FCC not to tighten the rules on what ISPs can do with web traffic and subscribers' bills. Specifically, the IT giants do not want the US watchdog to reclassify ISPs as "Title II" providers, a classification championed by some net neutrality advocates …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Dec 2014

US Congress in cash freeze bid to DERAIL global DNS handover

US Congress has attempted to stall ceding control of the world's domain-name system – by defunding the government department responsible. The crucial IANA contract to provide global DNS, allocate IP addresses, and so on, is due to expire in 2015. ICANN runs those IANA functions for the American government under that contract. …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Dec 2014

EU bangs drum over its openness rules – from which it is exempt

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) might be all about privacy, but has warned politicians and public figures it will not be helping protect their dodgy deals. The EDPS’ new guidelines for public bodies encourage EU institutions to balance transparency in the interests of the public against the data protection rights …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Dec 2014

Tech Data jumps into Dell's corporate hot tub

Dell is finally falling for the charms of the largest volume disties after signing up Tech Data in parts of mainland Europe ahead of extending the deal to Blighty from next month, or so say multiple sources. The one-time direct selling purist did the distie dance with Ingram across the region earlier this year, and got jiggy …
Paul Kunert, 10 Dec 2014
BBC Testcard

The Great Unwatched: BBC hails glorious digital future for Three

+Comment The BBC's director general Tony Hall hailed a great digital future for the little-watched terrestrial channel BBC3 today. The BBC wants to move it to the internet to save money, and has submitted the proposals for rubber-stamping by the BBC Trust. The channel's budget has been cut from £55m to £30m, but TV programme expenditure …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Dec 2014
Downing Street road sign

Firms will have to report OWN diverted profits under 'Google Tax' law

Under the so-called "Google tax" regime due to come in next year, multi-nationals will have to "self-report" any diverted profits to HMRC and then defend their own activities, according to draft legislation on the Diverted Profits Tax published today. Last week chancellor George Osborne pledged to slap a 25 per cent tax on …
Kat Hall, 10 Dec 2014

Pricey buys pay off for shape-shifting Alternative Networks

Revving up the acquisition engine got previously misfiring B2B comms and tech outfit Alternative Networks' top line motoring again, but some resulting cost hikes dampened the bottom line. The AIM-listed firm reported a 20 per cent sales bounce to £137.8m for the year ended September, and it returned to organic growth, albeit at …
Paul Kunert, 10 Dec 2014

MPs in SHOCK discovery: G-Cloud yet to impact govt SME biz

Just 27 per cent of MPs believe the G-Cloud has enabled small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to more easily access the UK government's notoriously closed ICT market, according to a survey of MPs and peers. By contrast, peers were more encouraging, with 52 per cent believing the programme has improved SME access - although many …
Kat Hall, 10 Dec 2014

Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

Worstall on Wednesday The latest fundraising for Uber seems to peg the value just north of $40 billion. Which is, when you think about it, quite a hefty sum for what is, after all, just a registry of hireable people with cars. Sure, we're talking 50 countries now, 250 cities, but it's still about taxi rides. And it's a competitive market. There're …
Tim Worstall, 10 Dec 2014

21st century data protection: Get back up to date

Live today Register now to watch our live webcast today, where we explain why your backup and recovery processes need to adapt to way you work today, and how to do it. Watch this live event today at 11:00 GMT - if you can't make it, just sign up and we will email you when the recording is available. Handy synopsis for you You admit to us …
David Gordon, 10 Dec 2014

Fujitsu boss: UK's 2015 elections won't make any difference to us

Interview The UK government is unlikely to make any drastic changes to its IT acquisition strategy no matter who scrambles into Number 10 next May, the European boss of public sector IT giant Fujitsu predicts. Yet the Japanese-owned firm is still striving to ramp up its private sector business as part of its worldwide restructure put in …
Joe Fay, 10 Dec 2014

DoJ's extra-territorial data demands: now Ireland is baulking

The American Department of Justice's legal spat with Microsoft keeps sending out wider ripples, with Ireland now unhappy with the DoJ's blasé attitude about its jurisdictional reach. Microsoft has long been resisting a court order that decided e-mails are “business records” and demanding that Redmond pry open some servers in …
australia

Australia to block piracy sites if Big Content asks nicely in court

Australia will join the ranks of nations that ask local internet service providers block access to sites suspected of illegally distributing copyrighted material. The nation's attorney-general George Brandis and communications minister Malcolm Turnbull today revealed their intention to “amend the Copyright Act, to enable rights …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Dec 2014
Steve Jobs and Air

Apple lawyers fight to silence dead Steve Jobs: 'No right' to hear him from beyond the grave

Apple's lawyers are trying to suppress video footage of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, shown as evidence in an ongoing iTunes antitrust battle. Bloomberg, CNN and the Associated Press have asked a court in Oakland, California, to publicly release the deposition, which was recorded six months before the iThing supremo lost his fight …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Dec 2014
A sinking ship

The Pirate Bay SUNK: It vanishes after Swedish data center raid

Torrent search engine and copyright-infringement poster child The Pirate Bay fell offline worldwide on Tuesday – reportedly after cops raided a data center in Stockholm, Sweden. The site remained unavailable for much of the day, only reemerging in the late hours with a new URL using the top-level domain for Costa Rica. It's …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2014

Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

A mother and daughter are suing Comcast claiming the cable giant's router in their home was offering public Wi-Fi without their permission. Comcast-supplied routers broadcast an encrypted, private wireless network for people at home, plus a non-encrypted network called XfinityWiFi that can be used by nearby subscribers. So if …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Dec 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Telstra's NBN boondoggle nearly set in stone: reports

Reports are emerging that the builder of Australia's national broadband network, NBN Co, has all-but struck a deal with Telstra over access to last-mile copper, plus a separate arrangement to absorb the country's cable broadband networks. The deals are reportedly so advanced they'll be tabled at a cabinet meeting, perhaps even …
eagle crying

Keep your court orders to YOURSELF – human rights chief slaps US

A European human rights watchdog says companies are being pressured into acting as the internet’s unofficial cops. Nils Muižnieks – the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights – has published an "issue paper", raising alarm bells about “privatised law enforcement, suspicion-less mass data retention, cross-border …

Tech titans lob $25m at 'social' business Change.org

Petition platform Change.org has raised $25m from a range of tech luminaries, including Bill Gates and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. The website, which calls itself a “social enterprise” but is not a non-profit, said it had raised the funds to help mobile development of the site and help users to create more localised …

One-click, net-modelled UK copyright hub comes a step closer

Britain's experiment in "making copyright work like the internet" reached beta stage on Tuesday following a deal with a major picture library which gives developers half a million photos to work with. The non-profit, open source Copyright Hub is designed to bring about one-click licensing of relatively low-value digital works, …
Sad Anonymous

Do you even know who your customers ARE?

On demand Register now to watch our on-demand webcast about why you need large-scale identity management for digital interaction with your customers and how it should be done. Our Reg panel went through exactly who needs to be involved in this business discussion and decision, plus they have practical advice for how you can sell it to …
David Gordon, 9 Dec 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Amazon comes over all eBay with new ‘make an offer’ facility

Amazon is making a bid to steal customers from online marketplaces such as eBay with a new option to “make an offer” on items. The firm is introducing the option on Amazon.com for folks to offer a lower price for products in the fine arts and collectibles sections initially, and will then be expanding the service to other items …
Sky2

'I don't NEED to pay' to watch football, thunders EU digi-czar

Europe’s new digital chief’s passion for ending geo-blocking has been explained: he’s missing out on his beloved Estonian football. The European Commission’s VP for the digital economy and former Estonian prime minister, Andrus Ansip, has reiterated his determination to end so-called geo-blocking in every speech he has made …
Tad_HUnt_climber

Hunt the RAID killer: Exablox builds object storage that isn't

Exablox was cofounded by a video-making, rock-climbing CTO intent on killing RAID. El Reg got a closer look at Exablox by attending a press tour at its HQ last week and looking deeper into its object storage-based filer. Co-founder and CTO Tad Hunt explained that he became frustrated with filer performance while taking time out …
Chris Mellor, 9 Dec 2014

Put me through to Buffy's room, please. Sony hackers leak stars' numbers, travel aliases

The group which claimed responsibility for hacking Sony Pictures has leaked the phone numbers and travel aliases of Hollywood stars including Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig and Natalie Portman, according to a recent report. This latest development will likely pile extra pressure on the comprehensively pwned entertainment giant. …
John Leyden, 9 Dec 2014
Downing Street road sign

Must diarise: UK.gov Verify ID system will 'definitely' work by 2016

The government insists it will meet its 2016 deadline for all digital services to be underpinned by its gaffe-prone identity assurance system, GOV.UK Verify – despite having failed to move off the increasingly vulnerable Gateway system. By March 2016 the Government Digital Service intends all departments to have integrated …
Kat Hall, 9 Dec 2014
Police pursue JCB

EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

No, your car won’t be spying on you, say MEPs, but it will call you an ambulance should you need it. The European Parliament has reached a deal with national ministers to introduce a mandatory “eCall” system for all new cars from April 2018. However, although the system would automatically call the 112 emergency number in the …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Grooveshark to sink its teeth again into Pandora (legally this time)

Embattled Grooveshark is promising to launch a music-streaming service next year that will, for a change, be fully legit and safe from copyright lawsuits. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, CEO Sam Tarantino said that next year his biz will launch a paid-for service designed to compete with Pandora. The service, …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Dec 2014

Microsoft tries to defend Irish servers from US g-men invasion, again

Microsoft is continuing its battle against US demands that it hand over e-mail data stored in Ireland, arguing in its appeal that the US government would resist any demand by a foreign government that it hand over data stored in America. Detailed at Digital Constitution, the Microsoft brief filed on December 8 puts the …

Sacre block! French publishers to sue Adblock maker – report

French publishers are reportedly planning to sue Eyeo, the makers of AdBlock Plus, over the upstart's practice of charging money to allow online adverts to pass through its filter software. According to L'Echos, the lawsuit is being considered by the French Internet Advertising Bureau and GESTE, a French publishers and content …
Iain Thomson, 9 Dec 2014

Portland lobs fair-trade gluten-free artisan SUEBALL at Uber

The US city of Portland, Oregon, is suing taxi-booking app maker Uber for operating unlicensed cabs. Officials with the city's Board of Transportation said on Monday that it was going to court in order to enforce its regulations on for-hire car companies: for one thing, it's claimed Uber needs a license to run a taxi company in …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Dec 2014

US Ass. Commerce Sec hits back at claims global DNS is DOOMED

US Assistant Commerce Secretary Larry Strickling – the man in charge of the critical IANA contract that keeps the internet glued together – has embarked on a war of words with Wall Street Journal columnist Gordon Crovitz. In a letter to the newspaper, Strickling took issue with Crovitz's column last week headlined Halfway to …

Internet cash-point boss says 'no thanks' to ICANN's web power grab

Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown has rebuffed efforts to get her onside a controversial new body that plans to steer the internet. Despite a series of private meetings with the ICANN-backed NetMundial Initiative (NMI), Brown noted in a blog post on Monday: "It is fair to say that issues, including the need for the NMI Council, …