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10.19.15

IDG Appoints Yet More Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft Employees as Regular Writers

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 9:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Where is the profit to be made in impartiality anyway?

Train station

Summary: The profit-motivated IDG network continues to dish out Microsoft propaganda to its many readers in many different countries (with different languages)

TECHRIGHTS, a longtime critic of corporate media spin, will soon turn nine. Today we wish to tackle some of the latest nonsense from one of the largest (if not the largest) network of English-speaking technology news sites. It’s about IDG, which most people don’t even know about because the names of the sites owned by IDG are being advertised much better, hiding the funnel of corporate money into the network (mostly IDC contracts and advertising contracts).

Windows Secure? With Back Doors?

We wish to begin by highlighting the fanboyish (or fangirlish) article “Why Windows 10 is the most secure Windows ever”, published by a reasonably new recruit who promotes Microsoft ‘security’ while bashing Linux/Android security and Linux-led efforts to secure the World Wide Web (based on a misconception of how this works, or worse, a deliberate misdirection).

So, IDG’s relatively new writers want us to believe in some notion of ‘security’ in Vista 10. What kind of security? National security (state power), meaning back doors? Who owns your PC when you install Vista 10? Microsoft can now remotely render Vista 10 unbootable, based on this new article titled “Windows 10 preview on death row, will be executed on Thursday”. To quote the British press: “Those who downloaded many Windows 10 preview editions will have to upgrade by Thursday or face an unbootable PC.”

Microsoft will remotely kill people’s PCs. Some security, eh? Depends on how much you trust Microsoft and its government allies.

According to another new post, “Microsoft [is] Infecting Windows With Malware”. Yes, some security, eh? Wherein even the vendor that makes the operating system actively infects it, intentionally.

“All Windows affected by critical security flaws” [1], states a new headline, neglecting to say that this is essentially a back door because Microsoft tells the NSA how to exploit this before it’s even being patched (the classic zero-day back door). Another new article is titled “Microsoft Gave NSA Access To Encrypted Messages Including Skype, Says Snowden” [2] (we have already explained how Skype spies on everyone, making it worse and less secure than most other forms of calls).

Another IDG article, titled “Windows devices account for 80% of malware infections transmitted via mobile networks” (written by a longtime Microsoft sceptic, for a change), serves to debunk the aforementioned fiction. “Microsoft may have just a single-digit slice of the mobile market,” says the author, “but there’s one segment of mobile it’s winning: Malware infections delivered via mobile networks.”

“That’s all?” iophk asked. “I guess that’s because their market share is closer to 1% than 2%” (it is this low in this particular area, which is dominated by Linux and sometimes older UNIX/BSD).

A Microsoft propagandist (for decades), Paul Thurrott, gives Microsoft ideas for killing Android devices and other mobile devices running Linux in an E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) fashion, as we explained earlier this year. One way or another, it turns out that efforts to discredit Linux and to create hype around Windows are largely based on a delusion and an agenda.

Open Microsoft? No, Proprietary. With Openwashing.

Speaking of agenda, Mac Asay, who once tried to get a job at Microsoft, has just posted an openwashing puff piece for Microsoft (E.E.E. for Windows lockin, with DCOS, which is proprietary). At around the same time IDG openwashed Microsoft. Microsoft is actively avoiding GPL/copyleft (GCC) by propping up BSD-style licences. We previously explained why .NET is not really becoming “Open Source” at all. It’s marketing.

More Microsoft in IDG

More Microsoft moles, like existing Microsoft employees, MVPs, shareholders and so on are now regular writers in IDG‘s supposed ‘news’ sites, writing about Microsoft itself and about its competition (positively and negatively, respectively)

“Adam is a Microsoft Windows PowerShell MVP,” says this biography of Adam Bertram. He pushed out what can be considered advertising (iophk called it “SPAM”). “Adam is a Microsoft Windows PowerShell MVP, 2015 powershell.org PowerShell hero, and has numerous Microsoft IT pro certifications.” Is there no issue here?

How many Microsoft employees (current or former) and MVPs are already right there inside IDG? Over a dozen by now? We have lost count. Is this site being taken over by one or very few large corporations? “To control mental output,” Microsoft’s internal document on evangelism stated [PDF], “you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. All Windows affected by critical security flaws

    Microsoft has issued a cumulative patch for a set of critical flaws affecting all supported versions of its Windows operating system, to protect against remote code execution flaw in its Internet Explorer web browser.

  2. Microsoft Gave NSA Access To Encrypted Messages Including Skype, Says Snowden

    According to leaked internal memos given to The Guardian, the U.S. government’s National Security Agency (NSA) worked with Microsoft in order to enable them to read personal messages sent over Skype as well as Outlook email, and its predecessor Hotmail

Benoît Battistelli et al in an Allegedly New Campaign of Defamation Against Staff Member

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli is Abusing His Workers Whom He is Not Even Allowed to Fire, Let Alone Touch

Manchester

Summary: New remarks about the unprecedented attack on staff members, which may be beyond unethical and potentially illegal, too

AT THE VERY end of last week we were rather mortified to learn about the disgusting PR campaign (institutional harassment or merciless witch-hunt) that Benoît Battistelli et al had launched, as it turned out to be the case late on Friday (whereupon new information was divulged). This was certainly coordinated in advance. Just how low can these goons ever stoop? They will never stop. After all those suicides one might wonder if killing union organisers (as Coca Cola did) is also on the agenda. Godwin’s Law (using Nazis for one’s agenda in a debate) oughtn’t be proven in European institutions, especially not in Germany.

In order to protect the anonymity of some people, this post will allude to people mostly by their role, not by their name or nationality, but certainly, based on staged/controlled media ‘leaks’, Benoît Battistelli et al have no respect for the privacy and dignity of people in the organisation they purport to be managing. They continue proving this month after month, as people who have been following our coverage probably know damn well. Our EPO Wiki will soon be organised by theme (not just chronologically) to better introduce the uninitiated to this ongoing EPO crisis, comprising literally dozens of separable scandals.

“After all those suicides one might wonder if killing union organisers (as Coca Cola did) is also on the agenda.”A new document has reached us from several independent sources (so we can confirm authenticity, by means of comparison), which are clearly eager to put an end to Battistelli’s reign of terror. We are talking about extremely gross character assassination here, for those who haven’t yet read Friday’s posts. This has the hallmark of a classic smear campaign, which seeks to characterise the problem with separate or orthogonal perceived issues (whether real or fictional), such as framing the issue of transparency activism in Wikileaks as a matter of women’s rights, or framing the issue of EPO transparency (or exposure of abuse) as one of nationalism/racism (as is often the case when it comes to desperate attempts to clear VP4′s name, framing critics as anti-Croatia or white supremacists who are against French officials in Germany). The EPO habitually evokes the equivalent of ‘national security’ in order to squash dissent too, as everyone saw last week (VP4 is reportedly the person to blame).

There is a striking similarity right now between what Battistelli is doing and what British police (under Swedish and US pressure/direction) has done in the UK at the gross expense of around $20,000,000 (of taxpayers’ money) when it chased people up some embassy south of here (in London), alleging to be cracking down on or policing one kind of dubious ‘abuse’ rather than an act of truth-telling (against which is there no law). Here is what Battistelli is up to right now:

NOT OUR VALUES

The European Patent Office in disrepute

In terms of damage to our public image, the damage caused at the end of last week by Mr Battistelli was probably the worst in our (almost) 40 years’ of existence.

SUEPO notes the following sequence of events:

- On Thursday 15 Oct., the Administrative Council did not follow the proposal of Mr Battistelli, which was in flagrant breach of Art. 23(1) EPC, to fire the suspended DG3 colleague.
- On the evening of the same day an article appeared in the Financiele Dagblad1 (NL) which contained serious and partially bizarre accusations against the DG3 colleague, followed by further publications on the subject in the next days.
- On Friday 16 Oct. an internal Communiqué, entitled “Defending our values” by the President was issued which was very much along the same lines as the preceding (!) publication in the Financiele Dagblad.

SUEPO, having no insight into the details of the disciplinary case, will not attempt to comment on the merits but would like to point out that:

a) everybody is to be considered innocent until proven guilty, and
b) pending disciplinary procedures are confidential, primarily to protect the person concerned.

The procedure is still pending since the matter has been referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal, which has yet to give its opinion. The accusations openly made by Mr Battistelli in his Communiqué of 16 Oct. are thus wholly inappropriate.

There is more:

- During the September PD-MAC meeting, Mr Battistelli announced to the participants that the Administrative Council would decide on the DG3 disciplinary case in its October meeting,
after which the (DG3 member’s) “wrong doings will be made public.
- A week before the Council meeting, Mr Minnoye (VP1), Ms Mittermaier (our new Dir. External Communication) and Mr Osterwalder (EPO press spokesman) apparently met with a journalist of the Financiele Dagblad.

It thus looks as if, frustrated by his failure to persuade the Council to follow his patently unlawful proposal, Mr Battistelli nevertheless decided to execute the second part of his plan, i.e. to expose the purported wrong-doings of the DG3 colleague. If this is correct, it would suggest that the apparently selective leaking of (extracts from) the confidential report of the Investigation Unit to various media is part of a premeditated campaign orchestrated by Mr Battistelli2. The purpose of these leaks seem to be to discredit the colleague concerned, and additionally exerting pressure on the Enlarged Board of Appeal with the aim of “encouraging” it to come to the “right” finding.

Mr Battistelli: who is bringing the European Patent Office into disrepute?

____________
1 http://www.suepo.org/archive/ex15387cp.pdf (with English translation)
2 The funds (880.000 Euros) for media campaigning had already been reserved – see CA/F 19/15

Regarding footnote 2, recall the "media partner" scandal (paid-for puff pieces for the EPO) and therefore bear in mind that the EPO’s management habitually bribes the media in clever/artistic ways. It helps shape the press and even removes negativism.

While we are waiting (still) for the Munich-based paper’s translation let us explain to readers what is going on here, based on our collective understanding (please correct in the comments section below if wrong conclusions were somehow reached).

Having installed keyloggers and illegally grabbed images of people (hidden cameras), the Stasi of the EPO, the Investigative Unit (with roots in Afghanistan among much of the staff), there are claims that the fishing expedition (for sources/informants to the media) was a success. Coming from the types of people who boasted and bragged about the ‘value’ of confessions derived or obtained through torture (among other tricks), this is just grand. The evidence may be very weak, if not partly fabricated (like claims of WoMD in Iraq), but one judge was illegally suspended last year. A case is being put together not by an independent, external entity. The EPO is its own police state (EPOnia), totally loyal to Battistelli, by design. If a scapegoat makes Battistelli looks better, then so be it. Framing (at least partial) probably would not be out of scope.

“The evidence may be very weak, if not partly fabricated (like claims of WoMD in Iraq), but one judge was illegally suspended last year.”Important call for action to all readers: If you have come under abuse from the EPO, the Investigative Unit (I.U.), or some external legal firm, please get in touch with us confidentially.

As far as we can tell, the Stasi (I.U.) is now mentally abusing a person whose identity we know. They are defaming an alleged whistleblower*, trying to force his colleagues to fire him (for now they refuse to, they stand by him). It’s a divide-and-rule strategy, ultimately intended (as some believe) to crush the independence of the boards or the boards as a whole. No wonder so many people commit suicides there, considering what is done behind closed to them (under menacing gag orders).

The above information can be further elucidated by numerous comments from Merpel’s latest blog post.

“According to information,” wrote one person, “the president had planned to publish about the judge right after the decision expected to be taken by the Admin C. (this course of action is minuted after a recent PD mac meeting)

“Only the Admin C. did not take the “right” decision and Battistelli could not let go since he his the master, the grand master !

“According to the good old principle calomniez, calomniez, il en restera toujours quelque chose, Battistelli – who of course does not have anything to do directly with the dissemination of information – sent his faithful VP1 a man you can always rely upon for a coup bas – to meet with the journalist of the Financieele Dagblad (plus the new DirCom ex from Transparency international and a couple of useless management pets…).”

“EPOGATE,” one person dubbed it, adding that: “Should this be true, the organised revelation to journalists of the contents of a confidential dossier – including accusations which obviously were not even pursued by the disciplinary committee – would not only be a first-grade scandal, but also amount to a criminal act against the concerned employee.

“They did not even try to hide that they were giving the confidential contents of the investigation to the press BEFORE THE EBA GAVE ITS OPINION?”
      –Anonymous
“How long will the AC now be able to oppose an official investigation in this action and the lifting of both the president´s his second fiddles’ immunity?”

Going into all caps mode, one person wrote: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS TRUE? They did not even try to hide that they were giving the confidential contents of the investigation to the press BEFORE THE EBA GAVE ITS OPINION?”

Watch some earlier comments, such as:

Battistelli proposed to violate the European Patent Convention and attempted to make the Administrative Council complicit this wrongdoing. Now Battistelli has lost face and has no legitimacy after his major failure during the AC.

EPO staff is bound by the EPC, but they have to work under a President who does not respect it. It’s astounding.

The cynicism of the EPO communiqué is appalling. The social study “in close co-operation with the President” will end up like the union recognition project going nowhere as slowly as possible.

And what about the investigation of staff representatives launched by Elodie Bergot (PD HR) with the help of Control Risks? Did the AC tell BB to stop it? Will Elizabeth Hardon be dismissed? And what about all the other SUEPO executives?

[...]

I fully agree with you on the social audit : this will be a mere smokescreen controlled (since it is organised) by Battistelli’s closest associates : the Board 28

As a staff rep I feel deeeeeeeply down tonight since they do not seem willing to review the way reforms are ill-designed, much less harshly implemenented.

See you at suicide nr 6

Battistelli’s internal communiqué is quite horrible. It’s a personal attack disguised as ‘information’. It’s only backed by what seems to be embedded ‘journalism’.

“I just discovered the new article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung,” wrote to us one person, “and it is something of a bombshell.”

“The writers claim to have seen the investigation report.”

So this isn’t really independent reporting, it’s just an expedition from Battistelli’s goons, trying to co-opt the media.

“I don’t know what to make of it,” wrote another person to us. “Master tactical stroke by Battistelli, or simply the same megacrap taken up to the next level?”

“I will have to look at the article with a rested head to try to understand what’s going on, and try to find out what happened. I wouldn’t be surprised by a new wave of repression beginning beginning this week.”

Well, judging by the above, it is exactly what’s going on and later this month we shall shed some more light on that. It’s a lot broader a campaign of repression than what’s visible on the surface. People are just being gagged.

“If he is a real whistleblower,” told us another person about the judge, it “could make a big difference: there are increasing numbers of structures to help whistleblowers” (among them some European groups).

This judge/IT specialist is accused of speaking to colleagues about Željko Topić (see the criminal lawsuits), but EPO apparently goes further by accusing him of speaking to the media or orchestrating something a lot larger than that (which may be a bogus accusation and even if truthful an allegation, such an action may as well be justified). Now there is a character assassination campaign because his board of appeal colleagues and the Administrative Council refuse to fire him (EPO cannot do so directly, as it would be against the law and would thus result in an embarrassment, maybe even a lawsuit). We believe he is now on ‘house ban’ with his salary halved. Battistelli wants to pull the plug on life support, too. Perhaps it’s time for Battistelli to quit pretending to have nothing to do with suicides. “See you at suicide nr 6,” wrote a commenter yesterday.
______
* If he is not a whistleblower per se, then he is one who speaks truth to power (or to colleagues) and gets punished for it. Retaliation by a smear campaign, plus an apparent collusion with the media in this case, serves as a deterrence and scares many others.

German Media Shows Discriminatory EPO Practices More Than Just a ‘Pilot’ (Reaching Second Half of 2016), Started When Microsoft Pressured EPO (Lodged Complaints)

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 5:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO
Photo credit: Heise

Summary: Techrights’ revelations about a Microsoft-EPO agreement (extend favouritism in exchange for more money in the form of patent applications) are now mainstream news in Germany

TECHRIGHTS continues to gather more information and improve clarity of this information. The EPO’s highly controversial program turns out to have started with Microsoft (and because of Microsoft) based on what the EPO's spokesperson said the other day. Microsoft is not even a European company, not to mention its notorious record of patent extortion against small European companies (such as TomTom).

Meanwhile, as I only discovered this morning, this story becomes major news in Germany’s newspapers and even radio. SUEPO uploaded copies today [PDF] (we have made this local copy because the EPO is trying to take down information using what is essentially threats).

Coming from Germany’s biggest IT newspaper, here is a report for which SUEPO provided French and English translations. Here is the English translation:

English translation

Memo Shock: European Patent Office suspected of giving priority to major clients like Microsoft

12.10.2015 17:06

Stefan Krempl

The blog “Techrights” has leaked an internal memo from the European Patent Office revealing that the Office is shortly aiming to offer ten major clients a “better service” as part of a pilot project.

The European Patent Office (EPO) wants to give preferential treatment to certain clients by way of a better “Esprit de Service”, and so strengthen the bond between them. The revelation comes from an internal memo dating from February, which “Techrights” leaked
on Monday. According to this, as part of a pilot project ten major clients will shortly be benefitting from improved services for a year.

Appearing on the proposal list of those chosen for the test run starting in April are Microsoft, Canon, Siemens, Philips, Qualcomm, BASF, Bayer, Ericsson & Fujitsu. Whether the South Korean giant Samsung and Chinese network specialist Huawei will also be brought in is still under discussion.

Biggest clients

The justification given is that in 2013 the companies were the biggest clients from the different technological sectors and geographical areas involved. The range extends from 600 patent applications from Microsoft to 2833 made by Samsung. Many of the firms were chosen because of the “strength of the existing contacts”, which would make the “fast tracking” of the pilot project easier to carry through. Plans are for the project to be extended to other partners in the second half of 2016.

The Munich-based Office, currently being rocked by a series of scandals, is hoping to achieve more efficient deployment of its resources as a result of the improved cooperation, as well as better technical training and higher “production”. The aim is that it should also be possible to react more specifically to patent applications with special personnel, and to forecast the work involved more accurately. The overall aim is to coordinate things better, and settle the arrangements more readily.

VIP treatment?

According to the leaked document, the initiative comes from the part of the Patent Office which is responsible for information and communications technologies. Word from there has it that Microsoft has lodged complaints about 450 applications which had apparently been put on hold and not dealt with further. Canon are also said to have drawn up a comparable list of applications which have been described as “blatantly delayed”. In response, it seems that a start has been made on tackling the backlog, with special sectors from Siemens, such as for wind turbines and underwater connections, being brought in as well.

For Techrights blogger Roy Schestowitz, the whole business seems more than questionable, in many respects. On the one hand, the EPO is behaving less like an international authority dedicated to serving the public, and increasingly like a private company. On the other, there seems no justification at all for a large number of major concerns from outside Europe benefitting from this “VIP treatment”. Up to now, the EPO has still made no comment to enquiries from heise online. (axk)

Other German newspapers have covered this as well. To quote one of them, “Microsoft und neun andere Großkunden sollen in einem Pilotprojekt des Europäischen Patentamts von einem “besseren Service” profitieren. Dies legt ein interner Aktenvermerk nahe, den der Blog “Techrights” veröffentlicht hat.”

The German public is being made aware of what is seemingly EPO institutional corruption. Based on information that we have, English-speaking media is going to hammer the EPO pretty hard in weeks to come. Techrights revelations about EPO were on Swiss radio as well, so the word is evidently spreading and EPO managers in Munich are growingly nervous.

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