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The Register - Business: Policy

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

UK households hit by 1.8m computer misuse offences in a year

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:02:12 GMT

Stats show few report such crimes to cops

The number of incidents of computer misuse in England and Wales reached 1.8 million in the year up to March 2015, according to official crime statistics released today.…

NHS trusts splashed £260m on PCs in last four years

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:28:32 GMT

Obviously not enough to stop Wannacry...

In the last four years, NHS Trusts have spent £260m on 401,084 new PCs, at an average cost of £650.54 a box, according to Freedom of Information responses.… watchdog didn't red flag any IT projects. And that alone should be a red flag to everyone

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:04:13 GMT

Transparency is welcome – but you gotta read between the lines

Analysis The BBC’s release of its top earners’ salaries this week stirred up both long-time detractors of Auntie and dyed-in-the-wool supporters.…

Europe's 'one patent court to rule them all' vision may be destroyed by EPO shenanigans

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 06:01:07 GMT

King Battistelli finally facing consequences for his actions

The freeze on long-held plans to approve a single patent court for Europe is a result of the actions of the president of the European Patent Office, according to German media reports.…

Amazon may still get .amazon despite govt opposition – thanks to a classic ICANN cockup

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 20:58:30 GMT

DNS king breaks own bylaws yet again

Special report Amazon may still get hold of its namesake top-level domain .amazon after an independent review panel lambasted the decision by DNS overseer ICANN to deny its application.…

.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:51:36 GMT

-.-- --- ..- -. --. / .--. . --- .--. .-.. . / - --- -.. .- -.-- --..-- / . .... ..--..

For over a hundred years, navies around the world have messaged each other at the speed of light – signal lamp light.…

Australia releases MH370 sea floor data but search is still off

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 04:57:09 GMT

Minister celebrates lovely pictures of the sea floor, says he hopes new info is found

Geoscience Australia, the nation's agency for recording and sharing geographic and geological data, has released the first tranche of data captured during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.…

One-quarter of IT projects at high risk of failure

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 15:03:36 GMT

Digital borders, digital tax and raft of MoJ projects singled out

One-quarter of the UK government’s major IT programmes worth a total lifetime cost of £8bn are at high risk of failure, according to a Register analysis of the major project watchdog's annual report of 143 government programmes worth over £455bn.…

UK government's war on e-cigs is over

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:22:10 GMT

Vape at work? Hey, why not?

Comment The government has said that the persecution of the users of e-cigarette technology should stop. The Department of Health today outlined a Five Year Tobacco Control plan for England with the goal that the proportion of the population who smoke tobacco products should fall to 12 per cent by 2022, down from 15.5 per cent today.…

UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 11:33:07 GMT

Vows crackdown on sexist commercials next year

Ads depicting manchildren incapable of carrying out basic household tasks, and women in the role of Stepford Wives clearing up their mess, are to be banned in a crackdown by the Advertising Standards Authority.…

Another Brexit cliff edge: warned over data flows to EU

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 09:39:05 GMT

'No prospect of a clean break' on data protection laws – but UK may lose its influence

The UK is risking a security and trade "cliff edge" if it doesn't secure an arrangement that allows data transfer with the European Union to continue after Brexit, a report has said.…

US laptops-on-planes ban now applies to just one airport, ends soon

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:29:42 GMT

Meanwhile the TSA found 78 guns at US airports last week, 32 with a round chambered

The United States' ban on laptops being carried into airliner cabins is all-but-over, after the nation's Transport Security Administration reduced its list of dodgy airports to just one and signalled that destination awaits inspection before also disappearing from its list.…

Juicy fine for Bradford firm after it blurts one million spam texts

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:09:08 GMT

Brit biz told to pay £80k for messages advertising Satsuma Loans

Bradford-based loans company Provident Personal Credit has been fined £80,000 for squeezing out almost a million nuisance texts.…

Google must cough up contact info for 8,000 employees in gender discrimination case

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 14:01:06 GMT

But judge narrows scope of US Labor Dept request

Google has been ordered to hand over personal details of 8,000 employees as part of an ongoing US Labor Department investigation into equal pay.…

Media mogul Murdoch's 'Sky dataset' swallow poses 'grave threat'

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 11:25:53 GMT

UK peers want ICO to ensure info cannot be misused

The proposed £11.7bn takeover of Sky by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is a "grave threat" to the democratic process, members of the UK's House of Lords have claimed.…

Nearly three-quarters of convicted TV Licence non-payers are women

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:58:10 GMT

Good old Capita keeps Auntie's purse overflowing

Nearly three-quarters of TV Licensing criminal convictions in the UK last year were secured against women, according to data gathered by an anti-Telly Tax campaigner.… snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:11:37 GMT

Smut regulator also to be set up

The government is poised to usher in mandatory porn checks this week, with reports it will require users to provide details from a credit card to prove they are over 18.…

IETF moves meeting from USA to Canada to dodge Trump travel ban

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 23:11:45 GMT

15 per cent of potential attendees don't fancy trying to make it to San Francisco

The Internet Engineering Task Force has taken the rare (and possibly costly) decision to relocate an upcoming meeting out of America.…

Pastor la vista, baby! FCC enforcers shut down church pirate radio

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 21:50:44 GMT

Forget about the internet: FM is where the real action is

Open up! It's the FCC!…

Rimini Street: Dispute with Oracle is contract law, not copyright

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 15:55:10 GMT

Ninth Circuit panel urged to throw out injunction on software support biz

The latest installment of the years-long legal battle between software support company Rimini Street and Oracle was acted out in the US Ninth Circuit court yesterday.…

Man facing $17.5m HPE fraud case has contempt sentence cut by Court of Appeal

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:21:56 GMT

Now-freed 'serial entrepreneur' has yet to face a full trial

Peter Sage, the "serial entrepreneur" accused by HPE of defrauding it out of $17.5m worth of servers, has been freed from prison by the UK's Court of Appeal.…

Now here's a novel idea: Digitising Victorian-era stamp duty machines

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 11:13:40 GMT

UK Office of Tax Simplification wants to scrap 'anachronistic and cumbersome' process

Government tech often gets slagged off for being old and clunky. But spare a thought for the folks issuing stamp duty, who have to handle machines from the 1870s which "close down" at 2pm every day to be cleaned.…

UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 01:49:01 GMT

Antipodean not-backdoors plan will mirror UK Investigatory Powers Act, ensure law of land trumps laws of mathematics

British signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) can crack end-to-end encrypted messages sent using WhatsApp and Signal, according to Australian attorney-general George Brandis.…

Dear racist Airbnb host, we've enrolled you in an Asian American studies course

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 19:51:13 GMT

Oh, and you owe us $5,000. Lots of love – California

An Airbnb host who cancelled a guest's booking at the last minute because she was Asian has been fined $5,000 and told to attend a course on Asian American studies.…

Wi-Fi firm Purple sneaks 'community service' clause into its T&Cs

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 10:18:14 GMT

Can't be GDP-arsed with this anymore

For a regulation designed to safeguard data processing, the forthcoming GDPR has already generated a surfeit of info. Somewhere in Europe sits a growing compliance mountain.…

Academics 'funded by Google' tend not to mention it in their work

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 09:56:28 GMT

Two-thirds of the time support is not disclosed, say campaigners

A network of academics on Google's payroll just so happens to churn out "independent research" friendly to their sugar daddy's corporate goals. But two-thirds of the time you wouldn't know it, according to the Campaign for Accountability.…

NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 08:10:11 GMT

System has capacity for 150 million declarations – just 105 million short...

Plans by HMRC to overhaul the clunky IT system underpinning £34bn in tax at the border may not be complete before Brexit, the UK government's spending watchdog has warned today.…

Ready, aim... Ignition! Valley VC bigwig ejects after conduct complaints

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 22:32:11 GMT

Firm needs a new anti-harassment trainer after blowup

Frank Artale, managing partner at Ignition Ventures, has resigned at the request of the board following multiple claims of inappropriate behavior.…

Guess who doesn't have to pay $1.3bn in back taxes? Of course it's fscking Google

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 21:53:55 GMT

Dieu merci, nous n'avons pas mis en place un bureau à Paris, le grand fromage of ads sighed

Google has narrowly avoided a massive €1.12bn ($1.28bn, £990m) back-tax bill for earnings in France, thanks to not setting up an office in Paris.…

Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 21:15:50 GMT

And, surprise, surprise, everyone's still baffled

Analysis Remember that selfie of the grinning monkey way back in 2014?…

WannaCry prompts promise of extra cash towards NHS security

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 16:02:10 GMT pledges transparency in long-awaited response to data and consent reviews

The NHS is to get a funding boost for cybersecurity measures, while the UK government has promised patients a digital service that lets them see who's accessed their health records.…

When 'Saving The Internet' means 'Saving Crony Capitalism'

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 15:27:11 GMT

The curious case of the dog that didn’t bark

Comment Entering the BBC today to talk about the net neutrality protests “supported by Amazon and Netflix and others”, I had a dilemma. How in three minutes can you give viewers worldwide a perspective which conveys that the motivations are valid – American fixed-line broadband is pretty rubbish – but what we were witnessing was the most powerful multinationals in the world flexing their muscles, a show of corporate strength. In Europe these companies are regularly said to be more powerful than any nation state.…

Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 11:19:10 GMT

Showing Labour boss wasn't on 'ram-packed' train didn’t break law

Virgin Trains did not break data protection laws when it released images of UK's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn during his supposedly "ram-packed" trip to Newcastle, the UK’s data protection watchdog has said.…

Blighty's prosecutors slammed for failing to deliver savings on electronic tagging

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 10:27:08 GMT

£60m spent so far and five years late

The UK's Ministry of Justice has been slammed by the government's spending watchdog for failing to achieve value for money on its controversial electronic monitoring programme.…

European Parliament keen to throw news publishers a bone

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:39:08 GMT

But will Google and Facebook be good neighbours?

Newspapers in Europe are closer to winning the right to ask Google and Facebook to remove or pay for the news story snippets they scrape for their free services – although there's nothing compelling Google (or anyone else) to actually do anything. The furore over "fake news" last year has helped sway MEPs.…

Trump tramples US Constitution by blocking Twitter critics – lawsuit

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 19:38:57 GMT

Tweet-addicted President treats website as a public forum so cannot exclude views

President Donald Trump's habit of blocking critics from following his Twitter account faces a legal challenge that seeks to prevent him from tuning out those with opposing views.…

Ofcom pops 37% spectrum cap on mobile providers' domes

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 11:59:11 GMT

Decision ahead of auction falls short of calls by Three

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has capped the maximum amount of mobile spectrum a company can own at 37 per cent, ahead of its auction of mobile spectrum later this year.…

Trump to world: Forget moving to America to do a startup

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 06:58:10 GMT

International Entrepreneur Rule paused for at least 9 months, probably forever

US president Donald Trump's America First slogan has been extended to StartupLand after the Department of Homeland Security announced a delay to the implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule, aka the “Startup visa”.…

G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:58:07 GMT

Or in other words, access to encrypted messages

Comment The meeting of G20 leaders decided to do something about the internet.…

Oracle, Amazon, Google, and Salesforce finally agree on something

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 23:59:11 GMT

Heavies team up to form patent-reform lobbying supergroup

Some of the biggest names in IT are joining forces to create a lobbying effort focused on patent reform in the US.…

'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 18:54:19 GMT

Bloke's Amsterdam odyssey ends up in hardship

When Bernd Dorfmueller was offered a job in Amsterdam with Oracle, he thought he had lucked into a dream situation that would boost his professional career in IT.…

Twitter will no longer snaffle data allowances on Virgin Mobile

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:57:08 GMT

Please, for the love of god, keep your plans switched on!

Virgin Mobile is allowing customers to access Twitter without paying up for data, in what some might see as one way to ensure users keep using their data allowances.…

GSM gateway ban U-turn casts doubt on 8-year prosecution in Blighty

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:05:02 GMT

Brit on bail for nearly a decade hopes crim case will be binned

The UK's communications watchdog Ofcom has overturned its ban on the use of GSM gateways (COMUGs) for overseas phone calls – leaving one of the longest prosecutions in modern English legal history hanging in the balance.…

Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 02:22:47 GMT

Goes from #MAGA to 'can't happen' in eight tweets

US president Donald Trump has revealed that he and Russian opposite number Vladimir Putin discussed creation of a joint “impenetrable Cyber Security unit” at the G20 Leaders summit, but then displayed Modern Presidential behaviour by quickly dismissing the chances of the unit ever materialising.…

Canberra reviewing online Medicare lookup after data breach

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 00:59:43 GMT

Insider with a login, rather than an outsider with a hack, seems culprit for darkweb privacy panic

It looks like the government's figured out how Australians' Medicare numbers were leaking and ending up on a Tor trading site: an insider abusing a login.…

nbn™ hits the half-way mark – but has more than half of the job left

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 00:10:34 GMT

Signups remain at <50%, revenue isn't right and don't forget Turnbull promised we'd all be connected in 2016

nbn™, the organisation building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has passed the half-way point of its mission to re-wire the nation.…

Behind the scenes of Slovaks' fight to liberate their .sk domain

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 09:32:09 GMT

What's really going on in battle to block sale of top-level address

Analysis The Slovak internet community is pressuring its government to block the sale of the country's .sk internet registry, asking for it to "be returned to the people of Slovakia."…

UK's food, farms and greens dept gives in to IBM, Capgemini addiction

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 08:33:07 GMT

Will extend IT contracts a bit, but winnow 25-supplier plan

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is the latest UK government body to beg for "just one more hit" with its system integrators, prolonging its IBM and Capgemini contracts by one year.…

UberPOP is Finnished in Helsinki until 2018

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 04:05:08 GMT

Paused awaiting new taxi laws

Uber has given in to regulatory pressure in Finland, and is suspending its UberPOP until that country implements limited taxi deregulation next year.…

Oz government wants its own definition of what 'backdoor' means

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 02:05:05 GMT

When the good guys use backdoors, they're not backdoors, understand?

Australia’s federal government has shifted its ground on the encryption debate, and is now working to hem in the debate by constraining the definition of “backdoor”.…