judgecorp writes: "The British Government has joined corporations such as Yahoo, Facebook and BT, in arguing against a tough proposed EU Regulation on Privacy. The UK government's intervention, led by justice minister Lord McNally, wants to scrap the proposed Regulation and replace it with a system of Directives. That's not just a matter of word play, it dilutes the proposals greatly. Regulations must be implemented in all EU member states at once, while the states have freedom on when and how to put a Directive into force."
judgecorp writes: "The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has announced a Cyber Research Institute whose job is to find better ways to uncover security flaws. The unit, based at Imperial College London, has a £4.5 million grant to work on automatic detection techniques which will find flaws in software before they can be exposed and exploited."
judgecorp writes: "A new manual for cyber war has been compiled by international legal experts and published by NATO. The manual proposes that hospitals and dams should be off-limits for online warfare, and says that a conventional response is justified if an attack causes death or serious damage to property. The manual might get its first practical application today — South Korea's TV stations and banks have come under an attack which may well originate from North Korea."
judgecorp writes: "Weev, the hacker who exposed an AT&T database says he plans to run for Congress on his release from jail. Real name Andrew Auernheimer, Weev was sentenced to 41 months in jail today. Despite saying the government is made up of "seditious thugs", he told TechWeekEurope that he plans to run for Congress, and has a congressional committee assembled. He also spoke of his Mormonism and his trolling activities."
judgecorp writes: "France is planning a €20 billion programme to get super-fast broadband to its rural population About half the funds will come from government investment, and President Holland believes the work will create 10,000 jobs. Half the population should have fast broadband in the next five years, and the whole country in ten years. France is at a disadvantage for broadband as it is a large country with a lot of rural areas. However, it also has a more left-leaning government willing to take on infrastructure projects."
judgecorp writes: "The UK's auction of spectrum for 4G mobile services raised only £2.3 billion, about two thirds of the amount which the Government was counting on to reduce the budget deficit. The amount is only one-tenth what the last big spectrum auction made (3G spectrum raised £22bn in 2000). The reason is that there are now many other routes to provide data services, and buying spectrum is not a "do or die" decision as it seemed to be last time. And since the last spectrum auction crippled British mobile operators for years, the low value is probably good news for mobile phone providers and subscribers."
judgecorp writes: "The European central budget is being cut, and one casualty will be rural broadband plans, according to a blog post by Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Ditial Agenda. The whole budget for digital projects has been cut from €9.2 billion to €1bn. and rural broadband will get none. This is a big setback for a project which was originally supposed to ensure a minimum speed of 30MBPS across Europe by 2020."
judgecorp writes: "Having escaped censure by the FTC, Google has now submitted a suggested settlement deal to the EU's antitrust investigation. The European Commission is concerned that Google is abusing its monopoly in search, and Google chairman Eric Schmidt has previously sent a list of possible concessions the company is prepared to make."
judgecorp writes: "People who dislike the fact that the word "hacking" is now only used for cyber crime will be pleased that the White House has announced that June 1 and 2 will be National Days of Civic Hacking — meaning programming. Citizens will be encouraged to use computer skills to contribute to social issues. More seriously, the initiative could also boost the social standing of science and tech skills (or STEM subjects as they are called). And it's got a nice old-fashioned patriotic flavour to it. What's not to like?"
judgecorp writes: "The latest Google Transparency Report, which tallies the number of times personal data is requested from Google, shows that governments are becoming more inquisitive than ever. Requests for user data have gone up by 70 percent since Google started these reports in 2009 — but the report shows Google is getting better at saying no: in 2009 it complied — fully or partially — with 76 percent of requests, and that figure is now down to 66 percent."
judgecorp writes: "To many people's surprise, an audit of British government spending has found that IT spending cuts are actually delivering more benefit than the Coalition government promised in 2011. Shared infrastructure such as the Public Service Network was praised — but there was no mention of the G-Cloud, which was a flagship for the government's IT cost-cutting measures."
judgecorp writes: "A UK government contract has confirmed earlier reports that British citizens will have the option to use PayPal to accredit themselves for public services such as the new Universal Credit benefit system. Using PayPal might be a public relations goof, as PayPal's parent eBay is notoriously clever at avoiding UK taxes, recently paying only £1.2 million on profit of £789 million (around 0.15 percent)."