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London BMW 5-Series police car

Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

A Register reporter has been let away with a slap on the wrist after confessing to what the cops claim is an act of terrorism. According to the Metropolitan Police, anyone caught watching a sickening beheading video will be treated like a terrorist. Lawyer and legal commentator David Allen Green challenged that claim – and we …
Jasper Hamill, 20 Aug 2014

Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours

Four hackers in the US have pleaded guilty to misdemeanours after a judge questioned why prosecutors were attempting to press felony charges. The hackers, alleged to be part of hacktivist collective Anonymous, were allowed to plead guilty over the telephone to the charge of conspiring to intentionally cause damage to a protected …
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Dozens of COPS cuffed in Turkish Prime Minister's wiretap probe

Twenty-five more cops were arrested in Turkey on Tuesday amid a widening probe into wiretaps on the country's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other key officials. The arrests were made during nationwide raids in cities including Istanbul and Izmir for an investigation into allegations of unauthorized spying, AFP reports …
John Leyden, 19 Aug 2014

UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco

A government body tasked with flagging up troublesome Whitehall projects has been accused of secrecy and ineptitude over its handling of the Department for Work and Pensions' widely panned Universal Credit programme. MPs sitting on the Public Account Committee said in a report published today that the Major Projects Authority, …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Aug 2014
European Union Flag

EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

Europe’s caretaker Commissioner for Justice says Google et al are trying to throw a spanner in the works of data protection. Speaking at an event in Lyon on Monday, Martine Reicherts, who was appointed Justice Commissioner when her predecessor Viviane Reding became an MEP in May, said certain parties are “trying to use the …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Aug 2014
Kindergarten Cop

Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media

In the past five years a surprisingly small number of police employees in England and Wales have been sacked, retired early or forced to resign in connection with serious cockups using social media. A silly season Freedom of Information trawl* of cop shops carried out by the Press Association and reported by the BBC found 828 …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Aug 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones

Exclusive The Metropolitan Police has spent more than two years lobbying phone manufacturers and the government in a bid to introduce mandatory passwords on every new unit sold in Blighty, The Reg has learned. Senior officers from the Met's National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) have met with firms including Apple and Samsung to discuss …
Jasper Hamill, 19 Aug 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

NSW to build federated ID management rig for staff, punters

The Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) will build a federated identity system – or “Identity Hub” - for its many thousands of staff and also for the State's citizens. Oracle, NTT and consultancies Qubit and Dataweave and will work together on the project. The latter company will project manage and then support the system …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
Three  UK Passports

e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt

Brit taxpayers face a £224m bill in cancellation fees after the UK government scrapped a £750m contract for a passenger-checking computer system at its borders. The contract for the e-Borders IT project, which is supposed to scrutinize the identities of people entering the country, was signed in 2007, back when the Labour Party …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2014
Google Self Driving Car

This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives

The US government wants to save lives on the road by demanding a safety-focused wireless communication standard for moving vehicles. Uncle Sam's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hopes to create a standardized vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) system in which cars and small trucks can automatically share data about …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Aug 2014

Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

The German city of Munich, which famously adopted Linux and open source across its operations, may be about to reverse that decision. German newspaper Süddeutsche reports deputy mayor Josef Schmid as saying the city is considering the move because users often complain about the functionality available in open-source applications …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
A dragon in Game of Thrones

Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?

Brits are very concerned about the potential for life-threatening incidents involving dragon attacks, asteroid crashes and ghostly manifestations and they want their local council to do something about it, if their FoI requests are anything to go by. A dragon in Game of Thrones England’s Local Government Association has …
channel_teaser_money_top

Top money men face up to 2 YEARS in slammer for neglecting to spot crim-cash activity

Senior managers at "money service businesses" face up to two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine if their neglect leads to money laundering or terrorist financing activities, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned. In new guidance on its supervision of money services businesses under anti-money laundering rules (65-page/ …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Aug 2014

Ad regulator pulls down Branson-backed magic undies

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided that Wireless Armour, which promises to protect your crown jewels from nasty WiFi signals, can't be advertised in Blighty. The underwear, which has sought funds on Indiegogo and later attracted the high-profile backing of Richard Branson, claimed that silver threads in …
Batteries

Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report

The debate over which battery brands work best is almost as old as dry cells themselves, but one US city has learned that it's definitely not a good idea to skimp when it comes to powering important municipal equipment. Cash-strapped Detroit, Michigan – once the capital of US automobile manufacturing – has been looking for ways …
Neil McAllister, 16 Aug 2014

Apple slings fanbois' data at Chinese servers in China Telecom deal

In an effort to woo buyers in China, Apple has inked a deal to store Chinese customer data in Chinese servers for the first time. Plenty of technology firms are leery about storing sensitive information in China (although given the NSA's reach, US servers aren't exactly private) but Apple has hired China Telecom to use the telco …
Iain Thomson, 15 Aug 2014

Revealed ... GCHQ's incredible hacking tool to sweep net for vulnerabilities: Nmap

For the past five years, British spying nerve-center GCHQ has been port scanning internet-connected computers in 27 countries – in a exhaustive hunt for systems to potentially exploit. That bombshell comes amid fresh leaks detailing the dragnet surveillance programs operated by the Five Eyes nations: America, UK, Canada, …
John Leyden, 15 Aug 2014
management regulation1

Rimini Street promises 'business as usual' after Oracle IP judgment

Software support specialist Rimini Street has promised it's "business as usual" despite suffering a setback in its ongoing intellectual property dispute with Larry Ellison's Oracle. "Oracle has established a prima facie case of copyright infringement as it relates to the identified copies of Oracle Database," said District Judge …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Aug 2014
Spam

New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

Changes to the electoral registration system have sparked fears that Britons are about to be swamped by a tsunami of unwanted spam from companies that harvest and sell on citizens' personal data. The Register has learned that a number of councils across the UK have not properly informed residents how to enter their details on …
Jasper Hamill, 15 Aug 2014

Oracle claims knockout blow in IP lawsuit

Oracle says new findings by the judge hearing its case against third party software support outfit Rimini Street prove its IP has been pinched. Judge Larry R Hicks' orders aren't online yet, but Oracle has kindly let the world know about what it considers the best bits. Those include a quote to the effect that “Rimini had …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Aug 2014

Merger-hungry Comcast and Time Warner withdraw from FCC commissioner's dinner event

Executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable are stepping back from plans to fund a gala dinner for Mignon Clyburn, a member of the US Federal Communications Commission(FCC). The two firms had been among the companies set to sponsor a Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner event honoring commsissioner Clyburn. The foundation, …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Aug 2014

Seven Apple Store staff cuffed in alleged $500k stolen iPhone scam bust

Seven Apple store employees, and a worker at Best Buy, have been arrested and charged in Florida for allegedly selling stolen iPhones. The seven Cook & Co staffers worked at the Apple Store in Fort Lauderdale, and are accused of working with phone thieves to exchange 600 stolen mobes for legitimate handsets. Police estimate the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Aug 2014
Euro notes

Uber alles.. NOT: Berlin bans taxi ride app over 'safety' fears

Taxi app Uber has been banned in Berlin after the German capital's government said the service violated passenger safety regulations. Officials said in a statement that Uber faces €25,000 fines for each violation of the ban, and drivers using the app will face €20,000 penalties. Uber says it plans to challenge the injunction. …
Team Register, 14 Aug 2014
Spying image

What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

More than 30 big US tech firms are breaking international agreed-upon US-EU Safe Harbor commitments to safeguard Europeans’ data, according to a complaint filed with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday. The Washington-based Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) claims tech giants such as AOL, Adobe, Salesforce, …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Aug 2014
money trap conceptual illustration

Dodgy payday loan ads make up 83% of cases probed by UK's FCA

The majority of cases under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority now involve online adverts for "cheap" credit services, the regulator has said. Some 80 per cent of the cases it has launched in the past four months involve firms that offer financial products over the internet or through mobile phones. All in all, …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Aug 2014
Face recognition

Face-recog tech spots US fugitive wanted for 14 years ... from a photo

The US Federal Bureau of Investigations says it has captured a fugitive who has been wanted for the last 14 years on child sex abuse and kidnapping charges, and it credits modern face recognition technology for the arrest. The accused, Neil Stammer, originally of New Mexico, was arrested in 1999 but released on bond pending …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Marvell: NO WAY should we have to pay jumbo $1.54bn patent judgment

Fabless semiconductor firm Marvell has fired the opening volley in its appeal of the record-breaking $1.5bn judgment against it in its ongoing patent dispute with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). "No patent infringement judgment for more than a billion dollars has ever received this Court's imprimatur, and the $1.535 billion …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
Zhang Xinzhu

Chinese regulator fires antitrust advisor over alleged kickbacks from Qualcomm

A Chinese academic has been booted from a government antitrust advisory committee amid allegations he accepted payouts from Qualcomm in exchange for giving testimony favorable to the company in an ongoing monopoly probe. State-run media outlet China News Service reported on Wednesday that Zhang Xinzhu, director of the Research …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
Edward Snowden

Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar

Rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden says his former employer has developed software that will automatically attack foreign computers deemed to be a threat – without checking in with a human first. The system, dubbed MonsterMind, is designed to detect strikes against key US servers and block the assaults as quickly as possible. But …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2014

ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US

One of the most powerful men in the US Senate has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to tour all of the United States of America to hear citizens' views, face to face, on net neutrality. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy said in a letter to chairman Tom Wheeler that the FCC's decision to hold public debates on its …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2014
anonymous logo

Anonymous threatens to name cop who shot dead unarmed Michael Brown

A group claiming to be affiliated with hacktivist collective Anonymous has threatened to release the name of the police officer who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown in the town of Ferguson, Missouri. Operation Ferguson says it is a group of hackers linked to Anonymous. It was set up a day after the 18-year-old black man was shot …

Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

Worstall on Wednesday One of the perennials of the great economic debate is those who insist that if we centrally planned how the economy would run, it would all work much better than this messy competition, profit-and-loss and duplication-of-effort system we're stuck with at the moment. And it didn't all start with the Soviets. Back in late- …
Tim Worstall, 13 Aug 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Naughty NSA was so drunk on data it forgot collection rules

Declassified documents from America's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) shows that even the NSA didn't know the limits of what it was supposed to collect, and overstepped its authorisations for years. The documents were released to the Electronic Privacy Information Centre in response to an FOI request, and record …
CSIRO Parkes radio telescope

CSIRO spells out cash-strapped astronomy future

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has explained how it plans to trim its astronomy work, after more than AUD$100 million was cut from its budget. With around 17 per cent, or AUD$3.5 million, sliced from its already-slender astronomy budget, the agency has just $AUD17 million to work …
eyeofSauron

Poll: Australians hate government data retention plan

Polling by Essential suggests that Australians aren't behind the government's plan to force the telecommunications industry to retain data about subscribers' online activities. According to the research, only the government's own base of voters is in favour of the data-retention* plan, with 59 per cent of Coalition voters …
BBC logo 2012

£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

Analysis The BBC last week stood by its dismissal of former technology chief John Linwood over the failed £100m digital media initiative. The Corporation was judged to have broken the law in dismissing Linwood and reading the tribunal’s findings makes the BBC's defence difficult to accept. According to the BBC, the tribunal “ …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Aug 2014
Minority Report. Source: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

MPs to gaze upon biometric data industry's ID-gobbling tech

The growing use and slurping of biometric data is to be probed by MPs sitting on the UK's science and technology committee this autumn. An inquiry has been opened following the failure of the Home Office's Iris Recognition Immigration System, which was axed by the Tory-led coalition government in 2012. Politicos on the panel …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Aug 2014

NIST wants better SCADA security

America's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) wants to take a hand in addressing the SCADA industry's chronic insecurity, by building a test bed for industrial control systems. The Reconfigurable Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Testbed is only in its earliest stages. According to this RFI, the …
Dunce

No, minister Turnbull, IP addresses aren't part of routine billing data collection

Australia's government is still trying to explain exactly what its metadata retention regime will capture, in spite of last week's intervention into the debate by the formerly-silent communications minister Malcolm Turnbull. Meanwhile, president of the Internet Society of Australia Narelle Clark has cast doubt on the assertion …

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner: Capital is top target for computer thieves, say police

Computer kit including smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop themselves, is twice as likely to be stolen in reported thefts in London compared to other regions in the UK. A series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from security and communications firm ViaSat revealed the theft of electronic devices crops up in 34 per …
John Leyden, 11 Aug 2014

TracBeam sues Apple over location

TracBeam, which earlier this year sued Google and Ericsson over location technology, has launched against Apple on the same grounds. The company's complaint alleges that Cupertino is infringing four of its patents covering using base station signals to estimate the location of mobile phones. The patents (listed in full at the …
High risk

Data retention means telcos risk Privacy Act breach, Pilgrim warns

Australia's privacy watchdog Timothy Pilgrim has warned that indiscriminate metadata collection would place personal information at risk of privacy breaches. Under the presently broad and opaque proposal, telcos could be required to at least hold data on Australians that would link them to their internet protocol addresses in a …
Darren Pauli, 11 Aug 2014