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Russian mega-telco exec: 'No business case' for 5G

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:56:04 GMT

It's all just for attention at MWC. Buuuuuuurrrrrnnnnnn

While the 5G enthusiasts often hit the headlines with visions of AI-driven robots and virtual reality, many operators remain sceptical of the new business models 5G will drive, at least in the short term. Vasyl Latsanych, CMO at Russia's largest telco, MTS, echoed the sentiments Wireless Watch hears from many of its MNO research contacts – that 5G, for now, remains a series of what-ifs, with no clear answers.…




nbn™ to offer 100Mbps fixed wireless service

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 01:39:02 GMT

Rural businesses will be living the dream in 2018

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has announced it will launch a 100Mbps fixed wireless service in 2018.…




Don't believe the hype: UK's £455m Government Digital Service lacks a clear role – fresh audit

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:04:31 GMT

Got nine-figure problems but a strategy ain't one

The track record of the UK's Government Digital Service has come under fire by the National Audit Office, which today said it has “unclear accountabilities".…




BDSM sex rocks Drupal world: Top dev banished for sci-fi hanky-panky

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 18:38:13 GMT

Gor blimey, guvnor!

A prominent contributor to the open source Drupal content management system has been asked to distance himself from project because "his belief system is inconsistent with [the] project's goals."…




IBM: Those 2 redundancy schemes? We need to 'improve margins' and right quick

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 14:36:05 GMT

There’s nothing wrong with our forecasti.... Er, pardon us for a minute

Exclusive IBM UK has tried to justify running two redundancy schemes concurrently in the Infrastructure Services Delivery team, telling staff that financial pressures forced its hand and it may take similar action again.…




Avaya's $3.7m bankruptcy bonus plan slammed by watchdog

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:59:19 GMT

US Trustee suspects rewards for 11 execs are more an employee retention scheme

The US federal bankruptcy has slammed telco Avaya for its decision to award 11 execs $3.7m (£3m) in bonuses after the company filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.…




Home Office accused of blocking UK public's scrutiny of Snoopers' Charter

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:35:14 GMT

Open letter to Amber Rudd: more time needed to read '413 pp of dense legal text'

The UK's Home Office has been accused of making "it near to impossible to provide a meaningful response" to the public consultations which campaigners fought legal battles to have included in the Investigatory Powers Act.…




Virgin Media suspends 4 staff over misreporting connections

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:20:03 GMT

Shakes up top brass after 142k misrepresented in £3bn Project Lightning

Virgin Media has admitted to overstating its £3bn Project Lightning superfast broadband rollout by 142,000 premises – a move that has led to the suspension of four staff and a reshuffle of its top brass.…




UK's 'homebrew firmware' Chinooks set to be usable a mere 16 years late

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:05:05 GMT

After burning hundreds of millions into the bargain

The Ministry of Defence has started replacing the flight control software on its all-but-useless Chinook Mk.3 special forces helicopters, a mere 16 years after bungled attempts to bake its own software without involving manufacturer Boeing.…




FBI secures guilty plea from Russian bot-herder

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:27:08 GMT

Ebury infections for fun and profit, sentencing in August

A Russian citizen behind “tens of thousands” of Ebury trojan infections has entered a guilty plea in the US and will face sentencing in August.…




Court smacks Telstra over wholesale pricing

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 23:06:31 GMT

No NBN revenue top up for you, says regulator

Australia's Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is crowing today after the nation's Federal Court agreed with its ruling on how much dominant telco Telstra can charge for wholesale services on its fixed line networks.…




Federal Police toss nbn™ under a bus over leaks to Senator

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:32:38 GMT

'Who leaked the leak? Not us', claim feds, 'talk to them'

The Australian Senate's Committee of Privileges decided yesterday that documents seized from former Senator Stephen Conroy and a staffer last year are covered by parliamentary privilege, and can't be used in any police investigation into who leaked them.…




Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 19:42:20 GMT

As House passes law, here's what you should do about it

The US House of Representatives has just approved a "congressional disapproval" vote of privacy rules, which gives your ISP the right to sell your internet history to the highest bidder.…




EE scrap connection fee... to hike broadband and telly packages

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:34:04 GMT

Due to investment in content, it reckons

Mobile operator EE has confirmed it will be hiking the prices of new customer contracts on its broadband and TV packages.…




People may have been wrongly sent back to prison over faulty tags

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:06:46 GMT

'G4S has introduced further quality checks'

Offenders may have been wrongly sent back to prison because of faulty electronic tags supplied by G4S, the government admitted today.…




ICO fines Flybe, Honda for breaking data rules. They were, um, trying to comply with GDPR

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:34:08 GMT

Protip: Don't ask customers if they want to be contacted by email… by email

The Information Commissioner's Office is baring its teeth as we rocket towards the EU's General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect.…




UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:00:13 GMT

Rudd's message to Hancock must've been intercepted...

Digital minister Matt Hancock has praised the "crucial role" of encryption in today's society, just a day after Home Secretary Amber Rudd called for an encryption ban on applications such as WhatsApp.…




UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:02:41 GMT

Confusion reigns as some departments apply massive crackdown

Government departments have been accused of applying a blanket approach to tax changes under IR35, meaning the majority of contractors are being found within the scope of the legislation by default.…




BT hit with £42m fine for Ethernet compensation delays to competitors

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:26:02 GMT

Will fork out estimated £300m to rivals who leased unfixed lines

Updated BT has been smacked with a £42m penalty for its failure via Openreach to compensate other telecoms providers for delays to fixing leased line "Ethernet" services, in a decision from Ofcom today.…




UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 21:45:10 GMT

Plus: UK needs those with the right 'hashtags' to stop wrong uploads*

The UK government is once again suggesting encryption has no place in citizens' hands, in the wake of revelations that Westminster attacker Khalid Masood was using WhatsApp shortly before murdering pedestrians with his car, and stabbing a police officer to death.…




After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 22:14:50 GMT

PM's spokesman and foreign secretary wave warning finger

In the wake of a terror attack in the heart of London this week that left five dead, the UK government has turned its ire onto online companies – including Google and Facebook – for not doing enough to remove extremist webpages and other content from their services.…




Google pulls Hezbollah YouTube channel after we told them about the drone ads

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:19:58 GMT

All the tools you need

Until just minutes before we hit publish on this story, Google was using a YouTube channel run by a fan of Hezbollah to promote potentially lethal drones.…




Gov may need to splash £245m per year on IT contractors – NAO

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:01:04 GMT

Please come back freelancers, forget IR35: all is forgiven

The government will need to splash £145m per year on 2,000 digital staff - or £244m using contractors - if it is to meet the serious shortfall in skills, according to the National Audit Office.…




First the Rise of the Machines, now this: UK military's Exercise Information Warrior

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:03:10 GMT

From drones to smart warships. Well, sort of

Comment Fresh from signing contracts to put artificial intelligence into its warships, the Royal Navy is now running an exercise to demonstrate robotic warfighting tech at work – Ex Information Warrior.…




Australia bins safe harbour, presses ahead with Minister-as-NetAdmin plan

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 01:18:22 GMT

A land where the minister runs the internet and the media runs a minister

Australia this week shelved planned safe harbour reforms to copyright and decided to proceed with laws that would make its attorney-general NetAdmin-in-chief.…




We're 90 per cent sure the FCC's robocall kill plan won't have the slightest impact

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:28:50 GMT

Dumb and dumber, or the lightest of light touches?

The number-one complaint to US comms watchdog the FCC right now is about robocalls – a remarkable 200,000 complaints from consumers last year alone.…




Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:27:08 GMT

95 people at risk so far

Call centre staff at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) are to be axed in the latest expenses purge, company insiders have told us.…




Three to lawyer up unless Ofcom intervenes in spectrum market

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:32:06 GMT

If we can't buy O2, they must give us MOAR SPECTRUM

Three has renewed calls on Ofcom to intervene in the UK's mobile spectrum market, warning it could lawyer up unless the regulator curbs the proportion of airwaves owned by Vodafone and BT's EE in the forthcoming auction.…




Calling your redundancy programme Baccarat? Immense Bummer, Management

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:48:21 GMT

That's cold, IBM

Word reaches us of Project Baccarat*, IBM’s latest redundancy programme for staffers in the Infrastructure Services Delivery division.…




King Battistelli's swish penthouse office the Euro Patent Office doesn't want you to see

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 07:57:07 GMT

Architect proudly displays work for EPO president, gets told to take it down

Pics Very few people have seen the 10th floor of the European Patent Office's ISAR building in Munich since it's been renovated – and for good reason.…




Info Commish marks own homework, says it didn't break law over Prince Charles request

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:00:11 GMT

So that's OK then, nothing to see here

The UK Information Commissioner has cleared the Information Commissioner of an alleged failure to apply Freedom of Information laws correctly, following an investigation into itself.…




ICO scolds UK councils: GDPR is coming. Are you ready? Pop quiz says you're not

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:44:14 GMT

Privacy impact assessments? Anyone? Bueller?

Councils in the UK have work to do ahead of the EU's General Data Protection Regulations, according to the Information Commissioner's Office's department for good practice.…




Plans to force ISPs to filter content branded 'disproportionate'

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:39:14 GMT

Industry bods not keen on Blighty's mandatory filtering

UK government proposals to force internet service providers into blocking content inappropriate for children with filters have been branded "disproportionate" by the industry's representative group.…




Home Office admits it's preparing to accept EU ruling on surveillance

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:58:05 GMT

Doesn't say it's going to, just that it is preparing to do so...

The UK Home Office has acknowledged that it is preparing to accept a landmark EU ruling from last year which restated that access to retained data must only be given in cases of serious crime, unlike the range of cases provided for under the new Investigatory Powers Act.…




Cheap calls gateway operator has been on bail for 7 years

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:37:08 GMT

Kent man faces Wireless Telegraphy Act charges

A Kent man has been on bail for seven years over allegations he operated a GSM gateway which allowed consumers to get cheaper calls abroad.…




Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:00:09 GMT

Wow, who knew? Clients don't like to be associated with jihadis and racists

Google has promised a review of its ad policy on YouTube after a backlash from blue-chip advertisers. It follows a series of reports by The Times demonstrating big brand ads running over content that breaches YouTube guidelines, such as jihadist videos and other inflammatory or racist material.…




MI5 man to steer GCHQ as Trump wiretapping saga continues

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:56:19 GMT

Jeremy 'easy to work with' Fleming is incoming

Jeremy Fleming, the deputy director-general of MI5, is to helm GCHQ following the surprise resignation of Robert Hannigan this January.…




The world's leading privacy pros talk GDPR with El Reg

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:28:10 GMT

US law, EU law and post-Brexit what'll UK do law

Interview You know, we know, everyone knows… the EU's General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect May of next year for every member of the European Union, and that will include the United Kingdom.…




Effort to fire Euro Patent Office president beaten back – again

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:02:11 GMT

Tactical victory for Battistelli and chair as org falls back on status quo

A determined effort to take action against the president of the European Patent Office, Benoit Battistelli, has faltered again thanks to some strategic maneuvering by his defenders.…




'Australia Card 2.0' is dead: Government ditches plan for one ID to rule them all

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 19:29:34 GMT

If you want 45 IDs for 45 government services, go ahead says minister Taylor

Australia's federal government is sticking with its plans for a federated identity service, but disruption minister Angus Taylor has moved to quell fears of a revived “Australia Card”*.…




Europe will fine Twitter, Facebook, Google etc unless they rip up T&Cs

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:53:49 GMT

EC wants language that gives tech giants legal legroom torn down and replaced

The European Commission is threatening to fine Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social networks unless they overhaul their terms and conditions to pull out legal escape clauses.…




GCHQ dismisses Trump wiretap rumours as tosh

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:54:46 GMT

Judge Shred

UK intelligence agency GCHQ has dismissed US reports - cited by the White House press secretary - that it was involved in running a surveillance operation on Donald Trump before last year's US election as "utterly ridiculous".…




Algorithms no excuse for cartel behaviour, says European commish

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 14:06:08 GMT

HGTTG's Deep Thought shouldn't be used for price-fixing

European Commissioner has urged competition enforcers to keep an eye out for cartels that use software “to work more effectively”, in a speech about algorithms and competition today.…




UK.gov gears up for IR35 private sector crackdown – say industry folk

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 09:31:11 GMT

You can run, but you can't hide

The UK government is gearing up for a massive tax clampdown on private sector contractors, in an extension of its IR35 regime to hundreds of thousands of freelancers outside the public sector.…




How UK’s GDPR law might not be judged 'adequate'

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 09:02:15 GMT

If it has Data Protection Act's defects, all bets are off

Comment Since 2005, I have tried to use Freedom of Information legislation to find out what is behind the “ongoing” infraction proceedings, commenced by the European Commission against the UK. This is because the UK’s Data Protection Act (DPA) is, according to the Commission, a defective implementation of Directive 95/46/EC.…




Euro Patent Office hit with wave of anti-Battistelli letters

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 08:29:11 GMT

Will you please get rid of him, world+dog asks Admin Council

Another wave of letters condemning the controversial president of the European Patent Office, Benoit Battistelli, has been sent ahead of a meeting of the organization's Administrative Council this week in Munich.…




Australian Taxation and Immigration depts fail infosec audits

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 23:16:59 GMT

They've had years to fix things up, but they can't even deliver on known best practice

Australia's Taxation Office, Department of Human Services and Department of Immigration and Border Protection are heavyweights of the public service, but only one has managed basic infosec protections on its systems.…




National Insurance tax U-turn: Philip Hammond nixes NIC uptick

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:25:05 GMT

Finds it's against own party's 2015 manifesto plans

Chancellor Philip Hammond is to scrap a planned hike in UK National Insurance Contributions (NIC) in an embarrassing U-turn today.…




Facebook, Google slammed for 'commercial prostitution'

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:01:08 GMT

MPs accuse social media firms of profiting from hate

Google, Twitter and Facebook were hauled over the coals by MPs yesterday in a select committee hearing in where they were accused of "having no shame" and engaging in "commercial prostitution".…




IBM could have made almost all the voluntary redundancies it needed

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 09:38:05 GMT

But... we didn't mean you! Darn it. We'll have to make compulsory layoffs

IBM UK could have almost filled its quota for voluntary redundancies in the Technical Services Support division given the number of folk that had put their hands up to leave, but will make some compulsory cuts instead.…