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Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Sorry, but those huge walls of terms and conditions you never read are legally binding

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:46:37 GMT

And what finer company than Uber to make that clear

You may never read those lengthy terms and conditions attached to every digital download or app but, in America at least, they are legally binding. Sorry.…

Microsoft president exits US govt's digital advisory board as tech leaders quit over Trump

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:49:55 GMT

Plus: Steve Bannon fired from White House

Updated Tech leaders today resigned from the US government's digital economy advisory board over President Trump's inability to unequivocally condemn racists.…

Australian money cops gain powers to regulate cryptocurrency

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:06:14 GMT

Money laundering and terror finance laws will stretch to cover digi-dollars

Australia has decided digital currencies need the same level of regulation enjoyed by other currencies.…

Tomorrow, DreamHost will square up to US DoJ to avoid handing over 1.3m IP addresses of anti-Trump site visitors

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:32:16 GMT

Data demand 'breaks First and Fourth Amendments'

Efforts by US prosecutors to identify up to 1.3 million people who accessed an anti-Trump protest website is unconstitutional, a court will hear on Friday.…

London cops urged to scrap use of 'biased' facial recognition at Notting Hill Carnival

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:01:05 GMT

Year-on-year deployment isn’t really a trial, say privacy groups

London's Metropolitan Police have been urged to back down on plans to once again use facial recognition software at next weekend's Notting Hill Carnival.…

Nine months and a lot more b*llocks to go before new EU data protection rules kick in

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:42:08 GMT

Info commish hits back at fake GDPR news

The UK’s information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has apparently become so infuriated with inaccurate claims about incoming data protection rules that she is penning a series of blogposts to “bust the myths”.…

Defra recruiting 1,400 policy wonks to pick up the pieces after Brexit

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:03:04 GMT

Prising IT systems from decades of EU lawmaking

Exclusive Defra – the UK government's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs – is hiring 1,400 "business policy" folk so it can untangle itself from Europe after Brexit, according to multiple insiders.…

Ads regulator raps PC repair biz for massaging malware infection rates

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:00:05 GMT

Stop running that or we'll say stop again, so help me god

An online PC repair shop was yesterday given a small ticking off by the Advertising Standards Agency – the UK's notoriously gummy marketing watchdog – for claiming that one in three PCs are blighted by malware on a daily basis.…

Scrutiny? We've heard of it. Dot-UK supremo Nominet goes dark

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:01:12 GMT

Even limited board reports now scrapped in favor of worthless 'updates'

The operator of the .uk top-level domain, Nominet, has become the latest internet registry to vote itself into greater secrecy.…

New MH370 analysis again suggests plane came down outside search area

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:33:16 GMT

French satellite photos suggest something man-made floated beyond search zones

New analysis of images thought to depict wreckage from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 suggest the Boeing 777 came down to the north of the area searched during efforts to find the plane.…

Cloudflare: We dumped Daily Stormer not because they're Nazis but because they said we love Nazis

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:47:25 GMT

Hey, hey, It's cool, Matt, 'they're Nazis' is reason enough

Cloudflare has explained why it made a rare exception to its strident free-speech policy in its decision to cut ties with white supremacist cesspit Daily Stormer.…

Web-enabled vibrator class action put to bed

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:33:13 GMT

The plaintiffs must be buzzing

The case against sex toy maker We-Vibe, which agreed to pay out $3.75m for tracking owners' use, has finally been put to bed, with a judge yesterday signing off the settlement.…

Slurping people's info without a warrant? That's OUR JOB, Google, Facebook et al tell US Supreme Court

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:54:14 GMT

Tech giants lobby against warrantless phone spying

A group of technology companies with a fondness for data collection have banded together to ask the US Supreme Court to stop the American government from snooping on cellphones without a warrant.…

Big legacy tech companies in UK govt start to feel pinch – report

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:25:10 GMT

But Brexit, weakened GDS could stall 'disaggregation'

Big legacy tech firms are finally feeling the pinch of the government's contract "disaggregation" plans, although Brexit could halt that trend - according to an annual report by analyst firm TechMarketView.…

Police camera inaction? Civil liberties group questions forces' £23m body-cam spend

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:33:10 GMT

Report says UK cops need to prove tech benefits policing

Almost three-quarters of police forces have forked out more than £22m on body-worn cameras, but are failing to properly monitor how the videos are used in court, according to a report released today.…

Intel CEO Krzanich quits Trump's Manufacturing Council over response to Charlottesville rallies

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 04:56:09 GMT

CEOs of Merck and Under Armour also dump, and dump on, Tweeter-in-chief

Three big-name CEOs have put some space between themselves and the US President: today they resigned from the American Manufacturing Council, President Donald Trump's panel of advisors formed to create more manufacturing jobs in the United States by bringing together titans of industry to share their experience.…

hiQ prevails / LinkedIn must allow scraping / Of your page info

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:28:04 GMT

Our little haiku to mark temporary lifting of blockade on social network's public profiles

A US judge has ruled that LinkedIn must allow an analytics outfit to scrape data from its public profiles.…

Australian Bureau of Statistics flip-flops over marriage equality survey

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:21:08 GMT

Promises not to identify citizens. Except with a barcode

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is being set up for another hot privacy debate.…

Australia's metadata retention scheme costs telcos $500k per cuffing

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:52:57 GMT

Netadmin-general Brandis needs just one more vote to get telco-tweaking powers

The Australian Government's telecommunications data retention scheme is racking up the bills for carriers, but government funding has fallen short of the industry's costs.…

US prosecutors demand data to unmask every visitor to anti-Trump protest website

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:48:47 GMT

DreamHost refuses to hand over 1.3m IP addresses, and more, says warrant too broad

Web hosting biz DreamHost is resisting a US government search warrant to turn over data about everyone who visited a website used to coordinate anti-Trump protests.…

Nosey ex-NHS staffer slapped with fine for illegally peeking at medical records

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:16:34 GMT

Don’t let personal curiosity get the better of you, ICO warns

A former midwifery assistant from Essex has been fined £1,715 for unlawfully accessing and sharing patients’ medical records.…

Brit firms warned over hidden costs of wiping data squeaky clean before privacy rules hit

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:18:12 GMT

Paper shredder? You'll need a data-shredder...

Not enough companies understand how to properly delete the data they hold – and need to address this if they are to comply with new data protection rules, privacy and security experts have said.…

Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 22:16:54 GMT

Discriminatory highlights from hell

Comment Right off the bat, let's get this straight: on average, ignorant bigots and well-rounded human beings biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren't just socially constructed; they're universal across human cultures.…

Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:02:49 GMT

Law slowly shutting down Sun cofounder's legal campaign

Sun cofounder and billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has lost another legal battle over his efforts to shut off public access to a California beach – but still won't be required to let people onto it until a second lawsuit concludes.… cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:01:08 GMT

Margaret Hodge calls for boycott. So where does that leave Whitehall?

Analysis Amazon - whose AWS business has been increasingly drumming up biz with the UK government - has once again come under fire for its tax arrangements in the Blighty.…

Blocking peeps on social media? That's a paddlin' for governors, senators, house reps

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 18:59:13 GMT

US officials' online spaces – a public forum or private haven?

More US public officials have been sued for blocking people from their social media pages.…

Er, Ofcom, please tell us more about Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky bid

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:58:04 GMT

UK's Department of Fun seeks clarification due to heightened public interest

The British government's Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has written to Ofcom asking for extra input before Culture Secretary Karen Bradley decides whether to approve Rupert Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky buyout bid.…

Manchester firm shut down for pretending to be Google

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:31:07 GMT

Biz charged £250 a pop for free Google My Business service

A Brit biz masquerading as Google to "sell" a free business listing service has wound up in the High Court.…

Corporate criminal tax offences likely to further increase HMRC's use of dawn raids, says expert

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 08:32:12 GMT

Good morning

"Dawn raids" by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on businesses and individuals are likely to remain high following the entry into force of new corporate criminal tax offences, an expert has said.…

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 05:29:04 GMT

'Bad human being' alert

Comment There are a lot of theories about why human beings can, on occasion, be terrible assholes. Social psychologists have been working on the issue for a while and even have a number of useful terms.…

Bixby, why is Samsung's heir apparent facing 12 years in the slammer?

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 14:33:29 GMT

Woah there, we'll tell you. It's much quicker

The trial of Samsung's vice chairman Lee Jae-yong ended last week with calls by prosecution for a 12-year jail sentence. Mr Lee Jnr had effectively run the group since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014, until his arrest last autumn.…

Re-identifying folks from anonymised data will be a crime in the UK

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 12:09:16 GMT

Government draft confirms only minor deviations from GDPR

The British government is planning to impose criminal sanctions on people who intentionally re-identify individuals from data that should have protected their identities.…

London Mayor slams YouTube over failure to remove 'shocking' violent gang vids

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 11:03:12 GMT

Sadiq Khan: Social media companies must toughen up their guidelines

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has singled out Google's YouTube for failing to crack down on online videos that "inflame" gang violence and knife crime.…

Slacking off? ICO probe throws up concerns over instant messaging

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:41:59 GMT

Government must realise staff use Slack for official business – and make it work with FOI rules

Even the most archaic of organisations have been swept up by the march of technology – including the British government.…

Gov workers told their social posts are more believable than politicians' statements

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 04:24:42 GMT

Guidance to Australian public servants says citizens think they know 'what's really going on'

Australian government employees have been advised that their social media emissions carry more weight than pronouncements by ministers.…

UK publishes Laws of Robotics for self-driving cars

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 03:02:52 GMT

Privacy and security principles for connected and autonomous vehicles

The United Kingdom has published a set of “Key principles of vehicle cyber security for connected and automated vehicles” outlining how auto-makers need to behave if they want computerised cars to hit Blighty's byways and highways.…

UK taxmen slammed for tech glitches rampant on child benefits website

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 14:52:06 GMT

Putting the fault in digital by default

The UK government's new website intended to provide financial support for parents has been slammed for experiencing ongoing "technical" problems and outages, leaving parents unable to apply for tax-free support.…

Small biz breaks out pen, paper after Brit tax collectors' Digital Form Service goes down

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 08:02:07 GMT

Soz, SMEs, you can't submit your monthly returns online

The taxman's Digital Forms Service, intended to allow small businesses in the UK to submit returns online, has been down for maintenance since the beginning of the week – forcing SMEs to use pen and paper.…

Teen who texted boyfriend to kill himself gets 15 months jail

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 02:39:04 GMT

Michelle Carter banned from profiting from her story in any medium, ever

The sad case of the teenager who killed himself after being urged to do so in text messages has resulted in a 15-month jail sentence for the woman who sent the messages.…

She's back! Jessica Rosenworcel returns to FCC as America's net neutrality row heats up

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 21:48:08 GMT

Comms watchdog back up to full strength

America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, is finally back to its full complement of five commissioners following the confirmations of Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel by the US Senate.…

Capita's smart meter monopoly is owed £42m by industry

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:09:09 GMT

Deferred revenues up sharply at the Data Communications Company

The Capita-owned monopoly that runs Britain's smart meter infrastructure made an operating profit of £390,000 last year – but paid no tax and is owed £42m by the wider smart meter industry.…

Coming soon to a Parliament near you – UK's Data Protection Bill

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:37:47 GMT

First reading to be squeezed into short September term

The UK's new legislation on data protection is to get its first airing in Parliament next month, the government has said.…

Developing world hits 98.7 per cent mobile phone adoption

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 03:25:08 GMT

200 million more to come online in 2017 as 30 million ditch the landline

The world has more mobile phone subscriptions than people, according to the International Telecommunications Union's Facts and Figures for 2017.…

Trump-backed RAISE Act decoded: Points-based immigration, green cards slashed

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 02:50:53 GMT

Proposals shake up visas, rules for families seeking a better life

Having decided to move on from healthcare, the Trump administration has backed proposed legislation that would markedly overhaul America's immigration process.…

Big Internet balks at fresh effort to crack down on sex trafficking

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:48:20 GMT

Proposed US law to shore up key piece of online protection hits web opposition

An effort to redefine key legal protections in America, in order to prosecute those aiding child sex traffickers, has hit opposition from internet giants.…

Speaking in Tech: The net neutrality hearing? I'm, uh, washing my hair

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:58:13 GMT

Podcast Plus, Black Hat, Meg quitting, Uber damage control, tech TV shows

Fox News fabricated faux news with Donald Trump, lawsuit claims

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 21:57:13 GMT

Fake quotes linked DNC staffer to Wikileaks to divert attention from Russia, it is claimed

To obscure Russia's role in the 2016 election, the Trump administration collaborated with Fox News to fabricate news about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, according to a defamation and discrimination lawsuit filed on Tuesday.…

Ofcom lifts sword, eyes up BT's duct and pole rental costs

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 11:17:19 GMT

With a knick knack, piggyback, throw broadband folks a bone

In its on-going efforts to break Blighty's broadband dependence on BT, regulator Ofcom has today proposed a cap on Openreach's rental charges for smaller providers accessing its ducts and poles.… to trial vouchers for 'gigabit-capable' connectivity with SMEs

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 09:57:07 GMT

Wants to hand out £40m from £200m full-fibre investment pot

The government is to begin trialling a gigabit voucher scheme with small businesses in autumn, according to proposals seen by The Register.…

Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 18:58:16 GMT

Watchdog goes to court to open up black box system

Google's advertising systems that connect people's in-store purchases to their online browsing may face regulatory review – because the Chocolate Factory won't disclose details about how it slices and dices its data.…