Feeds

Government > More stories

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
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
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 …

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

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

Viv Reding quits justice commish role - heads for EU parliament

European justice commissioner Viviane Reding resigned from her Brussels' post today, after taking up her recently won seat in the European Parliament. The Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party politico said in a short Facebook post that her MEP mandate had begun on the same day as the "drastic reduction of tariffs of ' …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Jul 2014

New NSA boss plays down impact of Snowden leaks

Incoming NSA chief Admiral Michael Rogers has played down the impact of the Snowden revelations on the spy agency's work. Former NSA director, General Keith Alexander, described the Snowden leaks as one of the worst breaches in intelligence history. UK spy agency bosses at GCHQ and MI6 told a Parliamentary inquiry back in …
John Leyden, 1 Jul 2014
Homer Simpson reading on PC

Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED

Updated Budding tech teens - who have taken close to 40 hours of Computing GCSE controlled assessments - face the agony of seeing some of their work scrapped by a leading Brit exam board, after it said it was withdrawing tasks for key units amid cheating claims. Awarding body the OCR, which is part of Cambridge Assessment, had posted an …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Jul 2014
slow_sign

Pension quango's £18.5m project FINALLY goes live... 2 months late

Exclusive An £18.5m project carried out on behalf of the UK's Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has finally gone live - two months late. A comprehensive IT infrastructure overhaul and modernisation of hardware and software was due to be installed and running by 28 February. However, The Register has learned that CGI missed both the February …
Gavin Clarke, 1 Jul 2014
NBN Co logo

NBN Co reveals 1 Gbps business plans in new product roadmap

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has released a detailed product roadmap stretching out until 2016. The document (PDF) offers a few interesting insights into the network's progress. One item of special interest is a promised “Enterprise Ethernet Service” that …

New Russian law punishes online 'extremism'

Foreign non-Government organisations, football hooligans and possibly even hacktivists could be jailed for six years for creating or sharing unpalatable content online under new anti-extremism laws signed off by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. The laws use a loose definition of "extremism" that Russia Today reports …
Darren Pauli, 1 Jul 2014
Dogecoin

Bitcoin was illegal in California? Whoops, governor fixes that 165-year-old money law

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed off on a law legitimizing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for use in the state. The governor rubber-stamped AB 129, enacting what legislators say is a much-needed overhaul of the state codes on currencies. Under the new law, digital currencies and community currencies are protected …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jul 2014

Western Australia considers ban on R18+ games

The Australian State of Western Australia (WA) is reviving the country's vexed games classification debate, with a new report suggesting the state government should consider banning games currently carrying an R18+ classification. The suggestion is contained in a report from the Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for …
snowden SXSW

Remaining Snowden docs will be released to avert 'unspecified US war' – ‪Cryptome‬

All the remaining Snowden documents will be released next month, according t‪o‬ whistle-blowing site ‪Cryptome, which said in a tweet that the release of the info by unnamed third parties would be necessary to head off an unnamed "war".‬ ‪Cryptome‬ said it would "aid and abet" the release of "57K to 1.7M" new documents that had …
John Leyden, 30 Jun 2014

NSW government agencies bend over and take it from telcos

Even though telecommunications contracts are an eternal staple of government contract management, government agencies in the Australian state of New South Wales lack the expertise needed to get the most out of the agreements they sign with carriers. That's the conclusion of a report prepared for the government by the auditor- …
NSA parody T-shirt

Surprise! NSA's first ever 'transparency' 'report' is anything but

The US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has published the NSA's first "transparency report", revealing the number of "targets" spied on by the agency. Its definition of the word transparency, however, makes the data somewhat hard to fathom. "Within the Intelligence Community, the term 'target' has multiple …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2014
Airship over NSA datacenter

Who gives a F about privacy? New scorecard rates US pols on spying

Civil-rights groups and other campaigners have built a website that tracks US politicians' voting records on privacy laws. Members of the bipartisan outfit Stand Against Spying say their scorecard database will publish an overview and tracker of how senators and representatives in Congress vote for or against key issues on …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jun 2014

Germany dumps Verizon for Deutsche Telekom over NSA spying

The German government has said it will cancel its contract with US telecoms provider Verizon, citing spying fears. "The pressures on networks as well as the risks from highly-developed viruses or Trojans are rising," the country's Interior Ministry told Reuters on Thursday. "Furthermore, the ties revealed between foreign …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2014
Dunce

Government won't name expert reviewers of Australia's national curriculum

Subject matter experts engaged to review Australia's national curriculum, including the new digital technologies curriculum The Reg has tracked, have been appointed. But the Department of Education won't name the reviewers until the final report on the curriculum is revealed. The Reg makes the above statement after receiving the …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jun 2014
NBN Co logo

NBN Co reveals THOUSAND-node FTTN trial built by Telstra

NBN Co has selected Telstra as the builder of a 200,000-premises pilot of fibre-to-the-node technology in order to pick the copper from its brains. NBN Co, the company charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), today said the carrier was chosen in order to "leverage Telstra’s expert design …

You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

US Attorney General Eric Holder has raised a few eyebrows by announcing plans to give Europeans the same legal protections as US citizens when Uncle Sam's agents seek their private information. Holder claimed the Obama administration would put forth legislation to offer EU citizens the same data protection rights and access to …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014

Unexpected Termination Error at Year of Code: Chief dumps venture for other UK.gov riches

The head of the government-backed Year of Code caper has quit, just four months into her new job. Chief executive Lottie Dexter will become a special advisor to Matthew Hancock, a Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Business Department responsible for education and training. That's also a taxpayer-funded job, sharp-eyed readers …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jun 2014

US trading, energy watchdogs asked: Does Google's Skybox gobble pass the sniff test?

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has asked US energy and trading regulators to probe Google’s acquisition of satellite firm Skybox Imaging, which it claims could give big players in commodities trading an unfair advantage. In a letter to the authorities, Public Citizen said that banks and hedge funds already used the intel …

Super-snoop bid: UK government hits panic button on EU data retention ruling

Home Secretary Theresa May has claimed "there is no surveillance state" in Britain today as she once again called for a change in law to prevent the internet becoming "an ungoverned, ungovernable space". The Snoopers' Charter champion, speaking to dignitaries at Mansion House in London last night, did not once mention the …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Jun 2014

SHOCK HORROR: Oz's biggest govt agencies to miss infosec deadline

Australia's largest government agencies will miss a July deadline to implement even basic information security controls. The Australian National Audit Office's (ANAO's) annual report says that the country's biggest government agencies won't deploy Defence-issued controls to implement fast patching and organisation-wide …
Darren Pauli, 25 Jun 2014
Data breach image

Montana loses data on MORE PEOPLE THAN LIVE IN MONTANA

The state of Montana is warning citizens and offering free credit monitoring and identity protection service after a data breach exposed information on 1.3 million people. The state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is providing notification to citizens after hackers breached one of the department's servers …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
An Amazon Prime Air drone

FAA shoots down delivery by drone plans

The United States' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn't mention Amazon Prime Air, but it's intentions look pretty clear: toy aircraft, including the remote control quadcopters mooted by Jeff Bezos in a December 2013 interview with CBS, aren't for commercial purposes. As readers will recall, Bezos sparked equal measures …
Capitol By Matti Mattila licensed under Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Web moguls ask YOU to stump up big money to STOP big money from winning in Washington

Tech moguls and financiers have clubbed together to raise a load of money to stop Washington politics from being decided by people with a, er, load of money. In an irony-laden crowdsourcing venture called Mayday, web entrepreneurs including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel and LinkedIn co-founder …

Labour vows: We'll pause one-dole-to-rule-them-all for drastic fix-up if elected in 2015

The Labour Party has promised to put the brakes on the deeply troubled Universal Credit system for three months if it gets into government next year. During that time, shadow work and pensions minister Rachel Reeves said that Labour would urge the National Audit Office to conduct a review of the lumpen welfare reform programme. …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jun 2014
European Union Flag

EU copyright chief: We could SMASH these infinite copyright contracts... just wait

Europe's competition authority could open up an examination of unfair copyright contracts, according to the region's copyright chief. Speaking at a Westminster Forum seminar, Maria Martin-Prat, EC Head of the Copyright Unit for the Internal Market Directorate General (DG MARKT), said the Commission should look at whether …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2014

David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Silly Season has started early. The Times reports that the Prime Minister is backing a plan to force operators to UK customers to roam between networks in the UK. This means that network subscribers who lose their signal while in the boondocks could piggyback onto the signal of another network. Supposing there is one. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2014
NBN Co logo

Should NBN Co squeeze a server into FTTN nodes?

Last week, Dell revealed an item of interest in the form of the PowerEdge R420xr, a shortened and ruggedised version of its PowerEdge R420 intended for use in the field by telcos. Dell launched the device at CommunicAsia, the region's annual telco-fest, with a pitch that it is small enough to fit into base stations (hence the …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jun 2014

France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

ICANN50 Wine vendors are fighting against ICANN's plans to introduce .wine and .vin top level domain names. During a packed government advisory meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in London on Monday morning, France's minister for digital affairs Axelle Lemaire told delegates that her country was opposed …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Jun 2014

If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ judgment?

Comment Google has received all kinds of plaudits for quickly introducing its “right to be forgotten” procedure. However, from what I have read in the press, its procedure for the removal of URLs is not fit for purpose. Google’s procedure appears to be defective. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you want to have a URL removed …
BrickArms' Toy taliban figure

Jihadist fears spark new spook powers

Australia's federal government is reportedly about to use Australians travelling to fight with jihadists in Syria as the basis for giving new local powers to ASIO. The Daily Telegraph has been briefed by cites “intelligence sources” as saying that laws soon to go to parliament will give the Australian Security Intelligence …

Appeal to again seek code for Australia's secret election software

Michael Cordover, who last November failed in his attempt to get the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to release its vote-counting software, now hopes to raise the funds to challenge the decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Back in November, the AEC decided that there were too many trade secrets embedded in its …
Russia

Russian gov to dump x86, bake own 64-bit ARM chips - reports

Russian news outlet Kommersant has reported that the nation's government wants to ditch Intel and AMD processors in favour of a locally-developed ARM effort. The outlet's report suggests three state-owned Russian companies are banding together to develop to be called “Baikal” that will use ARM's 64-bit kernel Cortex A-57 as its …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jun 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Information Technology Supplier Advocate job abolished

Australia has abolished its Information Technology Supplier Advocate, a Canberra-based role designed to help small biz jump through the hoops of government contracting. The incumbent, Don Easter, finishes work next Monday. The position of Information Technology Supplier Advocate was created in 2010 when, as Labor Senator Kate …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jun 2014
School kids

FCC to spend $2 BEEELLION to install Wi-Fi in US schools

The US Federal Communications Commission says it plans to outfit the nation's schools and libraries with Wi-Fi and high-speed broadband connections, and it has earmarked $2bn to do it. "The simple fact of the matter is that the free market has failed to provide basic broadband connectivity to more than 15 million Americans," FCC …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jun 2014

Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

The US House of Representatives has passed a measure aimed at limiting the NSA's ability to access personal data and conduct surveillance. The House on Thursday voted to approve an amendment to the 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4870) seeking to prevent warrantless collection of data from government …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2014
Photo by Thore Siebrands Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

'I got a little bit upset by that Register article...' says millionaire model. Bless!

QuoTW This was the week when millionaire supermodel Lily Cole told the papers how saddened she was by The Register’s coverage of her taxpayer-funded wishing well, Impossible.com. El Reg previously revealed that Cole was given £200,000 of public money for the website but hardly anyone was using it, which the socialite didn’t take too …