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Privacy
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In huge privacy win, US Supreme Court rules warrant needed to slurp folks' location data

In a decision that will define privacy in the digital age, the US Supreme Court decided 5-4 on Friday that the government needs a warrant to access its citizens' mobile phone location data. Written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by the four liberal justices, the majority opinion extended the Fourth Amendment on …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jun 2018
An angry woman steaming from the ears
30

Facebook sends lowly minions to placate Euro law makers over data-slurp scandal

Facebook has once again irked EU politicos by failing to send sufficiently senior staffers to face another grilling on the data-harvesting saga. Today, it was the turn of the EU Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE) to issue a disappointed statement after it was denied access to the execs it had asked for. Since the …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2018
young man in medieval peasant costume
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Why the 'feudal' tech monopolies run rings around competition watchdogs

Interview Competition watchdogs need to move faster and consider the bigger picture to deal effectively with transnational tech behemoths like Google, says BT's former chief lawyer. For seven years, Tim Cowen was head of BT's competition and regulatory public policy group, dealing with government threats to the telco monopoly. He's now …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2018
A confused man
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Do UK.gov wonks understand sci-tech skills gap? MPs dish out Parliamentary kicking

The UK government doesn't know what science and tech skills the economy needs or how Brexit will affect firms' ability to recruit staff, MPs have warned. In a withering report published today, Parliament's influential Public Accounts Committee criticised the government's poor understanding of science, technology, engineering …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2018
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US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes

Internet retailers will soon be required to pay state sales tax across the entire United States following a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court. The decision [PDF] will have a huge impact on American ecommerce, with large companies required to calculate, charge and hand over billions of dollars through dozens of different taxes …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2018
Access denied
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EU negotiator: Crucial data adequacy deal will wait until UK hands in homework

The UK will only be able to get a data adequacy decision from the European Union once it has offered up its new legal framework – and won't get access to the bloc's policing and security databases, Michel Barnier has warned. In a speech in Vienna yesterday, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator once again emphasised the importance …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2018
man gets fingerprinted by gloved person
140

National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

The Windrush immigration papers scandal barred Caribbean-born Britons from public services and in some cases deported them because they lacked sufficient documentation. The scandal claimed Amber Rudd's job as Home Secretary. Her replacement, Sajid Javid, is working to sort out the mess. Two of Javid's predecessors, Charles …
SA Mathieson, 19 Jun 2018
US/China conflict
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Donald Trump trumped as US Senate votes to reinstate ZTE ban

The United States Senate has passed an amendment that reinstates the ban on Chinese telecoms concern ZTE doing business with US-based companies. President Trump said he’d secured a reversal of the ban as a personal favour to Chinese president Xi Jinping in the hope that the show of good faith would ease trade negotiations …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2018
A hose leaking water

Asylum seeker spreadsheet data blurt: UK Home Office loses appeal to limit claimants

The British Home Office's bid to reduce the number of potential claimants from a 2013 data breach that exposed the personal details of thousands of asylum seekers has been knocked back by the Court of Appeal. Rather than simply publishing overall statistics on the family returns process – the system by which children who have …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Jun 2018
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UN's freedom of expression top dog slams European copyright plans

The campaign against a key aspect of new European copyright legislation has picked up a significant backer: the United Nations' freedom of expression expert. David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur, has sent a lengthy letter to the European Commission outlining his concerns about Article 13 of the Copyright in the Digital Single …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jun 2018
china hacking
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Wires, chips, and LEDs: US trade bigwigs detail Chinese kit that's going to cost a lot more

The Trump administration is moving forward with its plans to implement tariffs on Chinese goods coming into America. On Friday, it published a list of products totaling $34bn that will be subjected to a 25 per cent charge to importers, and another $16bn worth of goods that could be added to the list. The US Trade …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2018
Hmmm illustration via Shutterstock
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DeepMind Health told to explain business model, relationship to Google

Alphabet-owned AI company DeepMind Health needs to clarify its relationship with Google and explain how it plans to turn a profit, the firm's independent review panel has said. In a report (PDF) published today, the group told DeepMind Health – which has run into controversy for its work with the NHS, especially the Streams …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2018
A man reading a bad document
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Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back – watchdog

The UK government's embattled Universal Credit programme hasn't delivered value for money and has caused some claimants hardship but is now so embedded there is no alternative but to plough on, the National Audit Office has said. In a damning report published today, the spending watchdog questioned whether the disastrous …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2018
40

ICANN pays to push Whois case to European Court of Justice

Domain-name system overseer ICANN will spend millions of dollars arguing its GDPR case to the European Court of Justice rather than resolve its own internal disagreements. The California-based non-profit said this week it would appeal a decision against it in German court but also, bizarrely, announced that it would also …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2018
UK passport control photo via Shutterstock
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Scrapping Brit cap on nurses, doctors means more room for IT folk

Campaigners have welcomed reports that the UK government plans to remove doctors and nurses from an immigration cap – which could also make it easier for businesses to recruit IT workers from outside the EU. Home secretary Sajid Javid is expected to reveal the policy shift tomorrow, various outlets have reported, as the …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Jun 2018
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The only way is ethics: UK.gov emphasises moral compass amid deluge of data plans

The UK government has released a guide to help civil servants figure out how to use and procure data science tools ethically as public opinion on slurping continues to circle the drain. Amid the Facebook data harvesting scandal and news of yet another high-profile data breach, the government made a raft of announcements aimed …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Jun 2018
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Relax. It's OK, folks, the US government isn't going to try to take back control of the internet

The US government isn't serious about its own suggestion to take back control of the internet, a Congressional hearing revealed on Wednesday. Earlier this month, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) surprised many when it asked, bluntly – "Should the IANA Stewardship Transition be unwound? If …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2018
Young man covers face with jumper
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Cardiff chap chucks challenge at chops*-checking cops

A resident of Cardiff, the Welsh capital, has launched a legal challenge over South Wales Police's use of facial recognition technology in public spaces – the first of its kind in the UK. The force has used the controversial kit about 20 times since June 2017 – when it started a pilot during the Champions League finals week. …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Jun 2018
man shocked when reading newspaper
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Trademark holders must pay for UK web blocking orders – Supreme Court

BT has won a UK Supreme Court battle over who should pay the costs of trademark infringement blocking orders – and it won't be internet service providers. Instead rights-holders must reimburse ISPs for the costs of blocking rights-infringing material, according to Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption. "There is no legal basis …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Jun 2018
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock
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Aussie bloke wins right to sue Google over 'underworld' images

An Australian has won permission to sue Google for defamation over search results that he alleges link him to the country's criminal underworld. Milorad "Michael" Trkulja has convinced the Australian High Court that he should be allowed to sue Google for allegedly publishing photos that he has claimed "convey imputations that …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Jun 2018
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UK.gov online dating tips: Do get consent, don't make false claims or fake profiles

An online dating platform has been spanked by the Competitions and Markets Authority as the UK government issued love match websites an etiquette guide for fair play. Venntro Media Group – which has about 3,500 websites targeted at specific interests, hobbies, localities, ethnicity or religion – was the subject of a probe by …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Jun 2018
Drag racer wheelspin
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Trump's ZTE deal challenged by Senate

United States senators have mobilised against president Trump's plan to allow ZTE to resume dealings with American companies. The ban that brought the Chinese vendor to its knees was reversed by US president Donald Trump as a favour to Chinese president Xi Jinping. Left out of that equation, however, is the position of US …
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Australia, Solomon Islands to ink Huawei-free cable contract today

Australia and the Solomon Islands will today ink a contract blocking Huawei from building the island nation's new submarine cable. The 4,000 km cable will connect the Solomon Islands to Papua New Guinea and then to Australia. Huawei won a contract to build the cable in 2016, which so irritated Australia that its Department of …
Seattle skyline
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That was quick: Seattle rushes to kill tax that would mildly inconvenience Amazon

The city of Seattle is moving to strike its plan to tax large businesses and use the money to address the Emerald City's chronic homelessness problems. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Monday night the city was already considering legislation that would overturn its earlier decision to impose a headcount tax on large businesses …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jun 2018
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Internet luminaries urge EU to kill off automated copyright filter proposal

A large group of Internet pioneers have sent an open letter to the European Union urging it to scrap a proposal to introduce automated upload filters, arguing that it could damage the internet as we know it. The European Parliament's Legal Affairs (Juri) Committee will vote on the proposal contained in Article 13 of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jun 2018
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EU-US Privacy Shield not up to snuff, data tap should be turned off – MEPs

The deal governing transatlantic data flows doesn't properly protect European Union citizens and should be suspended unless the United States complies with its terms, MEPs have said. The Privacy Shield agreement, which aims to protect personal data transferred from the EU to the US, was set up after a legal challenge by …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Jun 2018
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Computer Misuse Act charge against British judge thrown out

A Crown court judge accused of breaking the UK's Computer Misuse Act after browsing digital documents in a case where her daughter was a witness has been discharged from court. Her Honour Judge Karen Jane Holt, who sits as a judge under her maiden name but was charged under her married name of Karen Smith, had the case against …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Jun 2018
China
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Trump kept ZTE alive as ‘personal favour’ to Chinese president Xi

US president Donald Trump did the deal to keep telco kit provider ZTE in business as a favour to Chinese president Xi Jinping. So said Peter Navarro, who’s in a position to know: he serves as assistant to the president, director of trade and industrial policy, and director of the White House National Trade Council. Navarro …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2018
hole
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US tech companies sucked into Russian sanctions row

Updated An expansion of sanctions on companies connected with Russian government cyberattacks has pulled in two US tech companies. Smart devices security specialist Embedi, based in Berkeley, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) cyber security firm ERPScan, based in Palo Alto – both in California – were added to the official …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jun 2018
Shouting match
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So net neutrality has officially expired. Now what do we do?

Six months after the FCC voted to kill off its net neutrality rules, today – Monday June 11 – it has finally happened. And everyone has responded in the exact same way, using the exact same arguments as multiple previous times: Net neutrality advocates warn that cable companies will eventually start abusing their position …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jun 2018
Guy with tape across his mouth
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Shock: Google advises UK peers against more legislation

UK politicians have been warned to pick their legislative battles when it comes to regulating the internet, and focus on the underlying principles rather than obsess over the companies dominating the space. The House of Lords Communications Committee is the latest group of politicos to dip its toe into the waters of online …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jun 2018
child watches tablet in the dark
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UK digital secretary throws cold water over bid for laws on kids' use of social media

UK digi secretary Matt Hancock has rejected the idea of greater government intervention on kids' use of tech – just as The Daily Telegraph launched a campaign calling on politicians to take stronger action. The Tory-friendly paper has teamed up with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) as well …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jun 2018
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Dems push Ryan to vote to help save America's net neutrality measures

With the FCC's motion on ending net neutrality provisions set to be enacted in a matter of days, Senate Democrats want the House to put their resolution to save the protections up for a last-minute vote. An open letter sent by the entire Democratic Senate Caucus to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) implores him to schedule a vote …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jun 2018
The Lord Chief Justice, Baron Burnett of Maldon
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England's top judge lashes out at 'Science Museum' grade court IT

England and Wales’ top judge has moaned that HM Courts and Tribunal Service’s (HMCTS) IT systems “more obviously belong in the Science Museum” than courtrooms across the land. In a speech delivered at the London HQ of law firm Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer last night, the Lord Chief Justice, Ian Burnett, described how courts’ …
Gareth Corfield, 08 Jun 2018
Alexander Nix, former chief exec of Cambridge Analytica, giving evidence to Parliament
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WikiLeaks took 10 days to reject Cambridge Analytica's US emails bid, says Tricksy Nixy

Sketch A defiant Alexander Nix has told MPs the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal was caused by lying media and the only person to trust is the one who wrote the app that quietly harvested personal data on more than 80 million people. The ex-CEO at CA started the hearing in a tense standoff with Commons Culture, Media and Sport …
Gareth Corfield, 07 Jun 2018
Human iris. Photo by SHutterstock

Lack of governance on new police tech leaves 'worrying vacuum' – Brit biometrics commish

Brit cops' use of new technologies isn't always organised or systematic, and a lack of governance on biometrics from government leaves a "worrying vacuum", biometrics commissioner Paul Wiles has said. In his annual report, Wiles said that although the police are generally compliant with laws on the use and retention of DNA and …
Rebecca Hill, 06 Jun 2018

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