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. Linux Foundation Board Meeting

    More sponsored keynotes and tweets — like more sponsored articles (or “media partners”) — aren’t what the Linux Foundation really needs



  2. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  3. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  4. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  5. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  6. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  8. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  9. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."



  10. Links 13/10/2019: Red Hat CFO Fired and KDE Plasma 5.17 Preparations

    Links for the day



  11. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

    There are many ways by which to game the media’s news cycle — an art mastered by the groper in chief



  12. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

    The word "core" is increasingly being (mis)used to portray user-hostile proprietary software as something more benign if not "open"



  13. Free Software Timeline and Federation: When Free Software Advocacy/Support is a Monopoly Expansion Becomes Necessary

    Support for Software Freedom — like support for Free software (think Red Hat/IBM and systemd) — should be decentralised and compartmentalised to make the movement stronger and adaptable



  14. Projection Tactics

    The corporate media hasn't been doing its job lately; it has systematically defamed the wrong people, perhaps in an effort to distract from 'big fish'



  15. Meme: Richard Stallman Irrelevant

    Saint IGNUcius — Richard Stallman — just isn’t the Saint Bill Gates is



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 12, 2019



  17. Links 13/10/2019: Mastodon 3.0, GNU Binutils 2.33.1, and the Road to KDE Frameworks 6

    Links for the day



  18. The New York Times About the Real Epstein-Software Scandal (Nothing to Do With Stallman)

    The media is belatedly catching up with and covering the real MIT scandal which extends far beyond MIT



  19. Openwashing Reports Are on Hold

    The need to stress Software Freedom and shun all that "open" nonsense has quickly become apparent; some of the people who oppose Stallman turn out to be "Open Source" proponents who don't even value freedom of expression (free speech)



  20. Support the GNU Project and Support Free Speech

    Techrights is loyal to Software Freedom and those eager to promote it; it cannot, however, support those who don’t support free speech



  21. Today's EPO is Working for Patent Trolls and the 'Aye Pee' (IP) 'Industry' Instead of Science

    The EPO is making allegiances and alliances with groups that represent neither science nor businesses but instead push for monopolies, litigation and extortion; lawlessness appears to have become the EPO's very objective instead of what it intends to tackle



  22. The Campinos Car Crash

    The EPO is crashing and we know who’s to blame other than Battistelli



  23. Software Patents (or Monopolies on Algorithms) Are Not 'Property' and They're Not Even Legally Valid

    The EPO insists that it's OK to grant patents on just about everything and propaganda terms are being leveraged to justify this dangerous attitude



  24. The EPO's Universal Patent Injustice Concealed With Polyglottic Tricks

    The EPO is fooling nobody; it's desperate to hide the very simple fact that Battistelli did something illegal and over the past few years every decision issued by the EPO was legally invalid (as per the EPC)



  25. Microsoft Tweets in Linux Platforms

    This observation about the Linux Foundation seems very appropriate (and true) now that Linux.com’s sole editor is (re)posting Microsoft tweets (shades of Jono Bacon)



  26. Links 12/10/2019: Rspamd 2.0, Kdenlive 19.08.2, Plasma Mobile Progress, FreeBSD 12.1 RC1

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 11, 2019



  28. MIT Scandal in a Nutshell

    What happened a month ago, explained using a meme



  29. António Campinos, With Diplomatic Immunity, Continues Breaking the Law by Granting Patents the EU and EPC Forbade

    The EPO shows how immunity leads to crimes being committed with total impunity; at this point the EPO's immunity must be removed and judges should be permitted to do their job, which is enforcing the law



  30. EPO is Trying to 'Force-Feed' Europe Some Fake Patents by Hijacking Courts

    Having granted a lot of dubious European Patents (to maintain constant growth despite a decreasing number of applications) the EPO seeks to subvert the court system; so far only the constitutions and the laws are being subverted — to the point where these ambitions are collapsing in Europe’s highest courts


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

Recent Posts