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Turkey's prime minister accuses Twitter of tax evasion

04/13, 8:50pm

Claim of Twitter as tax evader follows lifting of ban in Turkey

The Prime Minister of Turkey is continuing to attack Twitter, accusing the microblogging service of tax evasion. In a televised address, Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the recent ruling by Turkey's highest court against a ban on the service places the interests and rights of companies ahead of those of Turkey itself, and that his government will "go after" Twitter for supposedly due taxes.

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Facebook issues second transparency report, adds censorship requests

04/11, 4:21pm

US continues to ask for most user data, India most censorious

Facebook has updated its global government transparency report for the second time, covering the second half of 2013. Aside from revealing that it had 28147 requests for user data from 81 countries, up from between 25,607 and 26,607 requests from 71 countries in the previous report, Facebook is also revealing which countries are restricting or removing content from view.

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UK prepares to legalize CD, DVD ripping, private backups of content

03/28, 2:44pm

Modernization of UK copyright law may occur in June

The United Kingdom is preparing to legalize the ripping of DVDs and CDs for private use, it has revealed. As part of a larger movement to modernize its copyright laws, the government is also changing the way copyright laws cover quotations, caricature and parody usage, with the new rules likely to come into force June 1st of this year.

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Google transparency report shows 120-percent increase in data requests

03/27, 4:05pm

US tops list of countries requesting user data from Google

Requests for user information received by Google from government agencies have increased 120 percent since 2009, according to the search company's latest transparency report. The quantity of requests in the second half of 2013 reached an all-time high of 27,477, up from 25,879 for the first half of the year, while the percentage of requests where some data is provided has reached its lowest point since the report began, with 64 percent.

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Apple hires new top DC lobbyist, also creates new 'privacy counsel'

03/24, 11:06pm

Data protection specialist, former Senate staffer picked for top jobs

A former Senate staffer will take on the role of Apple's new top US government lobbyist in Washington DC, while a certified privacy professional with a background in healthcare, national security and social network privacy issues has been named to a new "privacy counsel" position within the company. Amber Cottle served as a staff director for an influential congressional committee, while Sabrina Ross as already begun her job overseeing the protection of customer data.

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US Department of Commerce asks ICANN for DNS transition plan

03/15, 2:20pm

NTIA starts process to end DNS management, American monitoring in 2015

The United States government has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to begin drafting a proposal to transition the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) responsibility of domain name system (DNS) administration away from the United States. Stepping away from governance of ICANN would mark the final phase of DNS privatization that had been set in motion in 1998, allowing ICANN to operate independently.

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US government developing data-farming tool for 'inside threat'

03/10, 2:59pm

Government employees will be subject to near-constant surveillance

US intelligence and military commands are in the process of evaluating a widespread government employee surveillance system that would accumulate databases in order to evaluate the behavior of security clearance holders. The system would be tailored to identify present and future corrupt officials, data leakers, and other "rogue agents", and pulls from aspects of a US military model that has been in the works for more than 10 years. The new system will collate data from many databases, public and private, to form a profile of a targeted individual, and evaluate them for threats to the US government from within.

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Report: GCHQ collected photographs of Yahoo webcam chat users

02/27, 12:41pm

Automated facial recognition performed on webcam stills by UK security agency

The British security intelligence agency GCHQ secured millions of photographs from webcams used with Yahoo's chat services, a report alleges. The agency is claimed to have captured and stored images from more than 1.8 million users in one six month period in 2008 alone, with the surveillance activities said to have continued from 2008 to 2010, though it is possible the program continued for years afterward.

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Secret surveillance court accepts two of Obama's NSA metadata reforms

02/07, 1:25pm

Agrees to measures requiring court approval for NSA metadata searches

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has given its approval to changes President Barack Obama has requested as part of a surveillance reforms speech last month. Two measures in the reforms have been accepted by the court, which will affect the way the National Security Agency (NSA) searches its phone records database in the future.

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Twitter attacks US over FISA reporting, publishes transparency report

02/06, 2:53pm

Twitter complains over lack of detail when reporting FISA requests

Twitter has published its latest Transparency Report, detailing information requests and takedown notices, while at the same time taking the opportunity to attack the US government over its lack of transparency on national security requests. While Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and LinkedIn provided limited details about Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests, Twitter has opted not to, due to its current lack of usefulness.

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Google, Facebook, others release updated transparency report data

02/03, 4:30pm

FISA requests detailed in agreement with US government

A group of tech companies have released more information about government requests from the NSA and other agencies for user information, as part of their transparency reporting programs. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Microsoft have all posted more statistics online for these Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests, following an agreement between the companies and the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

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Latest Snowden leaks claim NSA data collection from 'leaky' apps

01/27, 3:21pm

NSA,GCHQ allegedly claimed to collect information on individuals from mobile advertising

Intelligence agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom are allegedly taking advantage of smartphone apps to collect a wealth of information about individuals, in new spying allegations. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are able to use the "leaky" nature of popular mobile phone apps to extract information about an individual, according to new leaked documents.

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South Korea rules to allow pre-installed smartphone app deletion

01/24, 7:08pm

Users must be allowed to delete unwanted apps already installed on devices

Owners of smartphones in South Korea will be able to delete pre-installed apps from their devices in the future, the country's government has ruled. From April, carriers will be required to allow users to uninstall software placed onto the device before purchase, in an effort to let device owners make better use of a device's storage, as well as to improve its battery life.

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Federal watchdog calls for end of NSA call log collection programs

01/23, 2:14pm

Collection programs such as Prism is illegal according to review board

An independent federal watchdog has decided that the National Security Agency's (NSA) phone call logging and collection activity is illegal. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board advises that the call log collection provided "minimal" benefits to current counter-terrorism operations and should be stopped, in a 238-page report set to be released today.

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US Marshals preparing to dump $27M in Silk Road's seized Bitcoin?

01/17, 6:16pm

Agency said to be mulling auction

The US Marshals Service may soon be tasked with liquidating $26.5 million worth of Bitcoin that was seized last year during the Silk Road takedown. Federal prosecutors in New York recently finalized the forfeiture of 29,655 Bitcoins from the Silk Road servers, while another 144,336 Bitcoins--worth approximately $129 million--awaits formal forfeiture as the government proceeds with its prosecution of alleged Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht.

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President Obama announces reforms to data collection methods of NSA

01/17, 12:45pm

Collected data to be handed to third party, judicial findings required for access

The United States government will reform the way it uses surveillance data, President Barack Obama has announced. Addressing concerns over the National Security Agency (NSA) and the various programs employed to monitor potential threats, Obama outlined a number of changes in how the data will be accessed by security agencies as he attempts to ease the concerns of US citizens.

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Study: Eight percent of gov't, enterprise tech spending is on Apple

01/10, 1:41am

Mac, iPad spending rising thanks to iPhone 'halo' effect, report says

A new study by Forrester Research shows that despite not actively courting the business and government markets, Apple continues to win sales in those sectors through the quality of the products. Having accounted for only one percent of worldwide government and business spending in 2009, Apple now accounts for eight percent, and is expected to hit 11 percent in 2015 -- even more remarkably, the study does not even include spending on smartphones.

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China temporarily lifts ban on foreign video game console sales

01/08, 7:11pm

Foreign consoles to go on sale in China for first tie in 14 years

China is allowing the sale of foreign game consoles in the country for the first time in over a decade. The country's government temporarily lifted the ban on Monday, opening the door to sales of recent game consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox One, the Sony PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Wii U to its citizens, though it is not clear how long sales will be permitted for.

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Feds considering plans to avoid future Healthcare.gov-like debacles

01/05, 12:42pm

Moves could include loosening hiring rules, formation of a new department

Likely as a way to alleviate future project issues, the Obama administration is reportedly evaluating the formation of a new federal unit specifically for complex technology implementations, amongst a few other potential fixes for the governmental "brain drain" in technology. As part of the initiative, the administration is also considering cutting back on restrictions that may possibly be preventing the hiring the best talent for the jobs.

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'Security reasons' keep Obama from having iPhone

12/05, 12:07pm

Obama sticks with BlackBerry due to security risks

President Barack Obama's administration is likely the most tech savvy the United States has seen, but the Commander in Chief can't rely on the best selling smartphone in the world for personal use. In a summit at the White House today, Obama revealed that he cannot use an iPhone for official business due to "security reasons." The President still uses a BlackBerry in the course of his daily duties, but even that device is quite limited in what it can be used for.

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Microsoft changes Skype partner in China, censoring seemingly lifted

11/27, 1:51pm

Skype traffic in China flows directly through Microsoft servers

Microsoft has moved to a new partner for providing Skype in China, one that could help improve privacy in the region. The messaging service will now be operated by Guangming Founder instead of TOM Online, with some reports suggesting that the move could potentially offer greater protections to users in China from monitoring by the country's government.

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Google criticizes FISA gag order in latest Transparency Report

11/14, 9:37am

Requests up by more than 100 percent since 2010

Google has released its latest Transparency Report, detailing government requests for user data during the first half of the year. Such requests have more than doubled since Google released its first report in July 2009, totaling 25,879 for the six-month period, though the company notes that "these numbers only include the requests we're allowed to publish."

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Apple publishes specific figures on law enforcement data requests

11/05, 4:50pm

Apple claims to have never received a Patriot Act request for user data

Apple has published a report on US government and law enforcement information requests that have been submitted to it. The report provides statistics on requests related to customer accounts, as well as those related to specific devices, limited by legal restrictions applied to it regarding disclosure.

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UK government allegedly bans iPads from meetings over spying fears

11/04, 6:56am

Spying scandal forces UK government to take caution with mobile devices

The British government is combating the overreaching electronic surveillance by intelligence agencies by banning tablets from closed door meetings, according to reports. A number of iPads used during a presentation to the Cabinet were allegedly seized shortly after it had concluded, for fear that they may be used to listen in on private and secret governmental conversations.

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Technology companies demand greater transparency from UK government

10/18, 2:04pm

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter memo over spying concerns

A group of technology companies has asked members of the UK government that there needs to be a debate about Internet surveillance. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter have jointly written a memo to Members of Parliament (MPs) calling for more transparency in requests for information by government-controlled organizations, such as GCHQ.

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Lavabit SSL keys requested by US government, reveal unsealed documents

10/03, 10:59am

Request to monitor e-mail escalated to threats of fines, jail time

Encrypted e-mail service Lavabit was pressured by the FBI to provide private SSL keys for all of its traffic, according to unsealed court documents that provide more details about the service's shutdown. The Texas e-mail provider's refusal to provide details about one specific account, believed to be that of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, forced the courts to threaten daily fines and possible imprisonment if it continued to disobey the FBI's order.

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Feds promise response to Google, Microsoft challenges by Sept 30

09/13, 12:16pm

Companies claim violation of First Amendment

The federal government has promised to issue a response to legal challenges from Google and Microsoft by September 30, following multiple delays and a renewed push by the companies. The ongoing dispute centers around Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) rules that prohibit the companies from disclosing how many national-security data requests they have been asked to fulfill.

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Yahoo issues first transparency report, blasts US government

09/06, 1:58pm

Company highlights its FISA challenge

Yahoo has published its first global transparency report, outlining raw statistics surrounding government requests for user data in the first half of the year. In an accompanying blog post, Yahoo general counsel Ron Bell criticized the US government and highlighted the company's two-year legal challenge against the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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Groklaw closes doors in wake of NSA surveillance revelations

08/20, 1:58pm

Legal blog shuts down due to lack of privacy in e-mail

Legal blog Groklaw has shut down, citing the potential monitoring of e-mail by the NSA and other government organizations. The closure by founder Pamela Jones makes Groklaw the latest site to close its doors in the wake of the ongoing domestic surveillance scandal, following behind encrypted e-mail service provider Silent Circle and Lavabit.

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Encrypted email provider Lavabit closes, cites US government pressure

08/08, 9:11pm

Edward Snowden's use of the service attracted federal and NSA attention

Encrypted email service Lavabit has shut down, reportedly due to pressure from the US Federal government. Citing legal fallout from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's use of the service during his confinement in the Moscow airport, founder Ladar Levison closed the service -- saying that a Congressional gag order prevents him from disclosing more details about what specifically led to his decision to close.

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Huawei management of adult content filter for UK ISP a security risk?

07/26, 7:44am

Chinese firm under more espionage-related scrutiny in UK government proposal

One of the adult content filtering systems being used at a large Internet service provider (ISP) in the UK has come under fire in reports, due to close ties with the Chinese government. Homesafe, the filtering system used by TalkTalk and praised by Prime Minister David Cameron in his online child protection proposal speech earlier this week, is being managed by Huawei, a company that has been accused of being a security risk by authorities in both the United Kingdom and the United states.

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UK Prime Minster plans to filter pornography from Internet connections

07/22, 5:19pm

Content filters in UK to be set on by default, search engines given filtering orders

New Internet connections in the United Kingdom will have adult content filters applied to them before the end of the year, unless account holders opt out, according to Prime Minister David Cameron. The move is accompanied by a number of other similar measures, including requests for search engines to take more responsibility for filtering content, and proposed changes to existing laws.

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Huawei vice president orders spying critics to 'put up or shut up'

07/19, 9:22am

Statement from executive follows claims from ex CIA boss, UK government

Huawei has fought back against security risk accusations by authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom. Huawei vice president of external affairs William Plummer has said in a statement that it is time for those accusing the company of helping state-sponsored hackers in China to provide proof of their claims.

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IRS database leaks tens of thousands of Social Security Numbers

07/08, 3:09pm

Government database taken offline after sensitive data found

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has leaked tens of thousands of Social Security Numbers (SSNs). The security failure stems from the government agency failing to adequately redact sensitive details held in a new online database, listing the filings of Section 527 political organizations in what is called a $1.5 trillion non-profit industry.

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Saudi govt moves to exert control over Whatsapp, Skype

03/31, 8:33pm

Messaging tools could be in violation of Saudi laws

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued orders to its regulatory bodies to ensure that communication tools like Skype and Whatsapp comply with the government's stringent requirements governing Internet communications. The kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced last week that it had "become evident that some communication applications through (the) Internet don't meet regulatory requirements." The regulatory body did not, though, specify which laws certain apps might be violating.

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Chinese state-controlled media continue attacks on Apple

03/26, 1:43am

Part of strange campaign against foreign-owned companies

China's government may be nervous that the population's growing dependence on foreign-made products could undermine its control, and has recently embarked on a state-run media campaign against large western corporations that dominate the commercial landscape in urban China, including recent attacks on Apple. Though a recent social networking "whisper campaign" against the iPhone maker backfired badly, the smear campaign continues in the Communist Party-run People's Daily newspaper.

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White House responds to cell phone unlocking petition

03/04, 3:18pm

President and officials consulted on issue last week, plan to allow unlocking

The White House has issued a response to the successful We The People petition. A statement issued earlier today confirmed that the petition response brought together experts from the entire governmental spectrum who "work on telecommunications, technology, and copyright policy," and the White house agrees with the expert and petitioners that consumers should be able to unlock cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties, calling it "common sense" and "crucial for protecting consumer choice."

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China government considers lifting ban on game consoles

01/28, 12:39pm

Discussions could see console ban lifted in near future.

The Chinese government may reverse its ban on video game consoles in the future. Ministerial figures are reportedly discussing lifting the ban, put in place in the year 2000 in order to protect the physical and mental development of younger members of the population, which could open up the Chinese market for gaming products from Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and others.

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White House launches National Day of Civic Hacking events

01/23, 7:52am

Community events to use released government data to help nation

The White House has announced an event that will encourage US residents to make use of government data. The National Day of Civic Hacking on June 1-2 will see 27 cities play host to community events where publicly-released data will be used to create "solutions for problems that affect Americans."

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Nokia factory in India raided over unpaid $542M tax bill

01/08, 6:17pm

Team of 20 officials raid factory, operations continue unhindered

A factory in India that makes Nokia phones has been raided by tax authorities, according to reports. The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer's factory in Chennai was raided by 20 officials, with authorities claiming that taxes amounting to 3000 Crore INR ($542 million) have not been paid by the company to the Indian government.

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US, Canada, UK refuse to sign ITU treaty over control issues

12/14, 7:48am

Internet governance pressure point forced withdrawl from talks

Representatives of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are refusing to sign a treaty relating to Internet governance. The three countries all objected to the International Telecommunications Union treaty, refusing to sign anything that would allow "all states to have equal rights to the governance of the Internet."

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Apple, Samsung, others petition Washington to free spectrum

12/11, 10:00pm

High Tech Spectrum Coalition formed to spotlight issues

The High Tech Spectrum Coalition, a 'supergroup' of technology companies led by Apple and Samsung, petitioned Congress on Tuesday to provide more broadcast bandwidth for smartphones and tablet computers. The sent letter encourages the House and Senate technology committees to evaluate auctioning some of the spectrum currently in use by the federal government.

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Hacktivists leak 1.6M government, industry accounts

12/10, 6:36pm

NASA, FBI, Interpol, others attacked by hacking group

Hacking collective GhostShell has released 1.6 million accounts and records claimed to be from various company and governmental agency systems. A total of 37 different organizations are said to have been attacked by the group, with the resulting data being released as raw data dumps on paste sites such as Pastebin and PasteSite.

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US House of Representatives opposes UN Internet control

12/06, 6:06am

Unanimous vote to protect current Internet regulations

The US House or Representatives has voted unanimously to keep the Internet "free from government control." The passing of a Senate resolution to oppose United Nation control of the Internet comes while the International Telecommunications Union conference, to decide the Internet's future regulation, is in progress in Dubai.

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UK government creates new teams to aid in online security

12/05, 5:56am

Cyber Emergency Response Team, Cyber Reserve to start in 2013

The UK government is updating its Cyber Security Strategy by creating two computer-related bodies of people. A Cyber Reserve of computer technicians will work with the military to fight online threats is being set up, as well as a task force geared towards helping defend businesses and public sector organizations from similar attacks.

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Syrian rebels use Skype, satellite phones to avoid outages

12/02, 7:23pm

Smuggled equipment used to bypass phone lines, cell networks

It has been revealed that Syrian rebels have resorted to using Skype to communicate with each other during the recent country-wide Internet outage. The messaging and voice-calling service was used alongside stockpiled equipment and a satellite connection so as to communicate with others around the country as well as overseas, despite government efforts to stop this from happening.

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Syrian government disconnects Internet access nationally

11/29, 11:50am

Internet, telecommunications disrupted as fighting escalates

Syria is cut off from the Internet, according to an access monitoring firm, in what is being seen as a bid for censorship by the local government. All 84 of Syria's IP address blocks are currently unreachable, "effectively removing the country from the Internet," and appears to be linked to the current battle between the country's armed forces and Syrian rebels.

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UK tax committee releases more Amazon financial details

11/28, 4:43pm

Continued requests to keep details confidential ignored by government

More details about Amazon's UK tax affairs have been released to the public by the British government, despite requests for secrecy. The ongoing Parliament's Public Accounts Select Committee released details supplied by the retailer relating to taxes, with the provided evidence showing that a total of 1.8 million ($2.9 million) in corporation tax was paid in 2011.

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Amazon claims sales success, UK government posts sales data

11/27, 1:11pm

Supplied sales information requested to remain confidential

Amazon has released details on its Black Friday and Cyber Monday Kindle sales, calling the two days the "best ever for the Kindle family." The figures are released at the same time as confidential sales figures for the company's UK operations were published by a parliamentary committee investigating its British tax affairs.

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Governments file 250 objections to generic TLD applications

11/25, 5:47pm

Failed registrations face 20-percent loss of application fee

Objections have been made to a number of generic top-level domain (gTLD) applications. The ICANN Government Advisory Committee, consisting of 50 countries, has posted an initial list of 250 objections where member countries claim there to be an issue with the gTLDs being registered. Rejected applications will receive 80-percent of their $185,000 application fee.

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