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Preview: The Register - Public Sector: Government

The Register - Policy: Government

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2014, Situation Publishing

OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:55:05 GMT

You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?

Proposals to stop tax avoidance by multinationals like Amazon and Google have been unveiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).…

PLEASE STOP with the snooping requests, begs Google as gov data demands skyrocket

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:59:11 GMT

Whadya know, spies are still spying. Transparency? Pah

Worldwide government requests for access to Google's user data leapt by 15 per cent in the last six months, the ad giant said in its latest "Transparency Report" published on Monday.…

Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:24:09 GMT

'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs

Israeli politicians and a former military intelligence commander have hit back at reservists who criticized Israel for spying on ordinary Palestinians.…

Give us a digi-Czar and more bureaucrats, begs UK tech-services biz

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:32:12 GMT

Come on everybody, let's upload all our stuff into Government by Cloud

+Comment New policy proposals published by tech services trade group Tech UK (formerly Intellect) today seek to grapple with its members being marginalised by recent Government fads.…

'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 05:02:12 GMT

We just might notice if you cut our cables

The washup from yesterday's Dotcom-Snowden-Greenwald saga rolls on, with Southern Cross Cable Network angrily denying that New Zealand's spooks, the NSA, or anybody else for that matter has worked a tap into its cables.…

Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 07:39:18 GMT

Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot

Edward Snowden and Kim Dotcom have joined hands and waded into New Zealand politics ahead of the nation's forthcoming election, by alleging prime minister John Key has told fibs about his government's involvement with the NSA's nasties.…

New Snowden leak: US and Brit spooks 'tap into German telco networks to map end devices'

Sun, 14 Sep 2014 14:54:54 GMT

Deutsche Telekom: 'completely unacceptable, if true'

An NSA and GCHQ surveillance programme - dubbed Treasure Map - grants US and British spooks access to the networks of German telcos such as Deutsche Telekom, according to a new stash of leaked documents from Edward Snowden.…

Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress

Sat, 13 Sep 2014 01:32:03 GMT

FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'

This week's internet slowdown protest has been, as one might expect, declared a roaring success by its organizers, after US watchdog the FCC was once again forced to change its comment policy under a deluge of opinions.…

Super Cali goes ballistic, Uber Pool is bogus: Ride sharing biz is illegal in the state, says regulator

Sat, 13 Sep 2014 01:03:03 GMT

Want to car pool commerically? Get a license

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has warned Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber that their ride-sharing services are technically illegal under the state's licensing laws.…

Italy's High Court orders HP to refund punter for putting Windows on PC

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:03:31 GMT

Top beaks slam bundled OS as 'commercial policy of forced distribution'

Don’t want that preinstalled Microsoft Windows on your new Italian laptop? You’re entitled to your money back, according to Italy’s High Court.…

NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:58:05 GMT

Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access

North Korea has sent a stern request to foreign embassies, asking them to stop using WiFi and satellite internet services within their walls.…

US! govt! ordered! Yahoo! to! hand! over! user! data! or! pay! $250k! fine! PER! DAY!

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:08:10 GMT

That's gotta be worth a few exclamation marks

Yahoo! has tried to explain why it buckled under pressure from Uncle Sam to hand over its users' data to the US government - by promising to publish the court documents which ordered the snooping.…

Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:28:06 GMT

REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box

The worst thing you'll find on most chaps' laptops is a bit of porn and perhaps a pirated copy of Microsoft Office. But, according to a recent report, if you peer inside the hard drive of a rabid ISIS zealot, you'll find recipes for bubonic plague, instructions on extracting ricin from castor beans and – most terrifyingly of all – a variety of syrupy songs by Canadian caterwauler Celine Dion.…

Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 12:31:04 GMT

You keep the call centres, Hamish, we'll take the banks

Scots may vote to leave the United Kingdom, ending a union lasting 307 years, on 18 September. Until a few weeks ago, the referendum on independence looked like an easy win for those wanting to stay in the union - or to use the parlance of the campaign, "no" voters.…

Welcome your new digital.. commissioners? Likely pair could fill Steelie Neelie's shoes

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:03:06 GMT

Juncker floats new picks before parliament

It’s going to take two men to do one woman’s job at the new European Commission. The new line-up was announced on Wednesday following weeks of speculation and horse-trading of the sort that usually accompanies football transfers.…

ACCC gives thumbs up to TPG's NBN fibre-to-the-basement raids

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 23:53:30 GMT

Junior telco may be forced to wholesale services

Australia's Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has to do nothing about junior telco TPG's plans to compete with the nation's government-mandated monopoly telephony network provider NBN Co, but is still pondering whether other telecoms retailers should be allowed to resell services running on TPG's infrastructure.…

FTC: We didn't robocall you and thousands of others asking for bank details. IT'S A TRAP!

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 20:04:02 GMT

Feds shut down website posing as official program

The FTC says it has shut down a massive robocall operation that gathered personal information and bank account details on thousands of people.…

Smart meters in UK homes will only save folks a lousy £26 a year

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:59:05 GMT

Aaaand they'll cost £10.6bn, might be obsolete soon - MPs

Smart meters are only going to save people around two per cent on their bills, but will cost each home or business £215 over five years to roll out, MPs have warned.…

NBN Co says Melton test not valid, likely uses processes developed there anyway

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 02:54:08 GMT

Reg gets its claws into leaked report of FTTP rollout experiment

Far from being an “unrepresentative” document based on bad data, the NBN Co internal presentation which leaked last week was the outcome of five months' work, instigated to create a benchmark for future fibre rollout areas.…

Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:42:06 GMT

Says it still won't give feds access to Ireland data center

At Microsoft's own request, a judge has held the software giant in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order to give US authorities access to customer emails housed in a data center in Dublin, Ireland.…

BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:02:17 GMT

People genuinely want to pay for us, and want to be forced to

The Government's choice for BBC chairman defended the licence fee, criminal penalties for non-payers, and digital "education" initiatives before MPs today.…

NBN Co correction: We're rubbish at broadband rollout and NEVER improved

Mon, 08 Sep 2014 03:46:36 GMT

No, wait, we mean that we did better work than our brilliant performance in Melton

NBN Co has issued a press statement assuring media that in spite of what looked like a favourable assessment of its fibre-to-the-premises rollout procedures, things really were dreadful until the new government commissioned the Strategic Review.…

India government: 'net should not be censored

Mon, 08 Sep 2014 01:58:09 GMT

Except, of course, when it should

India's communications and IT minister, tasked with attracting foreign investors to the country's tech sector, has defended controversial IT laws while saying that Internet censorship should be minimal.…

'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin

Sun, 07 Sep 2014 23:32:08 GMT

Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker

Rod Tucker, a laureate emeritus professor at the University of Melbourne, IEEE fellow, and networking researcher has posted an article that offers very heavy criticism of the Vertigan Review's cost-benefit analysis of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN).…

Shitty what? Almost half of MPs have never heard of Tech City

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 15:35:11 GMT

Yep, Blighty Plc is OK, it's alright, everything's fine

If Tech City UK is the beating heart of the local tech digital industry, someone forgot to tell almost half of MPs about the taxpayer-funded initiative.…

Cyber-hoodlum tripped, fell, landed in Obama's server

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 01:26:09 GMT

That's exactly how it happened, honest, says US govt, and no medical records stolen

Officials at the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have today confirmed that one of the servers was hacked.…

Glasshole-in-chief QUITS Google to become CTO of America

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 19:48:28 GMT

President Obama makes robo-cars and techno-specs veep first woman in top US gov role

The White House has hired former Google vice-president Megan Smith to take over the role of US Chief Technology Officer.…

Power station fault cuts electricity, water and internet in Cairo

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 10:34:04 GMT

Reg reader reports staffers sweaty, web-less for 4 hours

A massive power outage in Cairo has left the city sweltering in nearly 40˚C heat, without running water or internet services.…

NATO nations 'will respond to a Cyber attack on one as though it were on all'

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 16:36:05 GMT

If we agreed it was serious and we knew who did it, anyway

NATO is set to agree a new cyber defence policy that would mean any severe cyber attack on a NATO member could be considered tantamount to a traditional military attack and invoke the alliance's collective defence provisions.…

Clock's ticking for suppliers who want a piece of hot DWP action

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:56:06 GMT

Fancy a slice of this £17.5m pie? Apply within

The Department of Work and Pensions has issued a call to tech firms to provide and host a toolset for service integration and management functions in a gig worth up to £17.5m over the next three years.…

Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, will tell people

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 11:55:29 GMT

Well, unless you are a policeman, presumably

Home Secretary Theresa May announced this morning that the government plans to publish a mobile phone theft index to help Brits make informed decisions about what handsets to buy, based on which is the least likely to be nicked by wrongdoers.…

NHS supplier Trustmarque seeks backers after accounting change

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:03:44 GMT

Rev recognition blamed for 'funding gap' by private equity backer

The future of major NHS supplier Trustmarque looks less certain after private equity backer Dunedin confirmed that a change in the way revenue is recognised has created a “funding gap”.…

Facebook, WhatsApp wait on cold steel table as Euro Commish ponders painful probe

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:29:06 GMT

Your hospital gowns are gaping, chaps

Competitors of Facebook and WhatsApp have been asked to complete a whopping 88 multiple-choice, multi-part questions that range from the blindingly obvious – “To the best of your knowledge, do users use more than one social networking service?" – to the vague and indefinable – “Please provide any recent examples of consumers switching from one social networking service to another.”…

Uber alles... nein! Deutschland imposes NATIONWIDE BAN on taxi app

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:04:03 GMT

German court outlaws Uber with a temporary injunction

Uber has been banned in Germany after a court in Frankfurt imposed a temporary injunction on the driving firm.…

Govt waves stick at pirate-friendly Google search

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:28:07 GMT

Feeling lucky?

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has threatened to introduce legislation if Google doesn’t stop promoting pirate sites above legitimate sites in its organic search results.…

Steelie Neelie: Enjoy your EXCLUSIVE UHF spectrum in 2020, mobile operators

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:12:09 GMT

But you'd better play nicely with broadcasters until then

Europe’s digital chief presented a report on Monday that sets out a plan to redistribute access to the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum band.…

NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:31:07 GMT

Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up

A hacker has claimed the scalp of New Zealand Justice Minister Judith Collins by releasing information showing a purported campaign to undermine government officials.…

What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:45:04 GMT

Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation

One thing the British state does well is waste money – as evidenced by its pouring of taxpayers' cash into millionaire model Lily Cole's online wishing well, or, say, fining itself hundreds of thousands for its pisspoor data security practices. Yet when it comes to firearms licensing, surprisingly few people see the benefit of replacing ancient paper-based files with a modern computerised system.…

GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:07:17 GMT

Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut

A number of protesters haranguing UK spies stationed at the country's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have taken to apparently drinking human urine to publicise their disgust with the eavesdropping nerve centre's surveillance tactics.…

Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:45:05 GMT

Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing

Worstall @ the Weekend We talked last week about how macroeconomics is still pretty terrible at telling us what we ought to do about the world around us, which is why I always rather scratch me head at people who insist that rent control is going to be a good way of solving our current housing crisis.…

America's CTO leaving role for Silicon Valley in White House shakeup

Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:21:11 GMT

Google exec floated as possible replacement for departing tech chief

The CTO of the United States is set to resign his post, but will remain with the Obama Administration.…

We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie

Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:44:04 GMT

EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum

Europe’s digital chief Neelie Kroes will reiterate her commitment to “international governance of the internet” later today – that’s code for a smaller role for the US.…

Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy

Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:09:06 GMT

Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic

Analysis More allegations have emerged of dodgy tactics on the part of car ride app Uber and rival Lyft – this time relating to so-called "brand ambassadors".…

Australia makes pinkie-promise to end Indonesia spying

Fri, 29 Aug 2014 03:32:31 GMT

Agreement aims to 'do no harm'

Australia has signed a code of conduct to promise not to spy on Indonesia's elected officials in a bid to heal seeping wounds opened by NSA leaks.…

'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:58:09 GMT

And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'

+Comment A founder of the volunteer technology education group Code Club has resigned, claiming she was warned not to criticise the group’s sponsors – which include Google.…

Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 01:56:03 GMT

Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data

You can't make this stuff up: one of the lead agencies involved in agitating for Australia to implement a data retention regime has fallen prey to not knowing how to properly redact information in PDFs.…

Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:06:43 GMT

'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which in 2013 accidentally blocked innocent Websites in an attempt to disrupt financial fraud, has told a government inquiry it didn't actually know what it was doing.…

NYC, LA mayors hammer Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:22:13 GMT

FCC warned mega-gobble could price citizens out of the internet

The mayors of the two largest cities in America have sent letters to US watchdog the FCC expressing their concerns over the proposed merger between cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC).…

Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:05:09 GMT

Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted

More than 50 Norwegian oil and energy companies have been hacked by unknown attackers, according to government security authorities.…

Qualcomm to get it from both sides? EU probe may be coming – report

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:32:06 GMT

China's 'monopoly' probe has already begun

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm could be facing into an antitrust probe from the EU at the same time as it fends off a similar investigation in China, according to Reuters.…