Kieren McCarthy

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Spanish govt slammed over bizarre Catalan .cat internet registry cop raid

The Spanish government has come under increasing criticism for raiding the offices of the .cat internet registry in the lead-up to a referendum on Catalan's independence. On Wednesday morning, police entered the registry's headquarters in Barcelona and seized all of its computers. The cops also arrested six members of staff, …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Sep 2017
Double thumbs up photo via Shutterstock

First big Privacy Shield review has ended – and yep, it's great! Just don't ask about mass spying

The much-heralded first review of the EU‑US Privacy Shield Framework that governs the flow of personal information across the Atlantic has concluded – and would you believe it? Representatives of the EU and US think it's doing fine. The two-day review is an annual requirement written into the new framework after the previous …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Sep 2017

Facebook, Twitter sucked into US Senate's Russian meddling probe

They may still view themselves as open purveyors of free speech, but increasingly social media giants are being pulled into the US Senate's investigation of Russian interference in the American presidential elections. This week Twitter confirmed that it is going to meet the Senate's intelligence committee that is heading up …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Sep 2017

Hi Facebook, Google, we think we might tax your ads instead – lots of love, Europe x

More details have emerged on the various plans being considered by European governments to force internet giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon to pay more in taxes, including a levy on internet ads and even withholding money for online transactions. Following a letter earlier this month from the finance ministers of Europe' …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Sep 2017

You've been baffled by its smart thermostat. Now strap in for Nest's IoT doorbell, alarm gear

First fondle Nest unveiled a new outdoor camera, doorbell and security system this morning in San Francisco. We were at the launch event and afterwards wandered over to a demo area, where we got to try them out first hand and flood willing Nest employees with questions. Here's what we learned. The doorbell needs a wired connection This …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Sep 2017

Say Hello to my little friend: Nest blasts IoT world with doorbell, home security gear

Smart home poster child Nest on Wednesday launched two new products: a video doorbell and a security system. The hardware maker hopes the Hello (doorbell) and the Secure (security system) will put to rest criticism of the biz that it only produces iterations of its smart thermostat and camera. The bigger goal, however, is …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Sep 2017

Congress battles Silicon Valley over upcoming US sex trafficking law

The first Congressional hearing into a proposed law that would make American companies liable for online sex trafficking has lain bare the depths of the disagreement between lawmakers and tech giants. The US Senate's commerce committee met Tuesday morning to hear from advocates and critics of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Sep 2017

Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

Apple's latest iOS version is out today – iOS 11 – but before you rush into updating, you'll want to check that it doesn't destroy any of your favorite apps. This version will insist on running only 64-bit apps and will kill support for 32-bit apps. That means several things: for one, if you have anything earlier than an …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Sep 2017

Pirate Bay digs itself a new hole: Mining alt-coin in slurper browsers

Bittorrent search engine and mortal enemy of intellectual property lawyers, The Pirate Bay, has upset the one group of people that actually likes it: its users. Over the weekend, visitors to the infamous file-sharing watering hole were surprised to find their browsers working overtime, with their computers' CPU usage rocketing …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Sep 2017

DRM now a formal Web recommendation after protest vote fails

Anti-piracy and anti-copying protections are now formally part of the World Wide Web after an effort to vote down content controls at the WWW's standards body failed. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been embroiled in controversy for five years over the introduction of the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) specification …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Sep 2017

China orders immediate shuttering of Bitcoin exchanges

China has ordered all Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges to cease trading by the end of Friday, causing a massive drop in its value worldwide. According to leaked documents and a series of statements from those running the local exchanges, China's regulators have told the exchanges verbally that they do not have a license to …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Sep 2017

EU's tech giant tax plan moves forward

A proposed plan to make sure that digital giants like Apple, Google and Facebook pay more in tax within Europe has moved forward with remarkable speed and a paper will be put to European governments at the end of the month. That's according to the European Commission's tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who told reporters [ …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Sep 2017

Sprint CEO straight out accuses Verizon counterpart of LYING

It has long been a frustrating marketing ploy pushed by mobile phone operators: claiming that they offer better network coverage and speeds than their competitors. But someone has finally gotten fed up with it: the CEO of Sprint, the perennial fourth placed US mobile market. "AS A PUBLIC COMPANY CEO HE HAS TO STOP LYING," …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Sep 2017

How to stop Facebook and Apple taking over the mobile phone industry

Cloudflare Internet Summit At the launch of the Mobile World Congress earlier this week, the mobile industry begrudgingly accepted that tech giants like Facebook, Apple and Google were increasingly influencing its business. At the same time, a new report from the mobile industry pointed – with a degree of desperate hope – toward virtual reality, smart …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Sep 2017

What is the cyber equivalent of 'use of force'? When do we send in the tanks?

Cloudflare Internet Summit The United States needs to define a new set of international rules that decides what the cyber equivalent of a missile attack is. So says Avril Haines, former deputy head of the CIA and deputy national security advisor to the Obama Administration. Speaking at the Cloudflare Internet Summit in San Francisco Thursday, Haines …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Sep 2017

Intelligence director pulls national security BS on spying question

The director of national intelligence (DNI) has refused to say whether US spying agencies are using legislation specifically intended to cover only foreigners in order to spy on American citizens. The unclassified letter [PDF] from Dan Coats to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and released by the legislator, comes in response to a …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Sep 2017

US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

The US Department of Homeland Security is being sued by 11 travellers who had their smartphones and laptops seized and searched at the US border. The lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) claims that the searches were unconstitutional. Ten of the 11 …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Sep 2017

Chill out about net neutrality, says FCC head, because mobile phones are great

Mobile World Congress The head of America's telecom watchdog the FCC, Ajit Pai, didn't mention net neutrality by name once during his keynote at the Mobile World Congress in San Francisco. Which is pretty remarkable given that it is pretty much the only issue that people outside the telecom policy bubble care about. In fact, if you didn't know …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Sep 2017

Mobile industry begrudgingly accepts impacts of Apple, Google et al

Mobile World Congress It may not be happy about it, but the mobile industry has begrudgingly accepted that tech giants Apple, Google and Facebook are driving its industry. Just an hour before the launch of the new iPhone, director general of the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, Mats Granryd, took to the stage of the Mobile World …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Sep 2017

Facebook fined €1.2m by Spain for… you'll never guess what

Facebook has been fined €1.2m ($1.43m) by the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) for violating privacy laws. The agency found [PDF, Spanish] that the company has collected information on its millions of Spanish users and then used that for advertising purposes without informing users how that information would be used, or …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Sep 2017

Hi Amazon, Google, Apple we might tax you on revenue rather than profit – love, Europe

Fed up with how Amazon, Google and other American digital giants pay tiny amounts in tax, European ministers are proposing a big change: tax based on revenues rather than profits. A joint letter – signed by the finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Europe's largest economies – is forthright, stating: "We …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Sep 2017

London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

The people in charge of the London Underground transport have released a report [PDF] in their month-long tracking trial of Tube users – and the results are fascinating. Transport for London (TfL) used Wi-Fi access points in 54 stations in central London in December last year to track nearly six million mobile phones, and …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Sep 2017

我的天啊! China gives Weibo users a week to use their real names

China's version of Twitter, Sina Weibo, has warned its 340 million users they have until next Friday to verify their accounts using their real names. The company posted an official announcement Friday with a deadline of September 15, but didn't state what would happen to accounts that weren't verified. The service has been …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Sep 2017

Wonder why Congress doesn't clamp down on its gung-ho spies? Well, wonder no more

Analysis When Edward Snowden revealed the extent of illegal operations carried out by American spy agencies, many wondered whether the US Congress was either unaware or had simply turned a blind eye toward them. Nevertheless, Congress did act, restricting some programs and declaring others illegal. Even the notoriously secretive FISA …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Sep 2017

FCC taps the brakes on fudging US broadband speed amid senator fury

America's comms watchdog has extended a comment period on a proposal to downgrade the definition of broadband to a slower speed. The decision follows a caustic letter [PDF] from 12 Democratic Senators that accuses the FCC of "abandoning further efforts to connect Americans," and signaling "a strong departure from the …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Sep 2017

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