Jennifer Baker

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
Panic button

How can we manage this internet thing? The Euro gov needs YOU

The European Commission is asking for help in drawing up laws to govern the internet. On Thursday it launched yet more public consultations designed to inform bureaucrats attempting to help create the digital single market. The two new consultations are so broad as to be almost unmanageable: one on “geo-blocking” and the other …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Sep 2015
Pinky and the Brain

Boffins make brain-to-brain direct communication breakthrough

University of Washington (UW) researchers have entered the realm of sci-fi (sort of), and achieved brain-to-brain direct communication. Sadly, these mind-reading superpowers are limited to responding to 'yes' or 'no' questions. Researchers hooked one person up to an electroencephalography (EEG) machine that records electrical …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Sep 2015

You call THAT safe? Top EU legal bod says data sent to US is anything but

The top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said the current agreement between the EU and US is not worth the paper it’s written on . Advocate General Yves Bot’s opinion on the so-called Facebook vs Europe case is not legally binding, but the court’s final ruling almost always follows his advice. The case was …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Sep 2015
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

Oettinger stateside, building bridges while carrying a big stick

Europe’s gaffe-prone digi Commissioner Günther H-dot Oettinger is in the US this week to meet top tech companies, start-ups and policy makers, promising to ask those tricky regulation questions. Kicking off his five-day trip in San Francisco, Oetti, the Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, will meet senior staff …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Sep 2015

Transport for London’s new crash map immediately crashes

Just hours after it was launched yesterday, TfL’s new interactive digital collision map went down for about an hour, as excited Londoners zoomed in to find out where accidents had happened. The map uses data collected by the police dating back to 2005. Users can filter the results by location, seriousness of incident, and date …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Sep 2015
Google nutella

Who probes the Google probers? EU Commish in watchdog's sights

As the European Commission puts the screws on Google, the Commish itself is to be probed by the European Ombudsman over its handling of the long-running anti-trust case. The Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, confirmed in writing on Monday that she will investigate concerns raised by French company Interactive Lab, following its …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Sep 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Get that OFF dot-com, hysterical France screeches at Google

The French privacy watchdog has dug its heels in over Google’s refusal to apply the so-called Right To Be Forgotten* to all of its domain names, including In June, CNIL ordered Google to de-link outdated and irrelevent information from its domains within two weeks, or face a fine. The search monster …
Jennifer Baker, 21 Sep 2015
Broken CD with wrench

EU spaffs €131m on making gov digi services 'talk' to each other

Sick of filling out online forms in triplicate for basic government services? So are EU officials. The EU is to spend €131m to make eGovernment services in different countries “talk” to each other. Ministers from member states, led by the Luxembourg presidency, and MEPs on Wednesday agreed to extend funding to the ISA² ( …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Sep 2015
Microsoft store opening

Microsoft to splurge $75m on computer training for kids

Microsoft announced on Wednesday (September 16) that it would dish out $75m to teach kids computer science. The cash will be funnelled out over the next three years through the company’s YouthSpark programme. The aim is “to increase access to computer science education for all youth, especially for those from under- …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Sep 2015
Sharp - beyond 4K

Sharp's new TV has over 7,000 lines of pixels – but there's NOTHING TO WATCH

On Wednesday the tech and audiovisual media community hyperventilated over Sharp’s announcement that it would begin selling an 8K TV screen next month. Japan’s AVwatch broke the news, with its experts saying that it would be useful for things like keyhole surgery ... and not just your home viewing pleasure. But before you go …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Sep 2015
Angela Merkel. Pic: Christliches Medienmagazin

German data retention law prompts Euro Commission backlash

Germany’s planned data retention law has run into more trouble. But not, despite media reports, because the European Commission is “threatening to take Germany to court”, nor even because of a court ruling against the EU-wide Data Retention Directive. On Tuesday, German stick-it-to-zer-Mann news site Netzpolitik published a …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Sep 2015
Medieval writing. Pic: Hans Splinter

In EU-US data sharing we trust – but can we have that in writing, say MEPs

European lawmakers won’t blindly accept an EU-US agreement on new data sharing laws without important legal questions being answered and fine print being read, according to several prominent MEPs. After four years of talks, the EU and the US reached a “gentleman’s agreement” on data sharing for law enforcement last week. On …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Sep 2015

Human Rights Watch demands to know who's been snooping on it

Civil rights NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has launched a legal challenge to find out if its information was shared between the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The organisation is unhappy that a ruling by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) in February did not …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Sep 2015

Who wants a European Broadband Award? Anyone? *tumbleweed*

High speed broadband operators have until the end of this week to nominate themselves for a European Commission award. The Europe-wide Broadband Award honours the five best Next-Generation Networks (NGN) projects delivering at least 30Mbps in urban, suburban and rural areas. The so-called Digital Agenda target for 2020 is …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Sep 2015

EU’s privacy high priest: Plans big on hyperbole, less clear on specifics

Fresh from preaching about data protection regulation, Europe’s high priest of privacy is planning to take on ethics. Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), has said that his institution will soon set up an external Ethics Board to “help define a new digital ethics in ways that reinforce the …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Sep 2015

Swooning MEPs go all Directioner over Edward Snowden

Whistleblower-in-chief Edward Snowden has been nominated for the European Parliament’s human rights prize, for a second time. The nominations for the 2015 Sakharov Prize were decided last week, with Snowden getting the nod again after losing to Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani girl who defied the Taliban, in 2013. The …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015

Danish telcos hang up on merger plans after EU pressure

Telenor and TeliaSonera have abandoned their merger plans following pressure from the European Commission. In an official statement on Friday, the pair called off the deal as they were unable to meet the Brussels competition watchdog’s demands. The Commish opened an in-depth investigation into the deal in April. “The merger …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

Euro Commission wants to pick your brains on telcos and net access

The European Commission on Friday launched two vast public consultations on internet speed and quality. The so-called 360° review of telecoms and internet rules is open until December 7 and is seeking input from users, organisations, public bodies and businesses. The telecoms questionnaire looks at network, service and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Sep 2015
"Round up the usual suspects"

Watchdogs roughed up for picking Morocco (of all places) for next privacy 'World Cup'

The world of data protection is having its very own FIFA moment: next year, the World Cup of data privacy will take place in a country with a very poor track record on, er, privacy. Despite not being run by Sepp Blatter, the 38th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners will take place in Morocco …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Sep 2015

EU-US data sharing deal for cops edges closer as usual suspects moan

After four years of talks, the EU and the US have finally reached a “gentleman’s agreement” on data sharing for law enforcement. The so-called Umbrella Agreement should allow the exchange of personal data between the EU and the US “for the purpose of prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal offences” so …

End mass snooping and protect whistleblowers, MEPs yell at EU

The European Parliament on Tuesday voted to adopt the conclusions of a report – as a non-legally binding resolution – that defends encryption, anonymity and digital freedom. The report (PDF), which was narrowly approved by 371 votes in favour to 293 against, said “the active complicity of certain EU member states in the NSA’s …

Roll up, roll up: Microsoft, those Irish emails and angry Feds

An appeals court in New York will hold an oral hearing in the Feds vs Microsoft battle today. The so-called Microsoft warrant case has dragged on for nearly two years as Redmond resists efforts to make it hand over customer emails stored in Ireland. The American Justice Department wants the emails as part of a drug-trafficking …
Twitter for Mac New

Still can't get a woop, woop! Twitter battered on matter of politi-natter scatter button

Digital rights groups are putting pressure on Twitter to restore API access to gaffe-watcher websites Politwoops and Diplotwoops. The so-called digital accountability tool tracks elected politicians from 30 countries and makes their deleted tweets visible. Last month, Twitter informed the Open State Foundation (OSF), which …

Max Schrem's Facebook safe harbour case to be seen by Bot

The top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will give his opinion on the so-called Europe versus Facebook case on 23 September. The ECJ revealed on Monday that Advocate General Yves Bot’s opinion would be given later this month after it was postponed in June. The case involves “Angry Austrian” Max Schrems, who …

EU digi bloke: Come ON Europe, you're not TRYING ENOUGH

The EU’s digi-veep says European industry has been too slow in making use of mobile tech, social media, cloud and Big Data. Speaking at the Bruegel Institute in Monday, Andrus Ansip said that less than two per cent of EU companies make full use of such technologies and “about 40 per cent do not use any at all.” Some of that …

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018