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Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

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.…

MyHealthRecord slammed in privacy uproar

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 01:57:10 GMT

Hang on, sharing records is kind of what it's for

The Australian government has found itself embroiled in a privacy furore, this time for the privacy settings on its MyHealthRecord e-health system.…

nbn™ trials 10 Gbps fibre tech most of you will never see

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 23:56:10 GMT

With Australians flocking to fast broadband, the digital divide's going to keep widening

Nokia seems to believe in the future of fibre: it's run a test with nbn™ demonstrating next-generation passive optical networking (NG-PON) running at 10 Gbps.…

Google fumes after US Dept of Labor accuses ad giant of lowballing pay for women

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 21:58:40 GMT

'Systemic compensation disparities against women across the entire workforce'

Google is on the defensive after its gender pay equality campaign was panned in court by Uncle Sam.…

FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 21:22:45 GMT

You decide!

Poll Ajit Pai, chair of US comms watchdog the FCC, has unilaterally decided that no one wants to make cellphone calls on planes, and he killed off a 2013 proposal by the regulator to potentially allow them.…

Ombudsman slams Centrelink debt recovery system

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 01:41:01 GMT

Testing was inadequate, staff training worse, averaging incomes was known to be risky but used anyway

Australia's Commonwealth Ombudsman has published its report (PDF) on Centrelink’s automated debt raising and recovery system and found that while it is capable of correctly assessing debts, the agency was aware it had flaws and did little to prevent them.…

nbn™ gets its wish: Australian ISPs' performance to be rated

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 22:25:32 GMT

ACCC to start broadband performance rating service to reveal real-world speeds

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission has been given at least AU$7m to fund a broadband speed rating service that will publish details of speeds users experience on Australia’s national broadband network.…

Take that! FCC will hand net neut to FTC – reports

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 17:00:13 GMT

Back to being the uber internet regulator then

Analysis Americans may get a less Google-friendly and less-politicised regulatory regime if America's trade watchdog, the FTC, adopts responsibility for "net neutrality provisions", as reports today suggest. But under Trump, will the FTC have any teeth?…

How their GDPR ignorance could protect you from your denial

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:10:07 GMT

People, not process – your worst nightmare

We may be leaving the EU, but some EU law – with significant consequences for the IT community – will carry on. One such is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).…

Germany gives social networks 24 hours to delete criminal content

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 02:03:55 GMT

Schnell! Designated complaint handlers could cop €5m Euro fine, networks could wear €50m

Germany has followed through on its proposal to make social networks remove slanderous hate speech and fake news or face massive fines.…

Twitter sues US govt to protect 'Department of Immigration employee' who doesn't like Trump

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 21:49:02 GMT

Because it's 2017 and nothing really makes sense any more

Twitter has sued the US Department of Homeland Security over its demands that the microblogging site unmask an anonymous anti-Trump account.…

Aviation regulator flies in face of ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:34:09 GMT

If lithium batteries go boom in the hold, you're all screwed

Europe's aviation regulator has warned that electronic devices should not be stowed in an aircraft's cargo hold, advice that contradicts the recent ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on certain flights by UK authorities.…

Huawei mystery memo (and phone strategy) confirmed

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:02:11 GMT

Behind the staffers ‘counting money in bed’ missive…

Interview Last weekend Huawei’s flagship P10 (and P10 Plus) smartphones went on sale in the UK, with support from all four major operators for the first time. Huawei UK boasts that it was the only Mobile World Congress launch to get across-the-board support – something LG and Sony had failed to do.…

DTA gets its new CEO, opposition tells gummint to get some 'nous'

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:30:12 GMT

New captain piped aboard the Good Ship Failboat

Australia's Digital Transformation Agency has a new project-canceller-in-chief, announcing that ex-banker Gavin Slater will succeed interim CEO Nerida O’Loughlin as of May 1.…

ICO fines 11 big charities over dirty data donor-squeezing deeds

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 14:02:07 GMT

Not looking so fluffy-wuffy now

Eleven charities have been fined by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office for their dodgy dealings with donors' personal data.…