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  1. Sajid Javid inks court papers for hearing tomorrow UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed this morning that he has signed papers to have Julian Assange extradited to the US. Speaking on BBC radio earlier today, Javid said: "There's an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow." Javid's certifying of the US extradition request lodged this week is the first formal step in having Assange sent across the pond. The next phase is tomorrow, when Belmarsh Magistrates' Court will set a date for a full extradition hearing. After that, assuming a district judge (full-time professional magistrate) OKs the extradition, Javid himself will make the final decision on whether or not to send the one-time chief WikiLeaker to America, as UK.gov's website explains. It is almost certain Assange will file an appeal to the High Court after the district judge's ruling, and again (as the law allows) after the Home Secretary's final decision. Avenging US government agents have long wanted Assange in their clutches because of his website WikiLeaks. As world+dog knows, WikiLeaks published classified material that mostly came from the US government, including the infamous "Collateral Murder" footage from gun cameras aboard American attack helicopters in the Middle East, depicting US pilots killing unarmed civilians. It also published thousands of entirely unredacted US diplomatic cables, exposing the nation's foreign policy workings and causing it severe embarrassment in the process. Sweden, which previously wanted Assange over allegations of sexual assault, abandoned its attempt to get its hands on the Australian national a week ago after a local court decided not to grant prosecutors an EU Arrest Warrant. That would have bypassed normal extradition protections in UK law. Assange's fans have always maintained that the Swedish proceedings were a front to have him extradited on to America. Assange is charged in the US with 18 counts including publishing classified material, collaborating with ex-US Army leaker Chelsea Manning, and various other crimes. In UK law, the Americans must promise only to try Assange on the charges they have published so far before he can be handed over – and the possibility of the death sentence would automatically bar his extradition. So far the WikiLeaker has not been charged with capital crimes. In his defence, Assange is understood to be claiming that he is a journalist and that the activities of WikiLeaks were journalism, rather than espionage as American prosecutors claim. In May, Assange was sentenced for jumping bail in the UK when he fled to London's Ecuadorian embassy, back in June 2012. He is currently serving 22 weeks in HM Prison Belmarsh in Woolwich, southeast London, with a theoretical release date of 2 October, well after the normal legal timescales for extradition hearings would be over. Source
  2. MI5 headquarters in London The security service MI5 has handled large amounts of personal data in an "undoubtedly unlawful" way, a watchdog has said. The Investigatory Powers Commissioner said information gathered under warrants was kept too long and not stored safely. Civil rights group Liberty said the breaches involved the "mass collection of data of innocent citizens". The high court heard MI5 knew about the issues in 2016 but kept them secret. "MI5 have been holding on to people's data - ordinary people's data, your data, my data - illegally for many years," said Megan Goulding, a lawyer for Liberty, which brought the case. "Not only that, they've been trying to keep their really serious errors secret - secret from the security services watchdog, who's supposed to know about them, secret from the Home Office, secret from the prime minister and secret from the public." Targeted interceptions The criticism of MI5 emerged in the High Court on Tuesday as Liberty challenged parts of the Investigatory Powers Act. Under the act, MI5 can apply to judges for warrants to obtain information such as people's location data, calls, messages and web browsing history. As well as "bulk data" collection, which can include information about ordinary members of the public, MI5 can use targeted interceptions of communications and computer hacking for investigations such as counter-terrorism. But the act includes safeguards about how all this information is stored and handled. It is against the law to keep data when it is no longer needed, or to store it in an unsafe way. MI5 had a "historical lack of compliance" with the law, said Lord Justice Sir Adrian Fulford, who oversees the security service's use of data as Investigatory Powers Commissioner. In a ruling revealed during the court case, he said the security service would be placed under greater scrutiny by judges when seeking warrants in future - which the commissioner compared to a failing school being placed in "special measures". Liberty said the revelations meant that some of the warrants issued to MI5 may not have been lawful, because the security service knew over several years that it was not handling data correctly but did not tell the judges. 'Serious risks' The court heard that senior members of MI5 were aware three years ago that there were serious issues with the management of data. MI5 informed the Home Office and Number 10 of the concerns in April this year, but the commissioner said they should have revealed them earlier. Discussions between lawyers and clients were among the information wrongly held by the security service, Liberty said. The pressure group said such material should be protected by legal privileges, but instead it was being seen by people at MI5. Lawyers for MI5 said they could not explain the exact nature of the breaches in open court, not because they were "embarrassing" but because there were "serious national security concerns". The security service has now taken "immediate and substantial steps" to comply with the law, Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said. Julian Milford, representing Mr Javid and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, acknowledged in court "the existence of serious compliance risks". But he said these specific issues were a "complete irrelevance" to Liberty's court case, which was challenging the legality of the whole system of information gathering created by the Investigatory Powers Act. Source
  3. The first is opening Manchester today Beginning today, Amazon will open 10 brick and mortar stores in locations throughout the UK as part of a scheme which it claims will help small businesses combine online and in-person sales. The new "Clicks and Mortar" stores will sell goods like homeware, health and beauty products, food and drink, and electronics. They will also act as a location for customers to see and try out products from online-only brands like Swifty Scooters. The first store will open in Manchester today, with openings across the rest of the UK to follow. Amazon says the pilot scheme will run for one year to test the viability of the concept. Amazon has had a mixed history with brick and mortar stores. Its automated supermarket chain, Amazon Go, has 12 branches in US cities and has been winning fans despite criticism that the cashless system is discriminatory and that it is harmful to local employment prospects. Then there are Amazon Books stores, 17 of which have opened near universities. The company has previously announced plans to expand the bookstores to more locations. Not all its physical retail schemes have been so successful, however. The pop-up kiosks it trialed at 87 locations in the U.S. were shut down earlier this year, signaling the trial wasn't as lucrative as it hoped for. Now, Amazon is trying the pop-up approach again, but this time it will try a new approach of highlighting previously online-only products and companies which stand to benefit from in-person sales. Amazon claims the new scheme will help small businesses by training apprentice workers and offering digital training events. For this purpose, it has set aside one million pounds for training schemes for 150 full-time apprentices to specialize in productivity and online sales. For small businesses which currently sell well online but would benefit from customers interacting with their products in person, this could indeed be a help. But ultimately the beneficiary of the plans will be Amazon itself, which will have a small but significant physical presence in the UK. For the long-term growth of the company, having brick and mortar stores will allow customers to browse for products they wouldn't necessarily search online, not to mention the benefits of impulse buys. And perhaps most valuable of all, it could raise Amazon's reputation as it seeks to to give back to the high street rather than destroy it. Source
  4. Cybersecurity: UK could build an automatic national defence system, says GCHQ chief Government, security firms and technology companies should be doing the heavy lifting when it comes to protecting against hacking and cyberattacks, says the UK's intelligence service. The UK could one day create a national cyber-defence system built on sharing real-time cybersecurity information between intelligence agencies and business, the head of GCHQ has said. Individual internet users shouldn't be forced to hold responsibility for staying safe online in the face of cyber-criminal gangs and advanced hacking groups, but rather it's cooperation between government, internet service providers and technology firms that should be doing the heavy lifting when it comes to cybersecurity, says the director of the UK's intelligence services. With a recent UK cybersecurity surveysuggesting that only 15 percent of people say they know how to protect themselves online, it's time "to do more to take the burden of cybersecurity away from the individual," Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ will tell a security conference today. Fleming's address is the keynote address at CYBERUK 19, a conference set up and run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – the cybersecurity arm of GCHQ. "This technological revolution is providing extraordinary opportunity, innovation and progress – but it's also exposing us to increasing complexity, uncertainty and risk," he will tell the audience at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, adding how it also "brings new and unprecedented challenges for policymakers as we seek to protect our citizens, judicial systems, businesses - and even societal norms." Malicious cyber operations pose a threat to everyone from individuals and SMBs, to large organisations, critical national infrastructure and even governments, but the NCSC's mission is to use "unique insights into the structural vulnerabilities of the internet in partnership with business to detect, disrupt and fix malicious online behaviour," said Fleming. One way the UK's 'Active Cyber Defence' programme has already achieved success is by reducing the number of phishing websites from cyber attackers that are hosted in the UK: as of last month, under two percent of global phishing websites are hosted in the UK, down from over five percent when the programme began in 2016. GCHQ has achieved this by working in partnership with ISPs and cybersecurity firms, and Fleming pointed to a particular success around phishing emails claiming to come from the tax office in an effort to steal banking credentials and other personal data. "HMRC is an excellent case study of a department leading the way in protecting its customers. In 2016, HMRC was the 16th most phished brand globally, accounting for 1.25% of all phishing emails sent. Today it is ranked 146th and accounts for less than 0.1% of all phishing emails," he said. A protective DNS system for the public sector has also blocked malware attacks – such as the Conficker worm, which has been active since 2008 – on public sector networks. Fleming argued that private sector organisations should work with GCHQ in the same way as the public sector does in order to protect against attacks using automated services. Fleming will describe how the agency is now sharing time-critical information in a matter of seconds to allow business to take action. "With just one click, this information can be shared and action taken. In the coming year, we will continue to scale this capability – so whether it's indicators of a nation-state cyber actor, details of malware used by cyber criminals, or credit cards being sold on the Dark Web, we will declassify this information and get it back to those who can act on it," he will say. "If enough do, the results could be truly transformational – a whole-of-nation, automated cyber-defence system," Fleming will say. However, he also warned that improving cybersecurity in this way is only achievable if all parties work to "build a genuinely national effort – with more connections and deeper cooperation with the private sector, and even closer working with our partners and allies." For this to happen, government, private sector and academia all need to work together by applying expertise to bolster cybersecurity for individual consumers – and to help protect them against both current and future cyber threats. "To make this a success, our strongest defence and most powerful weapon will be our ingenuity – our ability to imagine what has yet to be imagined. To see further into the future than anyone else. Our vision for the next stage of the UK's cybersecurity strategy aims to do just that. The prize is great – a safer, more successful UK," Fleming is due to say. Source
  5. 5G-connected cows test milking parlor of the future SHEPTON MALLET, England (Reuters) - They may look like regular cows, but a herd of Friesian dairy cattle at a British farm are internet pioneers and they are enjoying the benefits of 5G connectivity before you. Cisco Systems Inc, which is developing network infrastructure for the emerging technology, has set up 5G testbeds to trial wireless and mobile connectivity in three rural locations. 5G promises super-fast connections, which evangelists say will transform the way we live our lives, enabling everything from self-driving cars to augmented-reality glasses and downloading a feature-length film to your phone in seconds. While it is being used in pockets of pilot studies around the world, the first near-nationwide coverage is not expected in countries such as China, Japan or the United States until 2023, according to industry analysts. For the cows, among the 5G-connected gadgets they are wearing is a collar that controls a robotic milking system. When the cow feels ready to be milked it will approach machine gates that will automatically open. The device recognizes the individual to precisely latch on to its teats for milking, while the cow munches on a food reward. At the government-funded Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre (Agri-EPI Centre) in Shepton Mallet, in southwest England, around 50 of the 180-strong herd is fitted with the 5G smart collars and health-monitoring ear tags. The gadgets do not harm the cows and the monitoring allows handlers to see any signs of distress. “We are testing the ability of 5G to transmit the data from our sensors much quicker, and not via the farm’s PC and a slow broadband internet connection,” said Duncan Forbes, Project Manager at the Agri-Epi Centre “And the significance of that is it means that this sort of technology could be taken up ... not just on farms but on rural communities right across the country.” The working dairy, set up by Agri-EPI with the support of Britain’s innovation agency, uses a range of technology; including automated brushes that rotate when the cow rubs up against them, sensor-operated curtains that open depending on the weather, and a smart feeding system that automatically delivers food in the barn via ceiling-mounted rails. “We can connect every cow, we can connect every animal on this farm,” Cisco’s Nick Chrissos said. “That’s what 5G can do for farming — really unleash the power that we have within this farm, everywhere around the UK and everywhere around the world.” Source
  6. Companies could face fines if they fail to take down content quickly. Enlarge / British Prime Minister Theresa May. Jack Taylor/Getty Images The British government is considering sweeping new laws to regulate problematic content online, ranging from terrorist propaganda to fake news. A new proposal unveiled on Monday would impose a new "duty of care" on websites hosting user-submitted content. Under the plan, a new UK agency would develop codes of practice outlining how sites should deal with various types of harmful content. The new proposal follows last month's mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 50 people dead. In the wake of that attack, Australia passed a new law that requires major platforms to quickly remove violent online material—or face harsh fines and possibly even jail time. On Monday, a committee of the EU parliament backed a law that would fine online platforms up to 4 percent of their revenue if they failed to take down terrorist content within four hours. Britain's proposal is much broader, requiring technology companies to police their platforms for a wide range of objectionable material. Companies could face fines if they don't remove harmful material quickly. A 100-page white paper from Theresa May's government details the many categories of content that would be governed by the new rules, including child pornography, revenge pornography, cyberstalking, hate crimes, encouragement of suicide, sale of illegal goods, sexting by minors, and "disinformation." The proposal would also try to stop inmates from posting online content in violation of prison rules. Such a sweeping proposal would be unlikely to pass muster in the United States, where the First Amendment sharply limits government regulation of online content. But America is unusual; most countries have a much narrower concept of free speech that leaves governments substantial latitude to regulate content they regard as harmful. Still, a big question is how to crack down on harmful speech without unduly burdening the speech of legitimate users—or of unduly burdening the operators of smaller websites. Fundamentally, regulators have two options here. They can require online operators to take down content only after they've been notified of its existence, or they can require platforms to proactively monitor uploaded content. Current law Under the EU's E-Commerce Directive, current UK law shields online service providers from liability for content unless they have actual knowledge of its existence. But the UK government is now re-thinking that approach. "The existing liability regime only forces companies to take action against illegal content once they have been notified of its existence," the white paper says. "We concluded that standalone changes to the liability regime would be insufficient." Instead, the UK government says it's opting for a "more thorough approach," requiring technology companies to "ensure that they have effective and proportionate processes and governance in place to reduce the risk of illegal and harmful activity on their platforms." Of course, forcing technology companies to proactively monitor its platforms for objectionable content could create problems of their own, leading to unnecessary removal of legitimate content or eroding user privacy. UK regulators say there's no need to worry about this. "The regulator will not compel companies to undertake general monitoring of all communications on their online services, as this would be a disproportionate burden on companies and would raise concerns about user privacy," the document states. However, it says, there is "a strong case for mandating specific monitoring that targets where there is a threat to national security or the physical safety of children." Vague by design If that seems vague, that's by design. Rather than spelling out the precise obligations of online service providers in its initial proposal, the government plans to create a new regulatory agency and have it write up specific guidelines for the various types of unsavory content that could show up on technology platforms. Monday's publication of the online-harms white paper is just the first step to developing these new regulations. The public now has 12 weeks to comment on the proposal. The government will then take those comments into account as it drafts a final legislative proposal. If something like this proposal does become law, it could have significant impacts beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. The Internet is global, and we can expect the United Kingdom to demand that objectionable content be made inaccessible in the UK regardless of who originally uploaded it. In principle, major platforms could use geoblocking technology to prevent Britons from accessing objectionable content hosted in the United States or elsewhere. But technology companies may decide it's easier to just take down objectionable content for everyone—especially if other jurisdictions pass similar laws. As a result, America's strong free-speech tradition might become less and less relevant online, as online content policies are increasingly driven by countries with more activist approaches. Source: UK government proposes sweeping new regulations of online content (Ars Technica)
  7. ATLANTA - Rapper 21 Savage, who claims to be from Atlanta’s Zone 6, has been arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Rapper 21 Savage was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta Sunday morning, on the grounds that he is actually from the United Kingdom and overstayed his visa, according to reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and TMZ “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested unlawfully present United Kingdom national Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph AKA ’21 Savage’ during a targeted operation with federal and local law enforcement partners early Sunday in metro Atlanta,” ICE spokesman Brian Cox told the AJC. “Mr. Abraham-Joseph was taken into ICE custody as he is unlawfully present in the U.S. and also a convicted felon.” Savage was convicted of felony drug charges in 2014 in Fulton County, Georgia. The arrest was met with baffled reactions online, as the rapper has long been associated with Atlanta and performed with local rappers T.I., Migos, Lil Yachty and Ludacris at an A-town-heavy concert in the city on Thursday during the run-up to today’s Super Bowl. However, Cox told the AJC that Savage, 26, is an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who legally entered the U.S. in July 2005 on a visa that expired a year later, Cox said. 21 Savage is nominated for two 2019 Grammy Awards for his work as a featured artist on Post Malone’s song “Rockstar”; the awards ceremony takes place next Sunday. He released his debut, “The Slaughter Tape” mixtape, in 2015 and signed with Epic Records. His most recent album, “I Am > I Was,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The rapper’s attorney, Dina LaPolt, told Variety: “We are working diligently to get Mr. Abraham-Joseph out of detention while we work with authorities to clear up any misunderstanding. Mr. Abraham-Joseph is a role model to the young people in the country — especially in Atlanta, Georgia and is actively working in the community leading programs to help underprivileged youths in financial literacy.” Reps for Savage did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment. Source
  8. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK’s counterpart to the National Security Agency (NSA), has fired the latest shot in the crypto wars. In a post to Lawfare titled Principles for a More Informed Exceptional Access Debate, two of Britain’s top spooks introduced what they’re framing as a kinder, gentler approach to compromising the encryption that keeps us safe online. This new proposal from GCHQ—which we’ve heard rumors of for nearly a year—eschews one discredited method for breaking encryption (key escrow) and instead adopts a novel approach referred to as the “ghost.” But let’s be clear: regardless of what they’re calling it, GCHQ’s “ghost” is still a mandated encryption backdoor with all the security and privacy risks that come with it. Backdoors have a (well-deserved) horrible reputation in the security community. But that hasn’t dissuaded law enforcement officials around the world from demanding them for more than two decades. And while the Internet has become a more dangerous place for average users, making encryption more important than ever, this rhetoric has hardly changed. What has changed is the legal landscape governing encryption and law enforcement, at least in the UK. 2016 saw the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act, which gives the UK the legal ability to order a company like Apple or Facebook to tamper with security features in their products—while simultaneously being prohibited from telling the public about it. As far as is publicly known, the UK has not attempted to employ the provisions of the Investigatory Powers Act to compromise the security of the products we use. Yet. But GCHQ’s Lawfare piece previews the course that the agency is likely to take. The authors lay out six “principles” for an informed debate, and they sound pretty noncontroversial. Privacy and security protections are critical to public confidence. Therefore, we will only seek exceptional access to data where there’s a legitimate need, that access is the least intrusive way of proceeding and there is appropriate legal authorisation. Investigative tradecraft has to evolve with technology. Even when we have a legitimate need, we can’t expect 100 percent access 100 percent of the time. Targeted exceptional access capabilities should not give governments unfettered access to user data. Any exceptional access solution should not fundamentally change the trust relationship between a service provider and its users. Transparency is essential. So far so good. I absolutely agree that law enforcement should only act where there’s a legitimate need and only when authorized by a court, in a way that evolves with the tech, that doesn’t have unrealistic expectations, that doesn’t enable mass surveillance, that doesn’t undermine the public trust, and that is transparent. But unfortunately, the authors fail to apply the principles so carefully laid out to the problem at hand. Instead, they’re proposing a way of undermining end-to-end encryption using a technique that the community has started calling the “ghost.” Here’s how the post describes it: Applying this idea to WhatsApp, it would mean that—upon receiving a court order—the company would be required to convert a 1-on-1 conversation into a group chat, with the government as the third member of the chat. But that’s not all. In WhatsApp’s UX, users can verify the security of a conversation by comparing “security codes” within the app. So for the ghost to work, there would have to be a way of forcing both users’ clients to lie to them by showing a falsified security code, as well as suppress any notification that the conversation’s keys had changed. Put differently, if GCHQ’s proposal went into effect, consumers could never again trust the claims that our software makes about what it’s doing to protect us. The authors of the Lawfare piece go out of their way to claim that they are “not talking about weakening encryption or defeating the end-to-end nature of the service.” Hogwash. They’re talking about adding a “feature” that would require the user’s device to selectively lie about whether it’s even employing end-to-end encryption, or whether it’s leaking the conversation content to a third (secret) party. Is the security code displayed by your device a mathematical representation of the two keys involved, or is it a straight-up lie? Furthermore, what’s to guarantee that the method used by governments to insert the “ghost” key into a conversation without alerting the users won’t be exploited by bad actors? Despite the GCHQ authors’ claim, the ghost will require vendors to disable the very features that give our communications systems their security guarantees in a way that fundamentally changes the trust relationship between a service provider and its users. Software and hardware companies will never be able to convincingly claim that they are being honest about what their applications and tools are doing, and users will have no good reason to believe them if they try. And, as we’ve seen already seen, GCHQ will not be the only agency in the world demanding such extraordinary access to billions of users’ software. Australia was quick to follow the UK’s lead, and we can expect to see similar demands, from Brazil and the European Union to Russia and China. (Note that this proposal would be unconstitutional were it proposed in the United States, which has strong protections against governments forcing actors to speak or lie on its behalf.) The “ghost” proposal violates the six “principles” in other ways, too. Instead of asking investigative tradecraft to evolve with technology, it’s asking technology to build investigative tradecraft in from the ground floor. Instead of targeted exceptional access, it’s asking companies to put a dormant wiretap in every single user’s pocket, just waiting to be activated. We must reject GCHQ’s newest “ghost” proposal for what it is: a mandated encryption backdoor that weakens the security properties of encrypted messaging systems and fundamentally compromises user trust. GCHQ needs to give up the ghost. It’s just another word for an encryption backdoor. Source : The EFF
  9. A family were forced to sit on the floor of an airplane during their flight home from Menorca after being told that their allocated seats did not exist. Paula Taylor and her daughter, Brooke, were forced to sit on the floor during the flight Paula Taylor, 44, her husband Ian, 55, and their daughter Brooke, 10, from Alcester, Warwickshire, arrived early at Mahon airport in June last year for their flight with TUI airlines. They were given the seat numbers 41 D, E and F, but when they boarded the plane they could not find their seats and cabin crew instead offered them flip-up 'jump' seats tucked into the crew station. They were later forced to the floor because flight attendants needed access to food and duty free items. Paula Taylor with her husband Ian and daughter Brooke "We made sure we were three hours early at the airport to check in early just to make sure we got seats together," Mrs Taylor explained to BBC One's Rip-Off Britain: Holidays. "We went straight to the front and we were very excited the fact we had managed to sit together." Yet, on the plane, they could not locate the seats stated on their boarding passes. "We all just looked at each other as if to say 'where's our seats gone?'. There are no seats where our seats should be," Mrs Taylor said. Members of the cabin crew proposed that ten-year-old Brooke could take the last spare seat on the flight, and Paula and her husband Ian could sit in two spare flip-up chairs meant for the crew. However, after the plane had taken off, the couple were told that they had to vacate their seats as the attendants needed access to the food and duty free items, which were stored behind them. Paula Taylor's daughter, Brooke,sat on the floor on the flight On the floor they were joined by their daughter and later the co-pilot of the aircraft, who thanked the family for their "co-operation and understanding". "He said that how calm we were and he was so grateful because he would have had to, he would have missed the time slot take off," Mrs Taylor said. She said of the floor: "It's hard and it's uncomfortable and it's just filthy. It's just not an experience I ever want to repeat." The Civil Aviation Authority, the body that regulates airlines in the UK, is now investigating the incident. It has asked TUI airlines to explain why the family was allowed to sit on the floor and is looking into a possible breach of regulations. Passengers are allowed to sit in crew seats under certain conditions, but must not be left unseated during any stage of the flight. After being contacted by the programme, TUI offered the family a full £1300 refund, blaming the incident on a "last minute aircraft change". However, Mrs Taylor said that she "got short shrift" from the airline when she personally complained immediately after the incident, despite having photographs of what had happened. She alleges that, after explaining to the company that the seats were "physically missing", she was told that there was no record of the incident and offered a "good will gesture" of £30. Frustrated, she contacted Rip-Off Britain. A spokesman for TUI said: "We are sorry to hear about Mr Taylor and his family’s experience with us. "Unfortunately a last minute aircraft change meant that the seats the family was originally assigned were unavailable as the alternative aircraft had a different seating configuration. "We're also sorry for the way the situation was initially handled and we’ll be investigating this. We will also be contacting the customers directly to apologise and will be offering a full refund." The episode of Rip-Off Britain: Holidays will be broadcast on BBC One on Tuesday at 9.15am. Source
  10. Online filth flicks fans will just have to swallow the verification process THE INEVITABLE HAS HAPPENED: porn fans will soon have to prove they're old enough to bash one out to online grot flicks and pics, as the UK has passed the porn age verification law. The whole quest to choke easy access to porn websites without viewers needing to prove they're 18-years-old has been undergoing since 2015 as part of the government's mission to rear-end porn access. A whole host of technical problems for posing such a law on the orgy of porn websites across the Web meant getting the law shipshape and passed took some four years or so. But now it's been fully passed, meaning porn sites will have to swallow the need to impose proper age checks for people looking to pleasure themselves with some material for arousal within the UK from April onwards. That'll be an unwelcome pain in the backside for porn sites, but it could also give some porn fans blue balls (so to speak) as they grapple to verify their age. And to be honest we feel a bit sorry for hormonal teenagers who want to knock on out to some high fidelity pornography rather than go on the hunt for discarded porn mags and certain pangs of certain tabloids chucked in the hedges of country roads or left on building sites, like what we had to do. Mind you the number of suggestive snaps on the likes of Instagram probably renders porn sites and physical media filth a tad redundant for younger folks. All that being said the age verification law has been designed to protect children from being exposed to porn at a far too young age, which is no bad thing. It's not really clear how age verification will be implemented; people might need to submit say credit card details or passport photos for example, which raises questions around data protection and privacy. However it's implemented will have to be seen, and despite these hurdles, the law is coming into effect, like it or lump it. So if you like watching porn with relative ease, we suggest you get cracking on as much as possible before April comes along. Source
  11. A man and woman arrested over the Gatwick Airport drone chaos have been released without charge. Sussex Police say the 47-year-old man and 54-year-old woman, both from Crawley, are "no longer suspects" in the incident. Some 1,000 aircraft were cancelled or disrupted during the chaos, which began on Wednesday evening, affecting around 140,000 passengers. Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said: “Both people have fully co-operated with our enquiries and I am satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick. “It is important to remember that when people are arrested in an effort to make further enquiries it does not mean that they are guilty of an offence and Sussex Police would not seek to make their identity public. “Our inquiry continues at a pace to locate those responsible for the drone incursions, and we continue to actively follow lines of investigation. “We ask for the public’s continued support by reporting anything suspicious, contacting us with any information in relation to the drone incidents at Gatwick." Mr Tingley also told Sky News that officers had found a damaged drone near the airport, adding that police would be working with the "forensic opportunities that the drone presents". Gatwick Airport Limited has offered a £50,000 reward through Crimestoppers, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the criminal act that disrupted flights. The pair were arrested on Friday night but released on Sunday morning. The first sighting of drones within the airport's perimeter came on Wednesday night, with flights grounded again around 5pm on Friday after fresh sightings. Officers were prepared to blast the drones out of the sky with a shotgun, but authorities finally regained control over the airfield after the Army deployed military technology to guard the area. The Israeli-developed Drone Dome system, which can detect drones using radar, is believed to have been used to jam communications between the drone and its operator. Police believe more than one unmanned aircraft is responsible for the disruption and are investigating the possibility of multiple culprits. Speaking on Friday, chief executive of the airport Stewart Wingate said the drone flights were "highly targeted" and have "been designed to close the airport and bring maximum disruption in the run up to Christmas". He added: "These events obviously highlight a wider strategic challenge for aviation in this country which we need to address together with speed - the aviation industry, government and all the other relevant authorities. "It cannot be right that drones can close a vital part of our national infrastructure in this way. "This is obviously a relatively new technology and we need to think through together the right solutions to make sure it cannot happen again." Source
  12. LONDON (Reuters) - Uber [UBER.UL] has lost its latest court bid to stop its British drivers being classified as workers, entitling them to rights such as the minimum wage, in a decision which jeopardizes the taxi app’s business model. Two drivers successfully argued at a tribunal in 2016 that the Silicon Valley firm exerted significant control over them to provide an on-demand service, and that they should cease to be considered as self-employed, which gives few protections in law. An employment appeal tribunal upheld that decision last year, prompting Uber to go to the Court of Appeal. On Wednesday, a majority of judges there said they agreed with the previous verdicts and rejected Uber’s arguments. “They approve the reasoning of the Employment Tribunal, which relied on a number of features of Uber’s working arrangements as being inconsistent with the driver having a direct contractual relationship with the passenger,” the Court of Appeal said in a summary. Uber said it would appeal the verdict, meaning the legal process will continue. “This decision was not unanimous and does not reflect the reasons why the vast majority of drivers choose to use the Uber app,” said a spokeswoman. “We have been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and will do so.” Uber, which could be valued at $120 billion in a flotation, has faced protests, regulatory crackdowns and license losses around the world as it challenges existing competitors and rapidly expands. In Britain, the self-employed are entitled to only basic protections such as health and safety, but workers receive the minimum wage, paid holidays and rest breaks. Uber has introduced a number of benefits for drivers this year. Unions argue that the gig economy - where people often work for various firms at the same time without fixed contracts - is exploitative, whilst Uber says its drivers enjoy the flexibility and on average earn much more than the minimum wage. Uber says its practices have been widely used for decades in Britain by minicabs, private hire vehicles which cannot be hailed in the street like traditional black taxis. The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, which backed the two drivers in the case, attacked Uber for appealing court decisions which have gone against the firm. “It is becoming increasingly ridiculous for so-called ‘gig economy’ companies to argue that the law is unclear when they lose virtually every tribunal and court case,” said General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee. Source
  13. The UK Government has committed £2 million to fund the ongoing "Get it Right" anti-piracy campaign until 2021. Under this program, UK Internet providers and rightsholders have teamed up to warn alleged pirates and educate the public at large on how to access content through 'genuine' channels. Four years ago, copyright indistry groups and Internet providers teamed up to fight online piracy in the UK. Backed by the Government, they launched several educational campaigns under the “Get it Right” banner. Under the program, ISPs send out piracy warnings to subscribers whose accounts are used to share copyright-infringing material. This started early last year and has been ongoing since. There haven’t been any official updates in a while, nor is it known how many alerts are going out on a monthly basis. However, it appears that copyright holders and the UK Government are happy with the progress thus far. Late last week the Government announced that it will continue its support for the ‘Get it Right’ campaign. It will allocate £2 million in funding as part of a £20 million boost to the UK’s creative industries. “This package will take the sector from strength to strength by arming the next generation of creatives with the necessary skills and giving businesses in the sector the support they need to succeed,” says Margot James, Minister for the Creative Industries. It’s unclear what the future plans are. The official ‘Get It Right’ page hasn’t changed much in recent years. However, it’s expected that the email warning program, targeted at alleged pirates, will continue. We are not aware of any public reports on the effectiveness of the campaign. However, Ian Moss, Public Affairs director at the music industry group BPI, suggests that there is data suggesting that it works. “The research into the campaign has shown it really makes a difference and that a positive campaign that is relevant to fans can help change the way people think about accessing content online,” Moss says. “The Government’s continuing commitment to the successful campaign is warmly welcomed.” This isn’t the first time that the UK Government has financially supported the ‘Get it Right’ campaign. It also contributed £3.5 million to the program at the start. While it’s hard to measure a direct return on investment, the Government previously justified the spending with an expected increase in sales tax. This would be achieved by converting pirates into legitimate customers. The Governments official announcement is available here. Via gamesindustry. Original Article.
  14. The British prime minister acknowledged she would have lost the vote, scheduled for tomorrow, by a “significant” margin. Prime Minister Theresa May has pulled a vote on her Brexit deal, throwing the UK’s plan to leave the European Union into chaos after she admitted she did not have the votes to get it through parliament. MPs could now have to wait until January 21, 2019 to vote on the government’s beleaguered deal, May announced in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon. “If we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow the deal would be rejected by a significant margin,” May told parliament, adding that she was confident it was still the right deal for the UK. “We will therefore defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the House at this time,” she said, adding that the government would step up planning for a no-deal Brexit. The prime minister also announced plans to meet European leaders, as well as the leaders of the European Council and Commission ahead of Thursday’s summit in Brussels. As May made her statement, the British pound dropped to its weakest level since June 2017, falling to $1.2622. May accepted there was intense concern among MPs about the Northern Irish “backstop”, a policy aimed at avoiding a return to border checks between the British province and Ireland. Her critics, both supporters of Brexit and its opponents, have rejected the open-ended backstop, which could require Britain to accept European Union rules indefinitely, long after it gives up any say in drafting them. The prime minister said she would seek changes to the proposal to win over unhappy Conservative MPs. The dramatic canning of the vote comes after Downing Street and Cabinet ministers had insisted as recently as Monday morning that tomorrow’s vote was going ahead. May was all but certain to lose the vote given it is opposed by at least 100 MPs from her own Conservative Party as well as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The prime minister was greeted with laughter from opposition MPs when she told them: “I have listened very carefully to what has been said in this chamber and out of it by Members from all sides. “From listening to those views it is clear that while there is broad support for key aspects of the deal, on one issue, the Northern Ireland backstop, there remains widespread and deep concern. “As a result, if we went ahead tomorrow it would be rejected by a significant margin.” Pressed on when the vote would be held, May simply said under existing legislation it had to be held by January 21, 2019. The UK is on course to leave the EU on March 29, 2019 – with or without a deal. Responding to May, Corbyn said the country was now in “an extremely serious and unprecedented situation”. “The government has lost control of events and is in complete disarray,” he said. Adding to the confusion, parliamentary authorities later said in practise the latest possible date a vote could be held was 28 March. Source
  15. The UK’s National Health Service has been ordered to stop buying more fax machines. It also must stop using the machines entirely by April 2020, as part of an effort to modernize the healthcare organization. More than 9,000 fax machines are in use by the NHS, a July survey found. All will be replaced by email, according to a report from the BBC. The shift, ordered by UK health secretary Matt Hancock, is intended to improve patient safety and make communications more secure. Rebecca McIntyre, a cognitive behavioral therapist, told the BBC that using fax machines made it difficult to ensure patient’s information was actually sent to the right place, and that it wasn’t being seen by non-authorized people. ”You would not believe the palaver we have in the work place trying to communicate important documents to services (referrals etc),” she said. “We constantly receive faxes meant for other places in error but this is never reported.” Fax machines have stuck around in a digital age due to legal requirements in the healthcare and legal systems. While only certain kinds of signatures can be accepted over email, fax is a legally-valid method of sending a signed document. “Most other organisations scrapped fax machines in the early 2000s and it is high time the NHS caught up,” Richard Kerr, chair of the Royal College of Surgeons’ commission on the future of surgery, told the Guardian. Source
  16. The pound has fallen to an 18-month low against the dollar amid mounting uncertainty about the terms of the UK's exit from the EU. After reports that Theresa May is delaying Tuesday's vote on her Brexit deal, the pound fell to $1.2656, its lowest level since June 2017. The pound slipped to three-month lows against the euro, trading at €1.1085 The currency is seen as a barometer of the Brexit negotiations, analysts said. "Until the market knows what will happen with respect to Brexit one way or the other then they [traders] will remain extremely anxious," said Jane Foley, head of foreign exchange strategy at Rabobank. Ms Foley said the threat of a hard Brexit, under which the UK leaves the EU without a deal, as well as the ongoing political uncertainty was "an extraordinary and toxic mix" for the pound. "Once we know what is happening, things will be more settled," she added. This week had always been expected to be a volatile one for the pound because of the vote on Tuesday, which has also heightened political uncertainty. Dozens of Conservative MPs had been planning to join forces with Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and the DUP to vote down Mrs May's deal. David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB, said that while any delay to the vote will spare the Prime Minister from a defeat, the market was reacting to the uncertainty. "The negative reaction in the markets is more likely due to what it means for her position rather than the failure to win the vote - with even her staunchest supporters already highly sceptical as to whether the bill would pass - as it now seems increasingly likely that a long-touted leadership challenge will ensue," he said. Mrs May will now make a statement to MPs at 15:30 GMT, which has helped sparked expectations the vote will be delayed. Mr Wilson said there were a number of theories about what delaying the might vote might mean, ranging from new talks over the backstop or a second referendum. "The only known is that the uncertainty has increased and we are faced with more volatility for sterling and UK assets," Mr Wilson said. Nadhim Zahawi, a junior minister in the Department for Education, said the Prime Minister intended to renegotiate. Source
  17. Drug-related hospital admissions down 95% after onsite testing at festival in Cambridgeshire An alarming rise in drug-related deaths at music festivals can be countered by testing illicit substances onsite, according to the first academic study of its kind, which has triggered calls for similar services to be rolled out at all major events. Testers found that one in five substances sold at the Secret Garden Party, a four-day festival in Cambridgeshire in July 2016, were not as described by dealers. Samples contained ketamine instead of cocaine, while a drug sold as MDMA turned out to be n-ethylpentylone, a long-lasting cathinone that can cause anxiety, paranoia, insomnia and psychosis. Others contained pharmaceuticals and cutting agents such as anti-malaria medication, as well as less harmful ingredients such as brown sugar and plaster of paris. Chemists from the non-profit social enterprise The Loop analysed 247 drug samples brought in anonymously by festivalgoers. Two-thirds of people who discovered they had had substances missold to them subsequently handed over further substances to the police, according to the study. The Durham University findings, published online on Sunday in the International Journal of Drug Policy, show dealers selling drugs at the festival were twice as likely to deceive customers as those selling offsite, which is something that experts said highlighted the added risks for festivalgoers. In 2016, when the Multi Agency Safety Testing (MAST) pilot took place at the Secret Garden Party, UK drug-related deaths and festival drug-related deaths reached their highest on record. However, there was just one drug-related hospital admission at the Secret Garden Party, against 19 in the previous year, a 95% reduction. “The service not only identifies and informs service users about the contents of their submitted sample and provides them with direct harm reduction advice but this pilot tells us they spread the information to their friends,” said Fiona Measham from Durham University’s Department of Sociology, and director of The Loop. Voluntary drug-safety testing at festivals has been resisted by some major event organisers. But Measham said she hoped the study would go some way to proving its usefulness. “As a cutting-edge, and some might consider controversial, service it is imperative that we evaluate the impact of the introduction of drug safety testing in the UK,” she said. “This paper is a first small step towards this.” The research shows that warnings about specific dangerous substances identified by onsite chemists were quickly shared on social media, alerting festivalgoers across the country. “Alerts are also shared on social media and via medical and other staff at the festival so the message can spread far and wide. We now have evidence that people who sell drugs at festivals are twice as likely to rip off the public and we can provide evidence-based alerts that not only warn people about specific drugs but also about specific drug markets.” Critics argue that public drug-safety testing could normalise illegal drugs and encourage more people to take them. But Measham insisted that Loop staff told all who used its services that the safest way to take drugs was not to take them at all. Laura Hunt, head of partnerships and operational support at Cambridgeshire constabulary, who acted as “silver command” at the Secret Garden Party, said harm reduction strategies were not a green light to substance abuse. “There is a zero tolerance to drug dealing within the event’s policing operation and more specifically within the harm reduction space. This meant that all partners had a clear understanding that no agency or organisation should encourage or condone the use of substances in any way.” Hunt’s comments were echoed by Justin Bibby, a superintendent in Cumbria Constabulary, and “gold command” at the Kendal Calling festival, where MAST was also introduced in 2016. “When it comes to drugs, I do everything I can to prevent them getting into a festival, and our operations to target suppliers are focused, persistent and omnipresent,” Bibby said. “That said, there will always be some that get through the net. Likewise, there will always be individuals who despite our best efforts will continue to misuse substances.” Freddie Fellowes, owner of the Secret Garden Party, said the results bolstered calls for drug testing to be made available at all major events. “The Secret Garden Party was incredibly proud to be a part of the first meaningful advance in over 20 years in harm reduction strategy, the results of which surpassed even our hope and expectations. In the future this facility should be required at all large events, not fought for.” Source
  18. Mohammad Maroof suspended after image appears on Mums United WhatsApp group A councillor who accidentally sent a picture of a topless woman to a group of campaigners during a meeting has been suspended. Mohammad Maroof, a Sheffield city councillor, posted the explicit image on a Mums United WhatsApp group while its founder, Sahira Irshad, presented a petition on knife crime. Maroof said he was “very embarrassed” and apologised for what he described as an “honest mistake”. He said he had been trying to attach a video of Irshad’s speech. The Labour party councillor has been suspended by the council pending an investigation. Maroof, who represents the city suburbs Nether Edge and Sharrow, said he had asked for the picture to be deleted “within seconds” of sending it. “This is my private phone and I receive so many things that my WhatsApp has been set up to automatically save everything in my phone’s photo file,” he said in quotes reported by the BBC. “Somebody sent me this photo, it may have come in the morning, and it went into my phone’s file. “I tried to send the group a video and by mistake I pressed the wrong photo. As soon as I realised, I asked for it to be deleted as I couldn’t delete it myself. It was only there for a second.” A screenshot of the WhatsApp group showed that Maroof quickly realised his mistake. He wrote: “The world is full of stupid who send stuff on Whatsapp which goes directly into photos sections saved. Didn’t realise and press [sic] the wrong button before clearing it. I am sorry to all who saw it for a second with blinked eyes.” Maroof later added: “I sincerely apologise. I had no intention to do such a thing and to cause such disruption. I have a lot of respect for the group.” Source
  19. The purpose of a government committee is to be critical. If it did nothing but agree with its subject matter status quo, there would be little point to it. That said, in the latest report published November 12, 2018 by the UK parliament's Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, this committee is somewhat critical of the UK's National Security Strategy (NCS). This report (PDF) specifically examines the critical national infrastructure (CNI -- or more usually in the U.S., just CI). It says, for example, "The Government's current approach to improving the cyber resilience of the UK's critical national infrastructure is long on aspiration but short on delivery." Nevertheless, the report misses the mark in one important area. It demands ministerial control over public and private CNI security. "There should be," it recommends, "a Cabinet Office Minister designated as cyber security lead who, as in a war situation, has the exclusive task of assembling the resources -- in both the public and private sectors -- and executing the measures needed to defend against the threat." Ministers are political animals, not security experts -- they come and go, and their position is dependent upon the Prime Minister's patronage, not on ability or performance. The implementation of the EU's Network and Information Systems Regulations (NIS), which will stay in force beyond Brexit, is expected to raise the bar on security delivery within the CNI -- but the report warns that NIS is "not a 'silver bullet'". The committee has two concerns. Firstly, the regulations are limited in scope; and secondly, responsibility is fragmented across multiple Whitehall departments and different Competent Authorities for different sectors. However, rather than establishing a Ministerial czar within government, it should consider the model responsible for GDPR -- a single independent body such as the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) responsible for all CNI sectors. Government could still set the requirements for improving CNI security, but responsibility for ensuring accurate implementation would fall on independent security experts rather than a career politician. Despite its concerns over the adequacy of NIS, the report makes only one specific related recommendation: "The Government should establish a plan... for the development of threat- and intelligence-led penetration testing and its roll-out across all CNI sectors that takes account of the mixed maturity of the sectors in terms of their cyber resilience." It accepts that pentesting provides only "a snapshot of operational resilience at a particular moment in time against a particular set of threats," and suggests this should be done in combination with other methods of regulatory assurance. (The report makes no mention of the 'continuous external monitoring' -- and even automatic threat triaging -- now available https://www.securityweek.com/92-external-web-apps-have-exploitable-secur... from some third-party vendors as an alternative or addition to 'point-in-time pentesting.) The additional methods of regulatory assurance should comprise non-regulatory incentives and interventions that would improve security in the CNI supply chains, and support operators in managing the risk "associated with hardware, software and services bought 'off the shelf', especially those procured from major international suppliers." Huawei is top of mind here since it is the only international supplier mentioned by name within the recommendations. "The Government should set out in its response to this Report its assessment of how, and how effectively, the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board provides additional assurance in relation to the UK's cyber security." At a building (often known as 'the Cell') in the small market town of Banbury, UK, the UK government has access to Huawei source code. Although there has never been any publicized incidence of unacceptable code, there has been increasing concern over the last year on whether this is sufficient to ensure the integrity of all Huawei telecoms products -- which are widely used by BT. This is a pertinent request given the current reports surfacing Thursday that the U.S. Government has asked other governments and telecoms operators in allied nations to avoid the use Huawei equipment. U.S., and other western intelligence agencies, are concerned over the potential for Huawei equipment to be used for espionage by the Chinese government. Other recommendations by the committee to improve CNI security include "identifying an expert board member with specific responsibility for cyber resilience and mandatory corporate reporting on cyber resilience, in accordance with the spirit of forthcoming reforms to the Companies Act 2006." This is also in the spirit of the current NYS financial regulations. Relevant companies should be required to have a 'CISO' on the board, and those companies should report to their competent authority on the state of their cybersecurity posture. The final recommendation is that the government should consider whether and how increased use of cyber insurance could be used to improve companies' cyber practices. In reality, this could work only if cyber insurance becomes a legal requirement for the CNI -- this would force those companies to comply with the security requirements demanded by the insurance companies. Insurance companies will inevitably set the security bar high if only to minimize the likelihood of having to pay out in the event of a breach. The committee praises the role and effect of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). But it is concerned that the Centre doesn't have the necessary resources. It would like to see the NCSC properly financed, and recommends its budget should be "a ring-fenced fund separate from (and safe from) general departmental budget pressures." However, there is one cryptic comment on the NCSC that leaves much to the imagination: "we heard there are unresolved tensions derived from its status as part of GCHQ..." Source
  20. Advertisers should boycott tech giants like Google and Facebook to force them to effectively address the "scandal" of online terrorist content, members of UK's Parliament said, according to The Times of London. The big picture: Social networks and web companies are under pressure around the world to police extremist content on their sites that facilitate the spread of radicalized material. Despite hiring thousands of people to identify and quickly take down such content, staying ahead of malicious actors online has proven to be very difficult. Show less The backdrop: Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last year, reportedly learned how to build a bomb by watching a YouTube video. Extremist content online may have helped radicalize attackers at London Bridge and Westminster, per the Daily Mirror. What they're saying: Web companies have not done enough to take down extremist content and prevent terrorists from using their platforms as a "safe haven," MPs wrote in a report from the Intelligence and Security Committee, a parliamentary watchdog. The report acknowledged the companies are engaging more on the issue, but have made "little tangible progress." Appealing to the internet giants' sense of social responsibility hasn't worked, it says, so businesses should threaten to pull advertising to pull on "financial leavers" to force the platforms to listen. Between the lines: Major brands such as Unilever and Proctor & Gamble have in the past threatened to pull advertising until the web platforms meaningfully dealt with fake news and divisive content. But with Google and Facebook commanding such huge user bases and such a large share of advertising spending, it's very difficult for marketers to abandon them. Source
  21. Facebook said it has appealed a fine from a U.K. data protection watchdog for the equivalent of $640,000 over allegations that the company failed to protect British users' data. The fine originally came in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but the watchdog group recently concluded an investigation that found no evidence British users' data was shared with the firm. As of Wednesday, the watchdog group has not yet been notified that an appeal was received, according to a spokesperson. Facebook is appealing a £500,000 ($639,255.40) fine from the U.K.'s privacy watchdog which claims the company failed to protect the privacy of at least 1 million U.K. users, the Financial Times first reported. Facebook's appeal is based on the fact that the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office found no evidence British data was shared with Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the center of a data scandal that rocked the company earlier this year, FT reported. Cambridge Analytica was found to have used Facebook data to target users in the U.S. with political advertising to sway the 2016 presidential election. The conclusion means "the core of the ICO's argument no longer relates to the events involving Cambridge Analytica," Facebook's Vice President and Associate General Counsel in Europe, the Middle East and Africa Anna Benckert said in a statement. "Instead, their reasoning challenges some of the basic principles of how people should be allowed to share information online, with implications which go far beyond just Facebook, which is why we have chosen to appeal." An ICO spokesperson said the office had not yet been notified that the Tribunal received an appeal. "Any organisation issued with a monetary penalty notice by the Information Commissioner has the right to appeal the decision to the First-tier Tribunal," the spokesperson said in a statement. "The progression of any appeal is a matter for the tribunal." Source
  22. US tech companies monopolize mapping data, locking out new services, says report Tech companies like Google, Apple, and Uber should be forced to share mapping data with rivals firms and the public sector, the UK government has been advised by a data advocacy group. In a report published today, the Open Data Institute (ODI) said that “data monopolies” were stifling innovation in the UK. These companies duplicate one another’s efforts, said the report, while using their large financial clout to gain insurmountable leads over would-be rivals. If they shared data, they said, then many services and new technologies — like drone delivery services and self-driving cars — would benefit. The ODI is an influential group in the UK, co-founded by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Nigel Shadbolt, a professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Oxford. The report was published ahead of the UK government’s forthcoming review of national geospatial strategy, which will guide any mooted changes to legislation. Still, it’s not clear what laws the UK could introduce to force such data sharing, or if there is any widespread political report for such changes. In the ODI’s report, the authors note that geospatial data is a vital resource in the digital age, used to guide decisions in “almost all aspects of life and across all sectors of our economy.” The UK government has previously estimated that if such data was widely shared, it could generate between $7 billion and $14 billion additional revenue for the country. Jeni Tennison, chief executive of the Open Data Institute, said that while big tech companies are simply trying to deliver a good service to customers, “the status quo is not optimal.” Tennison told the Financial Times: “The large companies are becoming more like data monopolies and that doesn’t give us the best value from our data.” The ODI’s report makes for interesting reading in a climate of growing distrust of tech monopolies. In the US, monopoly-busting cases are being made against Facebook, Amazon, Google, and others. Geospatial data is not the most talked-about aspect of this debate, but as the ODI notes, this information is too important to be forgotten about. Source
  23. Sadiq Khan, who is facing pressure following an increase in such crimes this year, said the police response also played a role, and that the rise in murders should also be seen in the context of cuts to policing and public services. The Home Office minister Victoria Atkins denied that police cuts could be blamed, saying a government study had found no apparent connection between police numbers and earlier rises in violent crime. Mr Khan recently launched an initiative based on the public health approach pioneered in Glasgow. But, speaking on the Radio 4 Today programme, he acknowledged that based on their example, to really make significant progress can take up to ten years. Youre passing the buck Piers Morgan CUTS OFF Sadiq Khan in tense knife crime clash Speaking to BBC Radio 4s Today programme after three males between the ages of 15 and 22 died in stabbing incidents on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Khan said London had since 2016 followed the example of Glasgow, which saw a significant drop in violent crime after establishing a violence reduction unit to treat the problem in a holistic way. But he said the effects would not be immediate. Itll take some time. The reason I know itll take some time is because of the lessons weve learned from places like Glasgow in Scotland, where it took them some time to turn this thing around. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has said turning the capitals knife crime problem around could take up to ten years. Asked how long it might take, Khan said: According to Glasgow – and weve got the violence reduction unit in Glasgow helping us – to really make significant progress can take up to 10 years, and a generation. Get The International Pack for free for your first 30 days for unlimited Smartphone and Tablet access. John Humphrys RIDICULES Sadiq Khan claims knife crime will take GENERATION to tackle On Sunday, police arrested two men after a man, believed to be 22, died following a stabbing shortly after midday in Anerley, south-east London. On Friday, 17-year-old Malcolm Mide-Madariola died after being stabbed outside Clapham South tube station. The day before Jay Hughes, 15, was fatally stabbed near a chicken shop in Bellingham, south-east London. He insisted that London is a safe global city — but the rise in violent crime is unacceptable. Khan said the challenge was to break a wider culture in which the use of knives had become normalised among many young people. The reason why they say this is because they saw in Scotland what were seeing in London, which is children in primary school thinking not only is it OK to carry a knife, but it gives them a sense of belonging, joining a criminal gang. It makes them feel safer, and they dont see anything wrong in getting involved in this sort of behaviour, he said. On the one hand weve got to be tough in relation to enforcement, and thats why weve got officers as part of the violent crime taskforce doing intelligence-led stop and searches, taking knives off our streets, offensive weapons off our streets, guns off our streets, making arrests. At the same time, on the other hand, weve got to be giving young people constructive things to do, investing in youth centres, youth workers, after-school clubs. Khan said efforts had been hampered by a significant drop in police numbers, and a loss of facilities such as youth centres. In London weve had a public health approach in the context of record cuts in policing and public services. Some critics of Khans approach have called for a resumption in routine stop-and-search operations, a tactic which has been used less since Theresa May as home secretary changed the approach amid concerns people were being unfairly targeted. The London mayor said the Metropolitan police had set up a taskforce to target habitual knife carriers in certain areas, which had made more than 1,300 arrests in six months, and that there had been a wider increase in stop and search. He added: But youll appreciate that because we have fewer officers than any time since 2003 at a time when our population is going up, its more and more difficult. Atkins disputed this, saying: As a result of that very intensive piece of work we found that the claim about police numbers isnt supported by the evidence of previous spikes in serious violence. Atkins said the nature of crime is changing, for example with gang activities being organised via social media. She said: Gangs are far more ruthless than they used to be, the levels of violence that doctors are seeing in A&E shows that incidents that before perhaps wouldnt have resulted in fatalities now are resulting in fatalities, she said. When we talk about the nature of crime were taking into account, for example, that the gangs that are behind the vast majority of these murders, are using social media to communicate. Sadiq Khan today said it could take a generation for the bloody knife crime epidemic gripping London to be tackled. The London Mayor said children in primary schools have started carrying knives and to make significant progress fighting the scourge can take up to 10 years. But his comments risk sparking fury from the families of those murdered who have pleaded for an immediate end to the violence. It comes as a 22-year-old man became the 116th murder victim in London so far this year after being stabbed to death in Anerley, near Bromley, this weekend. So far this year, some 19 teenagers have been murdered in the capital amid growing criticisms that violent crime is spiraling out of control. Mr Khan was quizzed about what he is doing to tackle the bloody carnage after four people were stabbed to death in London in the past five days. Sadiq Khan appeared on Good Morning Britain today, pictured,and said it could take a generation for the bloody knife crime epidemic gripping London to be tackled . He told the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: It will take some time. I know that because of the lessons weve learnt from places like Glasgow, where it took them some time to turn this round. A woman in her 30s is fighting for her life after being knifed multiple times in Chadwell Heath, pictured, last night A woman is fighting for her life in hospital after being stabbed multiple times by a man following a row. Police were called to a property in Chadwell Heath, east London, at around 8.20pm last night and found the victim, aged in her 30s, seriously injured in the street. A 30-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder following reports of a man and woman arguing in the area. It comes as hundreds more officers are patrolling the streets of London after a week of violence in the capital with four people being killed in knife attacks. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said this morning he has also reassigned more than 120 officers to violent crime from traffic duty following the series of stabbings. They saw in Scotland what we are seeing in London, which is children in primary schools thinking not only is it OK to carry a knife, but it gives them a sense of belonging in joining a criminal gang and it makes them feel safer and they see nothing wrong in getting involved in this sort of behaviour. On one hand, weve got to be tough in relation to enforcement. Thats why weve got officers as part of the violent crime task force doing intelligence-led stop and search, taking knives off our streets, guns off our streets, making arrests. At the same time, on the other hand, weve got to give young people constructive things to do, investing in youth centres, youth workers, after-school clubs. Mr Khan blamed the spike in violence on the cuts to police numbers and youth services which have hit London over the past eight years. But Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins denied that cuts to the number of police on the streets had helped fuel the crime epidemic. She said a Government review had shown the claim about police numbers isnt supported by the evidence of previous spikes in serious violence. In the late 2000s there was a similar spike in violence and there were many, many more police officers on the streets in that day and age, she said. Of course, violence has been around as long as human beings have been around, but we have seen – and the Met Commissioner herself has talked about – the ways in which gangs are much more ruthless than they used to be. But Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins (file picture) denied that cuts to the number of police on the streets had helped fuel the crime epidemic. The levels of violence which doctors are now seeing in A&Es show that incidents which before perhaps wouldnt have resulted in fatalities now are resulting in fatalities. Gangs are behind the vast majority of these murders, and the gang leaders are using social media to communicate … using mobile communications in a way that 10 or even five years ago simply wasnt possible. We and the police and others have to face up to the reality that criminals are changing their crime types and we have to be able to tackle that. Kyall Parnell was the first victim of Londons year of violence, he was stabbed on the night of New Years Eve. Vijay Patel was beaten to death in January after refusing to buy Rizla cigarette papers for a teenager. 1) Kyall Parnell, 17, was attacked in front of horrified revellers on his way to a New Years Eve party and died after being chased through traffic in Tulse Hill, south London. A murder investigation was opened in 2018. 2) Steve Frank Navarez-Jara was the first person to be killed in 2018. The 20-year-old was stabbed on New Years Day in Old Street, north London. 3) Elizabeta Lacatusu, 44, who came to London from Romania to work, was stabbed in Redbridge, east London on January 3. 4) Vijay Patel, 49, died on January 6 after being attacked outside a shop in Mill Hill Broadway after refusing a teenager trying to buy Rizla cigarette papers. 5) Daniel Frederick, 34, died after being stabbed in Hackney on January 8 while walking home after attending a hospital check-up with his pregnant partner. 6) Harry Uzoka, 25, worked as a model in London and was knifed in the heart in Shepherds Bush on January 11. 7) Seyed Azim Khans body was found in Ilford Cemetery with extensive head injuries in February after he went missing on his way home from work on January 24. 8 ) Yaya Mbye, 26, died in hospital after being stabbed in Stoke Newington. east London, on January 28. 9) Juan Olmos Saca, 39, was stabbed in the chest in Peckham, south east London, on the January 29 and died a week in hospital. 11) Eleven-week-old Lily-Mai Saint George was found unresponsive at an address in Tottenham on January 31. She died at Great Ormond Street Hospital three days later. 12) Hassan Ozcan was just 19 when he died from multiple stab wounds in Barking, east London, on February 3. 13) Kwabena Nelson, 22, a youth worker from Tottenham, died after being stabbed near his home on February 3. 16) Bulent Kabala was the first victim to be shot dead in 2018. The 41-year-old was gunned down on February 12 and died at the scene in Barnet, north London. 18) Lord Promise Nkenda was just 17 when he was stabbed in Canning Town, east London, on Valentines Day. 19) Mark Smith, 48, died from multiple injuries after being found unconscious in Waltham Forest on February 15. 20) Lewis Blackman, 19, was stabbed in the early hours of February 18 after going to a house party in Kensington. He died outside the former home of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. 21) Jozef Boci, 30, suffered serious head injuries after being attacked on the street in Greenwich on February 17 and died in hospital just under a week later. 24) Abdikarim Hassan, 17, a friend of Sadiq, died on the same night after also being stabbed in Camden. 25) Amir Ellouizi, 24, was shot in Westminster on February 20 and died seven days later on February 27. 26) Michael Boyle, 44, died from a single stab wound to the chest. He was attacked on 25 February and died in hospital on March 10. 28) Laura Figueira, 47, was found dead at her home in Richmond, south west London, on March 5th having suffered stab wounds. 29 and 30) Later the same day, her husband Adelino Figueia de Faria, 57 and two young sons Claudio, 10, and Joaquin, 7, were discovered at the bottom of Beachy Head at Birling Gap, East Sussex, with all three having died from multiple injuries consistent with falling from a height. 33) Julian Joseph, 36, died in hospital 11 days after being attacked and suffering a serious head injury on a night bus in New Cross just after midnight of March 13. 35) Joseph William-Torres, 20, was shot in a car in in Essex Close, Walthamstow on March 14. Two teens, 15 and 17, charged with murder. 37) Naomi Hersi, 36, was found with stab wounds at a hotel near Heathrow Airport on March 16 and was pronounced dead 30 minutes later. 38) Russell Jones, 23, died after suffering from stab injuries and a gunshot wound in Enfield, north London, on March 17. 40) Balbir Johal, 48, was admitted to hospital with stab wounds after being attacked in Southall on March 19 and died a few hours later. 42) Beniamin Pieknyi, 21, was found with stab wounds at the Stratford shopping centre in East London, on March 20 and was pronounced dead at the scene. 44) Wieslaw Kopcynski, 59, died on March 27th two days after being found lying in bed in Barking with serious head injuries following a suspected assault. A post-mortem found the cause of death was a complex skull fracture 45) David Potter, 50, was found dead inside a house in Tooting High Street on March 26 after suffering from stab injuries. 48) Ourania Lambrou, 80, died in hospital after being pushed to the ground by her attacker in a drunken rage in Camden on March 31. 50) Tanesha Melbourne, 17, was shot in the chest on April 2 after a drive-by shooting in Tottenham, north London. 51) Amaan Shakoor, 16, was shot in the face, also on April 2 in Walthamstow and died a day later in hospital. 52) Career criminal Henry Vincent, 37, died after being stabbed in the chest as he burgled Richard Osborn-Brooks house in Lewisham on April 4. The 78-year-old was initially arrested for murder but cleared of all charges and faces no further action. 53) Babatunde Akintayo Awofeso, 53, died after fight at a bookmakers in Upper Clapton on April 4 following reports of an altercation with another man. Russell Jones, 23, became the eighth person in a week to be killed in London in March when he was ambushed outside shops in Enfield 54) Israel Ogunsola, 18, in Hackney after being stabbed, also on April 4. The victim approached police who performed first aid but he died at the scene after 25 minutes. 57) Natasha Hill, 18, found dead with head injuries at an address in Sewell Road, Abbey Wood at 4.22am on Sunday April 15. 58) Samantha Clarke, 30s, stabbed to death in Sudbourne Road, Brixton, at 6:30pm on Sunday, April 15th. 59) Sami Sidhom, 18, who studied law and history at Queen Mary University, was stabbed in the back just yards from his home in Forest Gate, east London, after going to the West Ham v Stoke game on April 16. 60) Builder John Woodward, 47, found dead on the roof of the Pressman Mastermelts building in Hatton Garden on April 17. Post-mortem gave cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head. 61) Aaron Springett, 32, died after street fight outside bookies in Merton, south west London, after suffering from a blunt force trauma to the chest on April 20. 62) Kwasi Anim-Boadu, 20, stabbed during a mass brawl in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, north London, on April 21. 63) Leon Maxwell, 38, shot outside Queensbury tube station on May 1. A 26-year-old man also shot went to a north London hospital. 65) Onees Khatoon, 71, murdered at her home in Gade Close, Hayes, on May 13. Her son Majid Butt, 51, has been charged. 67) Abdulrahman Nassor Juma, 24, known to friends as Mani, fatally stabbed in the chest in Barking on May 17. 68) Osman Shidane, 20, stabbed repeatedly in Ruislip on evening of May 15, died three days later on Friday May 18. 69) Homeless Arunesh Thangarajah, 28, stabbed to death in Mitcham in early hours of Sunday May 20th. 71) Father-of-two Marcel Campbell, 30, from Tottenham, fatally stabbed outside an ice cream parlour in Islington on Monday May 21st. 72) Gerry Gaffney, 46, died in hospital on May 21st, eight days after being repeatedly stabbed near The Oval cricket ground in south London on Sunday May 14th. 73) Molly Frank, 61, a care worker, suffered fatal head injuries at an Islington residential home on May 24 and died in hospital the next day. A special post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as intra-cerebral haemorrhage. 74) Aspiring actress and singer Bethany-Maria Beales, 22, fell to her death from the 19th floor of The Heron, a 36-storey residential skyscraper in the City on May 26. 76) Andra Hilitanu, 28, who was seven months pregnant with her third child, found stabbed in the neck at her flat in Brent on June 1st. The Romanian nationals family revealed that her unborn child also died. 77) Edmond Jonuzi, a 35-year-old Albanian, was knifed in park and collapsed near Turnpike Lane station in north London on the evening of Saturday June 9th. 78) Gitana Matukeviciene, 50 and originally from Lithuania, found with multiple injuries at a residential address in Dagenham on Saturday June 9th never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on Tuesday June 12th. 79) Mark Tremain, 52, died from his injuries on June 14th two weeks after being badly beaten near his home in Albert Square, Stockwell, on May 31st. 80) Apprentice lift engineer Joshua Boadu, 23, died in hospital on June 18th, seven days after being repeatedly stabbed in Bermondsey. 81) Matthew Thomas, 39, died shortly after being found with multiple injuries at a flat in Pimlico on Thursday June 21st. 82) Slawomir Weglarski, 39, died after a fight outside a pub in Greenford in the early hours of Saturday June 23rd. 83) Gita Suri, 56, found with stab wounds to her back in the garden of a house in Greenwich on Saturday June 23rd. 84) Schoolboy Jordan Douherty, 15, from Chafford Hundred, stabbed to death after a birthday party in Romford on Saturday June 23rd. 85) Ishak Tacine, 20, of Enfield, repeatedly stabbed in Edmonton following reports of an altercation between men armed with baseball bats on June 27th. Drill rapper Latwaan Griffiths died of stab wounds after he was dumped in a Camberwell street by a moped rider 87) Janek Brakonecki, 57, a Polish national, found critically injured in a car park off Leytonstone High Road on Saturday July 7th. 89) Latwaan Griffiths, 18, from Southwark, died in hospital hours after being found with stab wounds in Denmark Road, Camberwell, on July 25. He had been dumped in the street by a moped rider. 90) Sheila Thomas, 69, was found stabbed to death at her home in Casino Avenue, Herne Hill on Tuesday July 31st. 91) Drill rapper Sidique Kamara, 23, aka Incognito, stabbed to death in Camberwell in an alleged gang feud on August 1. 92) Thomas Peter, 50, of Valentines Way, Dagenham, has been charged with murder and arson with intent to endanger life after woman found dead in east London on Thursday August 2nd. Joel Urhie was found dead inside the burnt-out shell of his family home in Deptford earlier this month 93) Malik Chattun, 22, from Surbiton, stabbed to death in group fight in Kingston just after 2am on Aug 5. 94) Seven-year-old Joel Urhie died in arson attack on his family home in Adolphus Street, Deptford, just before 3.30am on Tuesday August 7th. 95) Simonne Kerr, 31, A nurse who starred as part of a the B Positive choir who reached the final of this years Britains Got Talent, stabbed to death at an address in Grayshott Road, Battersea, on Wednesday August 15th. 96) Joseph Cullimore, 42, died after being repeatedly stabbed at a house in Chingford in the early hours of Friday August 17th. 97) Gary Amer, 63, a plumber of Holborn, found with multiple knife wounds at an address off the Old Kent Road on the afternoon of Friday August 17th. 98) Leroy Junior Edwards, 66, found with multiple stab wound at an address in Catford in the early hours of Saturday August 18th. 99) Kaltoun Saleh was badly burnt in a fire at a flat in Finsbury Park on July 5th and died at a specialist burns hospital on Tuesday August 21st. 100) Carole Harrison, 73, found dead inside her house in Teddington following a fire on Wednesday August 22nd. A post-mortem found she had suffered injuries consistent with an assault. Source
  24. The UK government has announced an investigation into personalized pricing practices in online retail following growing concerns that vulnerable consumers are at risk of price discrimination through the use of ecommerce technologies that vary prices for products such as cars, holidays and household goods via the use of personal data points. The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) will also be involved in the research, which was announced yesterday. The government-commissioned research is intended to investigate how widespread the practice of personalized online pricing is; how businesses are applying it through different mediums like search engines, apps or comparison tools; and the extent to which it is preventing shoppers getting the best deals, the CMA said. Commenting in a statement, business secretary Greg Clark said: “UK businesses are leading the way in harnessing the power of new technologies and new ways of doing business, benefitting consumers and helping them save money. But we are clear that companies should not be abusing this technology and customer data to treat consumers, particularly vulnerable ones, unfairly. “The research we are undertaking will help us better understand how we can ensure businesses work in a way that is fair to consumers.” “Ensuring markets work fairly and in the interests of consumers is a cornerstone of our modern Industrial Strategy, and I am proud to say that our consumer protection regime is among the strongest in the world,” he added. In another supporting statement, CMA chief executive, Andrea Coscelli, added: “With more of us shopping online, it’s important that we understand how advances in technology impact consumers. This personalised pricing research will help us stay at the forefront of emerging technology, so we can understand how best to protect people from unfair practices where they exist. We will also use the results of the research as part of our ongoing efforts to help vulnerable consumers.” In September, UK consumer advice charity Citizens Advice filed a super complaint to the CMA calling for it to tackle the loyalty penalty in essential markets such as mortgages and mobiles which it said it resulting in excessive prices being charged to disengaged consumers. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also announced it will be investigating personalised pricing for car and home insurance policies — after finding hidden discrimination between customers. At the end of last month the FCA said its initial work had identified a number of areas of potential consumer harm — announcing a market study to take a closer look at the outcomes from general insurance pricing practices and make a determination on whether and if so how it should intervene to improve the market. That market study is focused on: the consumer outcomes from pricing practices; the fairness of outcomes from pricing practices; the impact of pricing practices on competition; and remedies to address any harm that the FCA finds. Source
  25. Football will continue to be a force in the United Kingdom. The NFL on Tuesday confirmed that London will host four regular-season games in 2019 at Wembley Stadium and the new stadium being built for Tottenham Hotspur. The league did not specify which teams will make the trip overseas or when the games will take place. "The games in the past few weeks have once again demonstrated the incredible passion of NFL fans in the UK," NFL executive vice president Mark Waller said in a statement. "The support of our stadium partners, the Mayor of London and the Minister for Sport gives us a great foundation for further development of the sport and the ability to give our fans even more NFL games in the coming years." The NFL has played 24 regular-season games in the UK since first playing there in 2007, with 29 of the league's 32 teams appearing at least once. Source
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