Kieren McCarthy

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California

Super Cali's unrealistic net neutrality process – even though the sound of it is something quite... ferocious

California's attempt to retain net neutrality rules despite being repealed at the federal level, won't make it past a legal challenge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has warned. Earlier this week, the California Senate passed SB460, which is legislation that would reimpose open-internet rules agreed to by the federal …

So you accidentally told a million people they are going to die: What next? Your essential guide...

Analysis It's a common enough scenario: you are in charge of a critical piece of your company's computing infrastructure, and you make a simple mistake with far-reaching implications. It could be a mail server misdirecting internal documents into journalists' inboxes, or a poorly configured border firewall. Perhaps you accidentally …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jan 2018

FBI slams secret Nunes memo alleging Feds spied on Team Trump for political reasons

Analysis The FBI has slammed a still-secret memo that claims the bureau was politically motivated when it requested a wiretap on a key advisor of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. In a statement released Wednesday, the law enforcement agency said it was "provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jan 2018

California Senate OKs net neutrality law, gives FCC cold hard long stare

California has moved one step closer to passing net neutrality legislation in defiance of a decision by America's telecoms regulator, the FCC, to scrap the protections nationwide. On Monday, the state Senate approved SB460 by 21 votes to 12 along party lines (one Democrat voted against the measure; no Republicans voted in …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2018

FYI: That Hawaii missile alert was no UI blunder. Someone really thought the islands were toast

The individual who sent an emergency text to everyone in Hawaii warning them of an imminent missile attack did not hit the wrong button as first claimed – and was actually convinced a real attack was happening. That's according to a report published Tuesday by America's comms watchdog, the Federal Communications Commission ( …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2018

The Zuck promises to give you more local news – and so save the world

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken another step on his path to enlightenment, informing the masses that henceforth the Holy Facebook will include more news from local sources. The teaching was posted to The Zuck's personal page and in it he reveals the great truth to his followers: that understanding of issues closest to …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2018
Tommy Lee Jones delivers implied facepalm. From No Country for Old Men  Copyright Miramax Pictures. 2007.

Trump White House mulls nationalizing 5G... an idea going down like 'a balloon made out of a Ford Pinto'

A proposal by the Trump administration to effectively nationalize next-generation 5G networks in America triggered an angry reaction from the mobile industry, former government officials, and federal regulator the FCC. According to a leaked 30-page document [PDF], the White House is considering getting the federal government …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jan 2018
Ajit Pai

If you've ever wondered whether the FCC boss is a Big Cable stooge – well, wonder no more

Analysis Fresh from being mocked by Burger King, Ajit Pai – chairman of America's broadband watchdog, the Federal Communications Commission – has further undermined his authority by attacking a key advisory committee to his own regulator. And all because he didn't like being criticized by it. A figure of hate – someone who behaves …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jan 2018
Theresa May

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has reiterated calls for a special magic version of encryption to be developed by technologists so law enforcement can access everyone's communications on demand – and somehow engineer it so that no one else can abuse this backdoor. Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jan 2018

Biggest Washington DC lobbyist is now a tech giant (yes, it's Google)

For the first time, an internet company has become the largest lobbyist in Washington DC. With the release of fourth quarter lobbying figures – a legal requirement – it has been revealed that Google (well, Alphabet) spent no less than $18m in 2017 to lobby lawmakers in the US capital: a 17 per cent increase on the previous …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jan 2018

You want wires with that? Burger King backs, er, net neutrality

Vid It is possible for a policy issue to jump the shark? It's not a question we've ever felt the need to ask, but today Burger King – yes, the sweaty meat slinger – put out a advert in which it comes to the defense of net neutrality in America. Quite why a fast-food joint would feel the need to weigh in the most controversial …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jan 2018

Hey, look who's rushing to weigh in on crypto-coins. Hello, United Nations and European Commission!

Following a warning from America's financial regulator, the European Commission and the United Nations have weighed in on the issue of crypto currencies. This week, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission Jay Clayton warned companies thinking of adding “blockchain” to their names that his agency is watching them …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Jan 2018

Under fire for its shoddy response, FCC finally wakes up to Puerto Rico

Analysis America's comms watchdog has finally started reacting to the dire situation in Puerto Rico, months after it was hit by a hurricane. This change in heart comes in the wake of fierce criticism from one of the regulator's own commissioners, as well as a formal report from the US government's General Accountability Office (GAO). …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Jan 2018

Murdoch to Zuckerberg: Cough up cash, nerd

News Corp executive chairman and internationally despised publisher Rupert Murdoch has waded into the fake news debate – and demanded that internet giants pay journalists for their work. "Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2018

Facebook grows a conscience, admits it corroded democracy

Facebook has admitted it was "far too slow" to recognize that its systems were being used to "spread misinformation and corrode democracy." In a blog post today by its manager of civic engagement Samidh Chakrabarti, the social media giant appears to have become self-aware following a year in which countless researchers, …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2018
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FCC drops idiotic plans to downgrade entire nation's internet speeds

Analysis America's favorite government watchdog – the Federal Communications Commission – has backtracked on plans to downgrade the entire country's internet, agreeing to maintain its current definition of what is broadband speed. In a "factsheet" put out by the telecoms regulator on Friday, FCC chairman Aji Pai noted that the latest …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2018

America restarts dodgy spying program – just as classified surveillance abuse memo emerges

Analysis The US Senate reauthorized a controversial NSA spying program on Thursday – and then, because it's 2018 and nothing matters any more, embarked on a partisan battle over a confidential memo that outlines Uncle Sam's alleged abuse of surveillance powers. The so-called section 702 FISA snooping system, renewed this week, has been …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018

.UK overseer Nominet abandons its own charitable foundation – and why this matters

Special report Nominet, which runs the UK's domain-name registry, has abandoned its own charitable foundation, raising questions about the organization's direction and accountability. In an email earlier this week, CEO Russell Haworth stunned members of the non-profit, public-interest outfit by announcing that he was withdrawing from the …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018

Two things will survive a nuclear holocaust: Cockroaches and crafty URLs like ғасеьоок.com

It's been known for a long while that people can use similar-looking non-Roman characters to create internet addresses that look similar to real ones. These dishonest URLs have been doing the rounds for years. And, sadly, the abuse of homographs to craft dodgy web addresses continues well into this day, according to security …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018

Hey. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Get in here... so we can shake your hands – US Senate cyber-terror panel

The US Senate's commerce committee basically gave executives from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube a back-rub at a hearing on Wednesday morning. The session was titled "Terrorism and Social Media: #IsBigTechDoingEnough?" and the answer from the majority of lawmakers was "yes." Unfortunately. Under intense pressure in Europe over …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2018
FBI

US senators vow to filibuster FBI, er, NSA's domestic, errr, foreign mass spying program

Updated A number of US senators from both sides of the aisle have said they will filibuster an effort to approve the continuation of a controversial American government spying program. This mass snooping effort was authorized by section 702 of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act, which expired at the end of …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jan 2018

Butt plugs, mock cocks, late pay and paranoia: The world of Waymo star Anthony Levandowski… by his kids' nanny

The engineer at the center of a massive self-driving car lawsuit – brought by Google-stablemate Waymo against Uber – neglects his kids, is wildly disorganized, and has a large selection of bondage gear, his former nanny has sensationally alleged. Anthony Levandowski may also be paying a Tesla techie for trade secrets, may have …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jan 2018

German Bar Association says Nein to patent court block effort

The effort to create a single patent court system for Europe has been given a boost with a response from the German Bar Association arguing that a complaint against the Unitary Patent Court (UPC) should be thrown out. The association is one of more than a dozen organizations that have been asked by the German Constitutional …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jan 2018

Infamous Silicon Valley 'sex party' exactly as exciting as it sounds

Comment This week, the tech world has been consumed with intrigue over the details of alleged "sex parties" hosted by Silicon Valley's power brokers. But as more details have emerged, what we all knew to be true has been slowly reasserting itself: nerds don't do sex nor drugs nor rock and/or roll. The salacious claims have been the …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2018

Q: How do you get YouTube to stop funneling ads to your vids? A: Make jokes next to a dead body

YouTube has revealed where decency standards lie in the internet era: mocking suicide victims while standing next to a corpse. The Google-owned business has finally responded to controversy over one its highest-earning "vloggers" – man-child Logan Paul – announcing that it has removed him from its "Google preferred" program …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jan 2018

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