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Bond tries to decipher is tailor

Peers warn against rushing 'enhanced' DATA SLURP powers through Parliament

In the past 24 hours, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has reiterated that the Tories will once again attempt to push for large-scale surveillance of Brits' internet activity, if his party returns to Whitehall after the General Election in May. In parallel with the PM's latest efforts to gain support for more snooping powers …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 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
Alarm clock

Atlantis Computing CEO stands down

+Comment After just four months as Atlantis Technology CEO and president, Jason Donahue has left, and has been replaced by founder and now ex-chief technology officer Chetan Venkatesh. The company's management page now has Venkatesh listed as chief. Atlantis has RAM-using server and VDI virtualisation software technology products called …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2015
flames_fire_destruction

Cash-burning Box makes yet ANOTHER IPO promise

Loss-making VC muse Box.com, the cloud document storage and sharing startup, says it’s ready to make an IPO – again. Box filed its IPO statement with US regulators on Friday in preparation for going public. The nine-year-old firm is gunning for a drop of up to 12.5 million shares at a price of $12 per share. Box stands to raise …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jan 2015
channel_teaser_exit

Boss splits as Symantec UK consciously uncouples

The expected jostling for senior positions at Symantec continues ahead of the divorce between the security and storage wings, with UK boss Simon Moor exiting the business. The conscious uncoupling scheduled to occur by the end of this year – which will effectively undo the 2004 acquisition of Veritas – will leave two independent …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jan 2015
NHS Files on a desk

In the EU? Setting a 'retain that data' rule? Better comply with e-Privacy

Opinion EU countries that set their own national data retention laws must ensure those rules are in line with the EU's Privacy and Electronic Communications (e-Privacy) Directive, according to a new legal opinion. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled last April that specific EU rules on data retention by telecoms providers, set …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Jan 2015
Montage of front covers from Charlie Hebdo magazine

Paris terror attacks: ISPs face pressure to share MORE data with governments

Government ministers from European states, who met in Paris today in the wake of the atrocious attacks that stunned the French capital's population last week, have called on internet firms to do a better job of cooperating with spooks and police to help them fight terrorism. In a joint statement (PDF) from a number of Europe's …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jan 2015

Mr Cameron goes to Washington for PESKY HACKERS chinwag with Pres Obama

U.S. President Barak Obama will end his week of lobbying for more powers to fight hackers online, by hosting Britain's Prime Minster David Cameron on Thursday and Friday, when the two leaders will discuss internet security. Thwarting malefactors who attack companies' computer systems, such as the recent, devastating assault on …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jan 2015
President Obama takes selfie at Nelson mandela's funeral

So, these guys turn up with AK47s and offer me protection ...

The eXpat Files This week's expat is Lawrence Hunt, just returned from four years in South Africa, where he's had quite an adventure. Lawrence was in Nelson Mandela's home town on the day of his death and was told to leave in case ethnic cleansing got going, climbed transmission towers without a safety net, and slept in a bunk bed for months at …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jan 2015
Hacker image

Sony post-mortem: Obama lobbies for new legal powers to thwart hackers

In the aftermath of the massive hack attack on Sony Pictures – which the US government continues to insist was carried out by North Korea – President Barak Obama is expected to lobby hard for legislative overhauls to battle online threats. He will reveal those proposals early next week, an unnamed White House spokesperson told …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jan 2015
Zuckerberg new news feed

Speak your brains, Colombia – Facebook chief to walk among you soon

A no doubt carefully-selected bunch of Latin American Facebookers will get to quiz the free-content ad network's kingpin Mark Zuckerberg during his first "Townhall Q&A" session away from Menlo Park. The billionaire, copper-haired boydroid, who has been extra chatty about freedom of expression this week, will be present at a …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jan 2015
SpaceX barge landing spot

SpaceX in ROCKET HOVERSHIP PRANG: 'Close – but no cigar,' says Musk

Vid SpaceX's attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating hovership in the Atlantic Ocean ended in failure in the early hours of Saturday morning. Youtube Video Billionaire Elon Musk tweeted about his firm's efforts to recover the rocket, after lift-off and separation from the Dragon private space podule, which is now winging …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jan 2015
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Last year was utter rubbish. Thanks for being part of it!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I’m glad 2014 is over. It was rubbish. However, given the circumstances, can we have it back please? This year is worse. Not only was last year crap for many, Facebook’s algorithm oompaloopas made sure they rubbed it in by showing us graphically how crap it was via its now-notorious Year in Review fail. To be fair, all it did …
Alistair Dabbs, 10 Jan 2015

US govt opens door to Google The Cellphone Network

The US government has cleared the way for Google to become your next cellphone network provider – possibly without costing the company a pretty penny. As we revealed yesterday, the advertising giant wants to use the largely open spectrum at 3.5GHz to provide high-speed mobile data connections at low cost to phones and gadgets in …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jan 2015

When the US lets go of the keys to the internet, what about our protocols?

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has completed its part of a larger effort to move crucial behind-the-scenes internet systems away from US government control. The IETF, which develops and publishes key standards, has drawn up plans for how internet protocols should be managed in the future. These protocols rely on …
NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers

FBI fingering Norks for Sony hack: The TRUTH – by the NSA's spyboss

The head of the NSA has confirmed his agency gave the FBI top-secret intelligence that led the Feds to blame North Korea for the Sony Pictures mega-hack. The bureau has been strangely silent on how it came to finger the Nork government for the comprehensive ransacking of the Hollywood movie studio. So silent, in fact, seasoned …
Iain Thomson, 9 Jan 2015
grandma by borosjuli on Flickr

Facebook? More like FOGEYBOOK: Zuck's hangout is a cyber-retirement home

Facebook appears to be facing a mild mid-life crisis that's leaving the social networking site out of sorts with youngsters. A study from Pew Research found that the free-content ad network saw little change in its overall usage from 2013 to 2014 and that the only notable growth the site experienced on the year was among those …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jan 2015

Hey, posh boy. Fancy a £200m PHONE THREESOME?

A massive phone and network connectivity services framework between three local authorities is up for grabs, valued up to £200m over four years. A contract notice for by the procurement peeps at the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington was published this week on the Official Journal of the European Union. The tender for …
Kat Hall, 9 Jan 2015
Montage of front covers from Charlie Hebdo magazine

French Google fund to pay for 1 million print run of Charlie Hebdo next week

Money put into a fund by Google as a sweetener for French publishers during the link tax row of 2013 will be used to pay for next week’s edition of Charlie Hebdo. Following an attack by gunmen on the magazine's offices in Paris on Wednesday – in which 12 people were killed – the media world has come together to support the …
channel_teaser_exit

Hauling DRaaS: Unitrends CEO off to consulting job

+Comment Virtual server backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) startup Unitrends has lost one CEO and hired a new one. Mike Coney, CEO since November 2009, has been thanked for his valued service and Unitrends wishes him well in his next endeavour. Coney now describes himself as a CEO consultant. This CEO change follows on …
Chris Mellor, 9 Jan 2015
Boring Christmas

Happy Holidays! Misco axes ONE IN FIVE UK sales peeps: sources

Shape shifting Misco spread the cheer among its workforce in the run-up to Christmas by distributing P45s, with sources estimating that up to 20 per cent of UK sales heads rolled. The parent of the web tech bazaar, Systemax, which is trying to deal more with mid-market corporate enterprises and sell services, is cutting costs …
Paul Kunert, 9 Jan 2015
channel_partners_deal_handshake

BMC poaches 'Cloudy' Phil Harris, ex-Cisco CTO

BMC Software has dipped into Cisco for its new techie head, with the once-public systems management specialist nabbing Phil Harris as its chief technology officer. Harris has already updated his LinkedIn profile to announce the change, and replaces BMC veteran Kia Behnia, who’d been CTO since 2006 and was on sabbatical. Harris …
Gavin Clarke, 9 Jan 2015

My best bud is a billionaire: Peter Thiel jumps into bed with dope upstarts

Peter Thiel is betting big on bongs. The Paypal founder and billionaire venture capitalist has chosen to invest millions in private equity firm Privateer Holdings, which is focused on the rapidly expanding legal cannabis market. Thiel's investment firm, Founders Fund, has put the bulk of a US$75m Series B funding round into the …
Sony X85 65-inch flat panel 4K TV

Got a 4King big TV? Ready to stream lots of awesome video? Yeah, about that…

While electronics giants are showing off their internet-connected 4K TVs, most people still do not have the web bandwidth to stream stuff in ultra high-def. That's the conclusion reached by the latest quarterly report [PDF] from internet backbone-manipulation outfit Akamai, which shows that only about 12 per cent of netizens …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jan 2015

So: Will we get net neutrality? El Reg decodes FCC boss Tom Wheeler

Analysis FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has set off another frenzied storm of net neutrality speculation. At a packed session at CES on Wednesday, Wheeler was interviewed about a range of issues but most significantly over how the FCC plans to classify broadband: something that will have huge implications for internet access across the US. …

Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

Updated After Friday prayers at the Al-Jafali mosque in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, Raif Badawi will receive the first 50 lashes of his 1,000 stroke sentence for the crime of publishing blasphemy against Islam on Facebook. In May, Badawi, a father of three, was sentenced to five years in prison, and will receive 1,000 lashes to be …
Iain Thomson, 8 Jan 2015
Emily O'Reilly, European Union ombudsman

US kills EU watchdog's probe into EU cops sharing EU citizens' data

The US has blocked Europe's official ombudsman from accessing Europol documents regarding surveillance and terrorist financing – forcing the watchdog to end a probe into America's relationship with the Euro cops. Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency, and the ombudsman investigates complaints of …
chart

Peak Samsung: Bottom line walloped in Chinese mobe, slab war

Cheap slabs and smartphones from Chinese brands are taking a toll on the once seemingly unstoppable tech sales machine Samsung Electronics as it forecast a year-on-year crash in Q4 profit. The chaebol warned in a preliminary earnings guidance message that operating profit will be more than 37 per cent lighter on the same period …
Paul Kunert, 8 Jan 2015
President Putin on horseback

Ukraine PM: Hacktivists? C'mon! Russian spies attacked Gov.DE

A pro-Russian group has claimed responsibility for attacks that floored German government websites on Wednesday, although Ukraine's PM is pointing the figure at Russia itself. ‪Hacktivists from CyberBerkut‬1 blockaded the websites of the Bundestag and Chancellor Merkel's office, demanding Berlin end support for the Ukrainian …
John Leyden, 8 Jan 2015

Users shun UK.gov flagship digital service

Just a tiny proportion of people are completing the online application for a lasting power of attorney - one of the government's flagship digital services. An LPA is a legal document that allows often vulnerable individuals to appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf. Around 300,000 such applications are made each year …
Kat Hall, 8 Jan 2015

Lube company merger receiving second 'in-depth' probe

Frustrated after its initial probe into a merger between two lube companies, the UK's Competition Markets Authority wants to push deeper into the decision of the makers of Durex and K-Y to jump into bed together. The two companies agreed to make the corporate entity with one back on 10 March 2014 after Durex maker Reckitt …
Kat Hall, 8 Jan 2015

Tesco preps for Big Data Engine dump: Laters, Clubcard dev

Retail titan Tesco is investigating the sale of Dunnhumby, the big data and data science wrangler it took over in 2004, which had helped propel the supermarket to national dominance. Tesco, Britain’s largest food retailer, has confirmed it has appointed a team of strategic advisors to explore “strategic options” for Dunnhumby. …
Gavin Clarke, 8 Jan 2015
francis_maude_flames_evil

UK.gov prompt payment promise is POPPYCOCK - NAO

Government is falling short in its commitment to settle debts with SME suppliers inside 30 days, putting some cash-strapped firms at risk of making redundancies. A report by the National Audit Office revealed central government spends £40bn a year on goods and services, of which about £4.5bn is spent directly with SMEs. An …
Kat Hall, 8 Jan 2015
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Channel: IBM stamps us into the dirt in race for cloudy glory

IBM is trampling over some smaller software boutiques in the rush to pump up its cloud sales volumes, we are told. Selling tech as-a-service is one of the five strategic pillars on which Big Blue has staked its future – alongside mobile, social, big data and analytics. But, at least according to some IBM Business Partners, it …
Paul Kunert, 8 Jan 2015

Tesco tosses loss-making Blinkbox into TalkTalk's basket

Scandal-smacked Tesco has offloaded loss-making video-on-demand service blinkbox movies along with its fixed line voice and broadband biz to TalkTalk for an undisclosed cash fee. Negotiations between the pair came to light at the end of last year, and this morning TalkTalk said the buy would speed up “key initiatives” it was …
Paul Kunert, 8 Jan 2015
The European flag

EU net neutrality: Don’t worry, we’re now safely in the hands of … Latvia

EU member states will push for a “compromise” on net neutrality over the next six months, after Latvia, which took over the six-month rolling presidency of the European Council of Ministers last week, published its list of priorities for the first half of this year. Notably, it says it will seek “an overall compromise” on the so …
Sir Alan Duncan MP. Pic: DfID

BAN email footers – they WASTE my INK, wails Ctrl+P MP

Tory MP Sir Alan Duncan has begged Parliament to bring in a bill banning the reams of legal blurb at the bottom of emails in order to save precious Whitehall ink when, er, printing out one-line emails. "We have all been there. A short email comes in from a friend, colleague or company and we hit print. Then we look in horror as …
Kat Hall, 8 Jan 2015

Dread Pirate Roberts suspect's defence holed below the waterline

The judge presiding over the pretrial of alleged Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbricht has smacked down the accused's attempts to have some charges dropped ahead of the start of next week's trial. Judge Katherine Forrest's decision was given orally during December with the court stating its reasoning would be published in full, which …
Department of Homeland Security

Top senator blasts US Homeland Security for leaving cyber-drawbridge down

A member of the US Senate's Homeland Security Committee has slammed the Department of Homeland Security over America's cyber-defenses: Tom Coburn (R-OK) said the agency is failing to protect the nation's IT infrastructure despite at least $700m in funding. "The nature of cybersecurity threats – and the ability of adversaries to …
Iain Thomson, 8 Jan 2015

Australia ignores data retention in summer slack-off

The Australian federal government's strategy of conducting inquiries on a short time-scale approaching holidays is paying off in spades when it comes to data retention. The Register has already noted the government's rushed Christmas-eve questionnaire to the telecommunications industry about the costs of data retention. There's …

Intel offers big bucks for black women

CES 2015 Intel will tie executives' pay to their ability to bring more women and minorities into its workforce, CEO Brian Krzanich said in his CES keynote on Tuesday evening. He announced the chip giant will set aside $300m over the next five years to achieve equal representation "at all levels" within the company by 2020 – ensuring …
James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview

Speaking in Tech: The Interview? PAH. Nobody'd bother if the Norks had kept quiet

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise The whole crew is together again for the New Year's ep of El Reg's tech cast, hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela, with special guest Mark Twomey (aka Storagezilla) of EMC. Don't be alarmed when you start the podcast - we have a new introduction this week …
Team Register, 7 Jan 2015