A House of Lords committee has slammed the “right to be forgotten” ruling of Europe’s top court, as well as the interpretation of the concept that’s in the new Data Protection Directive. Read more »
The British government has given the all-clear for driverless cars to take to public roads from January 2015, when trials will begin in 3 cities. Read more »
The logo is designed to make it clear to consumers when the goods they’re carrying contain an RFID smart chip, and to bring retailers and healthcare and banking companies out of a legal “gray zone” when it comes to data protection. Read more »
After it identified a group of malicious relays that ran for over 5 months this year, Tor has issued a security advisory warning those running hidden services on its network to change up their locations, and those running Tor relays to make sure their software is up-to-date. Read more »
The online retail giant says it will be happy to stick with the 30 percent cut it already gets from Hachette ebook sales if the publisher agrees to slash its ebook pricing, a move which Amazon claims would be central to the future of reading. Read more »
The purchase will give BlackBerry a leg up in its quest to pitch to government agencies and enterprises who want secure communications. Read more »
In emerging markets, smartphones are gaining ground based on crazily low pricing. Check out this Gadget piece about recent figures from South African retail giant Pep. In the second half of 2013, 1 percent of the pre-pay phones Pep sold were smartphones. That was up to 13 percent in the first half of this year, and soon it will be 30 percent. Much of this is down to the arrival of super-cheap, WhatsApp-centric Android phones priced as low as R399 ($38). Now consider that Microsoft just killed off Asha, the low-end Nokia line that’s been its big contender in markets such as this. Those cheap new Lumias had better be really cheap.
In a report about tackling online issues like bullying and revenge porn, the Lords tentatively advised that web services should demand real names at sign-up, even if they then allow usage to be anonymous or pseudonymous. Read more »
The vulnerability is of particular concern for those with old Android devices that no longer receive firmware updates. However, Google says the Play Store remains a safe place from which to download apps. Read more »
The new “Operation Creative” tactic is designed to tackle the funding of copyright-infringement websites without making users vulnerable to malware, as an earlier pilot accidentally did. However, it’s a bit worrying to see police censoring elements of webpages. Read more »
It’s not clear why the company is being investigated, but based on earlier statements by the Chinese government it is most likely to do with the security of Windows. Read more »
When it comes to Facebook, there’s privacy and there’s privacy. And the way things are playing out, improvements on one kind of privacy could in effect act to the detriment of the other. Read more »
Censorship is always bad, right? Not to many people around our connected globe, and there is sometimes validity to their views. Unfortunately the tension between those views places a profound and perhaps dangerous dilemma at the heart of the internet. Read more »
The Baseline Study is a collaboration between the Google X “moonshot” organization and various clinical and academic partners. The work should fit in well with the health-monitoring aspects of Google’s wearable efforts. Read more »
The flaw could de-anonymize many users, but it’s not a vulnerability in Tails itself, as I2P isn’t used by default in the live operating system. Read more »
North Rhine-Westphalia has decided to enforce a ban on biker gangs’ logos being displayed on websites. It is not at all clear how this is supposed to happen. Read more »
The London startup’s product, Overleaf, lets researchers collaborate on scientific papers that use the LaTeX markup language. Read more »
The law requires web services operating in Russia to store citizens’ data in local facilities. It’s supposed to protect Russians from overseas hackers, but the censorship potential is clear. Read more »
When Yelp and the European Consumer Organisation joined the 4-year-old EU antitrust case against Google, it became pretty clear that competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia would not get his wish of settling the case before his departure later this year. And lo, it comes to pass: According to the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, the European Commission is now planning to reopen its settlement arrangements with Google for an unprecedented fourth round of revisions. A Wednesday letter from original complainant Foundem expressed clear dissatisfaction with existing settlement proposals, and it seems the NSA mess is providing political pressure as well.
Tom Watson and David Davis are teaming up with Liberty to launch a legal challenge against the data retention law, which was barely debated but which allows the UK authorities to monitor all kinds of web services. Read more »
OpenNebula’s new “Lemon Slice” beta makes it possible to chuck VMs from OpenNebula infrastructure into more public clouds as needed. Read more »
In a significant upset for the European publishing industry, the Amsterdam district court has refused to order the closure of secondhand ebook store Tom Kabinet, saying EU law isn’t clear enough on digital media resale rights to take that step. Read more »
Suspected “pirates” will get told they’ve been spotted — but that’s it. This appears to be little more than a consumer awareness campaign, with no threatened disconnections. Read more »
Google has made concrete moves to protect consumers — particularly the parents of Android-toting kids — from accidentally racking up huge in-app purchase bills. Apple and iOS, not so much. Read more »
The former NSA sysadmin said in a Guardian interview that cloud providers can earn users’ trust by building their services around encryption and being clear about “where they draw the lines.” Read more »
The House of Lords passed the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill on Thursday without a vote, and it received royal assent hours later. That means DRIP is law after just a few days’ scrutiny. Read more »
If the search engines insist on playing judge and jury on so-called “right to be forgotten” requests in Europe — something they could sidestep in many cases — then they have to be clear about how they do so. Read more »
Tado, the European Nest competitor, has taken $13.6 million in fresh investment from Target Partners, Shortcut Ventures – both of which have already invested — and others. According to CEO Christian Deilmann, the home climate control firm will use the money to expand to all major European countries and beyond. Currently, the Tado smart thermostat is available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the U.K., while the more recently launched Tado Cooling box, which connects legacy air-conditioning units to the firm’s app, is already a worldwide proposition.
Though no names were named, a report from the United Nations human rights chief has stressed that mass surveillance clashes with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights — and that over-cooperative tech companies may be complicit in human rights abuses. Read more »
Deutsche Telekom has its own German cloud storage service, TelekomCloud, so it’s no surprise to see its big Dropbox partnership exclude the carrier’s home turf. Read more »
FiftyThree, the U.S. startup that produces the designer-friendly drawing app Paper, has now brought out the accompanying Pencil stylus in Europe, 8 months after it was released in North America. Pencil connects with the user’s iPad via Bluetooth to enable features like palm rejection, finger blending and switching to the erase function without needing to change tools in the app. Variable surface pressure will be added with the upcoming release of iOS 8. In the U.K., the graphite version of Pencil is priced at £49.99 ($85.64) and the walnut version at £64.99 ($111.34).
Stepping in where the banks won’t or don’t dare, Elliptic now has funding for its secure and insured Vault service, and it wants to expand its repertoire. Read more »
The UK Data Retention and Investigation Powers (DRIP) Bill, which is being fast-tracked through the legislative process, cleared the first stage in the House of Commons by 498 votes to 31 after a sparsely-attended “debate” (pictured). As previously reported, DRIP expands the authorities’ surveillance powers so that foreign web communications service providers can be forced to hand over user information – despite the assurances of the U.K. government that it only maintains the “status quo”. Lawyers and web law experts (and Edward Snowden) strongly oppose it. DRIP, which all major parties agreed to support before the public got to see it late last week, now goes for a second reading in the evening, then the House of Lords on Wednesday.
The agreement will make it easier for companies using Thinfilm’s NFC barcodes and sensor-equipped labels on their products to manage the data flowing from those items, through Evrythng’s identity management platform. Read more »
A newly-published list of GCHQ tools that were in operation or being developed a couple years back, provides a fascinating insight into modern propaganda and disinformation techniques. Read more »
The German parliamentary committee investigating NSA activities in the country may use non-connected, mechanical typewriters to protect its work, committee chairman Patrick Sensburg suggested on Monday. Sensburg also said he was advising members to check their smartphones, after the uncovering of spies working for the U.S. The committee is looking into the revelations of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers. In response, committee member Martina Renner of The Left party tweeted: “Before I use a typewriter [and] burn notes after reading, I’d rather abolish the secret services.” Russian spies also reacted to Snowden by investing in typewriters — largely due to their utility in tracking leaks.
Samsung has suspended business with a supplier called Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, after China Labor Watch (CLW) exposed the apparent use of child labor in Shinyang’s factory (along with other labor violations including a lack of necessary safety equipment) four days ago. On Monday, Samsung said it had regularly audited the factory and found no cases of child labor, but an investigation following the CLW report showed “evidences of illegal hiring practices.” If the investigation concludes child labor was used, Samsung said it will scrap its contract with Shinyang. Chinese authorities are also examining the allegations, the manufacturer added.
The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is different enough to warrant new cases, and has valuable new features, but the processor and RAM are the same as the Model B. The price remains the same too, at $35. Read more »
Contrary to the explanation of the man who the U.K. government granted rights to sell .io domain addresses, back in the 90s, the government now says it doesn’t get anything from those sales, and therefore has no plans to share profits with the people it expelled from the Chagos Islands. Read more »