Loek EssersAmsterdam correspondent for IDG News Service, IDG News Service

Loek Essers focuses on online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues.

Stripe

Online payments startup Stripe lands in the UK

San Francisco-based online payments startup Stripe expanded to the U.K. Thursday.

U.S. and Germany to enter no-spying agreement, German government says

The agreement, which comes in the wake of disclosures about the U.S. National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs, means that there would be no governmental or industrial espionage between the two countries.

Nearly 75 percent of government IT budgets flat or increasing, Gartner says

Almost 75 percent of government IT budgets globally were reported as flat or increasing in 2013, according to a Gartner CIO survey.

Pirate Bay introduces Web browser to elude censorship

The Pirate Bay introduced its own browser that can be used to circumvent censorship and blockades.

Samsung said to be in talks to acquire German Novaled

Samsung is reportedly in talks to acquire German organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology developer Novaled.

on techhive.com

Strong sales of IP networking equipment drive Alcatel-Lucent revenue growth

Alcatel-Lucent's second-quarter revenue grew 1.9 percent year on year, driven by strong growth in sales of IP networking equipment, one of the markets on which the company is pinning its future.

cloud security

University condemns court ban of research paper on flaws in car lock system

A ban on a research paper that analyzes flaws in a car-lock system should be overturned, according to the Dutch university that employs some of the researchers.

Use of Amazon's cloud approved for Dutch banks

The Netherlands banking regulator has approved Amazon Web Services (AWS) for use by financial organizations, Amazon said on Monday.

European companies should stop sending data to the US, German privacy officials say

The European Commission should suspend agreements that allow European companies to transfer personal data of European citizens to the U.S., the German Conference of Data Protection Commissioners has urged.

Snowden cleared to leave airport, enter Russia

Edward Snowden, who leaked documents revealing U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs, has received a document that allows him to leave Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, according to news reports.

Crowdsourced Finnish copyright bill headed to parliament

A crowdsourced Finnish draft law that aims to reduce penalties on small-scale private downloading from peer-to-peer networks reached enough backers to be discussed by the parliament.

Google buys speech recognition patents

Google continues to invest in voice-related search by striking a deal with SR Tech Group for a portfolio of speech-related patents.

Jail, prison, arrested

U.K. Police: six citizens were wrongly detained due to data mining errors last year

Six British citizens were wrongly detained or accused of crimes as a result of mistakes made by authorities when requesting access to Internet data, the U.K. Interception of Communications Commissioner said.

A laptop battery cabal: Panasonic pleads guilty to price fixing

Panasonic and its subsidiary Sanyo have agreed to plead guilty to price fixing conspiracies involving laptop battery cells and automotive parts. They will pay a total of $56.5 million in criminal fines, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said.

Aggressive game advertising to children prohibited by German Federal Court

Aggressive advertising messages aimed at children urging them to purchase goods for the game "Runes of Magic" are not permitted, the German Federal Court ruled.