The UK’s Open Data Institute, which exists to help the government make its data open and machine-readable, and to incubate private open data companies, has spawned a series of nodes around the world. Read more »
The weekend brought a spate of updates in the ongoing NSA saga. German media reported that Barack Obama had known about the tapping of Angela Merkel’s phone for years despite claiming he hadn’t, prompting fresh denials from Washington. Der Spiegel also published a detailed look at the American agency’s Berlin spying tactics.
Meanwhile El Mundo reported that the NSA had recorded phone call details of millions of Spaniards, and the Kyodo news agency said Japan had rebuffed U.S. requests in 2011 to tap fiberoptic cables going through Japan to China.
Germany and Brazil are pushing forward with proposals for a global right to online privacy. It would have been nice if this action had begun in earnest when it was citizens being spied upon, and not only after Angela Merkel and Dilma Rousseff were revealed as targets. Read more »
3D printing isn’t just going to bleed into the public consciousness through positive things — this sort of raid will leave a lasting impression. Embarrassingly though, the seized components appear to be spare parts for a 3D printer. Read more »
The Irish data protection chief turned down a request to investigate Facebook’s alleged complicity in the NSA’s PRISM scheme, but campaigners Europe v Facebook have won the right to a judicial review of the decision. Read more »
Germany’s leader, Angela Merkel, has confronted U.S. president Barack Obama over the likely tapping of her communications. The White House has said the U.S. “is not monitoring and will not monitor” her communications, but has not denied doing so in the past. Read more »
The European Parliament has asked the European Commission to suspend a deal with the U.S. that allowed the sharing of financial data, in order to track terrorist funding. However, that call appears to have been rebuffed. Read more »
Carriers subsidize handsets when they’re sure that their customers are locked into their contracts. Remove that certainty, and it becomes much less risky to break out the true cost of the handset and have the customer pay it off separately. Read more »
Adoption by Google, Wikipedia and some of the top Linux distros is all good and fine, but SkySQL really wants to see the MariaDB database get picked up in the enterprise. $20 million should help that happen. Read more »
The FlexyCore team, which has apparently already been integrated into the Android team, is notable for making Android run more smoothly. The deal was reportedly worth $23 million. Read more »
The Lumia 2520 is a Windows RT tablet that’s designed to be as usable as possible in bright sunlight, and comes with the option of a keyboard/battery pack cover. The Lumia 1520 features a 6-inch screen and a 20MP PureView camera. Read more »
The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee has endorsed all of Green MEP Jan Phillip Albrecht’s suggestions for tougher privacy legislation, reversing much of the lobbying work done by technology firms and the U.S. government before the NSA scandal broke. Read more »
A Snowden-derived article in Le Monde on Monday claimed that the NSA has been recording millions of voice calls in France and scanning them for keywords. Businesspeople and politicians appear to have been targeted. Read more »
The German enterprise software company’s latest results show a drop in traditional licensing income, but a healthy uptick in cloud revenue that would be even stronger if it weren’t for pesky currency issues. Read more »
Blippex has always maintained that its browser plugin, which monitors surfing to establish search ranking, doesn’t record IP addresses. But to set skeptical users’ minds at rest, it harnessed WebRTC technology as a way of setting up a P2P anonymization chain. Read more »
Make of it what you will, given that Huawei was founded by an ex-Chinese-military engineer and has had lots of mud thrown at it from the West, but the telecoms equipment firm maintains it’s never been leaned on by any government or agency anywhere, ever.
In the foreword to a security white paper released on Friday, Huawei deputy chairman Ken Hu said the firm had never been asked to change hardware or software, provide access to its technology, or offer up people’s data. That’s certainly a poke in the eye for companies operating in the U.S., which have to abide by the CALEA backdoor rules and cooperate with surveillance programs.
Terms of the deal have not been revealed, but it will help the British moneylender in its quest to become a heavyweight international digital finance group. Read more »
Edward Snowden has given a rare interview to The New York Times, saying he never retained a copy of his leaked NSA material after passing it on to journalists in Hong Kong. This is crucial, as some have claimed the Chinese and/or Russians must have access to this material, as they have had access to Snowden.
Similarly, the UK government claimed journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda had been detained in transit with not only encrypted material but the password, written on a piece of paper. Greenwald has said this was a lie.
According to AirWatch chairman Alan Dabbiere, who spoke at our Mobilize conference on Thursday, the integration of mobile devices into employees’ personal lives makes BYOD-style policies a no-brainer. Read more »
Finally, a statement acknowledging the uncertainty that many of Samsung’s globe-trotting customers are facing. Read more »
It would be no good for competition if Samsung were allowed to stick to its standards-essential patent commitments for five years, only to go back to its rule-breaking ways afterwards. Read more »
Ubuntu “Saucy Salamander” 13.10 may be the first properly mobile-friendly version of the distro, but there are usability issues, an app shortage and — as yet — no ability to make it run like desktop Ubuntu when hooked up to an HDMI monitor. Read more »
One of Russia’s top web companies, Mail.ru, said it has been fined around $15,000 for not handing over customer data to the country’s financial regulator. The regulator wanted to know who certain Mail.ru customers had been contacting during a set time period, but the web provider pointed to the Russian constitution, which protects private correspondence. Mail.ru said it will contest the fine in court.
A parliamentary inquiry into the laws governing British intelligence services is to add privacy implications to its remit, take submissions from the public and perhaps even hold some of its sessions in public. Read more »
Kicking off this year’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco, Consumer Electronics Association chief Gary Shapiro pushed hard for more innovation — but acknowledged that he had no answers yet for the jobs displaced by this innovation. Read more »
It turns out people want the latest components and a brushed-metal look, rather than last year’s innards and colorful plastic — even if it costs a little bit more. Read more »
The chairman of the GSM Association (GSMA), the body that represents the mobile operator industry, has resigned. Franco Bernabè had been GSMA chairman since January 2011, and the body’s erstwhile deputy chairman, Telenor Group CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas, has stepped up to be acting chairman ahead of an election next month. Bernabè’s departure was to be expected — he resigned as Telecom Italia chief at the end of September, after a strategy dispute with shareholders.
The company has now facilitated over $400 million in international money transfers. And with new features such as a mobile app, payments to email addresses and an embeddable payment button, TransferWise is resembling a certain fintech giant ever more closely. Read more »
Apple has something to show off on October 22nd. Is it the new iPad mini? Maybe, maybe not… Read more »
The European Space Agency (ESA) is to start using 3D printing methods to create metal parts for rockets, jets and potentially even nuclear fusion reactors. According to the ESA, the parts will be able to withstand heat of up to 3,000° Celsius (5,432° Fahrenheit) and will cut down on materials waste. “Our ultimate aim is to print a satellite in a single piece,” said ESA new materials and energy research chief David Jarvis.
The Japanese firms have acquired a 51 percent stake in Supercell, which pulls in millions each day through in-game purchases. Supercell now wants to become the “first truly global games company.” Read more »
This particular mass surveillance activity only takes place outside the U.S., according to a Washington Post scoop, but it does still involve the collection of many Americans’ contacts lists for services including Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and Facebook. Read more »
The tech firm will next year have a retail chief for the first time since October 2012, when the less-than-successful John Browett was booted out. Read more »
In an echo of Brazil’s push for greater online autonomy, Deutsche Telekom has proposed keeping German internet traffic within German borders, wherever possible. That’s not going to protect much, though. Read more »
The Israeli firm helps users cut down on their mobile data consumption without using fewer services — a feature that will be critical in Facebook’s mission of connecting more people in the developing world. Read more »
The British telecoms giant has paid $7.7 billion for 76.57 percent of Kabel Deutschland’s share capital, making it a much stronger rival to Deutsche Telekom. Read more »
With its international headquarters in Luxembourg for tax purposes, Skype apparently now finds the little duchy’s privacy officials on its back over allegations of NSA collusion, following a complaint by activists. Read more »
Customers of an Asda store will soon be able to buy figurines of themselves. With big chains standing to gain a lot from the rise of 3D printing, it’s no surprise to see the firm tentatively piloting the technology. Read more »
An Estonian court did not violate a local news site’s right to free expression by holding it liable for offensive anonymous comments made under one of its stories, the ECHR has ruled. Read more »
OpenStack may be on the rise, but its competitors often point to the complexity of setting it up. Ubuntu Server 13.10, due out next week, aims to eliminate that concern through the introduction of so-called charm bundles. Read more »