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STILL no move by Brit data cops over Google's 2012 privacy slurp

Britain's data cops are still investigating Google's sneaky privacy policy tweak from last year, even though many of its counterparts elsewhere in Europe have already taken action against the advertising giant. On Monday, Italy's regulator warned Google that it had 18 months to comply with the Rome's demands or else face fines …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jul 2014

Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Consumer takeup of network-level filters offered by the UK's biggest ISPs remains sluggish, with customers largely declining to censor internet content on their home connections even when prompted, an Ofcom report revealed today. The regulator found (PDF) that very few subscribers opt to turn on so-called parental controls. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jul 2014
Electronic waste dump in China

Home Office threw £347m in the bin on failed asylum processing IT project

The Home Office frittered away hundreds of millions of taxpayer pounds on a botched tech project designed to manage immigration and asylum applications, a National Audit Office report has revealed. The "flagship" IT programme, the Immigration Case Work computer system, was launched in 2010 to replace fragmented systems and pull …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2014

ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US

Seagate and LSI are off the hook for infringing Taiwanese firm Realtek’s semiconductor patents after the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Realtek can't enforce its rights without a local presence. Realtek had accused Avago-owned LSI and Seagate back in 2012 of violating its patent on a way of making an …

Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

The definition of terrorism in current UK law is too broad and should be narrowed to avoid "catching" journalists, bloggers and hate criminals, a top lawyer said today. David Anderson QC, who is Britain's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, argued during an interview on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme this morning …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jul 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

iiNet says metadata retention means a great big tax on everything

Australian internet service provider (ISP) iiNet has delivered a stinging rebuttal to its home nation's plans to introduce far-reaching data retention laws. iiNet became famous after it was targeted by Big Content's lawyers, who alleged it should have taken allegations of copyright abuse by its subscribers as gospel. After many …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2014
The Satellite Dish at the Jameson Earth Station

NBN Co extends satellite scheme

NBN Co has announced that 9,000 more premises in remote Australia will be offered satellite services. The NBN Co Satellite Support (NSS) Scheme is an interim operation until dedicated satellites go aloft. In the meantime, NBN Co has used third-parties to provide connectivity to remote users, but ran out of capacity. The outfit …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2014

You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

A UK government-backed scheme to curtail the widespread use of pirated copies of music, television and film has officially been launched and - as expected - comes without any harsh penalties being threatened against persistent offenders. Instead, millions of pounds of taxpayers' money has been chucked at an education programme …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jul 2014

US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account

A US judge has ruled that the Feds can have access to a Gmail user’s entire account to search for evidence in a money laundering case, a decision which clashes with at least two other recent rulings on email privacy. New York District Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said in an opinion that email accounts were the same as hard drives as …

Data retention: ASIO says Web browsing habits would need a warrant

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has renewed its call for Australia to implement a data retention regime, with director-general David Irvine telling a Senate committee that it's asking for nothing that doesn't already happen, and promising that it will treat Web browsing differently to e-mail …
management regulation2

Brandon Gray aka Namejuice suspended by ICANN

An accused domain slammer with an international footprint has been temporarily suspended by ICANN, more than a decade after the first complaints about its operations. Brandon Gray Internet Services is accused by ICANN of letting its resellers mine whois for registrant data, which would be used to send “your domain is about to …
European Union Flag

Europe: Apple could NOT care less about kids' in-app cash sprees

The European Commission has put Apple on the naughty step over its apparent failure to tackle costly in-app purchases. But the EU body gave Google top marks for the suggestions it put forward. On the back of mounting complaints, the EC earlier this year invited both companies for a chat about the way games and other apps can …
Paul Kunert, 18 Jul 2014

EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'

EU countries appear to be divided on how to implement a recent European Court of Justice ruling that calls on Google and other search engines to remove certain links from their indexes. The 28-state bloc's independent data protection advisory board - the Article 29 working party - met on Tuesday to discuss how removal requests …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Jul 2014

Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

The European Union government in recent years has proven to be perhaps the most willing to take on the world's major tech companies over digital rights and wrongs. But that could come to an end if planned measures allowing companies to sue governments for lost profits are implemented as part of the next EU-US trade agreement. A …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Jul 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

British cops used a new facial recognition system to snare a shoplifting suspect whom they say was automatically identified due to his resemblance to criminal relatives, The Register has learned. In a development that may strike fear into members of well-known underworld families, Leicestershire plod told us a new system called …
Jasper Hamill, 18 Jul 2014
Credit: IGNACIO LEONARDI http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1118608

NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'

Edward Snowden has given an interview to The Guardian from his Russian hideout and warned that, among other things, those naked selfies people send to their loved ones are common currency among NSA staff. "You've got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22 years old. They've suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2014

Writing about an Australian Snowden would land Vulture South in the clink

Comment Australia isn't just passing a spooks' charter: it's creating a regime in which journalists would be as much at risk as the whistle-blowers whose efforts they chronicle. Here's the bill, and here's the explanatory memorandum. In spite of Attorney-General George Brandis' insistence that the government doesn't intend to target …
Credit: Sony/Eon/MGM

UK.gov's data grab and stab law IMMINENT as Drip drips through House of Lords

A controversial data retention and investigatory powers bill (Drip) that has been quickly shoved through Parliament by the Tory-led Coalition government looks set to become law after peers in the House of Lords waved it through without challenge. The bill's passage followed less than two days of debate in the upper chamber, …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jul 2014

OK, EU chiefs, 3 years of copyright wrangling - let's get it sorted. Now this white paper... DOH!

+Comment Europe’s copyright reform process has stalled after a dispute between European commissioners – and reportedly some intense pressure from Silicon Valley’s “Third Senator”, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. The current reform process got going in May 2011 with a “blueprint” for IP rights reform, kicking off a long and cautious …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014

Ex-despot Noriega sues: How dare Call of Duty make me look like, like...

Brutal former Central American dictator Manuel Noriega is mimicking a Hollywood starlet by launching legal proceedings against a computer games designer for using his likeness in a popular franchise. Noriega is suing Activision for "blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain" of his image in …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Jul 2014

FORGOTTEN Bing responds to search index ECJ ruling: Hello? Remember us?

Microsoft's neglected search engine Bing - which commands a tiny 2.5 per cent share in the European Union, where Google dominates the market - has finally created a mechanism for netizens to submit requests to have certain links removed from its index. It comes after a recent European Court of Justice ruling required search …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jul 2014
francis_maude_flames_evil

NAO slaps down Cabinet Office gov-IT savings claims AGAIN

There are lies, damned lies and Cabinet Office statistics which give the impression that the Efficiency and Reform Group are achieving much more dramatic ICT savings than they actually are. Or so says a National Audit Office report, which again criticised the processes used to calculate how much money Government Digital Services …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jul 2014
Typewriter image

German NSA probe chief mulls spy-busting typewriters

Germany's government has mulled a return to typewriters in a bid to evade US spy agencies, according to the head of the nation's National Security Agency inquiry. The incredible decision came in response to a torrent of allegations that the NSA had spied on the German agencies and parties including Chancellor Angela Merkel. It …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jul 2014
Map showing Narrabri in NSW

Supposed 'leader' of LulzSec pleads guilty to hacking, hubris

Matthew Flannery, once paraded by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as the “leader” of international hacking collective LulzSec, has pleaded guilty to the five remaining charges against him, in Gosford Local Court. Flannery has waited since April 2013 to have the case settled. He is to be sentenced at a later date. At the …
eyeofSauron

Australia gets spooks' charter, new leak penalties

Australia's government has introduced its “spooks' charter” to parliament, wheeling ASIO chief David Irvine in front of a press conference to convince Australians of deadly threats to their liberty that justify the erection of a surveillance state. The new legislation introduces a single warrant covering networks of computers ( …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

ACCC should be regulated: Vertigan NBN review

The first slab work by the Vertigan panel, the group assembled to conduct a cost/benefit analysis of Australia's National Broadband Network (NNB), has landed and suggests the industry is happier with dealing with NBN Co than it is with the Australian Competition and Consumer Comission'ss (ACCC's) regulatory processes. Broadly, …
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

Edward Snowden should be shielded from prosecution because the world needs people willing to expose violations of human rights, says the UN's High Commissioner for Human rights Navi Pillay. Speaking at the launch of a report into digital privacy, Pillay said Snowden's revelations “go to the core” of the UN's concerns about mass …
iPhone 4 unlocked

Want to legally unlock your phone from its network? The US Senate says that's A-OK

In a rare display of equanimity (and common sense), the US Senate has unanimously passed a bill allowing cell phone owners to unlock their handsets, should they choose to do so. "I applaud the Senate for so quickly passing the bipartisan Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which puts consumers first and …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2014
Assange

Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Head WikiLeaker Julian Assange™'s latest bid to move off Ecuador's couch and back into normal digs has failed: a Swedish court has upheld the arrest warrant against him on allegations of sexual assault. Assange's lawyers filed a petition to withdraw the warrant on Tuesday, in hopes that the WikiLeaks founder could avoid …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jul 2014
Doctor Who: Empty Child

British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles

Hundreds of suspected paedophiles have been arrested by UK police following a six-month-long operation. The majority of cases have yet to carry charges, the National Crime Agency said. The charge sheet so far ranges from possessing indecent images of children to serious sexual assault. The NCA added it had manacled 660 people …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Jul 2014
Homer Simpson reading on a tablet

UK data watchdog broke data law, says UK data watchdog

Britain's data cops have coughed to a serious security screw-up at the Information Commissioner's Office, and concluded that the ICO - only mildly - violated the Data Protection Act that it is supposed to police. It carried out an internal probe into what the ICO passively described as a "non-trivial security incident" that …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Jul 2014
Screenshot from Doctor Who serial "The Face of Evil"

MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws

MPs rubber-stamped the government's fast-tracked Data Retention and Investigatory Powers bill (Drip) in Parliament late last night. Only 49 politicos opposed it, while 436 MPs approved the planned law, which the Tory-led Coalition has said was needed to "plug the holes" in its legislation. Home Secretary Theresa May has said …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Jul 2014

Oracle to pay $130,000 plus costs in staff sexual harassment suit

Australia's Federal Court has awarded a former Oracle staffer $AUD130,000 to compensate her for distress caused by sexual harassment from a colleague. The case of plaintiff Rebecca Richardson came to our attention in February 2013, when Oracle was ordered to pay her $AUD18,000 in damages after a colleague harassed her at least …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Voteware source code review 'could lead to hacking'

Australia's special minister of state has weighed in on solicitor Michael Cordover's freedom of information request to peruse the source code of the application used to count votes in Australian Senate elections with a bizarre suggestion that granting such a request could “leave the voting system open to hacking or manipulation …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2014
Empty phone battery

Phone charging log helps to convict murderer

An Australian man has been convicted of murder after mobile phone metadata describing when the device was connected to a charger was tabled as evidence. Alison Baden-Clay disappeared from her Brisbane home on April 19th, 2012. Her body was found in a nearby creek 11 days later. Her husband, Gerard Baden-Clay, claimed he was …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2014
Dambuster_Mohne_dam_breach

Mandatory data breach laws back on Australian agenda

Australia's on-again, off-again debate about data breach notification laws is on again, courtesy of a report into financial system regulation, at least until the government cans the idea (again). Register readers will recall that a Privacy Alerts bill was proposed by the previous government before the 2013 election, then delayed …
Homer Simpson confronts rigged voting machine

Interview: Michael Cordover, voteware freedom-of-information crusader

A barrister has offered pro bono assistance to Michael Cordover, the Hobart Solicitor seeking the source code to the EasyCount software used by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to count votes in the nation's senate elections. Cordover first sought the source code last year because, as he told The Register, “I have …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2014

'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the deadline for public comment on its net neutrality proposals – after a flood of traffic borked the agency's website yet again. At the heart of the proposals are rules that could allow huge corporations to pay for prioritized internet traffic. While on the one hand, …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2014

UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill

Britain's politicians waved through a motion today in which they agreed that the Home Secretary Theresa May's "emergency" Data Retention and Investigatory Powers bill should be swiftly pushed through Parliament. Only 49 MPs voted against the motion, while 436 politicos rubber-stamped Drip's hastily cobbled together timetable. A …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Jul 2014

Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files

NSFW A Japanese artist has been arrested for disseminating "3D printable design files" of her own genitalia, 3DPrint.com reports. Megumi Igarashi, 42, was cuffed by Tokyo Metropolitan Police for allegedly supplying virtual ladyparts via email to a "30-year-old man in Kagawa Prefecture" and "many others" back in March. Igarashi, …
Lester Haines, 15 Jul 2014

Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery

A jiggy Delaware pair who allegedly indulged in some hot burrito meets soft taco action atop a Mexican restaurant have been charged with a buffet of offences including "lewdness", "indecent exposure second degree" and "resisting arrest". According to Newark Delaware Police Department's Facebook presence, an officer rushed to the …
Lester Haines, 15 Jul 2014

YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire

Scotland has shaken off the shackles of its English oppressors by ditching the vicious Sassenach web address system – and replacing it with a homegrown one. Anyone living in the People's Republic of Salmond can now manually secede from their Tory overlords in Westminster by choosing a new .scot suffix. Previously, the coddled …
Team Register, 15 Jul 2014