Stories by Loek Essers

To compete with Silicon Valley, European startups need to grow fast

Europe is still lacking real tech giants like Google, Facebook or Amazon, but it looks like things are slowly changing. However, if European companies want to start competing with Silicon Valley, they have to start thinking internationally from the beginning, says BlaBlaCar COO Nicolas Brusson.

By Loek Essers | 24 April, 2015 00:36

Tags: Nicolas Brusson, internet, BlaBlaCar

Making software to block annoying ads is legal, German court rules

AdBlock Plus users in Germany can breathe easily: A court there has ruled that the browser extension for filtering annoying ads is legal to make and distribute.

By Loek Essers | 22 April, 2015 21:42

Tags: Zeit Online, advertising, Eyeo, Handelsblatt, internet

EU data protection reform triggers warning from civil rights groups worldwide

European Union data-protection reform proposals could undermine basic privacy rights globally, a growing chorus of critics say.

By Loek Essers | 22 April, 2015 02:58

Tags: regulation, european commission, european union, legislation, government

Booking.com will no longer require European hotels to offer it better room prices

Europe's largest hotel reservation site Booking.com has settled antitrust cases against it in Sweden, Italy and France over contractual clauses it used to oblige hotels to offer it the same room prices as competitors, or better.

By Loek Essers | 21 April, 2015 22:07

Tags: antitrust, Booking.com, legal

Twitter accounts outside of the US now fall under EU data protection rules

Twitter revised its privacy policy over the weekend, changing where it handles the account information of users outside the U.S. and clarifying some points.

By Loek Essers | 20 April, 2015 21:30

Tags: security, twitter, privacy

Should computers determine how our kids learn to talk? Maybe not

Increasingly, computers are deciding what news stories we read, and may even end up teaching our children to speak. But whether we should allow them to is becoming the subject of a heated debate related to the use of algorithms.

By Loek Essers | 18 April, 2015 03:34

Tags: Internet-based applications and services, regulation, social networking, twitter, government, social media, internet, search engines, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Facebook, Google

Proving Google's abuse could be difficult for the EU

The European Commission might have a hard time proving that Google abused its supposed dominant market power in the European search market.

By Loek Essers | 16 April, 2015 01:54

Tags: antitrust, Google, european commission, legal, internet, search engines

EU files antitrust charges against Google over search services

The European Commission has charged Google with abusing its dominant position in Internet search services in Europe by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product, Google Shopping. It also opened an antitrust investigation into Google's Android mobile operating system.

By Loek Essers | 15 April, 2015 20:25

Tags: antitrust, Google, european commission, legal, internet

Files encrypted by CoinVault ransomware? New free tool may decrypt them

Victims of the CoinVault ransomware might be able to decrypt their files with a free tool released by Kaspersky Lab together with the Dutch police.

By Loek Essers | 14 April, 2015 00:36

Tags: security, kaspersky lab

China's 'Great Cannon' DDoS tool enforces Internet censorship

China is deploying a tool that can be used to launch huge distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to enforce censorship. Researchers have dubbed it "the Great Cannon."

By Loek Essers | 11 April, 2015 01:23

Tags: GitHub, security

Hacked French broadcaster's passwords revealed in TV broadcast

The hacked French-language TV network TV5Monde might have made it easier for hackers to compromise its systems and social media accounts. One of its employees was interviewed about the hack on TV -- in front of a wall of posters that appeared to contain usernames and passwords for the channel's social media accounts.

By Loek Essers | 10 April, 2015 20:58

Tags: TV5Monde, security

UK government's spying practices challenged at European human rights court

The U.K. government's mass surveillance practices will be challenged at the European Court of Human Rights.

By Loek Essers | 10 April, 2015 19:53

Tags: Privacy International, National Security Agency, security, Civil lawsuits, legal, Amnesty International, U.K. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), data protection, privacy

Use of Windows XP makes European ATMs vulnerable to malware attacks

For the first time, a country in Western Europe has reported that malware attacks were used by hackers to steal €1.23 million (US$1.32 million) from ATMs. One major problem is the continued use of Windows XP in ATMs, making them more vulnerable to attacks, a report on ATM fraud said.

By Loek Essers | 10 April, 2015 00:10

Tags: security, malware, fraud, European ATM Security Team

Google ordered by German authority to change privacy practices

A German data protection authority has ordered Google to change how it handles users' private data in the country by the end of the year.

By Loek Essers | 09 April, 2015 01:29

Tags: Google, security, Civil lawsuits, legal, data protection, privacy

DEA sued for snooping on international phone calls

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's logging of international phone calls made from the U.S. was illegal, pressure group Human Rights Watch has alleged in a lawsuit filed late Tuesday.

By Loek Essers | 08 April, 2015 20:03

Tags: U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Agency, Human Rights Watch, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Civil lawsuits, Drug Enforcement Administration, legal, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Electronic Frontier Foundation

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