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Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold

The Ministry of Fun says it isn't going to put the Digital Economy Act's anti-piracy measures into use – and will instead leave it to the creative industry's newer, kinder and gentler awareness campaign, Creative Content UK, to school digital pirates. Creative Content UK (CCUK) works by emailing copyright-infringing downloaders …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2014
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'Unsolicited texts' outrage: Man fined £4k for DPA breach

The owner of a marketing company which allegedly sent "millions of unsolicited text messages" was prosecuted for "failing to notify the ICO of changes to his notification" at Willesden Magistrates Court last week. Jayesh Shah, of Pune, India, was fined £4,000 for a breach of the Data Protection Act, and ordered to pay costs of £ …
John Leyden, 24 Jul 2014
The ITMugs Surf for Porn mug

Watching smut at work is bad but emailing it is just fine, says Oz court

Voyeurs rejoice! The Federal Court of Australia has ruled Aussies cannot be easily sacked for emailing porn to work colleagues. The ruling upheld a decision last year by Fair Work Australia which found the nation's mail service Australia Post was wrong to have sacked the three workers at the Dandenong Letter Centre for emailing …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jul 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

Bungling cops in Yorkshire have called upon householders to lock down their Wi-Fi after mistaking a free hotspot user for a piggybacking connection thief. A Reg reader from Heckmondwike claims that a local busybody called the police after seeing him access the internet using BT's Fon service, which allows customers to access …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jul 2014
Apple signs for auction

18,000 Apple employees could get bite of profits with class-action lawsuit

A lawsuit against Apple by disgruntled employees has just been granted class-action status, potentially creating a payday for staff who say the firm held back their wages and stopped them from taking rest breaks. The lawsuit (PDF), originally filed in 2011 by former Apple retail and corporate staff, claims that managers …
Iain Thomson, 23 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

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 …
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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 …

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
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

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
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 …
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

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
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

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
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LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy

US hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners is suing the US government - and specifically the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall), for its part in the demise of optimistic wireless broadband network LightSquared. The network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last May after the FCC …
Simon Rockman, 14 Jul 2014
F-35

FBI: We found US MILITARY AIRCRAFT INTEL during raid on alleged Chinese hacker

A Chinese entrepreneur has been arrested for attempting to steal information on the United States' Lockheed F-22 and F-35 aircraft and Boeing's C-17 cargo plane. Su Bin – along with two uncharged Chinese co-conspirators – is alleged to have hacked into Boeing's corporate network as well as those of defence contractors in the US …
Darren Pauli, 14 Jul 2014
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Murdoch calls for ISPs to be liable for users' activities

News Corporation Australia has used an inquiry by the nation's Senate into a proposed Australia/South Korea free trade agreement to suggest internet service providers become copyright enforcers. In its submission to the inquiry (number 56 in the list that starts here), News backs proposals in the treaty to criminalise 'net …
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Amazon France routes around free shipping ban with €0.01 charge

Amazon France has come up with a neat way to neuter the nation's ban on free shipping of books. The book-slinger has published a Questions Fréquemment Posées to explain its stance. The workaround is simple: Amazon France has decided on a flat rate of €0.01 for shipping. While the decision to snub France's stance is cheeky, it' …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2014
An Amazon Prime Air drone

Amazon begs Feds for drone test permission slip

Amazon.com has written to the USA's Federal Aviation Administration asking to be exempted from rules governing the operation of the “small unmanned aircraft systems” – which it hopes to use in its Prime Air delivery-by-drone service. The letter points out that “Current FAA rules allow hobbyists and manufacturers of model …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2014

MonkeyParking FLINGS AWAY San Francisco service

Embattled mobile app vendor MonkeyParking has suspended service in San Francisco under threat of legal action from City Hall. The company said that users in San Francisco would no longer be able to bid on parking spots through the mobile app. The move leaves Rome as the only city in which MonkeyParking currently operates. …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014

Europe's highest court: Apple CAN trademark its retail store layout

Europe's highest court has stated that Apple can indeed trademark the layout of its stores - the iAltars - in a ruling that could ultimately dunk copycat retailers in hot water with the litigious US titan. The decision follows a spat last year, when the German Patent and Trademark Office said Apple could not extend the 2010 US …
Paul Kunert, 10 Jul 2014
Angry Birds pig

Apple rats on Google to FTC: You thought WE were in-app-ropriate?

Apple turned in Google to the Federal Trade Commission for the same in-app purchase issues for which the iPhone-maker itself had been criticised, according to a report in Politico. Earlier this year, the FTC started cracking down on iPhone and iPad apps that allowed kids to spend their parents’ hard-earned dosh without their …
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Tech giants link arms with startups against patent trolls

A group of big names in tech is trying again to stem the ravages of patent trolls by forming a mutual non-aggression pact. Google, Canon, SAP, Dropbox, Newegg, Pure Storage and Asana are the foundation members of Lotnet – the License on Transfer Network – and they hope to attract other tech players to the fold. While it's only …

Presto! After Supreme Court loss, Aereo says it's a cable company now

After months of claiming it had "no Plan B" if it lost its case before the US Supreme Court, TV-streaming outfit Aereo has told a judge that it wants to remain in business – as a cable operator. In a four-page letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan, first revealed by the Hollywood Reporter, Aereo's attorneys make the case for …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014

'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 …
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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