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Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:28:10 GMT

Ageing systems, Brexit, exodus of contractors, delayed agile projects...

The departure of Home Office chief information officer Sarah Wilkinson after two years at the helm comes at an interesting - and crucial - time for the department.…

Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:02:10 GMT

Oh, and voting is the only say you get in how the government handles your information

The Digital Economy Bill 2016-17 has received Royal Assent, and with Her Maj's rubberstamp it shall henceforth become a requirement for all pornography-serving websites to verify the ages (and thus identities) of all of their visitors in the UK.…

Australian Federal Police accessed metadata without warrant, broke law

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 06:17:48 GMT

Single phone call by journalist probed, Feds then self-report breach to Ombudsman

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin has admitted that one of the force's investigators accessed a journalist's telecommunications metadata without a warrant, thereby breaching the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.…

Software woes keep NASA's new crewed missions grounded

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 04:10:42 GMT

Space Launch System and Orion Crew Vehicle won't lift off for planned 2018 test flight

The United States Government Accountability Office has found that NASA's return to crewed space exploration will likely not commence in 2018, as planned, and will probably slip into 2019. And familiar technology integration challenges are partly to blame.…

European Court of Justice lays down the law on Kodipocalypse

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:32:06 GMT

In short, stop flogging players with pirate add-ons

Europe's highest court has made it easier for member states to halt the sale of media sticks with preloaded pirate streaming links and add-ons.…

Come celebrate World Hypocrisy Day

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:02:11 GMT

Silicon Valley has a problem with IP. And it won't grow up

Comment Thanks to the World Intellectual Property Organization, today is World Intellectual Property Day 2017. Perhaps this celebration needs a dark companion – World Hypocrisy Day. Here's why.…

Oh dear, Prime Minister! Nearly 100 Beeb bosses make more than you

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:03:05 GMT

MPs find BBC job creation offsets redundo positions

The BBC has given up trying to cut the number of its employees paid more than the British Prime Minister, the UK's National Audit Office has discovered.… throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:34:13 GMT

You're helping terrorists, shrieks Amber 'Hashtags' Rudd

Twitter has reportedly blocked a third-party firm used by the Home Office from accessing its firehose, prompting the government to complain that the social network is siding with terrorists.…

British government has bought a £200m 5G 'academic wet dream'

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:36:14 GMT

Build it and they will come. Maybe

"5G doesn't mean anything to us," says Kirill Filippov, chief executive of SPB TV, an OTT TV, IPTV and mobile TV provider touting live 360 VR in 4G at this year's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.…

UK drops in World Press Freedom Index following surveillance and anti-espionage threats

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:02:11 GMT

And Trump's 'fake news' bleating harms US tradition of defending free press

The UK has dropped two places on the World Press Freedom Index following the passing of the Investigatory Powers Act and threats to pursue journalists reporting on national security.…

Irish Stripe techie denied entry to US – for having wrong stamp in passport

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:30:10 GMT

Snub says more about misunderstanding rules than anti-immigrant trends, though

An Irish Stripe worker was denied entry to America because they had a Somalian stamp in their passport, according to the payment-processing biz's CEO.…

High Court hands Lauri Love permission to appeal extradition to US

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:00:02 GMT

Meanwhile, US continues to bury its head in the sand over letter from 114 MPs

Lauri Love, the alleged hacktivist from Stradishall, Suffolk, England, has been granted permission to appeal against his extradition to the United States.…

Swamp-draining Trump pushes ex-AT&T lobbyist to oversee AT&T mega-merger

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:23:09 GMT

Also worked for Google, Comcast, Qualcomm...

Analysis One of the most popular applause lines from Donald Trump's presidential campaign was that he would "drain the swamp" – meaning put an end to the corrupt, revolving door of government and private practice that virtually defines modern Washington, DC.…

Forensic accountants appointed to pore over Post Office IT scandal

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 14:28:13 GMT

Criminal Cases Review Commission confirms investigators in 27 cases

The UK's Criminal Cases Review Commission has confirmed that it has appointed a firm of forensic accountants to assist its investigation into whether sub-postmasters were wrongfully prosecuted due to issues affecting the Post Office's Horizon IT system.…

Canada says yes to net neutrality – and no to Trump advisor, eh?

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:48:23 GMT

Important legal ruling divides North America

Canada's comms watchdog has come out strongly in favor of net neutrality – despite efforts by one of the Trump Administration's key telecoms advisors to tip the scales in the other direction.…

Shooting org demands answers from Met Police over gun owner blab

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:07:08 GMT

What data did marketing agency subcontractor have access to?

Following The Register's report on the Metropolitan Police breaching its own data protection statement by handing the addresses of tens of thousands of London firearms owners to a marketing agency, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has written to the force demanding the decision be investigated.…

US surveillance court declined less than 2 per cent of applications

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:33:10 GMT

2016 figures show only 35 of 1,752 applications were turned down in part or full

The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has published its annual report, revealing that less than 2 per cent of surveillance applications made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) were declined in 2016.…

Ministry of Justice scraps 'conviction by computer' law

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:30:13 GMT

Election nixes online court plans – for now

The controversial "conviction by computer" Parliamentary Bill has been scrapped ahead of June's general election, according to reports.…

Web celeb product whores told to put on the red light – or else

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:29:12 GMT

And would you believe it? The Kardashians are front and center

America's trade watchdog has warned more than 90 celebrities that they need to disclose when they are paid to promote a product – or risk facing an investigation.…

Cuffing Assange a 'priority' for the USA says attorney-general

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:10:28 GMT

Charges against white-haired-one have reportedly been drafted

United States attorney-general Jeff Sessions says the Trump administration will make it “a priority” to arrest leakers, including Julian Assange.…

FYI – There's a legal storm brewing in Cali that threatens to destroy online free speech

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:37:25 GMT

Row over Yelp review menaces web immunity

Analysis Tech giants and rights groups have flooded the California Supreme Court with a dozen friend-of-the court briefs pleading for the reversal of a defamation ruling that threatens online speech protections.…

Google's 'adblocker' is all about taking back control

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:28:12 GMT

Watch out, whitelist mafia, you might be swimming with the fishes

The world's biggest digital advertising company Google is reportedly building an ad-blocker into Chrome – and it's already attracted the attention of Europe's most important competition regulator.…

EU plans for blockchain 'observatory' raise concerns, says expert

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:33:08 GMT

€500,000 to improve expertise and regulatory capacity

The European Commission plans to set up an observatory and forum on blockchain and distributer ledger technology (DLT) to help it understand what role public authorities should play in developing and helping uptake of the technologies.…

Trump's lips sealed on surveillance, complains EU privacy chief

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:04:06 GMT

Concern as to whether new administration will abide by Obama's promises

The US administration has been keeping schtum regarding President Trump's plans to adhere to promises made by Obama's government on how EU citizens' data would be protected from the NSA's mass-surveillance activities.…

Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:35:07 GMT

'Perceptual ad blocker' cannot be defeated, researchers claim

Researchers from Princeton and Stanford University have developed an ad blocker that they claim could end the ad blocking "arms race" for good.…

Trump signs exec order signaling foreign H-1B visa techie crackdown

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:08:46 GMT

Buy American, hire American, unlike me, grins US president

Updated President Trump today signed an executive order that may lead to an overhaul of the H-1B visa system used by US technology giants to draft in cheap foreigner workers.…

H-1B applications down after Trump's 'American techies first' rhetoric

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:09:08 GMT

Silicon Valley wants foreigners, POTUS preparing to say no

Applications for H-1B visas, the most common route for skilled technologists seeking lawful work in America, have decreased for the first time in years.…

Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:22:58 GMT

Bid to nix post-Brexit 'uncertainty and instability'

Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election to be held on 8 June.…

Debian bins keys assigned to arrested Russian contributor

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:36:11 GMT

If Dmitry Bogatov's been compromised, Debian needs to protect itself

Debian has removed keys assigned to developer Dmitry Bogatov after he was arrested by Russian authorities for using the internet to organise protests. Or, as Russian outlet TASS puts it, “for terrorism and attempts to stage unrest in Moscow.”…

Naked Androids to rampage across Russia

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:28:10 GMT

Google settles antitrust case and pledges to open its OS to rival search engines and apps

Google has settled its Russian anti-trust case and will therefore open its Android OS to rivals in Vladimir Putin's demesne.…

Australia scraps temporary visas for skilled workers

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 05:01:49 GMT

Revise your plans for a long working holiday – the new visa will be tougher to score

Australia will scrap its visas for skilled temporary workers.…

eBay threatens to block Australians from using offshore sellers

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:45:05 GMT

Plan to collect local sales tax from all sellers has tat bazaar, Amazon and others fuming

Tat bazaar eBay has threatened to stop Australian buyers doing business with offshore sellers if the nation goes ahead with a plan to charge local sales taxes on imported goods.…

We have good news and bad news about metadata retention

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 21:44:13 GMT

The bad: Australian readers are now being tracked. The good: Civil litigants won't be able to slurp your metadata... for now

On the same day that Australia's telecommunications metadata retention regime kicked off, the nation's attorney-general also tabled a report quashing the use of that metadata in civil litigation.…

Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:00:13 GMT

A Minority Report future awaits

Opinion Algorithms are almost as pervasive in our lives as cars and the internet. And just as these modes and mediums are considered vital to our economy and society, and are therefore regulated, we must ask whether it's time to also regulate algorithms.…

'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 20:56:34 GMT

GEMSA, meet Streisand

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is countersuing a patent troll that wants its name removed from a "stupid patent of the month" blog post.…

Deeming Facebook a 'publisher' of users' posts won't tackle paedo or terrorist content

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 09:00:13 GMT

Tackle the message, not the message-bearer

Comment The Times is campaigning to brand Facebook a "publisher" under British law. While an understandable reaction to the horrible content shared by users of the world's most popular social networking website, trying to make it subject to publishing laws would open a whole Pandora's box of trouble.…

US military makes first drop of Mother-of-All-Bombs on Daesh-bags

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 22:05:50 GMT

Trump praises largest US non-nuke explosion

Video For the first time, the US has used its largest non-nuclear explosive, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (also known as the Mother Of All Bombs) in Afghanistan.…

Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 21:48:17 GMT

Did you know that downloaded files from the internet contain malware?

You may want to sit down for this. Did you know that movie files downloaded for free from the internet may contain malware?…

Three indicted over sex trafficking operation run on

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 10:02:26 GMT

Scandal returns to the site's adult classifieds section

Three people have been indicted for operating a sex trafficking ring through the scandalous classifieds website's adult section.…

Euro Patent Office reforms hit another stumbling block: Reality

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 06:31:12 GMT

King Battistelli's crusade starts charging down the wrong hill

Analysis When he's not ignoring national laws and threatening employees, the president of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoit Battistelli, is on a crusade to make things work faster.…

In case you had forgotten, broadband body warns of risks Brexit poses to sector

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 16:30:12 GMT

Advisory group wants Blighty's policy to align with Europe's

An industry group for the broadband sector has listed the risks facing the telecommunications sector following Brexit, including the impact on roaming charges, free movement of labour and European investment, in a report published today [PDF].…

HMRC beer duty bungle leaves breweries struggling to pay online

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:11:13 GMT

Shiny new web form can't cope with Budget month

The UK's taxmen have scuppered several piss-ups after brewers discovered the Government Gateway's online duty calculator can't calculate the latest beer tax hikes.…

Brexit factor lacking in Industrial Strategy, say MPs

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:01:09 GMT

Pumping £2bn into R&D starting point: Science and Tech Committee

The government has failed to account for the Brexit factor in its long awaited Industrial Strategy, according to a report by MPs today.…

Trump's govt hiring freeze means there's no US Privacy Shield chief: We tracked down the woman filling in for now

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 06:02:11 GMT

Meet Judy Garber

Shortly after ascending to office, President Donald Trump triggered a hiring freeze across most branches of the US government. The resulting understaffing has been a bit of a pain for Americans – but may be a boon for Europe.…

TPG to create Australia-wide mobile network

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:52:20 GMT

Pays AU$1.26bn for right to push waves into atmosphere for 12 years

Australian junior telco TPG has announced it will create Australia's fourth mobile network.…

China emerges as digital rights champion with new info privacy law

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 21:28:13 GMT

Well, sort of

China plans to impose the world's strictest digital privacy rights rules against large corporations like Facebook and Google by requiring them to obtain users' permission before sending any data on them outside the country.…

Qualcommotion: Sueball return alleges Apple 'pay-to-play' deal

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 13:25:04 GMT

Would-be irresistible force meets immovable object

Qualcomm has hit back at Apple over claims it overcharged the fruity firm for IP licensing, revealing that it had a pay-to-play deal to get its chip technology into iThings.…

Law Commission pulls back on official secrets laws plans after Reg exposes flawed report

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:42:09 GMT

Scrutinised? Consulted? Really? Thought so.

The UK government's Law Commission, reeling from a Reg-led torrent of press, political and even judicial criticism of proposals for punitive new official secrets laws, has branded their first report "only provisional".… cuts deal with Microsoft to avoid £15m post-Brexit price hike

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:09 GMT

Pan-government deal applies to 200,000 licences

Exclusive The UK government has inked a deal with Microsoft to prevent Whitehall from paying an extra £15m in licence fees due to a post-Brexit price hike.…

LiveJournal trial a storm in a safe harbour

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 07:30:11 GMT

Forum might be liable for celeb image breaches

US forum admins will be watching a Californian court with nervous interest, as social forum LiveJournal goes to trial for copyright infringement.…