The European Banking Authority, which has already pointed out that consumers using bitcoin do so without regulatory protection, has issued an opinion listing 70 risks of virtual currencies and laying out the legislative measures needed to make regulation possible. Read more »
In what may turn out to be the biggest diplomatic upset yet to emerge from the surveillance scandal, German authorities have arrested a German intelligence employee who reportedly confessed to spying on a parliamentary NSA inquiry committee, on behalf of U.S. intelligence. Read more »
BMW is 3D-printing “finger cots” for some of its factory workers, the German carmaker said this week. Working alongside ergonomics researchers from the Technical University of Munich, BMW uses mobile 3D hand scanners to create tailored thumb-protectors for each worker. The printing is done with a selective laser sintering (SLS) process, using a precisely targeted laser to form a pre-modelled solid mass out of a thermoplastic polyurethane powder. The cots act as splints to counter thumb joint stress, helping workers who are fitting rubber plugs.
Google is telling British media companies that it has removed articles from its index as a result of an EU decision on “the right to be forgotten.” Critics say the company is deliberately over-reacting, but it is just doing what it can to call attention to a bad law Read more »
Observers might be forgiven for thinking that EU privacy law allows links to serious journalism to be removed from Google’s results if the subject complains. That’s really not the case, as Google knows very well. Read more »
German media reported on Thursday that, based on analysis of the source code of a key NSA surveillance tool, it is clear that the agency targeted a student who is involved in the Tor anonymization project. Read more »
The app tells users what services like Facebook can figure out about their personality and intentions. In the future, it wants to encourage people to feed that data to advertisers for cash rewards. This is an attempt to improve rather than reinvent the current internet model. Read more »
Our coverage direction remains the same, but we’ve decided to arrange the furniture a little differently here at Gigaom. Read more »
Nokia is starting to reclaim lost ground in the U.S. mobile networking market. Consequently it’s buying Chicago-based SAC Wireless to help it roll out its new network contracts. Read more »
Telefonica’s takeover of KPN’s German carrier E-Plus has moved closer to finalization after the European Commission gave its blessing on Wednesday. However, the Commission’s approval is highly conditional – because the merger will reduce the number of network-owning German operators to three, Telefonica would need to sell 30 percent of the merged company’s network capacity to small virtual operators. It would also need to sell a new player some of its spectrum and other assets, and offer wholesale 4G services to “all interested players,” in order to preserve competition in the German market.
Reacting to our revelation this week about where the profits from .io web addresses go, Seats.io has said it will donate money to the dispossessed Chagossian people. Read more »
Small, activist-friendly providers from around the world have joined Privacy International in suing GCHQ over its malware-aided surveillance of telecommunications networks. Read more »
A measure passed first reading in the Duma on Tuesday, that would force the likes of Google and Twitter to store the personal data of Russians in Russia if they want to continue trading there. Read more »
Facebook’s emotional manipulation study has shocked many people for its apparent breach of research ethics (700,000 subjects had no idea they were being manipulated), and it has raised the alarm among Europe’s privacy regulators too. As The Register first reported on Tuesday (and I confirmed on Wednesday morning), the UK Information Commissioner intends to speak with Facebook about it, and will also be liaising with his Irish counterpart, who has jurisdiction over Facebook’s activities across Europe. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner said he is awaiting a “comprehensive report” from the social network over privacy issues relating to the study, including consent.
Ericsson has jumped on the 5G marketing bandwagon, touting a network lab test of a 5 Gbps wireless connection. It’s an impressive feat, but we’re still not any closer to figuring out what 5G actually is. Read more »
Microsoft one-ups its encryption gameplan, adding Transport Layer Security to Outlook.com and enabling Perfect Forward Secrecy on Outlook.com and OneDrive. Read more »
It’s now cheaper for Europeans to use the mobile internet, voice and SMS while traveling within the European Union. However, the plan is for the price difference between domestic and roaming mobile use to be completely eliminated. Read more »
The Switzerland-based startup, established by MIT, Harvard and CERN researchers, couldn’t access money that crowdfunding backers have given it, because PayPal had frozen its account. A PayPal rep apparently asked if ProtonMail had asked the government for permission to offer encryption. Read more »
Legal combatants agree to put their differences aside and pursue former Autonomy CEO and CFO for alleged wrongdoing. Read more »
It’s that time of year for Microsoft to slim down. This year, expect bigger than normal cuts, given that the software giant’s $7.2 billion buyout of Nokia brought with it 25,000 new mouths to feed. Read more »
The .io domain is a hit, but few startups using it appreciate the associations it carries — a mass expulsion that took place within living memory, and a crucial staging-post for the “War on Terror”. Read more »
Cisco has bought a Danish firm called Assemblage for its skills in wrangling browser technologies like WebRTC for real-time collaboration that don’t require the user to download any programs or plugins. Assemblage currently offers a range of tools including Kollaborate (for videoconferencing), Presentation and Same (for screen-sharing), and says it will continue to do so for now. In a blog post on Friday, Cisco — purveyors of expensive telepresence equipment that plays in the same space — said it was after the startup’s engineering prowess and third-party integration record.
The device’s release will be a test case both for bundling privacy-centric tools in a user-friendly way, and for carving out a niche in the modern mobile platform wars. Read more »
An analyst firm has estimated the European and U.S. smart home market, but what’s more revealing is how it is thinking about the market categories. Read more »
A new site called Tom Kabinet sells secondhand ebooks. Publishers say this is illegal, and with a deadline passing on Friday the case looks set to go to court. Read more »
The German secure server outfit only set out to raise €500,000, but it ended up with 6 times that amount. Since investors get a cut of future profits, and as Protonet has more than enough to internationalize now, it was time to press pause. Read more »
The U.S. firm’s contract for running Germany’s federal administrative infrastructure will be allowed to expire next year, and the NSA revelations are a big, explicit reason. Read more »
The search provider has started complying with a recent ruling that says it must de-link some personal information, if the data subject asks and if the information isn’t in the public interest. Read more »
Yandex.Disk can now import photos from and share photos to Facebook and other social networks — Yandex hopes the latter feature will help it strike deals with printing and stock photo services down the line. Read more »
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday approved a final settlement with fourteen companies that allegedly breached the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor treaty, which requires U.S. companies to adhere to the EU’s privacy laws in their storage of EU customer data. As a result of the settlements, the companies — including BitTorrent, DataMotion, Level 3 Communications, Apperian and others — must not misrepresent themselves if they say they are complying with government-sponsored privacy or data security programs or “any other self-regulatory or standard-setting organization.” The FTC filed its original complaint in January.
Germany’s Moviepilot has taken an unusual trajectory, beginning as a film recommendation site called Moviepilot.de and expanding into the U.S. and elsewhere with a fan site called Moviepilot.com. Now it’s going to focus on the newer company with a fresh $20 million cash infusion that comes from French media firm Webedia, the proud new owners of Moviepilot.de. The German site has 5 million monthly users and 2 million Facebook fans, along with popular German-language YouTube channels. Moviepilot CEO Tobias Bauckhage said the sale would let his team “press ahead with even more energy and focus on our expansion into the U.S. market.”
EU justice chief Viviane Reding has welcomed a proposal by the Obama administration to give Europeans a right to judicial redress if their data, sent to the U.S. by authorities in their home country, has been abused. Read more »
Amazon responded to the German Publishers and Booksellers Association’s antitrust complaint against it, saying it’s not delaying shipments on Bonnier titles but is instead holding fewer in stock. It also confirmed that it wants a larger commission on ebook sales. Read more »
The German Publishers and Booksellers Association has asked the country’s antitrust authorities to investigate Amazon’s shipping delays on Bonnier titles. Read more »
The Norwegian browser vendor now has pole position on the Linux-based handsets Microsoft is selling in emerging markets and beyond. Read more »
Netflix is getting ready to strike a partnership in Germany — but in neighboring Austria, it could soon get a new competitor. Read more »
The move, reported in local media, could dent the business of x86 processor makers in Russia. Read more »
Having dropped Linux support around the time of its root-and-branch revamp, Opera is now offering its first developer version for Linux users in over a year. Read more »
EBlink provides wireless “fronthaul” technology, which could help Alcatel-Lucent sell its vision of sticking the base station into the cloud. Read more »
Details continue to emerge confirming how the NSA’s mass surveillance efforts often rely on the cooperation of other governments, reportedly including those of Germany and Denmark. Read more »