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The Register - Business: Policy

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2018, Situation Publishing

Internet giants removing 70 per cent of reported hate speech, crows European Commission

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:35:15 GMT

But we might still drum up some new regs, so keep it up

Tech firms are removing more hate speech faster than before – so now EU lawmakers want them to improve their feedback to users.…

Court throws out BT's plans to reduce pension rates

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:40:09 GMT

Back to drawing board on £14bn pensions deficit

Plans by BT to cut its huge pension deficit have been thrown out by the High Court in England. The UK's incumbent telco had wanted to shift the rate used to calculate final salary pension payments.…

Digital mortgage service sounds handy, right? Oh, it's through's Verify

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:22:07 GMT

Keys in hands of highly borkable ID gateway

The UK government is cracking on with plans for a digital mortgage service to be launched this year, which will allow borrowers to sign mortgage deeds online via the Government Digital Service's deeply flawed Verify identity programme.…

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

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:02:08 GMT

Non-profit org mutates into investment firm

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.…

Nervy nuke-armed nation fires missile with 5,000km range

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 04:15:11 GMT

India can hit all of China now. Or Moscow, Athens, USA’s Indian Ocean navy base ...

India has successfully tested a surface-to-surface ballistic missile.…

Feds charge Barclays trader with fraud in Hewlett-Packard deal

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 18:07:49 GMT

Forex head alleged to have manipulated market in 'front-running' scheme

The former head of foreign currency exchanges at Barclays New York has been charged in the US with devising and executing a "scheme to defraud HP of money and property", according to an indictment entered yesterday.…

Home Office admits it sent asylum seeker’s personal info to the state he was fleeing

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:03:12 GMT pays £15,500 in damages after failed fact-check

An asylum seeker has won £15,500 from the UK’s Home Office after it blabbed confidential information about his persecution in his home country - to authorities in the state.…

Scumbag who tweeted vulnerable adults' details is hauled into court

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 16:34:09 GMT

Kent bloke 'threatened' privacy watchdog that he'd release more

A man from Kent, England, has been prosecuted under the UK's Data Protection Act for leaking sensitive police information on Twitter.…

Intellectual Property Office drops, er, patently cool cartoon to teach kids about trademarks

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:26:56 GMT

Hey, Reg can entertain children. IP freely, anyone, IP freely?

How do you get seven-year-olds interested in intellectual property? Anyway, indeed, why would you want to? No matter, the UK's Intellectual Property Office has launched a cartoon answering the question no one has ever asked.…

Broadcom confirms anti-trust probe, professes zero worries

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:02:08 GMT

Says probe doesn't impact wireless lines, leaving about a gazillion other products in play

Broadcom has confirmed it's under investigation by the United States' Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over antitrust issues, but doesn't believe that's going to affect its business.…

Make Apple, er, America Great Again: iGiant to bring home profits, pay $38bn in repatriation tax

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:37:48 GMT

Triumphant Trump touts terrific tax tactic

Apple announced today it will start to repatriate back to America some of the massive profits it accumulated outside the USA – and will use the cash to Make America Great Again.…

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

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 22:36:44 GMT

So much for that grilling

The US Senate's commerce committee basically gave executives from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube a back-rub at a hearing on Wednesday morning.… slammed for NHS data-sharing deal with Home Office

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:15:36 GMT

Flouts doctors' guidelines, doesn't properly balance public interests, MPs told

The UK health service's NHS Digital has been accused of operating to a "lower standard of confidentiality" than rest of NHS, in a heated hearing about a deal that requires patient info to be handed over for immigration enforcement.…

PPI-pusher makes 75 MEEELLION nuisance calls, lands £350k fine

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:55:12 GMT

Firm slapped for 'blatantly ignoring telemarketing laws'

A company that made 75 million nuisance calls in just four months has been handed a £350,000 fine from the UK's data protection watchdog.…

Ofcom cracks on with spectrum auction rules, despite Three's legal challenge

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:26:09 GMT

UK telcos continue appeal to lower spectrum cap

UK comms regulator Ofcom is cracking ahead with plans for the forthcoming spectrum auction – despite further delays posed by Three's Court of Appeal challenge.…

National Audit Office report blasts's 'muddled' STEM strategy

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:23:04 GMT

More people have skillz, but not in fields that need them

The UK government's "muddled" attempt to boost skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) risks wasting taxpayers' money, according to a report by the National Audit Office today.…

Australia won't prescribe its national broadband network a high-fibre diet

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:21:22 GMT

Nobody gets 100 Mbps, so nobody buys 100 Mbps, so nobody needs 100 Mbps. QED

Australia's federal government yesterday tabled its response to recommendations put by the parliamentary committee on the National Broadband Network, and has mostly rejected its recommendations.…

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

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:40:10 GMT

Who's up for warrantless surveillance?

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.…

Facebook, Schrems case cost Irish data watchdog €2m – reports

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:15:07 GMT

But don't worry, it got €4m budget boost this year

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has forked out almost €2m in the long legal battle involving Facebook and privacy activist Max Schrems, according to reports.…

Capita's UK military recruiting system has 'glitches' admits minister

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:29:06 GMT

DRS still letting the armed forces down big time

A defence minister has told Parliament that Capita’s pisspoor Defence Recruiting System (DRS) has “glitches”, following reports from The Register giving a glimpse inside the shambolic system.…

UK taxman has domain typo-squatter stripped of HMRC web addresses

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:06:14 GMT

Panama corporation owns nearly 54,000 dot-UK sites

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has insisted on having a Panama company trading as the “Whois Foundation” formally stripped of a handful of dodgy web domains, even though the firm instantly offered to hand them over when challenged.…

Childcare is a pain in the bum and so is HMRC's buggy subsidies site

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:05:08 GMT

Thousands still experiencing issues since April launch

More than 6,000 parents looking to access financial help with childcare have had difficulties with using HM Revenue and Customs' frequently broken Childcare Choices website.…

Why did top Home Office civil servant lobby Ofcom for obscure kit ban?

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 09:05:07 GMT

GSM gateway prohibition was way below Sir Philip Rutnam's paygrade

Comment Questions have been raised over the UK Home Office's most senior civil servant's involvement in the banning of GSM gateways – following botched redactions to freedom-of-information responses by Ofcom.…

German Bar Association says Nein to patent court block effort

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 08:01:12 GMT

Good news for UPC advocates, bad news for EPO staff

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.…

France may protect citizens' liberté with ban on foreigners buying local big data firms

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 06:02:05 GMT

AI and other tech could go on 'not to be acquired' list

France is considering regulating foreign takeovers of businesses in the data protection and artificial intelligence sectors, minister for the economy Bruno Le Maire said on Friday.…

Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:13:57 GMT

You'll Pai for this, thunders FCC

Bad user interface design has been blamed for Hawaii experiencing a brief spate of nuclear panic over the weekend.…

EU court to rule whether Facebook should seek and destroy hate speech

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:33:06 GMT

Austrian lawmakers bump up row over criminal content

The European Court of Justice has been asked to decide whether Facebook should actively search for hate speech posted by users.…

UK taxman told to go easy on transformation with Brexit in headlights

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:03:06 GMT

Unwieldy projects AND leaving the EU? Don't make us laugh

The UK government's spending watchdog has warned HMRC is biting off more than it can chew by undergoing major transformational projects while simultaneously coping with the fallout of Brexit.…

Ecuador tried to make Julian Assange a diplomat

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 02:58:07 GMT

It didn’t work, but he got a nice shirt for becoming a citizen

Ecuador granted citizenship to Julian Assange and tried to register him as a diplomat in order to secure his release from the nation’s London embassy.…

US House reps green-light Fourth Amendment busting spy program

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 19:29:19 GMT

As America's very stable genius weighs in with his one cent

The US House of Representatives has passed a six-year extension to the controversial Section 702 spying program, rejecting an amendment that would have required the authorities to get a warrant before searching for information on US citizens.…

Worst-case Brexit could kill 92,000 science, tech jobs across UK – report

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:33:14 GMT

No-deal predicted to lop £46.8bn off Blighty investment

A no-deal Brexit scenario could scrap 92,000 science and technology jobs across the UK, a report has claimed.…

UK data watchdog dishes out £600k in fines to 4 spam-spewers

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:32:14 GMT

ICO fought dodgy contracts, buck-passing, and less than concrete proof

The Information Commissioner's Office has fined four companies £600,000 for spamming customers millions of times.…

Apple hands Chinese iCloud to Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:05:06 GMT

Doing business in China means keeping everything in Chinese hands behind the great firewall

Apple has announced it will hand over iCloud operations in China to government-owned local partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry (GBCD) on February 28.…

'Repeal hate crime laws for free speech' petition passes 14k signatures

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:14:10 GMT

Good luck with that one, internet dwellers

A petition calling for "an end to hate speech laws" has passed 10,000 signatures – requiring a formal response from the UK government.…

Adrift on a sea of data: Architecting for GDPR

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:08:06 GMT

The European regulator cometh

I’ve spent many hundreds of hours listening to sales pitches from technology vendors but it’s only during the last year I’ve started to find them rather depressing. That’s been thanks to the arrival in 2018 of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.…

Cabinet reshuffle leaves UK digital policy and GDS rudderless. And now the news...

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:35:11 GMT

Responsibilities unclear amid leadership shake-up

Responsibility for broadband delivery in the UK has been handed to Margot James following Matt Hancock's promotion to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in prime minister Theresa May's reshuffle of the top jobs this week.…

Carphone Warehouse cops £400k fine after hack exposed 3 MEEELLION folks’ data

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:29:08 GMT

ICO: Seriously insecure system allowed unauthorised access to DB

Carphone Warehouse has been handed one of the largest ever fines – a whopping £400,000 – from the UK’s data protection watchdog after exposing the details of millions of its customers.…

Max Schrems: The privacy bubble needs to start 'getting sh*t done'

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:33:05 GMT

Austrian activist on funding his privacy NGO and retiring from the front line

Interview "The problem we have in the privacy bubble is that we're great at saying how evil and bad everything is... but we're not that great at getting shit done."…

UK Data Protection Bill tweaked to protect security researchers

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:01:11 GMT

Re-identification of data will not be a crime, as long as you warn the authorities

The United Kingdom has revealed amendments to its Data Protection Bill to de-criminalise research into whether anonymised data sets are sufficiently anonymous.…

Indian data leak looks to have been an inside job

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 06:31:11 GMT

5,000 officials blocked from accessing billion-plus-records Aadhaar systen

The government authority in charge of India's billion-records-and-counting Aadhaar biometric identity database, the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI), has suspended 5,000 officials from accessing the system.…

WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 04:02:07 GMT

Secrets dealer may be nearing end of asylum stay, on humane grounds

The Ecuadorian government has reportedly sought a plan to end Julian Assange's world's longest couch surfing stint record attempt at its London embassy.…

MPs sceptical of plan for IT to save the day after UK quits customs union

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:44:06 GMT

Jesus, you're not relying on government tech, are you?

MPs have slammed government's approach of touting tech "as its magic solution to customs post Brexit" in a Parliamentary debate.…

Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 10:39:06 GMT

It's a mystery how they found out. Call Sherlock

A Sky subscriber who illegally streamed a pay-per-view boxing match to Facebook has copped a plea with the broadcaster.…

India denies breach of its billion-strong 'Aadhaar' ID system

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 05:01:09 GMT

Journo who bought data has been named in police complaint

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has refuted claims the country's Aadhaar identification system was hacked as “clearly a case of misreporting being incorrect and misleading”, but has also filed a police complaint against the journalist who reported a breach.…

Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 01:30:01 GMT

We're now into minute 21 of his 15 minutes of fame

James Damore, the software engineer fired from Google after ironically firing off a neurotic memo about "neurotic" women, has launched a class-action lawsuit in the US against his former employer.…

Supremes asked to mull legality of Silicon Valley privacy 'slush funds'

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 18:33:04 GMT

When watchdogs don't watch

Analysis Nothing expresses Silicon Valley's cynicism about privacy like its fondness for rewarding its friends from privacy class-action settlements – while class members get nothing. Now the US Supreme Court has been invited to consider whether such settlements are fair.…

CCTV commish: Bring all surveillance systems under code of practice

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:58:12 GMT

Proliferation of video tracking in Blighty 'undermines' efforts to improve

The UK's surveillance camera commissioner has told the British government to adopt a "common sense position" and bring all bodies using surveillance camera systems under its code of practice.…

UK exam chiefs: About the compsci coursework you've been working on. It means diddly-squat

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:28:10 GMT

But you still have to do it, kids

GCSE computer science coursework will no longer count toward the final grade after answers to set tasks were leaked online last year.

Amazon coughs up record amount of info to subpoena-happy US government

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 12:12:05 GMT

Fully obliged Uncle Sam in almost half of cases

Amazon received more than 2,000 requests for information from governments – and approved almost 900 in full - in the first six months of 2017.…

£185k in fines rain down on dodgy PIs and claims firm for illegal data slurp

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:27:06 GMT

Adjust for THIS loss, says court as it hands out record penalty

A firm of loss adjusters and two rogue private investigators it hired have been given record fines in the UK for illegal trade in personal information.…