Articles about government

UK.gov lays down rules for cross-Whitehall data slurps

The UK government has offered more detail on how public authorities can pass around the data they hold on citizens – a mere five months after the Digital Economy Act passed into law. The final versions of the codes of practice, which are used to add some meat to the bones of the legislation, are now open for a six-week …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Sep 2017

Blame Canada? $5.7m IBM IT deal balloons to $185m thanks to 'an open bag of money'

A CA$5.7m IBM contract to update payroll systems for the Canadian government has turned into a CA$185m boondoggle for the Great White North. That's $4.62m and $150m in US currency, respectively. The relatively straightforward task of installing PeopleSoft HR software for a few government agencies has morphed into a massive …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Sep 2017

Brit ministers jet off on a trade mission to tout our digital exports...

In a desperate attempt to improve our international trade prospects, UK digital minister Matt Hancock has jetted off on a "cyber trade mission" to "tap huge markets in Singapore and promote UK fintech sector in Tokyo." Meanwhile British culture secretary Karen Bradley will travel to Finland and Sweden, where she will "set out …
Kat Hall, 18 Sep 2017
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

Exclusive The UK's incoming Chief Digital Information Officer of HMRC is to recuse herself from making any decisions regarding Microsoft, as she is on sabbatical from the company under a two-year placement with the taxman. Jacky Wright was named as CDIO last week, and will take up the £180,000 per annum role in October 2017. She is …
Kat Hall, 18 Sep 2017
HMRC photo via Shutterstock

HMRC scoops up Microsoft veep for CIO role

HMRC has named Microsoft veep Jacky Wright as its next CIO, The Register can confirm. Wright will replace interim CIO Mike Potter, who headed up the department's technology since former top brass Mark Dearnley stepped down in October 2016. Last year it emerged that Dearnley walked away from his £185,000-a-year job because the …
Kat Hall, 14 Sep 2017
Businessman makes A-OK sign. Photo by Shutterstock

UK's new Data Protection Bill will be 'liberal' not 'libertarian', says digi minister

Digital minister Matt Hancock has confirmed that the Data Protection Bill will be published tomorrow, in a speech promising internet laws "based on liberal and not libertarian values" that "cherish freedom yet prevent harm to others". Speaking at the UK Internet Governance Forum, Hancock said the forthcoming data protection …
Kat Hall, 13 Sep 2017
Cannabis leaves

Totally uncool California bureaucrats shoot down drone weed delivery

California says its impending legalization of recreational marijuana will not include skies full of herb-toting drone delivery bots. A set of rules [PDF] handed down from the state's Bureau of Cannabis Control mandates that any delivery services operating in the state only use cars to make their drop-offs. The ruling expressly …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Sep 2017
A hand squeezing juice from an orange

Gov claws back £645m in BT broadband from subsidy

The government has clawed back £645m from BT under its state-subsidised superfast broadband contracts tendered in 2012. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS) has estimated 900,000 additional UK homes and businesses could gain access to speeds of 24Mbps thanks to the cash windfall. But this seems …
Kat Hall, 11 Sep 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Lord Sugar phubbed in peers' debate on 'digital understanding'

Fellow peers phone snubbed (or phubbed) Lord Sugar's speech in a debate last week, which included calls for an ID card system to be resurrected and plenty of hand-wringing about the Government Digital Service. In what might sound like an oxymoron, 32 Lords stepped forward to air their thoughts in a debate brought by Baroness …
Kat Hall, 11 Sep 2017
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Shocking: Former Amazon analyst fed frat brother insider info

A former financial analyst at Amazon.com pled guilty on Thursday to securities fraud for helping a former fraternity brother trade Amazon stock based on insider information. Brett D Kennedy, 26, a resident of Blaine, Washington, acknowledged that in April 2015 he provided confidential financial information – Amazon's Q1 2015 …
Estonia folk dancers in traditional costume

Kurat võtku! Estonia identifies security risk in almost 750,000 ID cards

The Estonian government has discovered a security risk in its ID card system, potentially affecting almost 750,000 residents. "When notified, Estonian authorities immediately took precautionary measures, including closing the public key database, in order to minimise the risk while the situation can be fully assessed and a …
Kat Hall, 5 Sep 2017

UK.gov unveils six areas to pilot full-fat fibre, and London ain't on the list

Government has revealed the first six areas in Blighty to trial speeds of 1Gbps in a £10m pilot, as previously revealed by The Register. The areas include Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. In August, the Department …
Kat Hall, 4 Sep 2017
HMRC photo via Shutterstock

80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35 – report

The vast majority of UK government IT projects are suffering delays due to freelancers quitting over the IR35 tax clampdown, according to a survey of contractors. Of 405 IT freelancers surveyed by Contractor Calculator, 79 per cent said the projects they have been working on were delayed as a result of contractors leaving. In …
Kat Hall, 4 Sep 2017
License plates

US cops can't keep license plate data scans secret without reason

Police departments cannot categorically deny access to data collected through automated license plate readers, California's Supreme Court said on Thursday – a ruling that may help privacy advocates monitor government data practices. The ACLU Foundation of Southern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation sought to …
Bitcoin, photo via Shutterstock

Bitcoin Foundation wants US Department of Justice investigated

Spooked by prosecutions of Bitcoin sellers and pending money laundering rules, The Bitcoin Foundation on Tuesday said the cryptocurrency isn't really money and asked lawmakers to investigate the US Department of Justice's pursuit of merchants selling it. In a letter [PDF] to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Llew Claasen, the …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Aug 2017

Deputy AG Rosenstein calls for law to require encryption backdoors

The deputy US Attorney General said he wants legislators to force technology companies to decrypt people's private conversations. Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday told a crowd of over 600 police officers that software developers should be required by law to unscrambled end-to-end encrypted chatter on demand – and if the engineers …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2017

Hate it when your apartment block is locked to Comcast etc? Small ISPs fight back

A group of small ISPs is asking America's broadband watchdog to ban exclusivity deals that lock apartment buildings to a single broadband provider. Incompas, a Washington DC advocacy group for ISPs and telcos, told the FCC in a filing [PDF] that it should end the practice of landlords and building owners making deals with a …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Aug 2017
Police search

US cops point at cell towers and say: Give us every phone number that's touched that mast

US telecoms giant Verizon says police are increasingly asking it to cough up massive dumps of cellphone data rather than individual records. This according to the latest Verizon US transparency report for the first half of the 2017 calendar year. The dossier tracks government requests for phone records both of individual …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Aug 2017

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