European Court of Justice to Rule If Bitcoin is VATable

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The European Court of Justice will rule if bitcoin transactions are subject to its value-added tax rules (VAT). If that top court decides to impose VAT regulations on member nations with bitcoin businesses, they could suffer an economic setback. Others could miss out on the opportunity to establish business initiatives associated with bitcoin. VAT is one way the EU raises tax revenues. It’s essentially a consumption tax, paid by buyers as part of the purchase price. That case before the Court is C-264/14 Skatteverket v David Hedqvist and it raises the issue:…

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Facebook unprecedented reveals search warrant of hundreds of accounts

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Facebook revealed that since last summer it’s been fighting a court order that required it to disclose social-media information involving hundreds of people. “This unprecedented request is by far the largest we’ve ever received — by a magnitude of more than ten — and we have argued that it was unconstitutional from the start,” Chris Sonderby, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, wrote in a statement Thursday. The situation raises concerns over privacy in the digital age, when much of a person’s sensitive information is often available online and on mobile devices.…

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CentralNic contracts to acquire Internet.BS

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CentralNic has contracted to acquire the business and certain of the assets of Internet.BS Corp, a leading retailer of domain names registered in The Bahamas, for a maximum consideration of $7.5m. CentralNic says Internet.BS is one of the world’s top 30 domain name retailers, and it serves a global customer base from 199 countries. It has been trading for eleven years and it is accredited by the global regulator ICANN as well as the numerous operators of country codes including .eu for Europe and .in for India. Internet.BS is a…

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Email exchanges between NSA and Google executives reveal far cozier relationship

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Email exchanges between National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Google executives Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt suggest a far cozier working relationship between some tech firms and the U.S. government than was implied by Silicon Valley brass after last year’s revelations about NSA spying. Disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s vast capability for spying on Americans’ electronic communications prompted a number of tech executives whose firms cooperated with the government to insist they had done so only when compelled by a court of law.…

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Tablet adoption in EU-5 to surpass 100 million this year

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Tablet adoption in the EU-5 continues to rise steadily, and according to new eMarketer estimates, the region’s tablet user base will surpass 100 million by the end of 2014. By 2018, more than 146 million people will use a tablet at least once per month. More than half of all users in the region—52.3 million people—will reside in the UK or Germany, the EU-5’s largest tablet markets. France also has a significant tablet audience, with 22.8 million users, or 22.5% of the total. Italy and Spain will have smaller tablet…

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Discovery Communications to sell HowStuffWorks.com for 18 % of its 2007 purchase price

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The Wall Street Journal has reported that Discover Communications will be selling the popular website, HowStuffWorks.com at a loss on the sale as they are only realizing 18% of their 2007 purchase price. Read the WSJ Report here For Discovery Communications Inc., DISCA -0.49% the website HowStuffWorks.com proved to be one investment in digital media that didn’t work. Discovery said Monday it would sell the site, which offers explanations on topics such as “How magnets work” and “How do they make hollow chocolate Easter rabbits?” for $45 million, or less…

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Politics curtailing Silicon Valley’s fast-growing financial ties with Russia’s tech sector: Entrepreneurs, investors say

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SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) – Entrepreneurs and investors say Silicon Valley’s fast-growing financial ties with Russia’s tech sector are being slowed down by current political tensions between the White House and the Kremlin. “It’s safe to say a lot of investors here are taking a step back to see how the situation will unfold,” said Alexandra Johnson, who manages a $100 million venture fund called DFJ VTP Aurora, a Menlo Park, Calif., branch of Russian bank VTB. For decades, Russia’s sophisticated scientists and engineers remained at arm’s length from Silicon…

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Facebook’s shot at WhatsApp data gets both companies an FTC complaint

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The Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Facebook’s $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp based on privacy concerns, according to a document released Thursday. EPIC and CDD’s problems with the acquisition center around the fact that WhatsApp staked its reputation on—that it’s a company keeping a reasonable distance from its customers’ data. Now that it will fall under the aegis of Facebook, its users stand to lose those privacy guarantees, even though WhatsApp told its users nothing…

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Facebook to Pay $19 Billion for WhatsApp

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Messaging Startup to Operate Independently, Retain Brand, Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of the WhatsApp mobile messaging service ranks as the largest-ever purchase of a company backed by venture capital. Facebook Inc. FB +1.13% agreed to buy messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, a blockbuster transaction that dwarfs the already sky-high prices that other startups have been able to recently command. The 55-employee company, which acts as a kind of replacement for text messaging, has seen its use more than double in the past nine months to…

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Year End message from DotConnectAfrica: 2013 Year in Review

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As 2013 draws to a close it is worth looking back at where we have been and consider what 2014 will bring. As usual for DCA, it has been a year of intense activity to ensure that our promise to Africa stands – that “we shall deliver .africa registry to the continent, sooner than expected”.  DCA Trust has a long-standing tradition of informing its African and global constituency on matters affecting the global Internet Governance, ICANN and related African affairs.  Our regular Newsletters and Social media Campaigns sites provide us the…

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