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

06.04.15

The EPO Sinks Deeper in a Scandal After Paying Public Money for Military-Connected Control Risks to Stalk Journalists and Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Benoît Battistelli

Summary: Benoît Battistelli is now attacking the media itself, arrogantly doing so at the expense of the European public

THE EPO‘s management is truly out of touch. It is acting like a bunch of mercenaries or an army-tied contractor right now, hiring thugs with army connections, all working for Control Risks (see the open letter to Control Risks for background). The EPO is, in some regards, even worse than FIFA. At least FIFA didn’t hire goons/thugs to attack messengers.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently wrote about the EPO in Germany and, according to SUEPO, “The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (printable version) reports on the information that the EPO has commissioned the company Control Risks to investigate elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union” (what about the journalists people may be reporting to?).

The Süddeutsche Zeitung, which has also been covering EPO matters for quite a while, wrote about Control Risks. To quote SUEPO, “The Süddeutsche Zeitung comments on the information that the EPO has commissioned the company Control Risks to investigate elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union”

Any translations of these articles would be very much appreciated, if readers could kindly provide them for us to publish in English (for future record).

SUEPO said that “IPKat comments on the information that the EPO has commissioned the company Control Risks to investigate elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union” and the following day it said: “The EPO has issued a communiqué confirming the use of external investigation firms.”

The thugs who run the EPO are mistakenly assuming that the only people capable of speaking to the media are associated with SUEPO. They just use this as an excuse to crack down on SUEPO when in fact people from all parts of the EPO, as well as outside the EPO, have grown tired of the abuse. In an aggressive effort to suppress information the EPO’s management will only motivate more people to speak out. Therein lies the Streisand Effect.

One day later it said: “SUEPO sent an open letter to the company Control Risks which we understand has been commissioned by the EPO to investigate staff members who are elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union.

“We have now received a reply from Nick Allan, Regional Director (Europe & Africa).”

Their policy is just denying their work completely, or not naming their clients altogether (even though it is so obvious, and the EPO’s internal statement already served to confirm the allegations). Here are the contents of the reply:

To:
SUEPO Central Executive Committee
central@suepo.org

To whom it may concern (as your letter was unsigned),

Thank you for your letter. In all cases, our clients’ confidentiality is one of our highest priorities. Therefore, we do not comment on any specific cases and on our potential involvement. If you have any questions pertaining to the EPO, please direct them specifically to the EPO.

In general, I note your concern and would like to reassure you that Control Risks always conducts a due diligence with regard to the work we take on. Our Code of Ethics ensures that our employees always act in an ethical, independent and objective manner.

Sincerely yours,

Nick Allan
Regional Director, Europe & Africa
Control Risks

“Our Code of Ethics” is just marketing, much like their Web site, which hardly even mentions anything about the clients they have (or have had) and what they have done. Based on some articles, this company grossly overcharges for its unethical services, so one can only imagine how much tax money (of Europeans) got sunk into this abuse. The European purse is being misused by Battistelli and his cronies.

Control Risks is a rather evil company. Since they often work for military, mercenaries, etc. it’s not too shocking that they use the cloak of secrecy. SUEPO shows that this ugly firm is actually spying on journalists, not just their sources. To quote a report/summary/overview from SUEPO:

More on Control Risks

SUEPO understands that the company Control Risks has been commissioned by the EPO to investigate staff members who are elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union. The following articles report on the activities of this company:

Spiegel Online, The Dark Side of Power: German Corporate Spying Scandal Widens

“the government agents were [...] interested in the role Control Risks may have played in the Deutsche Telekom wiretapping affair. The scandal has dominated the public debate in the worlds of business, politics and the media for more than two weeks.”

“It is already clear that Telekom also hired Control Risks, which in turn subcontracted some of its assignments to a company called Desa. Desa, which is run by two former informants for the East German secret police, the Stasi, has also completed assignments for other prominent clients.”

“Moreover, it is clear that Control Risks worked for other German corporations, like Lufthansa and Deutsche Post. And, more recently, it was revealed that the two security firms were not the only ones that investigated a journalist from the newspaper Financial Times Deutschland (FTD)”

Spiegel Online, Attack on Customer Data: Lufthansa Admits Spying on Journalist

“[...] news broke that the security firm Control Risks, working for Deutsche Telekom, spied on a journalist from the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper.”

The Guardian, Watching the detectives

“But probably the creepiest tale to come out of the investigation is that in 2000 Deutsche Telekom hired a British private security company called Control Risks to get to the bottom of who was behind leaks to Tasso Enzweiler, at the time the chief reporter for Financial Times Deutschland. Control Risks in turn hired Desa Investigation & Risk Protection – a Berlin detective agency set up by two former Stasi agents who worked for a department responsible, among other things, for spying on western journalists – which sent employees to follow Enzweiler around the clock for two weeks.”

Financial Times, From guard dogs and fences to business intelligence

“After making its name in hostage and crisis negotiation through the 1970s, London-based Control Risks has branched out to offer something close to a full risk management service for its clients. It has roughly 700 staff and annual revenues of about $250m and is one of the sector’s bigger players.

Security services in Iraq account for about a third of the company’s turnover, but revenues have been falling of late. Anticipating the decline, Control Risks has been seeking to expand its consultancy and investigation businesses.”

This is, at the very least, inducing the chilling effect, e.g. a bunch of spies (almost a thousand all around the world) stalking journalists in their daily lives. It scares both journalists and sources. It’s an ugly strategy of deterrence and retribution.

“SUEPO understands that the company Control Risks has been commissioned by the EPO to investigate staff members who are elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union,” says the SUEPO Web site.

“The following articles report on the activities of this company:

The more we read about this shady company (Control Risks), the more disgusted we become. They clearly have no “Code of Ethics”, just Code of Surveillance (or Harassment).

European taxpayers (that’s everyone in the European Union) should reach out to local politicians and explain to them how the EPO is wasting public money. The EPO is now rogue, corrupt, and borderline insane (like irrational/paranoid dictatorships). It is behaving as though it has become another branch of organised crime — a fitting analogy as some top staff have a résumé to show for it (not only Željko Topić). There’s no room for truce when the EPO’s management continues to attack. It should be clear who is offensive and who is defensive/reactionary here. Grievances among the staff are very much justified.

Techrights has a lot more coming about this subject. Battistelli is blackening his career each time he makes panicky moves in a desperate effort to gag critics.

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

What Else is New


  1. Unified Patents Says That RPX, Which Might Soon be Owned by Patent Trolls, Paid Patent Trolls Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

    Unified Patents, which helps crush software patents, takes note of RPX’s financial statements, which reveal the great extent to which RPX actually helped trolls rather than stop them



  2. IAM Together With Its Partner, IIPCC, is Lobbying the USPTO to Crush PTAB and Restore Patent Chaos

    Having handled over 8,000 petitions (according to Professor Lemley's Lex Machina), PTAB champions patent quality at the USPTO, so front groups of the litigation 'industry' creep in and attempt to lobby the likely next Director of the USPTO (inciting him against PTAB, as usual)



  3. Software Patents Are Still Dropping Like Flies in 2018, Thanks to Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) and Section 101 (USPTO)

    Section 101 (§ 101) is thriving in the sense that it belatedly throws thousands of patents -- and frivolous lawsuits that depend on them -- down the chute; the patent trolls and their allies in the patent microcosm are very furious and they blame PTAB for actually doing its job (enforcing Section 101 when petitioned to do so)



  4. Patent Troll Finjan Looks Like It's About to Collapse, But Patent Maximalists Exploit It for Software Patents Promotion

    Patent trolls are struggling in their use of software patents; few (if any) of their patents are upheld as valid and those that miraculously remain in tact become the subject of fascination if not obsession among trolls' advocates



  5. The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation 'industry' is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam



  6. Links 21/1/2018: Wine 3.0 Coverage, KaOS 2018.01, Red Hat Among 'Admired Companies'

    Links for the day



  7. Blockchain Patents Are a Catastrophe in the Making as Trolls and Aggressors Accumulate Them

    As patents pertaining to blockchains continue to be granted -- even in defiance of Alice/Section 101 -- it seems likely that patent wars will sooner or later erupt, involving some large banks, IBM, and patent trolls associated with the notorious Erich Spangenberg



  8. Qualcomm/Broadcom/NXP Combination Would Become a Disastrous Patent Thicket Which Benefits Nobody

    Worried by the prospect of mega-mergers and takeovers which would put far too much market power (and monopoly through patents) in one place, governments and corporations speak out



  9. Patent Litigation in East Asia: Huawei, Samsung, HTC, Nintendo and COLOPL

    A quick look at some high-profile cases in which large Asian firms are embroiled; it seems clear that litigation activities have shifted eastwards (where actual production is done)



  10. Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls' Demise Has Much to Do With It

    Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation -- a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year



  11. Cheating the US Patent System is a Lot Harder After TC Heartland

    Some new examples of tricks (and sometimes cheats) attempted by patent claimants and their representatives; it does not go as well as they hoped



  12. RPX Might Soon be Owned by Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg

    RPX, whose top executives are leaving and business is gradually dying, might end up as another 'asset' of patent trolls



  13. Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are -- by extrapolation -- already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli's so-called 'results')



  14. Links 19/1/2018: Linux Journalism Fund, Grsecurity is SLAPPing Again

    Links for the day



  15. The EPO Ignores This Week's Decision Which Demonstrates Patent Scope Gone Awry; Software Patents Brought Up Again

    The worrisome growth of European Patents (EPs) — a 40% jump in one year in spite of decline in the number of patent applications — is a symptom of the poor judgment, induced largely by bad policies that impede examiners’ activities for the sake of so-called ‘production’; this week's decision regarding CRISPR is another wake-up call and software patents too need to be abolished (as a whole), in lieu with the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  16. WesternGeco v ION Geophysical (at the US Supreme Court) Won't Affect Patent Scope

    As WesternGeco v ION Geophysical is the main if not sole ‘major’ patent case that the US Supreme Court will deal with, it seems safe to say that nothing substantial will change for patent scope in the United States this year



  17. Links 18/1/2018: MenuLibre 2.1.4, Git 2.16 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft, Masking/Hiding Itself Behind Patent Trolls, is Still Engaging in Patent Extortion

    A review of Microsoft's ugly tactics, which involve coercion and extortion (for businesses to move to Azure and/or for OEMs to preload Microsoft software) while Microsoft-connected patent trolls help hide the "enforcement" element in this whole racket



  19. Patent Prosecution Highway: Low-Quality Patents for High-Frequency Patent Aggressors

    The EPO's race to the bottom of patent quality, combined with a "need for speed", is a recipe for disaster (except for litigation firms, patent bullies, and patent trolls)



  20. Press Coverage About the EPO Board Revoking Broad's CRISPR Patent

    Even though there's some decent coverage about yesterday's decision (e.g. from The Scientist), the patent microcosm googlebombs the news with stuff that serves to distract from or distort the outcome



  21. Links 17/1/2018: HHVM 3.24, WordPress 4.9.2

    Links for the day



  22. No Patents on Life (CRISPR), Said EPO Boards of Appeal Just a Few Hours Ago

    Broad spectacularly loses its key case, which may soon mean that any other patents on CRISPR too will be considered invalid



  23. Only Two Weeks on the Job, Judge Patrick Corcoran is Already Being Threatened by EPO Management

    The attack on a technical judge who is accused of relaying information many people had already relayed anyway (it was gossip at the whole Organisation for years) carries on as he is again being pushed around, just as many people predicted



  24. EPO Board of Appeal Has an Opportunity to Stop Controversial Patents on Life

    Patent maximalism at the EPO can be pushed aback slightly if the European appeal board decides to curtail CRISPR patents in a matter of days



  25. Links 16/1/2018: More on Barcelona, OSI at 20

    Links for the day



  26. 2018 Will be an Even Worse Year for Software Patents Because the US Supreme Court Shields Alice

    The latest picks (reviewed cases) of the Supreme Court of the United States signal another year with little or no hope for the software patents lobby; PTAB too is expected to endure after a record-breaking year, in which it invalidated a lot of software patents that had been erroneously granted



  27. Patent Trolls (Euphemised as “Public IP Companies”) Are Dying in the United States, But the Trouble Isn't Over

    The demise of various types of patent trolls, including publicly-traded trolls, is good news; but we take stock of the latest developments in order to better assess the remaining threat



  28. EPO Management and Team UPC Carry on Lying About Unified Patent Court, Sinking to New Lows in the Process

    At a loss for words over the loss of the Unitary Patent, Team UPC and Team Battistelli now blatantly lie and even get together with professional liars such as Watchtroll



  29. China Tightens Its Knot of Restrictive Rules and Patents

    Overzealous patent aggressors and patent trolls in China, in addition to an explosion in low-quality patents, may simply discourage companies from doing production/manufacturing there



  30. Microsoft's Patent Racket Has Just Been Broadened to Threaten GNU/Linux Users Who Don't Pay Microsoft 'Rents'

    Microsoft revisits its aggressive patent strategy which it failed to properly implement 12 years ago with Novell; it wants to 'collect' a patent tax on GNU/Linux and it uses patent trolls to make that easier


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