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06.29.10

Inaction From Ombudsman/EU Commission Regarding Microsoft Lobbyists Derailing Public Policy

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Standard at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Many months after the original complaint (almost a year) a deadlock is reached and Microsoft gets away with legalised corruption of EU guidelines

LAST YEAR I went through a lot of trouble trying to submit feedback and expose the role played by Microsoft lobbyists in derailing documents which promoted Free/libre software and/or open standards. Thanks to Wikileaks we already had sufficient evidence, but we asked for the evidence to be provided by a verified source, namely the EU Commission. This long journey was covered in posts such as:

  1. European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al
  2. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  3. Does the European Commission Harbour a Destruction of Free/Open Source Software Workgroup?
  4. The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)
  5. 2 Months and No Disclosure from the European Parliament
  6. After 3 Months, Europe Lets Microsoft-Influenced EU Panel be Seen
  7. Formal Complaint Against European Commission for Harbouring Microsoft Lobbyists
  8. ‘European’ Software Strategy Published, Written by Lobbyists and Multinationals
  9. Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”

Today we received the following message with a 7-page PDF from the Ombudsman’s Microsoft Exchange server (they are still stuck with proprietary software). The message says:

From – Tue Jun 29 15:04:11 2010
X-Account-Key: account11
X-UIDL: UID16773-1237770691
X-Mozilla-Status: 0001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 10000000
X-Mozilla-Keys:
Return-path: <EO@ombudsman.europa.eu>
Envelope-to: [roy]
Delivery-date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 13:40:27 +0100
Received: from smtp15.europarl.europa.eu ([136.173.62.228])
by blueberry.active-ns.com with esmtp (Exim 4.69)
(envelope-from <EO@ombudsman.europa.eu>)
id 1OTa70-0001IA-PE
for roy@schestowitz.com; Tue, 29 Jun 2010 13:40:27 +0100
Received: from EMAILLUXSV31.ep.parl.union.eu (unverified) by SMTP15.europarl.europa.eu
(European Parliament) with ESMTP id <T96908f85e588ad3ee41ddc@SMTP15.europarl.europa.eu> for [roy]
Tue, 29 Jun 2010 14:40:19 +0200
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft Exchange V6.5
Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
boundary=”—-_=_NextPart_001_01CB1788.3C8C821C”
Subject: Complaint Nr. 1719-2009-(MAM)JF
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 14:40:20 +0200
Message-ID: <44E78AF8B41BA34C8988D3EB5783B2B201C404FE@EMAILLUXSV31.ep.parl.union.eu>
X-MS-Has-Attach: yes
X-MS-TNEF-Correlator:
Thread-Topic: Complaint Nr. 1719-2009-(MAM)JF
Thread-Index: AcsXiDxE1b0lnSc1RryOrWc8/LFItw==
From: “Euro-Ombudsman” <EO@ombudsman.europa.eu>
To: [roy]

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

——_=_NextPart_001_01CB1788.3C8C821C
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset=”us-ascii”
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<<1719-2009-(MAM)JF-S2009-113616.pdf>> =20
Dear Sir,

Please find attached a letter from the European Ombudsman which was sent
to your postal address on 20 November 2009 and returned undelivered on
23 Junbe 2010.

Yours sincerely

The Registry

It’s not clear why it bounced and why it took 6 months to return to the sender. In any event, the enclosed PDF reveals nothing new; the Commission was asked to provide a copy of edits from Microsoft’s lobbyist (Association for Competitive Technology). It never provided this, despite repeated requests. Sending just the final documents is absolutely useless as it says nothing about the process which was not transparent and was also stuffed by multinationals. It’s rather outrageous, but at least we have documented proof of what happened and why the system is broken. More recently, this same broken system derailed the EIFv2 (see coverage below) and it’s going to happen again and again unless something is reformed or the ‘bad apples’ get thrown out. “The more corrupt the state, the more laws,” said Publius Cornelius Tacitus. Replace “laws” with “lawyers”?

  1. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  2. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  3. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  4. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  5. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  6. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  7. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  8. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
  9. Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia
  10. Microsoft Under Fire: Open Source Software Thematic Group Complains About EIFv2 Subversion, NHS Software Supplier Under Criminal Investigation
  11. British MEP Responds to Microsoft Lobby Against EIFv2; Microsoft’s Visible Technologies Infiltrates/Derails Forums Too
  12. Patents Roundup: Escalations in Europe, SAP Pretense, CCIA Goes Wrong, and IETF Opens Up
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2 Comments

  1. Carl-Christian Buhr said,

    June 30, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Gravatar

    I think it would be useful if you could explain precisely what of the explanations on pages 6-7 of that PDF you link to you think is wrong, unclear or otherwise problematic instead of just insinuating it was proof for some sort of scandal.

    As explained there, the documents you ask for are not European Commission documents. Therefore the Commission ist not in a position to provide them to you. You are free to ask the concerned third parties to provide the documents.
    (Just to recall: These third parties cooperated with one another to provide input to the European Commission following a suggestion by Commissioner Reding that there may be a need for measures regarding the software industry (in this speech http://ec.europa.eu/archives/commission_2004-2009/reding/docs/speeches/brussels_20071119.pdf). The Commission often asks stakeholders to provide input and it is not surprising that stakeholders go through several versions of the documents they end up submitting. Moreover, if groups/companies with different views work together, as in this case, it is clear that such versions will sometimes express differing views.)

    Carl-Christian Buhr
    European Commission

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I think it would be useful if you could explain precisely what of the explanations on pages 6-7 of that PDF you link to you think is wrong, unclear or otherwise problematic instead of just insinuating it was proof for some sort of scandal.

    It is not about pages 6-7 of that PDF. What’s omitted from the PDF is correspondence that carried on, wherein I asked Lars to provide the contributions of ACT, the firm which you may know from the “letters from dead people” campaign (starting about a decade ago). Currently, it is promoting Microsoft’s agenda while pretending to represent small businesses. It was not just ACT, either.

    What was done in this panel is the equivalent or asking Blackwater to sit on a peacekeeping panel — or worse — invitation of Blackwater lobbyists who pretend to be a pacifists’ movement. The European Commission ought to disengage and distance itself from output of ACT. It just looks bad and I am not the only one saying it (search the Web for example). People who are on the panels are too shy/afraid to say it, so documents are leaked and journalists are approached.

    If you develop an Open Source strategy and seek consultation, it is better seek advice from European companies and not US lobbyists who are hired to change EU law and bring software patents to the EU, for example (to harm the economy). A cursory background check would make this easy to verify.

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