EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.01.15

EPO Reluctantly (and Privately) Confirms Giving Public Money for Military-connected ‘Control Risks’ to Spy on Journalists and Their Sources While Techrights is Under Fresh DDOS Attacks

Posted in Europe, Patents, Site News at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Confirmed: European public money wasted attacking the public’s right to know the truth

Control Risks

Summary: The EPO President — or anyone who is referred to as ‘appointing authority’ — finds himself even deeper in a scandal as he silently attacks the very same people whom he pretends to negotiate with by contracting spies from London (to maliciously target British journalists)

THERE is a very large number of cracking attempts against Techrights at the moment (far more than usual). There is definitely also a DDOS attack against Techrights and the pattern can be demonstrated (it comes in waves), starting days ago. Readers have been writing about the site being down, the database being down, etc. because these attacks took the site down many times over the weekend. As a fairly experienced professional in this area (I do this for a living, focusing on sites and servers), even I am struggling. Babysitting the server and aggressive filtering became imperative, making the composition of new articles a secondary priority at best. As we have pointed out before, many of these issues started when we began criticising the EPO and showing corruption in it. Other sites that criticise the EPO report similar issues and the EPO has undoubtedly blocked Web sites critical of the EPO.

We finally have the EPO’s admission that it hired a military-connected company to spy on critics (including Techrights, based on our sources). This ought to do the EPO’s already-poor reputation no favours. This may also be illegal. If the EPO has the guts to hire a military-connected company to spy on critics, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to also attempt cracking (forcibly gaining access to data).

The EPO is now paying (European taxpayers’ money) to military-connected company called ‘Control Risks’. We’ve been told they spy on us specifically, but we imagine they might also spy on IP Kat (Google-hosted).

“According to a comment received on her earlier post,” wrote IP Kat, “Merpel understands that the European Patent Office has responded by means of the following internal Communiqué to the concern about reports that Control Risks (who describe themselves as “an independent, global risk consultancy specialising in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments”) has been commissioned by the EPO to investigate staff members…”

Here is the full text:

Investigative Unit and external firms

26.05.2015

Regarding questions raised in recent publications and blogs

Dear colleagues,

Some recent publication and blogs have questioned the participation of an external firm in EPO activities related to the Investigative Unit. I want to clarify that because the EPO Investigative Unit is rather small in terms of staffing, we need to be able to contract external companies to support our fact finding enquiries. This is one reason why an external firm can be chosen in regard to an investigation, operating within the regulatory framework of the EPO, under the full supervision of the Investigative Unit.

The European Patent Office cannot comment on specific internal investigation cases. This lack of comment is to protect the integrity of any such case and protect the interest of all parties concerned. However I would like to remind the Office has a duty of care to its employees including to investigate allegations of harassment against them by other employees. Investigations can only take place following specific allegations, made by EPO staff or external parties, and these investigations are independently and objectively carried out by the Investigative Unit, under its sole responsibility.

The investigation process of the EPO follows the best international standards and allows persons to be heard, to respond and to defend themselves against any allegations, before any conclusion of misconduct would be reported to the employee’s appointing authority. Only in any case where a serious misconduct is confirmed by the Investigative Unit, a disciplinary case could be instigated where the subject has a further right to be heard before a disciplinary committee and before any subsequent decision on a sanction would be taken.

In 2014, the Investigative Unit received 68 allegations of misconduct (-23% compared to 2013), 50% being already rejected as insufficiently specified.

So the EPO has in fact just confirmed, internally, that it hired spies (the London-based ‘Control Risks’) and it’s known who the targets are. Merpel’s response to it (remember they’re based near London) is this: “Merpel welcomes this response, but regrets that it was made only internally, when the concern raised was much more widespread, and wonders what the EPO Communications department is up to. She notes that, although it is only stated that an “external firm” has been engaged, the Communiqué appears in essence to confirm the original reports concerning Control Risks.”

Well, another important point from Merpel is that “the Investigative Unit (and by extension, Control Risks) has the power to invade the privacy of the subject to an extent that would cause uproar if it happened in a national patent office or in any private enterprise operating within the EU.”

This is not over. We will revisit this subject again and we will do our best to get to the bottom of this. Given the EPO’s appointment of thugs, bullies and alleged criminals to top positions, readers shouldn’t be reluctant to assume the worst.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Canta said,

    June 1, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Gravatar

    Dr. Schestowitz,

    Is there available anywhere in TechRights a link to download backups from the site’s DB?

    If not the case, do you think it would be a good idea to compile automated pediodic backups and put them online somewhere?

    I’m troubled about this constant attacks to FLOSS initiatives and free press. Techrights is a magnificent job, to the day i wouldn’t know how to replace it if someday it happens to be offline, and this place has so far collected a huge size of information.

    Thanks.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Is there available anywhere in TechRights a link to download backups from the site’s DB?

    We used to have that in the first year or two of the Web site, but then it grew too large and there were timeouts (well over 2GB DB now).

    It was 800MB in size when I last updated this page:

    http://techrights.org/site-archives/

    I regularly make complete backups with copies in various safe places, so it would be virtually impossible for anyone/s to destroy the data, even if they manage to corrupt the database (which happened several before, due to DDOS whose intention might be that). It happened twice in the past month alone.

    Several years ago we considered setting up a mirror in Canada, but I no longer think it’s a safe place for hosting.

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/1/2017: Docker 1.13, Linux 4.4.44 LTS

    Links for the day



  2. “Federal Circuit Had Affirmed on Every Issue in 77.4% of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Appeals it Had Seen” in 2016

    The Federal Circuit (CAFC) and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continue to squash a lot of patents on software, in contrast to that fake news from patent maximalists



  3. Kudelski Group Not Only Acts Like a Patent Troll But Also Run by Intellectual Ventures Person; Mobile Market in Dire State of Patent Armageddon

    The patent thicket which pervades everything that is used by billions of people, mobile technology in particular, can be traced back to a lot of non-practicing parasites (or patent trolls)



  4. Watchtroll and His Swamp Still Blame Google (Where Michelle Lee Came From) for Improving and Gradually Fixing Aspects of the US Patent System

    Shooting the messengers (even wrongly associating yours truly with Google) in an effort to undermine patent reform when it is so desperately needed due to serious injustices



  5. In an Age of Necessary Patent Reform and Permanent Uncertainty for Software Patents the Patent Microcosm Looks for Workarounds and Spin

    Commentary on the status quo in the Michelle Lee era and some examples of bias from the patent microcosm, as well as news regarding the NFL getting sued by the Kudelski Group



  6. Michelle Lee, USPTO Director, Should Recognise That the Patent Microcosm is Her Enemy Which Hates Her

    The latest outburst from the patent microcosm, which has a temper issue and notorious disdain for judges it does not agree with, is more of what we have come to expect



  7. Battistelli is an Autocrat Above the Law and It's OK, Holland's High Council Says

    Battistelli's autocratic tendencies will not be challenged by Dutch authorities, in spite of sheer condemnation from many groups all across Europe and the entire world



  8. Beware Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The UPC is dead, deadlocked, stuck, in a limbo and so on; those who claim otherwise are merely lobbying (in disguise of "analysis" or "news")



  9. Shame on MapR for Pursuing Software Patents While Pretending to Stand for Free/Open Source Software

    The patents gold rush sees another company joining the 'fun', albeit this company should campaign hard against software patents rather than pursue any



  10. Doomsday Scenario in the Back Mirror as Michelle Lee Keeps Her Job (and Much-Needed Patent Reform) at the USPTO

    The future of patent reform, i.e. tackling overpatenting and patent trolls, looks somewhat more promising with today's confirmation of Lee's 'extended tenure' at the Office



  11. Links 19/1/2017: PulseAudio 10.0, Linux 4.9 Longterm Kernel

    Links for the day



  12. Corporate (Wall Street) Media Agrees That Brexit Dooms the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The nonstop lies or the fake news about the UPC starting "real soon now" don't quite pass a reality check or a basic assessment based on fundamental concepts, such as the UPC's facilitation of subordination (to Europe) in the United Kingdom



  13. Farce of an 'Independence' for the Boards of Appeal as Another Ally of Benoît Battistelli Enters as Parasite Inside the 'Overseer'/Host

    The latest cluster of lies from the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and direct refutation of false claims of independence for the Boards of Appeal, where the former Vice-Presidents can flock, just like the Mini Minion (Minnoye) of Battistelli



  14. Links 18/1/2017: Red Hat's OpenShift 3.4, Mozilla's New Logo/Branding

    Links for the day



  15. Union-Busting Action by Team Battistelli Takes Heavy Toll, Techrights Will Continue to Expose EPO Injustices to the World

    The Staff Union of the European Patent Office, SUEPO, which faced unprecedented and probably illegal (based on local laws) attacks, is being weakened by the worst President ever, whose own management team seems to be collapsing along with the institution he is destroying in just a few years



  16. A Lot More Fake News About the UPC, Trying to Convince People That the UK is Ratifying (It's Not, It Cannot)

    Response to some of the latest misleading (self-serving) whispers about the fate of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is in a deadlock due to Brexit



  17. Rumours Suggest That EPO Management is Aware of Decline in Patent Quality and is Thus Actively Lying About it to the Media/Public

    Whenever Battistelli brags about patent quality he may be consciously and deliberately lying through his teeth if the latest rumours are correct



  18. Links 17/1/2017: GIMP Plans, New Raspberry Pi Product

    Links for the day



  19. Resumption of EPO Propaganda ('Meet the President') Officially Starts Tomorrow

    Yet another one of these foolish 'Meet the President' stunts, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning



  20. Caricature: Battistelli's New Year's Resolution (More EPO Lies)

    The latest cartoon being circulated within the European Patent Office (EPO)



  21. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  22. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  23. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  24. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  25. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  26. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  27. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  28. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  29. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts