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Infinite stockpile of tinned food
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We're doomed: Defra's having a cow over its Brexit IT preparations

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs isn't ready for a no-deal Brexit, and hasn't ensured new IT systems will be capable of dealing with future demand, the UK's spending watchdog has warned. In a report on Defra's progress in implementing Brexit, published today, the National Audit Office said the department …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Sep 2018
depressed_648
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First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

The UK's former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has shrugged off years of concerns about ID cards and called for a state-backed system based on NHS numbers – on the grounds that people already hand over masses of info to private firms. Writing for The Times' Red Box, Rudd said the balance between the "sheer ubiquitousness" of …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Sep 2018
Strasbourg, France - December 5, 2017: View of the European Parliament Building in Strasbourg
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Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives

Updated - Special Report Today's vote on Article 13 of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market in European Parliament has turned into a knife-edge referendum on whether European institutions can deal with Californian exceptionalism. Can the EU change the way Google's giant YouTube video service behaves, and "filter" repeat …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Sep 2018
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MPs' proposal to cash in on public-private algos given a solid 'maybe'

The UK government has tentatively accepted calls from MPs to monetise public sector data – but would rather brag about existing efforts to encourage responsible use of algorithms. The House of Commons Science and Technology issued its report on algorithmic decision-making in May, and the government has this week published its …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Sep 2018
Censored Stamp
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Expanding Right To Be Forgotten slippery slope to global censorship, warn free speech fans

Europe's top court will tomorrow hear a case that could extend the scope of right to be forgotten rules globally – which free speech campaigners warn would amount to mass online censorship. The French data protection agency (CNIL) is pushing to broaden a landmark 2014 ruling (Google Spain v Gonzalez et al) that said Google …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Sep 2018
xxx
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Activists rattle tin to take UK's pr0n block to court

Campaigners are crowdfunding a legal challenge against plans to block smut in the UK. The government last year signed off on controversial plans to require online porn providers to check their users are over 18 before letting them into the site. The age-verification (AV) measures, ostensibly to stop kids stumbling across sex …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Sep 2018
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PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

Brits will have to opt in to receive cold calls selling personal injury claims or payment protection insurance under new UK government rules. The powers, which came into force on 8 September, will require payment protection insurance (PPI) pushers to check that the person has consented to being contacted. This is in contrast …
Rebecca Hill, 08 Sep 2018
couple shrugging
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People's confidence in orgs holding personal data is... on the rise?

People are more trusting with their data than they were last year – despite data harvesting and breaches dominating news agendas throughout 2018. According to a survey commissioned by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, one in three people reported high trust and confidence in organisations that store their personal …
Rebecca Hill, 07 Sep 2018
Screengrab from Brit MP MATT HANCOCK's new app
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Creaky systems 'cost lives': Health secretary Matt Hancock pledges to solve NHS IT woes

Faltering NHS IT systems are "costing lives", health secretary Matt Hancock has said ahead of announcing a further £200m for trusts to create digital testbeds. The former Minister of Fun will take to the stage at the NHS Expo in Manchester this afternoon for one of his first major speeches since taking over from Jeremy Hunt. …
Rebecca Hill, 06 Sep 2018
Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey at a senate hearing
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Not so much changing their tune as enabling autotune: Facebook, Twitter bigwigs nod and smile to US senators

Facebook and Twitter executives faced pointed questions from American lawmakers this morning over what they were doing to prevent foreign agents manipulating their sprawling online estates. Appearing at a hearing of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter boss Jack …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Sep 2018
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UK.gov: NHS should be compensated by firms using its data goldmine

The UK government has said the NHS should be "fairly rewarded" by private firms that slurp patients' data. Outlining proposals for a code of conduct for data-driven care technologies, health minister James O'Shaughnessy said the aim is to create a "safe and trusted environment" for healthcare innovation. The Technology …
Rebecca Hill, 05 Sep 2018
running from the taxman
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European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year

Warring European governments have been urged to quickly come to an interim agreement on a levy on tech giants’ revenues – and could drop plans to tax the sale of users’ data to get there. The Austrian presidency of the EU is pressing for member states to agree to a temporary solution for the bloc. The presidency is reported to …
Rebecca Hill, 05 Sep 2018
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Google skewered in ad sting after Oracle-backed bods turn troll

An advocacy group funded in part by Oracle posed as a Russian internet troll farm to call attention to what it claims is Google's failure to police online political ad sales. To demonstrate shortcomings in Google's ad sales oversight, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) spent about $100 (~6,800 rubles) on political ads over the …
Thomas Claburn, 05 Sep 2018
evidence
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Archive.org's Wayback Machine is legit legal evidence, US appeals court judges rule

Analysis The Wayback Machine's archive of webpages is legitimate evidence that may be used in litigation, a US appeals court has decided. The second circuit ruling [PDF] supports a similar one from the third circuit – and, taken together, the decisions could pave the way for the Internet Archive's library of webpages to be considered …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Sep 2018
drinks cans
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Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

Who, Me? Monday morning can mean only one thing. No, not a general sense of foreboding – it’s Who, Me?, El Reg’s way of easing you into the week ahead with tales of other people’s mistakes. This week, “Giovanni” writes in to tell us about the time his candour had his bosses fizzing with rage. “In the early ‘90s – the era where Dot …
Rebecca Hill, 03 Sep 2018
Google HQ logo. Pic: Bob Dormon
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Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

The nameless man suing Google is doing so over a blog post containing details of a criminal court report, making this a Right To Be Forgotten case, The Register can reveal. The man, known only as ABC, has been attempting to force Google to delete references to a Blogspot post since late last year. He began by writing direct to …
Gareth Corfield, 03 Sep 2018
Someone checking the time

Two years later and it still sucks: Privacy Shield progress panned

Analysis More than two years in, Privacy Shield still isn't fit for purpose – and data protection experts and politicians want to see a bigger commitment ahead of its second annual review. The agreement, rushed through in the summer of 2016 after its predecessor Safe Harbor was scrapped, governs data flows between the European Union …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Aug 2018
California
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Golden State passes gold-standard net neutrality bill by 58-17

Updated California’s net neutrality bill SB822 has cleared another hurdle on its way to becoming a state law. The bill received a 58-17 majority vote from the state assembly following a heated debate and amendment process. Because some provisions of the bill were changed by the Assembly, it will have to once again be voted on by the …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2018
upside down
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US government upends critical spying case with new denial

A closely watched case covering the constitutionality of a spying program has been thrown into disarray after a US government lawyer claimed an assertion at the heart of the lawsuit simply never occurred. Speaking in oral argument [mp3] at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals this week, the government representative told judges …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Aug 2018
UK border control photo via Shutterstock

Campaigners call for immigration exemption in UK's Data Protection Act to be scrapped

Campaign groups have today launched a legal challenge against an exemption in the UK's Data Protection Act that could prevent citizens gaining access to immigration data held on them. The Open Rights Group and EU citizens' group, the3million, have argued that, as it stands, many people would not be able to access data that the …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Aug 2018
Burning a £20 note. Pic: Shutterstock
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UK getting ready to go it alone on Galileo

The UK is about to press the big red button on its own satellite navigation system as an agreement for access to the EU’s Galileo programme looks more and more unlikely. Following hot on the heels of the release of papers detailing the customs and tax implications of a no-deal Brexit come reports that the UK Treasury has …
Richard Speed, 28 Aug 2018
Myanmar
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Facebook admits it was 'too slow' to ban Myanmar regime

Analysis Facebook has banned 20 organizations and individuals in Myanmar, including the country's commander-in-chief, following a United Nations report formally accusing the military regime of serious human rights abuses. Despite having received years of complaints about how the authorities were using Facebook to spread hateful …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Aug 2018
spank
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As porn site pounds hard on piracy laws, Cox pulls out prematurely

Analysis The US Supreme Court has been asked to take a good hard look at a critical piece of internet law that shields ISPs and websites from legal action when their users pirate copyrighted stuff. Porn studio Ventura Content has asked the court to review the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for the first time since it was …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Aug 2018

Incoming NBN boss inheriting regulation, service headaches

It's not quite as bad as waking up with a hangover and a mystery tattoo, but incoming nbn™ CEO Stephen Rue will start his tenure with a new regulatory regime, and on notice to fix the network rollout's ongoing new connection problem. This week, Rue was named to follow outgoing boss Bill Morrow, taking the big chair on …
Corbyn thumbs up photo via Shutterstock
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Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn

The Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition wants to tax ISPs and “technology giants” to fund the BBC and independent journalism. With Labour 10/11 to have the most seats at Britain's next General Election, his targets are obliged to take it seriously. Jeremy Corbyn used TV luvvie land's annual festival to float several proposals …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Aug 2018
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'Surprise!' West Oz gummint is hopeless at information security

Western Australia's auditor general is blinking in disbelief, after an audit of the state's password practices turned up just how many people use bad passwords. Yes, friends, password123 and abcd1234 remain popular among government employees, and the agencies covered by the audit don't block them. Yesterday, the office tabled …
Mobile phones on Iran flag
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Facebook brings banhammer down on over 650 pro-Iranian 'fake news' accounts

Tipped off by researchers from infosec outfit FireEye, Facebook has gone on another "fake news" killing spree, pulling more than 650 "inauthentic" pages pushing Iranian interests. The social network's head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, blogged that Facebook got the tip in July that a network called "Liberty …
Privacy
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MyHealth Record privacy legislation published

In case it survives long enough to pass legislation, the Australian government has published proposed amendments that would strengthen the privacy protections surrounding MyHealth Record. After it was changed from an opt-in model to op-out, the government's e-health system was criticised for too-easy law enforcement access to …
FLAMING BASEBALL WITH JUSTICE SCALES LOGO
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Bloke hurls sueball over Google's 'is it off yet?' location data slurping

Google's creepy obsession with users' locations is to be challenged in court – a lawsuit has accused the search-cum-ads biz of unlawfully invading users' privates and intentionally complicating the opt-out process. The allegations were levelled at the company in a suit brought by Californian resident Napoleon Patacsil after …
Rebecca Hill, 21 Aug 2018
wall punch
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Internet overseer continues wall-punching legal campaign

The organization that oversees the internet's naming and numbering systems is continuing its embarrassing European legal campaign, insisting for a third time that the German courts have got it wrong. On Friday, ICANN appealed [PDF] the latest court decision against it, this time insisting that the Appellate Court of Cologne, …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Aug 2018
Judge
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Mozilla accuses FCC of abdicating its role, ignoring comments in net neutrality lawsuit

Mozilla has filed its legal brief against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), accusing the telecoms regulator of abdicating its role, ignoring public comments and failing to understand how the internet actually works. The lawsuit is one of several ranged against the FCC for its controversial decision to tear up …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Aug 2018
Two eggs hugging couple arranged in carton

UK.gov told data-sharing plans need vendor buy-in

Government departments should mandate interoperability when procuring systems and establish audit trails to track data use in order to benefit from data sharing, a think tank has said. Whitehall has long struggled to make the most of the masses of data it holds, largely due to poor quality data and legacy systems that don’t …
Rebecca Hill, 17 Aug 2018
weeping techie with crumpled coffee cups
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Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

The reality of the mammoth task facing the Home Office in preparing for Brexit appears to have sunk in – the department is seeking a technology lead for the UK’s exit from the European Union. They will be in charge of overseeing the EU Exit programme, which the Home Office described as "a layer of IT-enabled change that sits …
Rebecca Hill, 17 Aug 2018
Ajit Pai
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Net neutrality freaks furious over lack of fury at FCC hearing

Net neutrality advocates were left furious on Thursday that there wasn't more fury directed at the chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at Congressional hearing despite, the fact he killed off net neutrality several months ago. "Democrats Ripped for Totally Failing to Grill FCC Chair Ajit Pai Over Net …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Aug 2018
Man jumps out of window of burning building. Pic by Shutterstock
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Rejoice! Thousands more kids flock to computing A-level

It’s that day again, the day when picture editors across the British news media drop everything to find fresh photos of teenagers suspended in mid-air. Yes, it’s A-level results day – and thousands more pupils are passing exams in computing rather than old school ICT. The number of kids sitting A-level ICT fell by no less than …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Aug 2018
Stalker: woman peers through keyhole
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Google risks mega-fine in EU over location 'stalking'

Special Report Privacy campaigners say Google's obsessive collection of location markers violates Europe's privacy laws - potentially exposing the Californian giant to punitive fines. Several privacy watchers agree that as it stands, users are misled, and can't give informed consent. That exposes the company to financial penalty under GDPR …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2018

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