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.
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 »
Google’s antitrust problems in Europe appeared to be winding down, but now a new investigation into its mobile phone software suggests they’re just getting started. 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 »
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 »
An Austrian “class action” suit against the social network is proving very successful in picking up participants — so much so that the suit’s organizers will soon impose a cap so they can process applications. Read more »
Like peers such as Axel Springer, the German magazine-publishing giant Bauer Media has been branching out into the digital world as an investor, notably in Swedish health startup Lifesum earlier this year. Now it’s really diving in: On Monday, Bauer announced the creation of Bauer Venture Partners, with €100 million ($134 million) lined up for a decade’s worth of investments. Created alongside VC Thomas Preuss, late of Neuhaus Partners, the fund will invest in European tech startups at a range of stages. As I noted when Google came to town with a $100 million fund a few weeks back, the days of European startups complaining about a lack of local capital seem to be fast receding.
The first to receive notices demanding that they join a censorship-happy register reportedly include prominent novelists and satirists, who are now expected to abide by the same rules as journalists on their blogs. Read more »
German security researchers claim to have identified a serious vulnerability in the fundamental security of USB devices. The SR Labs team is preparing a presentation for Black Hat next week in which they will demonstrate the “BadUSB” reprogramming of the firmware in USB peripherals, such as thumb drives, keyboards and even mobile devices, to allow data theft and the hijacking and surveillance of computers to which those peripherals are attached. Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell say there are no known defences against such malware, largely due to the way USB works, and possibly even no way to clean up after infection.
Facebook nemesis Max Schrems is fed up with what he sees as the ineffectiveness of the Irish data protection regulator, so he’s launched a mega-suit in his home country of Austria. Sore points include PRISM, Graph Search and general non-compliance with EU privacy law. Read more »
A federal court in New York dealt Microsoft a setback in its bid to keep U.S. law enforcement from forcing disclosure of customer data residing abroad. Read more »
Iliad owns Free Mobile, an upstart carrier overturning France’s mobile industry. Now it wants to do the same in the U.S. with T-Mobile’s help, though it will have to get through Sprint and SoftBank first. Read more »
Wunderlist 3 is a faster, slicker, more collaboration-friendly iteration of the popular productivity app. But it’s also the first step in a strategic shift for Berlin’s 6Wunderkinder. Read more »
The EU-funded V-Charge consortium is fine-tuning a system — already successfully demonstrated at a German airport — for taking over autonomous electric vehicles and parking them very accurately, leaving them charging and ready to be summoned by the user’s app. Read more »
Big Blue continues to buy up smaller companies to fill holes in its portfolio — this time adding Crossideas, a specialist in identity and access management. Read more »
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 »
Here’s one possibility for repurposing old TV broadcast airwaves: You could use them for TV. Nokia is experimenting with sending traditional broadcast video to mobile phones using LTE. 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 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 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 »
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 »
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.
In preparation for it’s European expansion, Netflix is readying a monumental amount of bandwidth in France. Read more »
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 »