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The Register - Business: Policy

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

British prime minister slams Facebook and pals for votes

Sat, 27 May 2017 07:08:13 GMT

Nothing new in speech but then that wasn't the point

British prime minister Theresa May used Facebook, Google and social media companies as a vote-winning punch bag on Friday, slamming them for not doing enough to limit extremist content online.…

Tech firms sends Congress checklist of surveillance reforms

Fri, 26 May 2017 18:25:24 GMT

Google, Facebook et al take on Section 702, Apple quiet

More than 30 big internet companies including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have sent a letter to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee asking for specific reforms to the law used for carrying out mass surveillance.…

'President Zuck' fundraiser opens for business

Fri, 26 May 2017 13:38:55 GMT

"I'm Commander-in-Chief, bitch!"

A fundraising vehicle to help get the world's fifth richest man Mark Zuckerberg elected as President of the United States will now take your money.…

Cloudflare doubles down on its troll-hunting crusade

Thu, 25 May 2017 18:32:30 GMT

Bounty for invalidating Blackbird Tech patents increases

Cloudflare has today stepped up its efforts to run patent litigator Blackbird Technologies into the ground.…

Info commish: One year to go and businesses still not ready for GDPR

Thu, 25 May 2017 12:03:08 GMT

Thought £400k TalkTalk fine was big? Try €20m

Companies are unprepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force a year today, and some small businesses "might not even know" a new regime is looming, the UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has warned.…

Your roadmap to the Google vs Oracle Java wars

Thu, 25 May 2017 08:01:11 GMT

'It is happening again'

Analysis The final lap nears in Oracle's epic seven year battle with Google over Java. It's reached the Federal Appeals Circuit, where Oracle is confident that three appeals judges with a strong track record of upholding IP will decide in its favour.…

UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

Thu, 25 May 2017 06:30:11 GMT

Anger over Manchester attack may play a part

The UK government will push through orders next month to force all communications companies including Google and Facebook to break data encryption.…

FCC revised net neutrality rules reveal cable company control of process

Wed, 24 May 2017 22:54:45 GMT

We take a look inside the campaign to undermine the internet

Analysis The FCC has released a revised version of its plans to tear up net neutrality – and unwittingly revealed the extraordinary influence that the cable industry has over the process.…

EU ministers approve anti-hate speech video rules

Wed, 24 May 2017 07:30:12 GMT

Facebook, Google, Twitter and friends face clampdown

European Union ministers have approved new rules for video that will oblige Facebook, Google, Twitter and others to remove hate speech and sexually explicit videos online or face stiff fines.…

India makes biometrics mandatory for all e-gov projects

Wed, 24 May 2017 04:58:10 GMT

Cloud's just 'recommended', for now, as local industry plans 50 per cent growth by 2025

India's issued three “Guidance Notes” outlining its government's policies for procuring software and entering into alliances and running RFPs.…

Dodge this: Fiat-Chrysler gets diesel-fuelled sueball from DoJ

Wed, 24 May 2017 04:02:07 GMT

Emissions software scandal flares anew

Fiat-Chrysler, accused of the same kind of software defeat as landed Volkswagen in hot water, is now the subject of a Department of Justice lawsuit.…

Republicans' net neutrality attack written by… you guessed it, the cable lobby

Tue, 23 May 2017 21:13:02 GMT

Metadata confirms what we all suspected

A "toolkit" provided to House Republicans to defend US comms watchdog the FCC's recent decision to tear up net neutrality rules was written by the cable lobby.…

Widow appeals to Avaya to protect death benefits after bankruptcy filing

Tue, 23 May 2017 13:04:07 GMT

Telco argues payment isn't covered by reorg scheme

The widow of an Avaya employee has said the troubled UK telco should not terminate her death benefits following its bankruptcy filing in January.…

Nokia, Apple lawyers make peace over nasty IP wrangle

Tue, 23 May 2017 09:56:56 GMT

Unspecified lump sum heading for Finland

Nokia and Apple have made peace after a brief but vituperative legal stand-off. The two settled all their outstanding issues over intellectual property rights, with an unspecified lump sum heading from California to Finland, as well as royalties.…

Euro Patent Office staff warns board of internal rule changes

Tue, 23 May 2017 07:30:08 GMT

King Battistelli is at it again

The central staff committee of the European Patent Office has sent a letter to the organization's board warning it of proposed changes that would further undermine their rights.…

No nudity please, we're killing ourselves: Advice to Facebook mods leaks

Mon, 22 May 2017 10:54:08 GMT

What's allowed and what isn't

A large quantity of Facebook's advice for its English-language content moderators* has been obtained and published by The Guardian newspaper, giving insight into how it handles material on the site.…

Project Gollum: Because NHS Caring means NHS Sharing

Mon, 22 May 2017 10:33:52 GMT

How we will save the NHS from cyber-ransom

¡Bong! Even over Skype, the weeping of the National Health Service's Chief Transformation Officer could be heard even over the sound of the breaking waves here on Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman.…

Japan (lightly) regulates high-frequency algorithmic trading

Mon, 22 May 2017 01:58:09 GMT

It's more than half of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, but just who's doing what is hard to say

Japan has decided it's high time it got a grip on just who is conducting high-frequency algorithmic trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.…

Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Fri, 19 May 2017 10:00:10 GMT

Probe suspended after prosecutors tire of waiting for Wikileaks boss to come out

Updated Sweden's director of public prosecutions has today suspended an investigation into Julian Assange regarding rape allegations.…

UK Tory party pledges 'digital' charter, wants Verify to back online gov

Thu, 18 May 2017 13:34:12 GMT

We read the manifesto so you don’t have to…

The Conservatives have pledged to introduce a digital charter in the party's manifesto today, which also rehashes a number of familiar-sounding ideas about “digital by default” government and backs the failing identity authentication platform Verify.…

ICO probes use of data analytics by politicos following Brexit vote

Thu, 18 May 2017 11:30:04 GMT

Parties warned to follow rules ahead of General Election

The UK's Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has opened a formal investigation into the use of big data analysis during the Brexit referendum.… plans to overhaul £6bn in big IT deals 'watered down'

Thu, 18 May 2017 10:27:07 GMT

Brexit and loss of oversight casts doubt on reform agenda – sources

The British government's plans to overhaul £6bn in large IT contracts expiring within the next three years have fallen by the wayside, according to sources.…

EC fines Facebook €110m for 'misleading' data on WhatsApp deal

Thu, 18 May 2017 09:42:31 GMT

'Errors' in 2014 filings 'not intentional', apparently

The European Commission has fined Facebook €110m (£94.4m) for giving misleading or incorrect information about its takeover of messaging giant WhatsApp.…

Chelsea Manning leaves prison, heads straight for booze and pizza

Thu, 18 May 2017 03:59:07 GMT

Julian Assange tweets his delight, but nothing on his promise to visit the USA

As expected, leaker extraordinaire Chelsea Manning has left the United States Army's Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, after her sentence was commuted in the last days of Barack Obama's presidency.…

Australian privacy commissioner flags new data mining rules for government agencies

Thu, 18 May 2017 01:55:15 GMT

Centrelink's buggy “Robodebt” program to get another audit

Australia's Department of Human Services (DHS) might have given itself a clean bill of health over its notorious “Robodebt” data-matching program, but Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim wants to check it out for himself.…

nbn™ needs copper to build FTTN: another 15,000 km of it

Thu, 18 May 2017 01:27:47 GMT

Some greenfields won't get fibre, company tells Senate

Remediating and backfilling copper networks for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) was always going to need new copper, and now Australians know how much: 15,000 kilometres.…

Payroll-for-contractors company named at centre of AU$165m tax scam scheme

Thu, 18 May 2017 00:59:42 GMT

Plutus Payroll's owners arrested, aircraft seized, tax office suspends senior staff … and tech contractors sweat

When Australian payroll-for-contractors outfit Plutus Payroll stopped paying its customers, several pointed out that the company looked too good to be true – because it did not charge for its services. And now we know why: the biz has been named at the centre of an AU$165 million (US$122.5m, £94.5m) fraud against the Commonwealth of Australia.…

US court decision will destroy the internet, roar Google, Facebook et al

Wed, 17 May 2017 18:56:58 GMT

Effort to redraw online copyright rules receives furious response

Internet giants Google, Facebook and a wide range of organizations from Pinterest to Kickstarter to Wikimedia have responded furiously to a recent decision by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that could have huge liability implications for online companies.…

ICO fines telco £100k for 3.2m mobile phone text spamhammer

Wed, 17 May 2017 10:25:06 GMT

Over 1k complain about free tablets, smartwatches wheeze

The Information Commissioner's Office has fined Fareham telco Onecom Limited £100,000 for sending spam texts.…

Ireland to make revenge porn, cyberstalking criminal acts

Tue, 16 May 2017 07:05:09 GMT

Emerald Isle catches up with modern technology

The Irish government is planning to make the most unpleasant online acts criminal offences.…

German court set to rule on legality of IP address harvesting

Tue, 16 May 2017 05:36:09 GMT

German government stores IP addresses of visitors, Pirate Party lawyer wants that to stop

Germany's federal court is set to hand down a ruling about the legality of storing IP addresses.…

Australia considers joining laptops-on-planes ban

Tue, 16 May 2017 04:03:37 GMT

Security partners have chatted to PM Turnbull and the idea is under consideration

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the nation is considering signing up for the laptops-on-planes ban imposed by the United States and United Kingdom.…

Lib Dems pledge to end 'Orwellian' snooping powers in manifesto

Mon, 15 May 2017 11:32:45 GMT

Only caveat is they need to actually get in power...

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to end the "Orwellian nightmare" of mass-snooping powers in the Investigatory Powers Act ahead of their manifesto launch.…

Head of's Common Technology Services Iain Patterson steps down

Fri, 12 May 2017 12:14:36 GMT

Body count of GDS folk grows bigger following arrival of Kevin Cunnington

The director of Common Technology Services at Government Digital Service Iain Patterson has stepped down, adding to a growing body count of senior folk to have left since director general Kevin Cunnington took the helm.…

Beeb hands £560m IT deal to Atos. Again

Fri, 12 May 2017 08:37:14 GMT

Well it's sustainable ... it's a single source producer... Yep! Boutique massive outsourcing

In an effort to overhaul its massive £2.3bn contract with Atos, the BBC has awarded its Enterprise ICT and Hosting Services contract worth up to £560m over eight years to... you guessed it, Atos.…

Oz MP flies crypto-kite, wants backdoors without backdoors

Fri, 12 May 2017 00:56:07 GMT

When do private companies dictate how we run national security?

Federal MP Anthony Byrne wants to re-start the encryption debate in Australia.…

Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

Thu, 11 May 2017 15:29:08 GMT

For you, Fritz, the testing is not over

Europe's top court has ruled that the General Court issued a flawed and unfair verdict against Dyson, Britain's best-known manufacturer.…

Cloudflare goes berserk on next-gen patent troll, vows to utterly destroy it using prior-art bounties

Thu, 11 May 2017 15:00:12 GMT

Web giant wants to invalidate Blackbird Tech's designs, get them thrown out of profession

Cloudflare says it will go above and beyond to destroy what it claims is a uniquely dangerous patent troll.…

Uber is a taxi company, not internet, European Court of Justice advised

Thu, 11 May 2017 11:49:09 GMT

Now regulate the ass off it

Uber is really a transport company, not an internet company, in official advice given to the European Court of Justice. If it's followed by the court, the opinion will have significant impact on horizontally integrated platforms operating in Europe that present themselves as intermediaries and thus bypass many regulations.…

Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Thu, 11 May 2017 09:37:10 GMT

How Sweden and Norway turned to ANPR

Most people leaving Kielder forest park in Northumberland go east towards Tyneside, but you can also head north-west on an uncategorised road through open countryside.…

Mozilla wants EU to slow down its ePrivacy Directive process

Thu, 11 May 2017 05:05:08 GMT

'We love privacy, just not this much privacy, not this fast'

Mozilla wants the EU to tap the brake on a privacy process slated to deliver a new ePrivacy Directive by May 2018, calling the timeline “overly aggressive”.…

Senate committee wants all drones registered

Wed, 10 May 2017 22:55:08 GMT

Quadcopter hoons on notice

That sound you can hear is Australia's drone army angrily hammering their keyboards to try and fend off the threat of re-regulation.…

Go, GoDaddy! Domain-slinger decapitates email patent troll in court

Wed, 10 May 2017 21:58:12 GMT

Appeals judge confirms: RPost will get nothing and like it

Updated Domain registrar and host GoDaddy has won its battle with a patent-holding company that had accused it of violating a handful of claims related to basic email functions.…

FCC: Take your spam and shove it, slacktivists!

Wed, 10 May 2017 13:37:06 GMT

Calling time on astroturf petitions

Comment Some theoretical physicists have advanced the hypothesis that we may be living in a simulation, a kind of computer game. I wonder where they got that idea?…

People are talking about a BT Global Services sell-off again

Wed, 10 May 2017 09:06:06 GMT

Well, outsourcing division sale would raise much-needed capital

Analysis BT Global Services remains the problem child for the former state monopoly and something has got to give: sales generated by the division continue to go in the wrong direction (in part due to the decline in global outsourcing), bucking the upward swing across the wider group.…

UK General Election 2017: How EU law will hit British politicians' Facebook fight

Wed, 10 May 2017 08:36:11 GMT

Narrow swings, big data

The internet is buzzing with claims about the role of data and use of algorithms by politicians to swing votes.…

European Patent Office dragged to human rights court – by its own staff

Wed, 10 May 2017 06:58:10 GMT

Union steps up survival efforts as Dutch parliament debates King Battistelli

The staff union of the European Patent Office on Tuesday applied to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to force greater accountability on the organization and its president, Benoit Battistelli.…

Infosec, e-health, Vets' Affairs scoop up cash in Oz federal budget

Tue, 09 May 2017 22:55:58 GMT

Australia's needy IT sector gets its annual dose of validation

The IT sector always loves it when the Australian government acknowledges its existence in the federal budget, and 2017-2018 is no exception.…

Majority of contractors distrust HMRC's IR35 calculator, survey finds

Tue, 09 May 2017 11:01:11 GMT

Turkeys voting against Christmas?

The vast majority of contractors do not trust the results of HMRC's online assessment tool determining them inside the IR35 changes, according to a survey by IT recruitment firm Qdos Contractor.…

Agile consultant behind UK's disastrous Common Platform Programme steps down

Tue, 09 May 2017 09:16:26 GMT

Departure follows Register exposé

The head of the agile company instrumental in the UK Ministry of Justice's disastrous Common Platform Programme has stepped down. His departure follows a Register exclusive exposing the project's failings.…