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'Dread Pirate Roberts' suspect's bid for freedom fails

Ross Ulbricht has lost his bid to have money-laundering and other charges dismissed. According to Reuters, the man accused of being Silk Road's “Dread Pirate Roberts” tried to slip from under the money-laundering charge on the basis that Bitcoin isn't money, but property. That argument didn't impress US District Judge Katherine …

Victim of Tor-hidden revenge smut site sues Tor Project developers

The Tor Project has found itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit that claims the privacy software's developers aided a revenge porn slinger. An attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told The Register the allegations against the Tor team are baseless. In a lawsuit, Shelby Conklin accuses the Tor Project of …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2014

Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

Worstall on Wednesday There has been much consternation in Middle America over Facebook's decision to ban from its advertising network a picture taken by a doting mother of a little girl pulling the woman's daughter's swimming costume down. The image is an homage to one of the iconic advertising images in the US, that of the little girl in the …
Tim Worstall, 9 Jul 2014

Siri, did we just take a hit in that voice-recog patent fight?

Apple has lost the first stage of a patent infringement battle in China over its voice-controlled assistant Siri – after a Beijing court ruled a speech-recognition patent held by the Chinese firm that launched the lawsuit is valid. The iPhone maker was arguing with both Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology and the State …
Google Chocolate Factory

Speaking in Tech: 'Right to be forgotten' ruling – what would Google do?

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Ed is out so it's just Sarah and Greg stirring up the week's tech news. This week we discuss… Revving through San Jose (1:00) Sarah's 4th (3:35) Box gets more money (4:50) Public vs Private cloud for file …
Team Register, 9 Jul 2014
ABC iView with Doctor Who

WinPhone iView app flap: Microsoft to pull 'unauthorised' app... coded by STAFFER

UPDATE A Microsoft employee has created an "unauthorised" Windows Mobile app to access a catch-up TV service in Australia. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is the country's largest public broadcaster and its official iview player app is only available on iOS and Android. The Windows Phone app, iview FTW!, is the creation …
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
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 …

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 …
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 …

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 …
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
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

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

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 …
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 …

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
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 …
Tinder screenshots

Dating app Tinder faces sexual harassment suit from ex-exec co-founder

Whitney Wolfe, a former executive and co-founder of dating app Tinder, has sued the company and majority stakeholder IAC Inc for “atrocious sexual harassment and sex discrimination”, which allegedly included being called a “whore” at a company event. Tinder screenshots In a filing at the Superior Court in Los Angeles, Wolfe …
paper cut-out men holding hands in linked semi-circle

HP and shareholders to gang up against 'Brit Bill Gates'

Hewlett-Packard and its disgruntled shareholders have settled three lawsuits related to the $10.7bn acquisition of British search specialist Autonomy. But the Autonomy fight is not over – far from it. Both sides have now agreed to co-operate in "potential litigation" against Autonomy’s former CEO Mike Lynch and members of his …
Gavin Clarke, 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 …
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

New South Wales' prime plod pushes data retention, again

NSW Police, through its commissioner Andrew Scipione, has offered a clear picture of the world it wants for Australians: a plod on every Internet connection to protect us from terrorists. Scipione made the remarks in a speech to the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, reports of which, such as one from Fairfax Media, suggest he asked …
Street View vehicle in Tramore, County Waterford

Street View Wi-Fi slurp nightmare: US Supremes snub Google's appeal

Google isn't quite done dealing with the fallout of its Street View cars' Wi-Fi snooping scandal. The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the web giant's appeal to dismiss a class-action suit against it. Google will now have to face suit from 18 plaintiffs – Google v Joffe et al – who accuse the ads goliath of illegal …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2014

Facebook Australia's 'small company' status makes it a small target

There's an old joke about failed CEOs, which runs “how do you create a small company? Give a big one to CEO X”. Facebook has found a new wrinkle: you build a small company merely by getting regulators to agree that it's a small company. Apparently in order to manage its corporate reporting requirements in Australia, that's just …

Samsung admits its Chinese supply chain STILL has labour-rights and safety problems

Samsung has admitted that its Chinese suppliers are still guilty of legal and safety violations, despite its repeated promises to clean up its factories. In its annual sustainability report, the firm said that this year’s audits had found a number of instances of poor working conditions for people at 100 of its suppliers. The …

Aereo presses pause on 'tiny antenna' TV-streaming service

TV-streaming biz Aereo suspended its services over the weekend, after the Supreme Court ruled last week that its operations breached US broadcasters’ copyrights, but the firm has vowed to fight on. In a letter to users on its website, Aereo chief and founder Chet Kanojia said that the firm was just “pausing services temporarily …
DDoS image

London teen charged over Spamhaus mega-DDoS attacks

An unnamed London teenager has been charged with a series of criminal offences following a series of denial-of-service attacks against internet exchanges and the Spamhaus anti-spam service last year. The 17-year-old male from London was charged on Friday and faces computer misuse, fraud and money-laundering offences at a hearing …
John Leyden, 30 Jun 2014
Sharing image

ENISA, Europol, strike info-sharing deal

Europe's peak information security body will join forces with the continent's criminal intelligence sharing outift in order to beat down on carders and crackers plaguing Europe. Heads of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) signed a deal with Europol at the Hague last Thursday to give a …
Darren Pauli, 30 Jun 2014

Qld Health payroll worker charged over fake overtime claims

Not only did Queensland Health's notorious botched IT upgrade cost the state upwards of a billion dollars: it's also alleged that the chaos created an opportunity for a dodgy worker to siphon tens of thousands of dollars from the department. The state's Crime and Misconduct Commission is alleging 46 counts of fraud against an …

Indie labels: 5 reasons why we're hauling YouTube before Euro antitrust watchdog

Exclusive Independent music association Impala has disclosed to The Register a little more detail about its complaint to the EU competition authorities on YouTube's new music contracts. The trade group outlined five areas where it believes Google, which owns YouTube, breaches Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2014

HP gets 'Playboy model and the ex-CEO' lawsuit kicked out ... AGAIN

A lawsuit against HP over alleged violations of an internal ethics code relating to ex-CEO Mark Hurd’s alleged misbehaviour has been dismissed once again after shareholders failed to make their case. The shareholder plaintiffs alleged securities fraud for the second time, claiming that back in 2006 when HP adopted a “Standards …

Google: Glass goggles are a 'fairly lousy surveillance device'

Google's creepy Glass wearable could breach Britain's Data Protection law, the Information Commissioner's office has warned. The ad giant began flogging the device in Blighty this week for £1,000 a pop. That move prompted the country's data watchdog to outline the "privacy implications of wearable technology" in a blog post …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Jun 2014
flag.France

French Senate passes anti-Amazon amendment

France's Senate has passed an amendment to the “Lang Law”, a 1981 statute fixing the price of books, to prohibit online booksellers offering discounting and shipping books for free. La Cinquième République and Amazon have been fighting over this issue since 2008. Last year, things flared up again when an amendment to the Lang …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jun 2014

MPAA, meet the Streisand effect: Picture ass. slaps Reddit with takedown

The Motion Picture Ass. of America has shot itself in the foot by issuing a copyright takedown notice against a corner of Reddit – and promptly turned a virtually unused subredit into a popular forum. The discussion board, /r/FullLengthFilms, is a place for Redditors to post links to films available for streaming or download, …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2014
The line for the Apple iPhone - not the cable car.

App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a FREE SPEECH issue

The head of embattled app-maker MonkeyParking says the city of San Francisco is violating the US Constitution by ordering the company to shut down its parking application. Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO and cofounder of the company, said that the cease and desist order delivered by City Attorney Dennis Herrera misunderstands how the App …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jun 2014

Aereo has to pay TV show creators? Yes. This isn't rocket science

Analysis As widely expected, the US Supreme Court has ruled that TV show creators should be paid by video streaming biz Aereo for the distribution of their work. The TV rebroadcaster, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, was found to have exploited a loophole in American law's definition of "performance" by six of nine justices in an …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jun 2014