Stories by Loek Essers

Megaupload programmer arrested in the US

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has avoided extradition to the U.S. on copyright infringement charges, but one of his lieutenants may have turned himself in there yesterday.

EU Parliament blocks new Outlook apps over privacy concerns

Access to Microsoft's new Outlook apps has been blocked for members of the European Parliament because of "serious security issues."

Sharing mass surveillance data was illegal but is now OK, UK tribunal rules

The sharing of mass surveillance data between U.S. and U.K. intelligence services was unlawful before December 2014, but since then it has become legal, a U.K. tribunal has ruled.

Google should not apply 'right to be forgotten' on .com domain, advisory council says

An advisory council put together by Google found that the search engine should only apply the so-called "right to be forgotten" to European Union search domains and not to its international .com domain, which is contrary to what EU privacy regulators want the search engine to do.

Google could boost education push with Launchpad Toys acquisition

Google could strengthen its position in the education market with its acquisition of Launchpad Toys, maker of popular children apps like Toontastic which are used in classrooms.

EU data protection authorities get serious about Facebook's privacy policy

The European Union's data protection authorities are getting serious about issues with Facebook's new privacy policy. They have formed a task force which will deal with part of the policy that could very well violate EU privacy laws.

Here's how to block 'whitelist' ads from AdBlock Plus

Eyeo, the maker of the AdBlock Plus browser extension, is being roasted for accepting money to "whitelist" some ads, letting them pass through the software's filter mechanism -- but there's an easy way to tweak it to block all ads.

Intel to buy Lantiq in a push to make more home devices connected

In its push to connect as many gadgets to the Internet as possible, Intel has agreed to buy Lantiq, a German company that makes broadband access and home networking tech.

Google to change UK privacy policy after regulatory pressure

Google has agreed to improve the information it provides to people about how it collects personal data in the U.K., after it was required to do so by country's data protection authority.

EU air passenger database about to take flight, but critics want it grounded

The European Commission is reportedly revving up the engines on a controversial plan to retain passenger flight data across the EU, although a prior attempt got its wings clipped due to privacy concerns.

France wants to hold social media networks accountable for hate speech

French president François Hollande wants to hold social media companies accountable for hate speech spread on their services.

Privacy tsar to EC: Wrap up EU-US data exchange talks quickly or else

The European Commission must soon strike a deal to regulate personal data transfers of EU citizens to the U.S., Germany's federal data protection commissioner warned, saying further delays could trigger a suspension of those transfers, with dire economic consequences.

Mass surveillance 'endangers fundamental human rights,' says European study

Mass Internet surveillance endangers fundamental human rights and has not helped to prevent terrorist attacks, a top European human rights body concluded after analyzing documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013.

Facebook in Turkey ordered to block material insulting Prophet Muhammad

A Turkish court has reportedly ordered Facebook to block access to pages that share material insulting the Prophet Muhammad, threatening to block access to the site in the whole country if it does not comply.

Facebook privacy class action suit in Austria to kick off in April

An Austrian court has set a date for Facebook to face a class action complaint about its privacy policy from 25,000 of its users.