Thousands of companies await EU ruling on U.S. data privacy pact

Current law forbids transfer of EU citizens' personal data to countries with low privacy standards


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A ruling due next week from the EU's top court on a long-running transatlantic pact on private data could affect all legal ways of moving such data from Europe to the United States, lawyers say, potentially disrupting the everyday online transactions of thousands of companies.

Under current European privacy laws companies are forbidden from transferring European citizens' personal data to countries deemed to have lower privacy standards - such as the United States.

Court adviser deals major blow to EU-U.S. data share deal

Amid calls for Safe Harbour suspension, US and EU have been in talks for two years


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A deal easing the transfer of data between the United States and the EU is invalid, an adviser to the European Union's top court said on Wednesday, dealing a blow to a system used by Facebook, Google and thousands of other companies.

The Safe Harbour agreement did not do enough to protect EU citizen's private information when it reached the United States and should have been suspended, Yves Bot, Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), said.

Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom to offer in-flight broadband in Europe

DT to deploy 300 dedicated high-capacity 4G base stations, with Inmarsat satellite coverage over the sea


LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Passengers on European short-haul flights are to be offered high-speed internet access using a combined satellite and air-to-ground network to be built by Britain's Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom.

The platform will cater for travellers in Europe, which includes some of the highest density air-traffic routes in the world, and provide levels of speed and coverage comparable to home broadband services, the companies said at a joint press conference.

Brazil to boost Internet speed through Europe - Telebras CEO

At present, all submarine fiber-optic cables connect Brazil to the Internet through the U.S.


BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil will boost its Internet communications to reduce dependence on U.S. hubs and be able to host global data centers for heavy users like YouTube and Netflix Inc, Jorge Bittar, head of state-run telecoms company Telebras, said in an interview.

At present, all submarine fiber-optic cables connect Brazil to the Internet through the United States.

Hutchison's $16 billion UK deal faces full-scale EU probe - sources

May have to sell parts of the combined entity's network capacity and spectrum


BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - Hutchison Whampoa is set to face an extensive EU investigation over its bid for Telefonica's British unit and is prepared to sell network capacity and frequencies to head off antitrust concerns, three sources said on Friday.

Hutchison's planned 10.3-billion-pound ($16 billion) acquisition of Telefonica's O2 business would make it the top mobile operator in Britain. But it comes as the European Commission has signaled a tougher line on telecoms mergers, including forcing companies to divest infrastructure network.

Cisco router break-ins bypass cyber defenses

Attacks have hit multiple industries and government agencies


FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Security researchers say they have uncovered clandestine attacks across three continents on the routers that direct traffic around the Internet, potentially allowing suspected cyberspies to harvest vast amounts of data while going undetected.

In the attacks, a highly sophisticated form of malicious software, dubbed SYNful Knock, has been implanted in routers made by Cisco, the world's top supplier, U.S. security research firm FireEye said on Tuesday.

Venezuelan telecoms deteriorate amid dollar squeeze, group says

Network coverage and expansion, data, quality of services, and new technologies could suffer


CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's telecoms industry was deteriorating because of a scarcity of dollars, putting roaming and mobile internet services at risk, the crisis-hit country's telecoms chamber said on Tuesday.

Telecoms, like almost all sectors of socialist-run Venezuela's battered economy, depend on a strict state allocation of dollars for imports and investments.

But a tumble in oil prices and an economic crisis have restricted the availability of hard currency, causing shortages ranging from iPhones to catheters and flour, and harming investments.

Kuwait telco Zain eyes technology investments: CEO

Shows interest in 'smart city' initiatives, online advertising and TV services


DUBAI (Reuters) - Kuwait's Zain will investment more in technology firms in parallel industries and is considering buying into two digital advertising companies, the telecom operator's chief executive said on Monday.

Zain, like many Gulf telecoms operators, has suffered as subscriber growth stagnated and replacement services such as instant messaging and Internet-based calls replaced higher-margin text messages and conventional phone calls.

China tells U.S. to stop 'groundless' hacking accusations

Denies any involvement in hacking and says it is also a victim


BEIJING (Reuters) - China reacted angrily on Friday following a call by America's top intelligence official for cyber security against China to be stepped up, and said the United States should stop "groundless accusations".

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the United States must beef up cyber security against Chinese hackers targeting a range of U.S. interests to raise the cost to China of engaging in such activities.

Clapper's testimony adds pressure on Beijing over its conduct in cyberspace weeks before President Xi Jinping visits the United States.

Inmarsat seeks border monitoring role through partnership deal

Will provide secure connections for border staff to access central databases


LONDON (Reuters) - Satellite operator Inmarsat said it would play a role in border monitoring through a new partnership deal, opening up a new revenue stream at a time of growing demand from countries for technology to control entry to their territories.

The company said on Thursday it was linking with U.S.-based border security company Securiport to jointly develop services for governments interested in border monitoring, particularly in remote areas.

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