The 25,000-people-strong “class action” privacy suit against Facebook, launched in Austria at the start of this month, is going ahead. Although the case was recently shifted from one court to another, Max Schrems’s “Europe v Facebook” campaign group said on Thursday that the wheels are now properly in motion. The Vienna Regional Court has reviewed the case and ordered Facebook Ireland, the company’s international headquarters, to respond to the claimants’ accusations of widespread breaches of data protection law. The social network has four weeks to respond, though it may also apply for a four-week extension.
Sandstorm’s indie web app platform, which is currently crowdfunding, is picking up ports at an impressive rate. Earlier this week WordPress made an appearance, and now Apache (née Google) Wave has joined the party. Read more »
The Berlin-based streaming success is introducing a new “Premier” tier for creators who want to get paid, which will mean the inclusion of advertising on its platform for the first time. Read more »
The Norwegian firm’s browser will be the default on Microsoft’s low-end Asha, Series 30+ and Series 40 phones, almost all of which will be phased out by the end of 2015. Read more »
The Android Security Modules (ASM) framework, proposed by U.S. and German researchers, would make it easier to install security modules on Android devices without the need for rooting or firmware updates. Read more »
If true, this would make the Community Health Systems hack, which saw attackers steal 4.5 million people’s records, the first of its scale to exploit the OpenSSL bug. Read more »
The injunction orders Apple, Google and Microsoft to not only remove Secret (or a Secret client, in Microsoft’s case) from their app stores, but also to remotely wipe it from citizens’ handsets. Read more »
Michael Halbherr has stepped down as CEO of Nokia Here, the Finnish firm’s mapping and location-based services division, after just a few months in the role. He had been with Nokia for eight years and on its leadership team for three, but he only took the Here CEO spot on 1 May this year. The team is now looking for a new chief, under the temporary leadership of Core Map Group SVP Cliff Fox. The division is currently unprofitable, but is betting on success in the connected car market in particular. According to a Wednesday statement, Halbherr quit in order to “focus once again on entrepreneurial activities.”
The force has been lobbying handset manufacturers to include passcodes out of the box, according to a report in The Register. The Met told me it would prefer it if users set their passcodes at the point of sale. Read more »
An Android Police report has shored up earlier suggestions regarding the service’s branding. Read more »
In what must surely be the best advert for Tor yet, the elusive electronic music maestro Aphex Twin has announced his new album Syro — his first in 13 years — through a webpage that can only be viewed through the anonymizing network. Those who haven’t downloaded the Tor Browser can still view a similar page in a boring old non-anonymizing browser, but all they’ll get is the information about their ISP and IP address, not the track-listing nor album title. The Tor-only .onion page is part of the “Deep Web”, a below-the-surface scene of hidden services that can’t be crawled by normal search engines.
The rise of the on-demand workforce requires new ideas about protecting workers’ rights, but if it’s going to be fair, that readjustment can’t be based on the dictates of a handful of tech platforms. Read more »
Uber said on Monday that it is no longer banned in Berlin – for now at least. As happened in Hamburg, the company has lodged an appeal against the city’s ban, meaning the prohibition is suspended until the case is resolved. I would say that means Uber can resume services after a break of several days, but in fact the company continued operating while the ban was in force, putting itself and its drivers at risk of hefty fines. Luckily, Uber told me, no such fines were levied.
The tool is being pitched at those who want deep insights into addresses and transactions, from developers to regulators. Read more »
Julian Assange will “soon” leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been taking refuge since breaking bail terms two years ago, the Wikileaks founder said Monday in a press conference. He provided no further details. Reports earlier on Monday suggested he is suffering from health issues. Assange has been hiding in the embassy since 2012, after being accused of rape and sexual coercion in Sweden a couple of years previously. The Australian fears being extradited to the U.S. over the leaking of classified military documents, via Wikileaks, by soldier Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning. Last year Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison over the leaks.
The incident was reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday, with sources claiming that the decision not to destroy the recording was “idiocy”. Read more »
The draft, authored by Tor’s Jacob Appelbaum and others, aims to standardize a technique called TCP Stealth, for keeping servers safe from mass port-scanning tools like GCHQ’s HACIENDA. Read more »
The move will result in a better user experience for Chinese customers, while potentially also mollifying the authorities. Read more »
The Center for Digital Democracy has accused 30 companies, including Adobe, AOL and Salesforce.com, of breaking a U.S.-Europe data protection agreement — and slammed the FTC itself for not properly policing them. Read more »
The company says it will challenge the ban, which came into force on Wednesday evening. In the meantime, Uber’s drivers are taking a heck of a chance by keeping the business running. Read more »
Dmitry Medvedev’s Twitter account was taken over by an anti-Kremlin wag on Thursday morning, but it appears to be back in the hands of his team. Read more »
In a new interview, Snowden explained how fears of an accidental cyber-war, together with concerns over surveillance of U.S. citizens’ web traffic, turned him into a whistleblower. Read more »
SIMSme is a fully-fledged rival to the likes of WhatsApp, Threema and Snapchat, with the added bonus of being based in a jurisdiction with really tight data protection laws. Read more »
The German peer-to-peer loans outfit is going for the emerging markets, starting with those in Latin America. Read more »
The draft law was waved through its first reading in the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday, raising fears of censorship without safeguards. Read more »
The merger also gives Planview an easy way into Europe, and Projectplace a means for U.S. expansion. Read more »
The VMBeacon technology gives shoppers more information on what the mannequins are wearing while also giving the shops more information about their customers. Read more »
Finnish handset maker Jolla has begun offering its Sailfish OS-based smartphone in Hong Kong through the carrier 3. This is the first notable Asian channel for Jolla — when the merry band of ex-Nokians were first developing their Meego-derived platform, they were set to have a huge distribution deal through Chinese retailer D.Phone, but that didn’t pan out. Jolla handsets, which can run Android as well as Sailfish apps, will also soon be on offer through Indian retailer Snapdeal. According to recent reports, Jolla is looking to hire former Nokia employees recently laid off by Microsoft, to support its international expansion.
It’s kind of trendy for retailers to start accepting bitcoin. Services like Coinbase are making it easier for them to do so, and it provides good publicity, as the cryptocurrency remains outside the mainstream. But that’s not to say it’s just a stunt – Dell opened up to bitcoin payments last month, and over the weekend founder Michael Dell tweeted that someone had put in a server order for 85 bitcoin, or around $50,000. Not bad for physical servers (renting the virtual kind with bitcoin is old hat). Retailer Overstock said in March that it had taken $1 million in bitcoin payments in just two months.
Lawmakers in some countries are updating traditional intercept regulations so they take in new kinds of communications channels. I don’t believe they understand the implications of what they’re doing. Read more »
The attacker redirected traffic to fool cryptocurrency miners’ systems into connecting with his “mining pool” — giving him the proceeds of their hard work. Read more »
Vienna’s commercial court has decided it’s not the right place to adjudicate a massive and unprecedented class action suit over Facebook’s alleged breaking of European privacy law. As Network World reported on Friday, the court said the suit should be heard in a nearby court that deals with civil cases. Max Schrems, the man orchestrating the suit, told me this was because the case straddled the line between contract and data protection issues, and the court had merely decided the latter was more relevant than the former. “It’s a wholly administrative thing,” he said. 25,000 people have joined the suit, and another 20,000 have signed up to follow if Schrems decides it’s practical to expand the list.
Russia’s clampdown on internet freedom continues, this time with a measure designed to counter “those interested in destabilization.” However, there is some confusion over which hotspots are affected. Read more »
A U.K. man has been arrested for running a proxy server that granted access to “piracy” websites that had been blocked by the courts. The unnamed 20-year-old was arrested earlier this week in Nottingham, according to a Thursday statement by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). According to Wired, the arrested man was running Immunicity, a proxy service set up in 2013 to bypass court-ordered site blockages. As far as I’m aware, this is the first arrest in the U.K. over the circumvention of copyright-protecting measures by proxy, so it should be an interesting case to watch.
The NSA leaker’s 3-year residency permit will allow him to hang around in Russia, with the ability to travel abroad for up to 3 months at a time — though presumably not on his cancelled U.S. passport. Read more »
The PLDT deal is largely about developing mobile and online payment technologies for emerging markets, but it also gives the market a hint at Rocket’s worth ahead of a rumored IPO. Read more »
Gently at first but perhaps more strongly in the future, Google is now ranking up websites that use secure connections for their customers’ communications and activities. Read more »
The British app is the first of its kind to be embedded into a car manufacturer’s dashboard displays, starting in the U.K. but soon available in other English-speaking countries, too. Read more »
The European Space Agency craft has made its historic date with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and now it’s going to try send a lander onto the comet’s surface. Read more »
Days after China removed foreign security vendors from its procurement lists for government departments, it has reportedly done the same with Apple products. According to anonymous sources quoted by Bloomberg, iPads and MacBooks were on a June procurement list, but not on the final version in July. Chinese state TV had previously attacked the security of iPhones — the procurement lists don’t cover smartphones, though — and everyone from Microsoft to IBM has also come in for official criticism as China and the U.S. spar over hacking and spying. That said, the procurement lists still include HP and Dell devices.