By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is preparing legislation to force companies to turn over customers’ personal data when requested even if it is stored on servers outside the bloc, a position that will put Europe at loggerheads with tech giants and privacy campaigners. The EU executive has previously indicated it wanted law enforcement authorities to be able to access electronic evidence stored within the 28-nation bloc. But the scope of the planned legislation will extend to data held elsewhere, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Digital borders are a growing global issue in an era where big companies operate “cloud” networks of giant data centres which mean an individual’s data can reside anywhere. The EU push comes as a landmark legal battle in the United States nears its climax. The U.S. Supreme Court will this week hear oral arguments in a case pitting Microsoft against U.S. prosecutors, who are … [Read more...] about Europe seeks power to seize overseas data in challenge to tech giants
International data centre
Fast radio bursts (FRB) are what astronomers call the mysterious and currently unexplained flashes of radio signals that originate from very distant sources. While they are incredibly brief, lasting at most a few milliseconds, these bursts are powerful enough to be detected across the universe. One source known as FRB 121102, located in a dwarf galaxy 3 billion light years from Earth, is particularly intriguing as it is the only FRB known that repeats. So far scientists have detected more than 200 high-energy pulses coming from it, but have been unable to explain what exactly is going on. Various explanations have been put forward, including the (remote) possibility that the signals originate from an advanced alien civilisation. Now, new data has shed light on FRB 121102. However, the mystery of its origins are still uncertain. An international collaboration of scientists using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the William E. Gordon Telescope in Puerto Rico have confirmed … [Read more...] about Alien signals? Data sheds new light on one of the biggest astrophysical mysteries of recent times
ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland’s largest and wealthiest canton saw a three-fold rise in the number of tax cheats turning themselves in during 2017, Zurich officials said on Thursday, as an international accord to share information on offshore wealth takes effect. The finance department said 6,150 Zurich taxpayers came clean on previously undisclosed assets in 2017, tripling the previous record set in 2016 and helping to disclose 1.3 billion Swiss francs (£983.52 million) in hidden wealth so far. The authorities have been able to handle only about half the cases so far, however, so they expect the sum to rise. Under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s new Automatic Exchange of Information programme, more than 100 countries are beginning to exchange financial information amid a global clamp down on tax evasion. The agreement aims to ensure offshore accounts are known to authorities in the country where the account holder owes tax. … [Read more...] about More Zurich tax cheats come clean as data sharing looms
A high-stakes debate is taking place about how to create a sustainable low-carbon future in which global warming stays well below 2°C. This year’s UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn accelerates the process ignited by 2015’s groundbreaking Paris Agreement. Climate change action — once the domain of scientists — is shaping up through politics. Developing local and national policies to address the earth’s new reality means looking to historic and short-term information and projecting future trends in everything from heat waves to air quality. In the age of big data, fact gathering and number crunching — along with sophisticated simulations — are key. In such a scientifically complex area, expertise and real-world context can guide decision-makers towards visionary solutions. Advanced Satellite Tech Amassing petabytes of information that paints an accurate picture of the planet is no small task, and requires major global cooperation. … [Read more...] about How can Earth’s big data shape our future?
THERESA May insists that patient data "is safe" after a cyber attack threw the NHS into chaos today - but warned the hack is on an international scale.Multiple trusts across the country - reported to be about 40 - were forced to cancel operations and turn away patients.Some NHS trusts are unable to carry out emergency MRI and CT scans as doctors revert to using pen and paper amid the cyber attack.NHS England declared a major incident in the wake of the attack as patients worried over the safety of their records, and doctors slammed the hackers for "endangering lives".The Prime Minister said after being briefed on the situation: "We are aware that a number of NHS organisations have reported that they have suffered from a ransomware attack."This is not targeted at the NHS, it's an international attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected."The National Cyber Security Centre is working closely with NHS digital to ensure that they support the organisations … [Read more...] about Theresa May insists patient data ‘is safe’ after NHS cyber attack – but warns that hackers are working on ‘international’ scale
DRUGS users will be able to inject in specially-dedicated centres in a move aimed at making addiction safer for those affected.On Wednesday, a revolutionary new Bill was passed in the Seanad to allow supervised drug injection centres in the capital.Heroin-use levels are now a national epidemic, with families and communities torn apart by the effects of drugs.Street injections are on the rise, especially within Dublin city centre, with discarded needles dangerous to both users and the public. To try and get a grip on the problem, the Government hope that this “health-led, evidence-based approach” will see some changes for everyone in the city.Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne has pushed for the legislation since being appointed just under a year ago.Here the Irish Sun looks at what the new law will mean for users and communities.WHAT IS THE BILL? The Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill 2017 has now been … [Read more...] about All clear given for Dublin’s first supervised injection centre but does it mean for the capital?
CALLERS from an Indian call centre have been posing as tax and immigration agents threatening to arrest and deport people unless money is handed over to pay up on taxes.The scam has tricked at least 15,000 people into paying up more than £250 million ($300 million US).Bruce Foucart of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations said: 'The scammers in this case and so many like it are convincing. They are menacing and they are ruthless in their pursuit of their victims."They convey authority that leaves their victims terrified."Callers posing as officials with the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been calling victims saying if they didn't pay their unpaid income taxes they could be deported.The bought the information through data brokers."Runners" would then have to get the payments and put them in bank accounts.These were obtained through prepaid debit cards which were registered with 'bought' personal information.The number calling looked to … [Read more...] about ‘Terrified’ victims of Indian call centre scam duped out £250 million after being threatened with ‘punishment’ if they don’t pay up on income tax
AN X-ray report found in Penneys, a cancer patient’s chart left on the roof of a car as it drove away, and a child’s mental health records accidentally faxed to a bank.These were among 113 calamitous data-protection breaches involving sensitive personal information held by the HSE in 2015, internal documents show.In April, a patient’s X-ray report with a sticker from another patient was discovered by staff in Penneys, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.The store posted it to one of the patients, who contacted the Citizens Information Centre.They subsequently sent the records back to Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, and an investigation was instigated.After the investigation, the relevant staff were “reminded of their responsibilities under data protection legislation”, the HSE said.Later that month, an incident report containing an allegation of abuse concerning an adult with an intellectual disability was “inadvertently posted” to a financial … [Read more...] about HSE had over 100 data protection breaches involving sensitive personal information in 2015
When, 10 years ago, a massive cyber attack hit Hansabank, the bank he had worked for as a cyber specialist, Toomas Vaks felt that his entire country had been shaken to the core. It hadn't been long since the former Soviet republic had rebuilt itself from scratch into one of the world's most wired societies. "What if the conflict escalates and our country were to be occupied again?" Vaks, now head of cyber security at the Estonian Information System Authority, a government agency set up after the 2007 attack to help the country keep abreast of cyber patterns, remembers thinking. Read: Estonian President Kaljulaid: 'I don't believe that Russia would attack a NATO country' The series of hacks, unofficially linked to Russia, wreaked havoc in Estonian banks and government websites, but was quickly tamed, highlighting both Estonia's vulnerability and its formidable cyber know-how. The cyber domain had become a "theater of war" for nation states, and Vaks decided to work toward … [Read more...] about Estonia buoys cyber security with world’s first data embassy
When a whale sings to its mate in the South Pacific, or a volcano erupts in Iceland, chances are someone sitting in a room stacked with screens and computers at the UN offices in Vienna will hear it first. The Comprehensive Test-Ban-Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) was created to help enforce the 1996 treaty banning nuclear testing. To help do that it has created a global monitoring network. "It's unprecedented - the largest verification regime in history and the most elaborate with over 300 monitoring facilities and the total investment in this is over $1 billion,” said Thomas Mützelburg, a public information officer at the CTBTO. Sounds of science As well as recording the fall-out from splitting atoms, the CTBTO is picking up sounds that are increasingly useful to scientists. Mützelburg compares the scientific spin-offs from this nuclear snooping network to those delivered by the United States' Apollo space program in the 1960s – a program that gave us, among … [Read more...] about Nuclear test ban organization global monitoring network data helps science