Articles about policy

Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

UK.gov: Who wants £25m... *cheers*... to trial 5G? *crickets chirping*

The British government is looking for places to chuck £25m it has set aside for 5G trials. Under the plans, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is asking interested parties across the UK to submit proposals for match-funded grants of up to £5m. It reckons the technology will enable speeds of up to 10Gbps, …
Kat Hall, 16 Oct 2017

Online criminal records checks to take a punt on troubled Verify system

The Disclosure and Barring Service, responsible for processing requests for criminal records checks, has taken the gamble of using the Government Digital Service's online ID system authentication portal. From next year, users will be able to apply direct to DBS for an online check. "As part of the online application you'll …
Kat Hall, 6 Oct 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
All UK police forces use Tetra

Cops' use of biometric images 'gone far beyond custody purposes'

The use of 20 million facial images by British police "has said gone far beyond using them for custody purposes," according to the UK Biometric Commissioners’ annual report. Concerns have been previously raised by the commissioner over the retention of hundreds-of-thousands of innocent individuals' images. The Register was the …
Kat Hall, 13 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
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
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

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

PayPal, accused of facilitating neo-Nazi rally, promises to deny hate groups service

PayPal has vowed to pull its online payment services from sites linked to hate, violence and intolerance in wake of the weekend's tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia. The company defended its acceptable use policy following a separate report by the Southern Poverty Law Centre yesterday, which claimed organisers of the …
Kat Hall, 16 Aug 2017

UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

The government is poised to usher in mandatory porn checks this week, with reports it will require users to provide details from a credit card to prove they are over 18. The legislation was introduced in the Digital Economy Act in April, and will require websites serving up adult content to verify users' ages or be blocked by …
Kat Hall, 17 Jul 2017
Businessman makes A-OK sign. Photo by Shutterstock

Blighty's Department for Culture, Media & Sport gets 'digital' rebrand

The Ministry of Fun - aka the UK government's Department formerly known as Culture, Media & Sport - has received a "digital" rebrand today, making it DDCMS for short. As with job titles, The Register has a theory that the more words required to describe what a department does, the less meaningful it actually is. Contrast, for …
Kat Hall, 3 Jul 2017
Theresa May glass of water photo via Shutterstock

Northern Ireland bags £150m for broadband pipes in £1bn Tory bribe

The Democratic Unionist Party is to receive an extra £1bn in funding from Brit taxpayers, including £150m to spend on broadband infrastructure, after it agreed to prop up Theresa May's minority government. The recent UK election resulted in a hung Parliament, meaning the May's Tory Party needed to do a deal to beef up its …
Kat Hall, 26 Jun 2017
trump

Security shield slingers are loving Prez Trump's cybersecurity order

US President Donald Trump's cybersecurity executive order, signed on Thursday after a series of delays, will make federal agency heads accountable for protecting their networks. On the other side of the fence, computer security product makers have broadly welcomed the policy, which also calls on government and industry to …
John Leyden, 16 May 2017

Get this: Tech industry thinks journos are too mean. TOO MEAN?!

The tech press has dared to lean away from its core mission of making technology companies more profitable, says tech advocacy house ITIF. The industry-funded think tank has cooked up an 18-page report [PDF] that laments what it says is a shift in the media from a "positive" attitude in the 1980s and 1990s to one that is more …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Feb 2017
Migrating birds in the cloud

GDS chap: UK.gov is better off on public cloud than its own purpose-built network

The Cabinet Office wants government departments to buy public cloud rather than services from the Public Services Network (PSN). In a blog post on Friday, James Stewart, director of technical architecture and head of technology at the Government Digital Service, indicated that the PSN would be wound down. He said the …
Kat Hall, 23 Jan 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Tech committee slams UK.gov for dithering over digital strategy

The Science and Technology Committee has today slammed the UK government for dragging its feet in releasing a digital strategy, now more than a year late. In a letter to digital minister Matt Hancock, the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, Stephen Metcalfe, said he was "disappointed" by the "continued absence of …
Kat Hall, 13 Jan 2017
Uber Movement screen interface

Uber's Movement dumps data on city planners

Uber, which has been fighting to withhold ride destination data from New York City, on Sunday threw municipal governments a bone with a service called Movement. Movement aims to provide driving data to urban planners so local transportation systems can be optimized to operate more efficiently, a challenge that increases as …

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