Guido is Secure

Co-conspirators may have noticed that a little lock now appears in their browser when they come to read Guido. This is because we have switched to HTTPS, the industry standard for providing encryption, authentication, and integrity for content on the web.

We have done this because the news you read can provide intimate details about your interests, your work, and your personal life that you may want to keep private from prying eyes. Without HTTPS, an eavesdropper—whether it’s a snooper on public wifi, or GCHQ collecting information about websites you visit—can trivially see exactly what news articles you read when you go to sites. Eavesdropping on people reading the news is a real threat, as demonstrated by the NSA and GCHQ spying on visitors to WikiLeaks.org.

HTTPS prevents this type of spying, and while an eavesdropper might be able to determine that you visited the website that the Russian Foreign Ministry instructs diplomats to read to find out what is going on in Westmnster, they wouldn’t be able to see which specific stories you read.

According to Der Spiegel GCHQ takes advantage of the lack of encryption to inject malware into a website, which can lead to the complete compromise of a user’s computer and all of their data. A version of this technique, codenamed “Quantum Insert,” was used by GCHQ to attack network sysadmins who read Slashdot, the popular news website in the IT community. (Slashdot has since deployed HTTPS site-wide). Guido wants to protect you from government spies…

Snapchat Headquarters in Britain, Rolls Royce Rolls Back on Brexit Scares

Snapchat today makes London its main hub outside the US and announces it will book all its non-US sales in Brexit Britain. Remainers had predicted the UK tech sector would be hit particularly hard by leaving the EU, but Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap Group in the UK, said:

“We believe in the UK creative industries. The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we’ve already begun to hire talent.”  

Meanwhile, car-maker Rolls Royce U-turned on its pre-Brexit plans to leave the UK, instead confirming its commitment to its West Sussex HQ. A letter from CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös leaked to the Guardian last year said Brexit would affect the firm’s “employment base”, but now he says:

“Success for Rolls-Royce is success for Great Britain and we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining the home of Rolls-Royce in the UK.

Brexit Britain: A booming tech and design hub…

Sexy MP Poll Rigged Against Female Tory MPs

Worldly readers will be aware of SexyMP.co.uk, the most popular banned website in the Commons which ranks parliamentarians on their looks according to a popular vote. The cheeky and good-natured site appears to have been sabotaged, Guido can reveal. In the last few days the vote has been rigged to push female Tory MPs to the bottom of the rankings. While the most photogenic Tories had previously held several places in the top ten, the first Tory MP to appear in the female rankings today is down in a lowly 58th place. Almost all of the bottom 50 places are held by Tories, while all of the top 57 places are held by Labour , SNP and Plaid MPs. An accurate aesthetic reflection? A theory is circulating among concerned users:

“This is not normal. The site wasn’t in this state a few months ago. Historical Rankings shows no significant favouritism for one party over any other. My best guess is that someone wrote a script to play SexyMP and have it automatically select the non-Conservative option when a Conservative came up. I estimate ~200,000 votes in total performed by this script.”

Those Russians have gone too far this time…

Happy New Year!

We want to thank you, the reader, for making our year. For providing the gossip, the tips, the jokes, the leaked documents, the tearfully funny comments and innovative insults that make Guido Fawkes the website it is today. Our free wheeling editorial culture hopefully still does not take itself too seriously, even when breaking serious news.

Every day tens of thousands of you come to catch-up on Westminster gossip. It always amazes us to learn who reads our website – whether it is a reader in Buckingham Palace or, equally unexpectedly, an old school friend met for the first time in decades. Gossip appeals to everyone, even if they don’t admit it!

We have a strong team going into 2017, journalists with scoops under their belts and a hunger for more. We might even find out what Brexit means.

All the best for 2017!

75% Think BBC Licence Fee Too High

A study conducted ahead of the parliamentary debate about the BBC’s Royal Charter reveals that 75% of the British public think the licence fee is too expensive. A survey of 1,023 respondents carried out by Strategy Analytics* found 10% said they didn’t pay the telly tax.

Of the one in ten households that admitted to not paying the telly tax 17% were entitled to a free one as they were over 75 years old. This means that 8.3% of all households, some 1.6 million, are not paying for it. Isn’t it time to switch to a pay-as-you-go system? Netflix and Amazon have joined Sky in proving this is easily possible. If the BBC is as well loved as their propaganda claims they will thrive. If it is not they will shrink, rightly so….

David Mercer from Strategy Analytics’ digital consumer practice says, with some understatement, that the BBC “struggles to identify with younger and lower income groups”. Of those that were willing to pay the telly tax, £101.57 was the average figure – 30% lower than the actual price (£145.50). The advent of widespread broadband means that there is no technological barrier to abolishing the outdated telly tax. There is popular support for such a move…

*The interesting thing about this research is that it was not commissioned by the BBC or a rival. BBC commissioned “independent” research always finds that the BBC is wonderful.

France ‘YouTube Tax’ Boost For Britain’s Digital Economy

The French parliament has passed a ‘YouTube’ tax: a levy of 2% on advertising receipts of websites hosting videos, rising to 10% when those videos include adult material. News is exempted so the tax is going to hit the French digital economy rather than the media, the proposal seeks to raise revenue from the left’s pantomime baddies Google, Amazon and Facebook, as well as obvious targets like YouTube, Netflix and Vimeo. Remember when Project Fear told us Britain’s digital economy would pack up after Brexit and move to techno-chic European cities like Paris? Not when the French can always be relied on to push in-Seine policies like this…

Russian Embassy Hosting Digital Hacking Event

embassy-invite

With all the controversy about Wikileaks and the hacking of Hillary and the DNC this invitation is certainly appropriate. Russia’s London Ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, is really spoiling trolling us with his pre-Christmas cocktail party’s topic for discussion, “Hacking the Algorithm”. Maybe guests should leave their smartphones at home…

Porno Perry and the Bonkers Age Verification Bill

perry

The government’s Digital Economy Bill seeking to block access to porn sites with no age verification is shoddy for a long list of reasons. First, how do they decide what to block? Twitter for example contains a huge amount of immediately accessible porn, will the whole social network be blocked? The BBFC, who usually provide classifications for films, will have to employ an army of porn-watchers to determine what is and isn’t blockable. On a practical level, it is impossible to police all 800 million or so porn sites in the world.

Then there are the age restrictions themselves. The government plan is to force viewers to hand over credit card or passport details. Given the stories about hacking we have seen over the last few years, who would share their personal information with some porn baron? Why is the government allowing the potential for people’s names to be forever linked in online databases to their entire porn viewing history? What happens when Britons’ personal porn data is hacked, as it inevitably will be at some point?

DCMS want to issue fines of up to £250,000 to porn sites which refuse to implement age verification. Yet only 7% of porn on the internet is hosted in the UK – 93% of sites hosting porn would remain untouchable. And what’s to stop the current British porn sites moving their servers offshore? Claire Perry has tabled an amendment – backed by lobbyists at Christian Action – to ban foreign sites as well.  The government has the ability to do that, but savvy users can simply use a VPN to log on in seconds. Not for the first time, Porno Perry does not understand the internet

Most importantly, all this forgets one very simple rule: No piece of legislation will ever be invented that can prevent teenage boys from finding and looking at pictures of naked women. Now, about those donkeys

Facebook Likes Post-Brexit UK, Plans Thousands More Jobs

Facebook zuckerberg

Facebook will confirm its commitment to add 500 skilled jobs to its London workforce today as part of a plan to expand its British headquarters from 4,000 to 7,000 employees within the next four years. This joins Google’s £1 billion investment in Britain, and Apple’s huge new HQ at Battersea as evidence that the tech sector is still thriving.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Google Cites UK’s “Open and Connected Economy”, Ignores “Digital Single Market”

During the referendum Remain campaigners made much of the importance of the “Digital Single Market”. […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Brooks Newmark Still Trying To Hide Shame

brooks-newmark-carter-ruck

This morning Guido got a notice from Google at the behest of Carter Ruck telling us they were going to take the links to Newmark’s selfies out of the Google search index. This is counter-productive because it just gives Guido an excuse to put the images up again and back into the Google search index.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Google Backs Brexit Britain With £1 Billion Investment

Google has delivered a vote of confidence in Brexit Britain by confirming it will establish a new headquarters in the UK, creating 3,000 news jobs investing and £1 billion in the UK economy. Chief executive Sundar Pichai tells the BBC:

“The UK has been a tremendous market for us.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

New Apple Mac Book Has Unlimited Data Retention Capability

book

The new Apple Mac book has been released today, and Techno Guido can bring you a first look at its impressive new features. Good news for users of current Apple products as there is no longer a need to worry about battery life, it offers unlimited data retention, as well as an anti-glare screen, all touch-based interactions, comes with Apple Care warranty and works with a normal pen, too.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Hancock-Up: Superfast Broadband’s 0% Success Rate

hancock-up

Digital minister Matt Hancock has emailed MPs to update them on progress being made with superfast broadband in each of their constituencies. It has been less than a stunning success in North Cornwall, where the £3 million funding has not been well spent:

“Your constituency is located within the Cornwall project.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Owen Jones Meets a Unionised Worker

owenjonestweet

You spend your entire adult life defending unionised workers and what do you get to show for it? Last night poor old Owen Jones was nearly knocked off his bike by a dangerous black cab driver, who then wound down the window and told him: “I f***ing love it when you cyclists die”.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Labour’s Nonsensical Plan to Enshrine Uber Ruling

uber-apps

Labour are seeking to enshrine Friday’s hotly-contested ruling that Uber drivers are workers entitled to various benefits from the owners of the app. Shadow Culture minister Louise Haigh has put down an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill to enshrine the ruling, despite it still being subject to an appeal from Uber.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Google investing billions in Britain…

“The innovation we see here, the talent we have available here and how on the cutting edge of technology we are able to be here makes it an incredible place for us to invest. We do value how open and connected it is and we can bring in talent from anywhere in the world and we value those attributes and we are optimistic that those will stay true over time.”

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