Feeds

Policy > More stories

Uber logo

Uber kindly agrees not to price gouge during disasters

Taxi-killing car service Uber has struck a deal with New York State officials to prevent runaway service charges. State Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman said that the company had agreed to impose a cap on ride prices in the event of an emergency. Because Uber uses a sliding scale based on demand for its service, a natural …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jul 2014

Russian MP fears US Secret Service cuffed his son for Snowden swap

The US Secret Service has announced the arrest of a man accused of being "one of the world's most prolific traffickers in stolen financial information," touching off a diplomatic firestorm in the process. Roman Valerevich Seleznev, who goes by the online handle Track2, is accused of hacking into point-of-sale systems to steal …
Iain Thomson, 8 Jul 2014
DNA

Revealed: SECRET DNA TEST SCANDAL at UN IP agency

Exclusive Allegations of bizarre and potentially illegal conduct within the World Intellectual Property Organisation have raised serious questions, after The Register obtained access to an internal report indicating reasonable grounds to suspect serious misconduct within the UN agency. The report, published exclusively by The Register …
John Oates, 8 Jul 2014
Gun and dollars

Samsung in Brazilian strip: Robbers snatch $6.3m in gear from plant

Armed robbers have snatched $6.3m in smartphones, tablets and computers from the Samsung Electronics factory in São Paulo, Brazil. The bandits got into the complex by carjacking a shuttle used by factory employees, and held workers hostage while clearing out truckloads of loot, Reuters reported a spokesman for the state’s public …
Houses of Parliament in night-time

Universal Discredit: Gov admits Treasury HASN'T signed off biz case

Iain Duncan Smith's Department for Work and Pensions scrambled to dismiss comments made by the government's head of the civil service late on Monday, after Sir Bob Kerslake told MPs that the Treasury had yet to make the business case for the widely derided Universal Credit programme. The chair of the Public Accounts Committee, …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Jul 2014

Manhattan drone pair cuffed for NYPD chopper near miss

A pair of Manhattan residents were cuffed in the early hours of yesterday morning after allegedly endangering a NYPD police helicopter with a quadchopper. According to the New York Daily News, cops claim Remy Castro, 23, and Wilkins Mendoza, 34, were "remotely piloting a DGI [sic] Phantom 2 drone" on a flight over the Spuyten …
Lester Haines, 8 Jul 2014
Bitcoin bloodbath

Gendarmes grab French Bitcoin exchange in €200k sting

The operators of an illegal French Bitcoin exchange have been collared by the gendarmes and their Bitcoin holdings confiscated. A sketchy story out of Reuters says that the raid netted €200,000 worth of the crypto-currency, but doesn't outline what specific laws the exchange is accused of breaking. The Reuters story merely …

Standby consumes MORE POWER THAN CANADA: IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is worried that the world's addiction to gadgets that sip electricity in standby mode use more power than is necessary or sensible, and wants manufacturers to try harder to cut power consumption. The agency says inefficient “network standby” modes are common: consumers think a device has …
Watch in Never Say Never Again

Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election

The UK's Tory-led coalition government is reportedly pushing to bring in a new surveillance law forcing ISPs to retain subscriber data for 12 months ahead of next year's General Election. It's the latest in a series of attempts from the Theresa May-led Home Office to legislate on communications data, known colloquially as the …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Jul 2014
New homepage of Gov.uk, credit screengrab gov.uk

Five arrested over money-grubbing fake UK.gov shocker

Five suspects in Blighty have been arrested during an investigation of copycat government websites that con folks out of money for items like new passports, driving tests and car tax discs. The sites try to pass themselves off as official and then trick people into paying for services that the government actually provides more …
North Korea South Korea hacking

NORKS hacker corps reaches 5,900 sworn cyber soldiers - report

North Korea has doubled the number of government hackers it employed over the last two years according to military sources from the South. The allegations claim 5900 "elite" personnel were employed in Pyongyang's hacking unit, up from 3000 in 2012. The hackers had their crosshairs firmly fixed on Seoul but operate from bureaux …
Darren Pauli, 7 Jul 2014

Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally

Russia has amended legislation on data retention to force social networks to store data about its citizens on home soil. Bill number 553424-6 , which translation engines tell us is titled “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation (to clarify the processing of personal data in information and …

Euro banks warned off Bitcoin as Canada regulates it

The European Banking Authority, which has previously warned consumers that they're unprotected if they get themselves into the crypto-currency game, has followed up with a don't-touch warning to banks. In this announcement, issued on Friday July 4, the EBA says it's identified “more than 70 risks” that apply to users, banks, …
management regulation2

Royal Commission probes Cbus over CFMEU privacy leaks

Australia's Royal Commission into union corruption will today examine if superannuation firm Cbus breached the Privacy Act by supplying customer account details to the Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) as part of an alleged union campaign. It has been alleged that Cbus supplied private information on 300 …
Darren Pauli, 7 Jul 2014
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

The USA's Transport Security Administration (TSA) has announced new, “enhanced security measures” that will require mobile phones to be charged before taken aboard international flights to the nation. The new requirement is simple. As explained here, the new arrangements will mean that “During the security examination, officers …
NSA parody T-shirt

NSA dragnet mostly slurped innocents' traffic

NSA babbler Edward Snowden's latest drop alleges something that's been suspected ever since he went public during 2013: that spy agencies reach far beyond “persons-of-interest”, with data on ordinary internet users far outstripping that held over formal “targets”. According to The Washington Post, the latest set of documents – …

Google de-listing of BBC article 'broke UK and Euro public interest laws' - So WHY do it?

Google's publicity stunt this week, in which it de-linked selected mass media articles and posts from its search results and informed the journalists in question it had done so, appears to have been illegal. The gigantic advertising company now faces the prospect of having to re-link to articles it has de-linked in the UK in …

Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

Today saw her Maj QE2 smash a bottle of Islay malt whisky over her floating namesake at Fife's Rosyth dockyard, as she hailed "a new phase" in Blighty's glorious naval history. The carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is a 280-metre-long behemoth which promises a maritime capability equal to that of its voracious appetite for taxpayers …
Lester Haines, 4 Jul 2014

Google right to be forgotten 'looks odd and CLUMSY'

QuoTW Something was rotten in the state of the internet this week, though it’s unclear who’s to blame. Reports started emerging from major news outlets that links to their stories had been pulled from the European web as part of Google’s new commitment to the EU right to be forgotten. Was Google hamming things up by letting slip the …
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Voteware source code requester labelled 'vexatious'

Australia's Electoral Commission (AEC) has again denied a request to reveal the source code of the software used to count votes in Senate elections, and pointed out the the man seeking it that he may be a vexatious applicant abusing the freedom of information process. Hobart Lawyer Michael Cordover first tried to view the source …

Austrian Tor exit relay operator guilty of ferrying child porn

An Austrian man has been found guilty after child sex abuse material transited his Tor exit relay. IT administrator William Weber was charged in November last year after state police raided his home confiscating 20 computers, gaming consoles and devices after one of his seven global Tor exit relays funneled the illicit material …
Darren Pauli, 4 Jul 2014
The chinese characters for China as used in the new .中国  domain

China blocks Flickr and OneDrive

China appears to have tweaked the Great Firewall to block Yahoo!'s Flickr photo-sharing service and Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage offering. The timing of the blocks, reported by transparency monitoring outfit GreatFire.org, looks convenient inasmuch as Hong Kong this week saw substantial pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong …

Japan makes Prius palatable with road map to hydrogen cars

Japan has outlined a 25-year roadmap to get hydrogen-powered cars onto its roads, hydrogen-powered machinery into its factories and fuel cells into millions of homes. The nation's Ministry, for Economy Trade and Industry, recently outlined the plan, which has three phases. In the first, the nation aims to commercialise a …

Judge says there's no such thing as a 'Patent Troll'

A Californian judge has barred Apple from describing a litigant as a “patent troll”, a “bandit” or a “privateer”. Apple is facing off with GPNE Corp, a Hawaii-based outfit that says “Our goal is to position our core patented technologies as some of the world’s most predominant MAC layer protocols.” The two have locked horns for …
A boat full of Fail

EPIC FAIL, FACEBOOK: FTC complaint against creepy mind games filed

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed an official complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over an experiment in which Facebook "purposefully messed with people’s minds." "Facebook altered the News Feeds of Facebook users to elicit positive and negative emotional responses," the complaint claims …
Iain Thomson, 3 Jul 2014
A guy in a paper hat at the protest

London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway

Car-ride booking service Uber has won a victory in London, UK, as the city's transport authority has decided not to pursue action against the biz after all. Transport for London (TfL) said in a statement to reporters that the San Francisco-headquartered company would not be be subject to further scrutiny by TfL over whether it …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jul 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

Alleged leaked documents about the NSA's XKeyscore snooping software appear to show the paranoid agency is targeting Tor and Tails users, Linux Journal readers – and anyone else interested in online privacy. At the heart of the claims is this sample configuration file for the XKeyscore system. The top-secret documents were …
Iain Thomson, 3 Jul 2014

When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post

Comment On Wednesday, Google emailed the BBC to say it had removed from its search results a blog post written by TV journalist Robert Peston about Merrill Lynch boss Stan O'Neal. Was this a PR stunt to highlight the "unfairness" of the EU ruling on the right to be forgotten? We don't know – but whether it was or not, it has backfired …
management regulation2

Dotcom crypto keys not for the FBI: NZ High Court

A New Zealand court has ruled that data on Kim Dotcom's hard drives held by the FBI will remain encrypted, even if the Megaupload founder hands his encryption keys over to NZ police. Dotcom has been in a long wrangle with authorities over the contents of the drives. During the 2012 raid in New Zealand that killed off Megaupload …
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Google BLOCKS access to Goldman client-leak email

Updated A Goldman Sachs contractor's inadvertent leak of client data through Gmail has brought the banking giant to a New York court to try and force The Chocolate Factory on a search-and-destroy mission - and Google seems to agree with the bank. Reuters says the slip, which sounds to The Register like someone trusted autocomplete in …
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE: US govt backs mass spying by US govt

The US government's Privacy and Civil Liberty Oversight Board (PCLOB) has dealt a blow to opponents of the NSA's surveillance programs in a new report that reaffirms the controversial Section 702 program. The PCLOB said in its official review of the program that 702 represented a "considerable value" to the government despite …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jul 2014

Amazon snubs FTC: We'll see you in court over kids' in-app cash blowouts

Amazon has said it won't acquiesce to the Federal Trade Commission's plans to punish it for not preventing kids from running up in-app purchases on mummy and daddy's credit card. The FTC is seeking a punitive fine from Amazon, similar to the one levied on Apple. The agency says Amazon wasn't quick enough to crack down on …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jul 2014
Pierce Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies

ISPs haul GCHQ into COURT over dragnet interwebs snooping

Britain's eavesdropping nerve centre GCHQ has been accused of unlawfully accessing the private communications of potentially millions of people – and angry internet service providers are dragging the snooping agency to court. ISPs and organisations from the US, UK, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Korea and Germany have teamed up with …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Jul 2014
Sleazy bloke pinches girl's bottom

Lords try shoehorning law against REVENGE SMUT into justice bill

Two peers in the House of Lords have tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that will add criminal sanctions for so-called "revenge porn". Lib Dem Baroness Olly Grender and Lord Jonathan Marks asked for a clause to be added to the bill, which is currently working its way through Parliament, that would hand …
Google Chocolate Factory

Google policy wonk patronises Brits over EU search biz probe

Google repeatedly batted away questions about whether it favours its search result services over those of its rivals in Europe, during a frustrating exchange on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning. The ad giant's public policy veep, Rachel Whetstone, who is the wife of Steve Hilton - the brains behind Prime Minister David …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Jul 2014

Amazon sues former employee who took Google cloud job

Amazon is taking a former employee responsible for managing its cloud partners to court over an alleged breach of contract after he joined Google. The e-tailer claims former AWS strategic partnerships manager Zoltan Szabadi joined Google too soon after leaving. The company alleges that by doing so, Szabadi broke the non-compete …
Gavin Clarke, 2 Jul 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Fibre to YOUR premises NBN still on table pending telco talks

NBN Co's new roadmap, released yesterday, contained an interesting omission: no mention was made of a product offering domestic users the chance to pay for an optic fibre to be laid to their homes even if they live in an area where fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) will be built. The omission is interesting given Australia's …
Facebook down

Trick-cyclists defend Facebook emoto-furtling experiment

Facebook's “creepy” feed-manipulation experimentation, which has generated an avalanche of outrage among users, isn't without its chums. A growing collection of psychologists and tech pundits is linking arms, standing next to Mark Zuckerburg, and singing “We Shall Overcome” in the direction of mobs carrying metaphorical …

Mystery bidder plunders the whole haul in Silk Road Bitcoin auction

The US Marshals Service says the entire hoard of Bitcoins seized from shuttered online drugs souk Silk Road have gone to a single bidder in an auction held on Friday. The 29,656.51306529 Bitcoins that prosecutors wrested from wallets belonging to Silk Road have an estimated real-world value of around $19m at today's exchange …

EFF sues NSA over snoops 'hoarding' zero-day security bugs

Intelligence agencies are among the most prolific buyers of zero-day computer security flaws that can be used to spy on enemies foreign and domestic, or so it's claimed – and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a lawsuit to find out what exactly they are doing with them. "Since these vulnerabilities potentially …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jul 2014

FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

T-Mobile US has been accused of hitting customers with bogus text-message charges running into hundreds of millions of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed suit against the carrier, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened an investigation. The agencies alleged the company allowed users to be …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jul 2014

British and European data cops probe Facebook user-manipulation scandal

Exclusive UK and Irish data watchdogs are investigating claims that Facebook failed to seek the consent of its users before allowing researchers to manipulate their emotions via newsfeed meddling. The Register asked the office of the UK's Information Commissioner if it planned to probe Facebook following widespread criticism of its …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Jul 2014