Items tagged with U.K.

Google is at the center of another privacy lawsuit, this latest one filed in the UK on behalf of around 4.4 million iPhone owners who may have had their browsing data improperly collected. Should Google lose the legal battle, it could be on the hook for 3.2 billion pounds, or roughly $4.29 billion, the company revealed in a court filing. Google denies the allegation and doesn't believe the issue even belongs in a London court. The crux of the lawsuit is the use of tracking cookies of Apple's Safari browser. It's similar to what led Google to pay the United Stated Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $22.5 million in 2012 to settle charges brought against the company, only the fine is potentially much... Read more...
If you thought that United States intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the country were incredibly adamant about spying on its citizens (going to extreme lengths to do so), you haven’t seen anything yet. Across the pond, the Campaigners Privacy International filed a formal complaint against the UK’s GCHQ, levying claims that the agency’s efforts to hack the devices of ordinary citizens was unlawful. However, not only did the GCHQ acknowledge that it was involved in a widespread hacking campaign (reversing previous denials on the matter), but the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) actually condoned the actions, which it calls Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), and deemed them lawful.... Read more...
When it comes to device encryption that is supposed to protect user data, it appears that tech companies just can’t catch a break. Not only do companies like Apple and Google have to contend with domestic law enforcement agencies and the political machine, but they are now facing pressure from foreign governments to provide backdoor access to personal information stored on smartphones. In early November, the UK revealed details on the proposed Investigatory Powers Bill, which would give law enforcement agencies the authority to spy on smartphones and computers in an effort to combat terrorism. “The Government is clear we need to find a way to work with industry as technology develops to ensure... Read more...
Tesla Motors wowed us (and creeped us out just a little bit) with its Solid Metal Snake charging plug for its Model S electric sedan. The premise of the futuristic device is rather simple; it allows the driver to pull into their garage (or perhaps even a Supercharger) and automatically charge the device without any actually physically having to place his or her hands on the charger or receptacle cover. However, it looks as though the UK government is looking even further into the future. The UK will begin trials latest this year for what it is dubbing an “electric highway” that would recharge electric vehicles wirelessly as they travel down the road. Such technology is the “Holy Grail” for EV... Read more...
Proving once again that some lawmakers are still living in the stone age, the UK government has just reintroduced a law that deems ripping CDs and DVDs illegal. Want to toss that new album onto your MP3 player? Convert that DVD movie for viewing on the plane? No, and no. Don't even think about it. What's most ridiculous about this law is that it was remedied last fall, with "Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014". That made it instantly legal for such personal ripping to occur, but as that has been effectively overturned, we're back at square one again. Flickr: Dave Allen There's not much that can be said here that's not blatantly obvious. Imagine... Read more...
Let’s just say, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) would have a field day with Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. ads. The ASA this week came out with guns blazing in an attempt to cut down on the objectification of women in media, and smartphone maker Kazam was the unlucky recipient of a headshot. The ad for the Tornado 348 smartphone, which Kazam claims is the world’s thinnest smartphone, actually places more of an emphasis on model/actress Camilla Hansson than the smartphone in question. The commercial starts off with Ms. Hansson walking around in her skivvies, caressing her body as she slowly puts on her pants and irons a shirt. And it’s this focus on the “female form” that drew the ire of the... Read more...
British Telecom (BT) has an ambitious plan to supercharge the U.K.'s broadband infrastructure. Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT, outlined plans to deploy its "G.fast" technology on a widespread scale, starting with two pilot locations this summer. According to Patterson, G.fast will enable speeds of up to 500Mbps to most of the U.K. within a decade, with deployment starting in 2016. The exact speeds a customer can hit will depend on how far away they are from the technology. Initially, BT is aiming to hit a few hundred megabits per second to hundreds of homes and businesses by 2020, with speeds increasing to 500Mbps as it develops a new kit around emerging industry standards. Initial pilots will start... Read more...
The DDoS attacks that brought down Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network on Christmas Day did not sit well with consumers. But while Kim Dotcom attempted to resolve the issue by giving members of Lizard Squad, the group responsible for the DDoS attacks and looking to profit from its DDoS tool, 3,000 lifetime premium Mega accounts, there are many who wish that the members would be caught. Well, it appears that UK Police took a member of the group into custody. British law enforcement agents arrested 22-year-old Vinnie Omari, a self-professed member of Lizard Squad, on Monday when officials raided his home. The raid was confirmed by Omari who spoke to the... Read more...
So it’s not just us then. While we seethe over NSA spying allegations here in the U.S., ISPs across the pond who believe they were spied upon by the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks are taking action. According to BBC News, seven Internet providers, in conjunction with Privacy International, have filed a lawsuit against GCHQ. "These widespread attacks on providers and collectives undermine the trust we all place on the internet and greatly endangers the world's most powerful tool for democracy and free expression," Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International, told the outlet. GCHQ The allegations are severe and include assertions that... Read more...
Last month, news emerged that Philips was suing Nintendo over alleged patent infringements in the U.S., and the proverbial chickens are already coming home to roost in other countries. According to Reuters, Philips said it has won a patent suit in the UK (although no details about amounts for compensation have been shared). The patents concern motion, gesture, and pointing control that Philips licenses to companies that make set-top boxes and game consoles, and the company has asserted that Nintendo has been using the technology in the Wii U without a functioning license agreement. Philips spokesman Bjorn Teuwsen told the outlet that the company had been trying to come to terms with Nintendo... Read more...
Amid a claim and a denial about Facebook’s plummeting popularity among teens, an EU study has emerged that affirms the former assertion, at least among teenagers in the UK. Professor of Material Culture at University College of London Daniel Miller wrote that his research team is conducting 15-month ethnographies on teens in 8 countries, and among the results they’re finding, it would seem that Facebook is not doing well in the 16-18 age group. “What we’ve learned from working with 16-18 year olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried,” he wrote. “Mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it.”... Read more...
UK Prime Minister David Cameron is on a crusade to clean up the Internet, and he’s convinced the likes of Google and Microsoft to help him do it. In a press release straight from Downing Street, the UK government revealed that the two tech behemoths have developed new search algorithms for Google and Bing to block images and video of child abuse as well as preventing autocomplete features from producing child abuse terms. Google is also working on technology that will uniquely identify videos containing abusive content so that if one copy of the video is deleted, all copies will vanish from the Internet. As part of the effort, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) produced... Read more...
The U.S. government has stated that it’s concerned about China-based Huawei and its ties to the Chinese government and military, and the UK shares that concern. After Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) issued a report stating that a great deal more oversight was needed regarding foreign involvement in the country’s Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), the UK is now investigating the role of Huawei staff at the Cyber Security Evaluations Centre (aka the “Cell”) in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The Cell’s job is to “test all updates to Huawei’s hardware and software for high-risk components before they are deployed on UK networks”.... Read more...
Driverless cars will soon be cruising streets around the U.K., the country's Department for Transport (DOT) has confirmed. In a report released on Tuesday, the DOT said that by the end of this year, "semi-autonomous" cars will be tested on U.K. streets. The initiative is part of a broader strategy on the agency's part to reduce pollution and congestion on the country's roads. Driverless vehicles have become something of a star in the technology industry after Google showed off the technology it developed that allows for traveling without human interaction. Since then, several automakers, including Nissan and Toyota, have started investing in driverless technology, realizing that it's probably... Read more...
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