12.19.15

Microsoft is Entrapping Android With Infamous (ex)FAT Patents and Turning Android Phones Into Microsoft Listening Devices (Bugs)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 5:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android and Microsoft

Image from Android Beat

Summary: Concerns expressed about adoption of Microsoft’s patented file systems and a preinstalled ‘app’ from Microsoft which turns phones into always-on listening devices

THE Microsoft-TomTom dispute showed us, as much as nearly 7 years ago, that Microsoft is firmly and openly engaged in a patent war against Linux. Microsoft would even take companies to court over it. Microsoft is still attacking Linux (mostly Android) companies using patents (5 such attacks were covered here earlier this year) and we therefore worry a great deal about whatever Microsoft is doing to make the ground more fertile for lawsuits, in the same way that Monsanto (less figuratively) plants the seeds for lawsuits against farmers whose fields have ‘patented’ seeds (this relates to Benoît Battistelli's EPO these days).

“File system patents, like those which Microsoft used against TomTom, are being imposed on Android.”The NSA’s PRISM pioneer and audio-visual informant (that’s Microsoft) has built a bug, with audio recording always on, into Android, using its Trojan horse, Cyanogen. We saw it coming and now we see it materialising. To quote this new article: “At the official announcement post for Cortana’s availability on iOS and Android, Microsoft also announced that future versions of Cyanogen OS will feature deep integration of Cortana. Along with this, it is now announced that Cortana will come along as part of the Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 OTA update for users of the OnePlus One in the USA, in December.”

This, however, does not worry us as much as the patents. Several hours were spent today in our IRC channels discussing these matters. File system patents, like those which Microsoft used against TomTom, are being imposed on Android. It’s an alternative ‘cash cow’ plot. Here are the relevant parts from IRC:

XFaCE schestowitz: also, (haven’t looked at TR in awhile) did you cover CyanogenOS’s inclusion of Cortana Dec 19 14:47
XFaCE schestowitz: also, CM13 nightly recently added an NTFS driver Dec 19 14:47
XFaCE http://review.cyanogenmod.org/#/c/123061/ Dec 19 14:49
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-review.cyanogenmod.org | Gerrit Code Review [ http://ur1.ca/ocp4n ] Dec 19 14:49
XFaCE “sepolicy: Set the context for fsck.exfat/ntfs to fsck_exec” Dec 19 14:49
schestowitz didn’t see it Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz is it in C-Mode? Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE http://review.cyanogenmod.org/#/c/122995/ Dec 19 14:50
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-review.cyanogenmod.org | Gerrit Code Review [ http://ur1.ca/ocp4p ] Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz Or just Cyanogen Inc? Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE “Native NTFS kernel driver support” Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE this is CM13 Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz I mean, upstream Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz is it included in the core of CM? Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE yes Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz wow Dec 19 14:50
cubexyz schestowitz, I’m asking for permission to use it as it’s a private email Dec 19 14:50
schestowitz You said CyanogenOS Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE schestowitz: yeah, in realtion to cortana Dec 19 14:50
XFaCE *relation Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz what’s the link? Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz Because they claims CM is barebones and then vendors can do to it a bundle Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE http://www.xda-developers.com/xda-external-link/cortana-now-available-where-and-when-you-need-her-no-matter-what-smartphone-you-choose/ Dec 19 14:51
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-www.xda-developers.com | Cortana to Come Preloaded On Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 on OnePlus One [ http://ur1.ca/ocp4r ] Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz also, are there articles about it? Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE so to summarize Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz one PlusOne Dec 19 14:51
schestowitz but is it also upstream? Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE NTFS/exFat is added to CyanogenMod Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE Cortana on CyanogenOS Dec 19 14:51
XFaCE so CyanogenOS has become a transparent Microsoft marketing bed Dec 19 14:52
XFaCE and CM13 is slowly becoming one :P Dec 19 14:52
oiaohm XFaCE: sorry you don’t understand the problem. Dec 19 14:53
XFaCE “At the official announcement post for Cortana’s availability on iOS and Android, Microsoft also announced that future versions of Cyanogen OS will feature deep integration of Cortana. “ Dec 19 14:53
oiaohm NTFS and exFat in fact becomes stupidly forced by storage device makers. Dec 19 14:53
XFaCE I don’t even run either on my sdcard Dec 19 14:53
XFaCE I just use JFFS Dec 19 14:53
oiaohm You still don’t understand the problem. Dec 19 14:53
XFaCE that was an aside comment Dec 19 14:54
oiaohm Some sdcards if you put anything other than exfat or ntfs on them they will destory you data. Dec 19 14:54
oiaohm and I am not kidding. Dec 19 14:54
XFaCE well that’s fucked up Dec 19 14:54
XFaCE link? Dec 19 14:54
oiaohm Why they storage card system for working out what sectors it can recycle for wear leveling is working from the information it extracting from the file system. Dec 19 14:55
oiaohm It was covered in a 2010 australian Linux conference video. Dec 19 14:55
XFaCE “Nevertheless, in order to be fully compliant with the SDXC card specification, many SDXC-capable host devices are firmware-programmed to expect exFAT on cards larger than 32 GB. Consequently, they may not accept SDXC cards reformatted as FAT32, even if the device supports FAT32 on smaller cards (for SDHC compatibility). Therefore, even if a file system is supported in general, it is not always possible to use alternative file systems on SDXC cards a Dec 19 14:56
XFaCE t all depending on how strictly the SDXC card specification has been implemented in the device. This bears a risk of accidental loss of data, as a host device may treat a card with an unrecognized file system as blank or damaged and reformat the card.” Dec 19 14:56
XFaCE wow Dec 19 14:56
oiaohm XFaCE: Please note SDXC contains exfat as part of the standard. Dec 19 14:56
XFaCE after how much $$$ from MS? Dec 19 14:57
oiaohm So format SDXC with NTFS and its exfat only you data is screwed. Dec 19 14:57
oiaohm XFaCE: when you understand the problem what choice do OS vendors have when Hardware makers lock in the format. Dec 19 14:58
XFaCE thanks for this info, I didn’t know that Dec 19 14:58
schestowitz thanks Dec 19 14:58
schestowitz will do an article about i Dec 19 14:59
schestowitz it Dec 19 14:59
XFaCE two separate ones? Dec 19 14:59
oiaohm Please note when buying ssd harddrives this problem can apply as well. Dec 19 14:59
oiaohm Yes always look for Linux support on a ssd harddrive because that means generic file system support. Dec 19 14:59
oiaohm Windows or OS X only ssds could be nasty. Dec 19 14:59
XFaCE god damn Dec 19 14:59
XFaCE oiaohm: do you have an example of a Linux-ready SSD? Dec 19 15:03
XFaCE for future reference Dec 19 15:03
XFaCE schestowitz: looks like what oiaohm has said – the cm13 ntfs thing is an android-wide developement Dec 19 15:04
XFaCE cyanogenos however IS going microsoft Dec 19 15:04
oiaohm https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/mtl/technologylicensing.aspx?f0ebc726-7ebd-4545-a353-de9b1edbdbee=True   Yes Microsoft does demard patents over exfat. Dec 19 15:05
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-www.microsoft.com | Intellectual Property Technology Licensing Programs [ http://ur1.ca/ocp5c ] Dec 19 15:05
XFaCE oiaohm: this is the kind of shit that anti-trust agencies should be raving on Dec 19 15:06
XFaCE this is clear monopolistic bullshit Dec 19 15:07
cubexyz schestowitz, briefly it’s like this… customer says win10 KOed his computer to the point he can’t even install a new OS Dec 19 15:07
oiaohm XFaCE: ssd even Linux ready ones have major teeth at times.   https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/18363/Intel-Solid-State-Drive-Firmware-Update-Tool Dec 19 15:07
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-downloadcenter.intel.com | Download Intel® Solid-State Drive Firmware Update Tool [ http://ur1.ca/ocp5f ] Dec 19 15:07
cubexyz I’ve asked him for permision to quote him, as soon as he gives that I’ll post the text online Dec 19 15:08
XFaCE major teeth? Dec 19 15:08
oiaohm XFaCE: ssd drives have firmware updates read the notes about it. Dec 19 15:08
XFaCE yikes Dec 19 15:09
oiaohm XFaCE:  —If the Intel SSD firmware update process is interrupted, your Intel SSD may not function properly.—  found this bit. Dec 19 15:09
oiaohm In otherwords I can eat your data. Dec 19 15:09
oiaohm Now Microsoft is wanting to make firmware updating on stuff automatic. Dec 19 15:09
cubexyz the upside, if there is one… is the customer will be more receptive to non-microsoft operating systems Dec 19 15:10
oiaohm My main usage of ssd harddrives is as bcache where the majority of the data is kept on old school spinning media. Dec 19 15:11
XFaCE oiaohm: how are kingston ssds for linux compatibility? Dec 19 15:11
oiaohm XFaCE: From what I have seen of kingston ssds they all had Linux firmware update tools.    Now a problem you can run into with a kingston ssd they don’t have os x tools and older drives don’t have current version of Windows tools. Dec 19 15:14
oiaohm XFaCE: so kingston ssd is more Linux compadible than anything else. Dec 19 15:14
oiaohm Ie not compadible with mostly everything else. Dec 19 15:14
XFaCE lol Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE well that’s good to know Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE Kingston SSDs it is Dec 19 15:15
oiaohm XFaCE: I guess you starting to see this SSD stuff has major holes. Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE well I never even thought of it Dec 19 15:15
oiaohm So a SSD good for Linux can be horible for Windows and OS X. Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE thanks very much for bringing it to our attention Dec 19 15:15
XFaCE the sdxc thing is just… wow Dec 19 15:16
oiaohm And you can swap that around. Dec 19 15:16
oiaohm So when you buy a SSD it better match the OS’s you are wishing to use in spec. Dec 19 15:16
XFaCE oiaohm: in an ideal world SDXD would require JFFS or something open Dec 19 15:16
XFaCE or YAFFS Dec 19 15:17
oiaohm XFaCE: F2FS is from samsung. Dec 19 15:18
XFaCE ah right Dec 19 15:18
schestowitz https://www.gnu.org/fun/jokes/helloworld.html Dec 19 15:22
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-www.gnu.org | Hello World! – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF) [ http://ur1.ca/ocp69 ] Dec 19 15:22
oiaohm XFaCE:  JFFS and YAFFS don’t have the required size to meet SDXC spec sizes let alown what a new spec could put up.   But F2FS does. Dec 19 15:22
XFaCE yeah I think I was thinking of F2FS oiaohm Dec 19 15:23
XFaCE oiaohm: yep, my bad Dec 19 15:26
XFaCE the names can get confusing Dec 19 15:26
XFaCE but yeah I’m using F2FS on my phone Dec 19 15:26
oiaohm I know.   Its only that I watch the australian Linux conference videos that I got it right. Dec 19 15:26
oiaohm cubexyz: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows/lifecycle   Read down notice Oct 2016 preinstallation of Windows 7 and windows 8.1 is no longer meant to be performed by Microsoft Profesionals. Dec 19 15:28
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-windows.microsoft.com | Windows lifecycle fact sheet – Windows Help [ http://ur1.ca/ocp6l ] Dec 19 15:28
oiaohm cubexyz: and “Retail software end of sales ” is the full boxed set editions. Dec 19 15:29
oiaohm cubexyz:  mostly the old OS stuff you find in stores is old stock. Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE oiaohm: writing on the wall Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE gentoo for me Dec 19 15:30
oiaohm Debian for me. Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE all the time Dec 19 15:30
oiaohm systemd does not bother me enough to move away from it. Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE the only windows installation will be in an internet-free KVM Dec 19 15:30
XFaCE like studying a virus or bacteria :) Dec 19 15:31
oiaohm From what I am hearing is the windows 10 upgrade is being deployed by the Windows 7 and 8.1 update system. Dec 19 15:32
oiaohm If that is the case Microsoft can declare it a critical update for Windows 7 and 8.1 so kill support to anything that is not 10. Dec 19 15:32
XFaCE yeah Dec 19 15:32
XFaCE I feel sorry for the Windows 7 users now – every windows update has to be examined Dec 19 15:33
XFaCE I have an ignore list for what it’s worth Dec 19 15:33
oiaohm Windows 10 no ignore list Dec 19 15:33
oiaohm For gernal users. Dec 19 15:33
XFaCE yeah Dec 19 15:33
XFaCE oiaohm: Windows 10 is not for general users :) Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE or any users Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE as schestowitz would say, it’s for the useds(sic) Dec 19 15:34
oiaohm Only way I can see that I can run Windows 10 is run it inside virtual machine some how. Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE KVM yeah Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE isolated from the rest of the system Dec 19 15:34
oiaohm So I can control its internet access so control its update system Dec 19 15:34
XFaCE oiaohm: there is WSUS Dec 19 15:34
oiaohm WSUS is only for enterprise editions. Dec 19 15:35
XFaCE that program enterprises use to control windows updates to machines Dec 19 15:35
oiaohm That is another change with Windows 10. Dec 19 15:35
oiaohm Windows 7 and 8.1 as long as it was pro you could connect it to WSUS. Dec 19 15:35
*schestowitz takes notes for later Dec 19 15:35
XFaCE oiaohm: well, there’s always just downloading updates and installing them via cmd script Dec 19 15:35
XFaCE aka the Windows 95 and below way :P Dec 19 15:36
oiaohm XFaCE: remember Windows 10 auto updates. Dec 19 15:36
oiaohm So internet connection it getting it themselves. Dec 19 15:36
XFaCE hence why the KVM (or equivalent) should have no or tightly regulated internet access Dec 19 15:36
cubexyz it sounds like utter crap Dec 19 15:37
XFaCE pretty much Dec 19 15:37
XFaCE at this point running MS-DOS 10 sounds preferable Dec 19 15:37
oiaohm http://www.wsusoffline.net/docs/  At least wsusoffline supports Windows 10 Dec 19 15:38
-TechrightsBot-tr/#techrights-www.wsusoffline.net | WSUS Offline Update – Update Microsoft Windows and Office without an Internet connection Dec 19 15:38
oiaohm So you don’t need to give windows 10 internet access to get updates for it. Dec 19 15:38
XFaCE good thought Dec 19 15:38
XFaCE I forgot about WSUSoffline Dec 19 15:38
oiaohm I have worked out that I can perfectly contain Windows 10. Dec 19 15:39
oiaohm Problem is virtualisation stuff like sharing a video card between 2 OS’s is still crap. Dec 19 15:39
XFaCE true Dec 19 15:39
XFaCE I guess Wine would be needed to run those applications Dec 19 15:39
XFaCE graphics-intensive ones Dec 19 15:40
oiaohm Businesses use a lot of applications that don’t run in Wine. Dec 19 15:40
MinceR businesses can afford to have those applications rewritten by people who have a clue Dec 19 15:40
oiaohm MinceR: not exactly so.   I wish it could say that. Dec 19 15:40
cubexyz surely is this the total end of microsoft’s dominance though Dec 19 15:41
cubexyz it’s so bad… Dec 19 15:41
MinceR not unless uefi dies Dec 19 15:41
oiaohm MinceR: some applications are forced on companies by stupid governement departments. Dec 19 15:41
XFaCE cubexyz: end of *total* dominance perhaps Dec 19 15:41
XFaCE but not the total end of dominance Dec 19 15:41
MinceR oiaohm: governments can especially afford to have those applications rewritten by people who have a clue Dec 19 15:41
MinceR skip buying hypePads for every MP for one year and it’s funded Dec 19 15:41

As can be seen above, the discussion went on to a different topic, which is Vista 10. We have been sent the following message from someone who claims that an ‘update’ happened without even consent. To quote: “I am replying on an ASUS laptop computer using Windows 10. At one time it was a backup to my desktop until Windows 10 destroyed itself on my CyberpowerPC. Windows 10 does updates without asking. Having shut down to do a restart, after one update, it could not find itself. That section isthe part that tells Windows what the layout of the machine is. When this happens windows tries again. It is a never-ending loop. Booting to the BIOS and using backup on memory stick, the same error occurs. This turned this powerful gaming machine into a boat anchor.”

Welcome to the world of Microsoft — a world which Microsoft is trying to impose on everybody. And those who reject Windows get sued for patent infringement.

Watch Out for ‘Divide and Rule’ Tactics From the Control Risks- and FTI Consulting-Steered EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Playing favourites” and other fracturing strategies seem quite likely in the mix

Control Risks et al.

Summary: Unions of the EPO are being busted and even played off against one another as part of a strategy which appears to resemble a union busters’ classic

THINGS at Benoît Battistelli’s EPO are quite grim. They are getting only worse over time, never any better. The French media has just written about this and we wait for people who can translate the article.

Now that the EPO’s tyrant in chief (Battistelli) is trying to portray SUEPO as some kind of radical fringe (calling it “Mafia” even though a massive and ever-growing number of EPO staff are members) we are starting to suspect it’s a strategy we saw and covered here before, in relation to software. For those who are not familiar with it, in the political (and sometimes commercial) world you can weaken some party by introducing or propping up more ‘moderate’ elements, however small these may be, then induce dilution (by fracturing or superficial division a la sectarian violence, mastered by the British empire). Defection isn’t imperative if one can simply incite people against the original party. Some people call this strategy “Controlled Opposition”. It’s a difficult one to tackle because whether one joins or attacks such perceived (newly-introduced) opposition, the only party destined to benefit is the ‘puppet master’ of this whole show. It always serves to weaken the majority. It’s a form of art and people like those whom Team Battistelli contracted probably know such a spiel.

“It’s a form of art and people like those whom Team Battistelli contracted probably know such a spiel.”Comments in IP Kat are once again driven towards distraction and infighting (familiar trolling tactics which are used across the Internet to discredit the commenters in forums critical of companies*), reducing the signal-to-noise ratio and thus discouraging constructive participation. Every now and then there are comments that actually add new information rather than feed the trolls. For instance, this comment about FFPE-EPO says that “FFPE-EPO is about to sign a MoU with the office, which will include a passage about the strike regulations needing to be amended.

“That will be a huge victory for the management, even though FFPE-EPO is only local in The Hague, and based on the last election results published, have only about 90 members. But the election details were from 2009, the 2011 results did not include numbers of eligible votes, and apparently there have been no elections since.”

What we generally found is, the management is trying to divide (as in “divide and rule”) the staff and some say that FFPE-EPO is even ‘in bed’ with Bergot (there are many more rumours out there about FFPE-EPO). One comment from exactly one month ago said:

Of course they are management friendly: they were created and sponsored internally with the one belgian colleague close to VP1 who recently has become PD (and also with the support of the then head of personnel in TH (a Dutch national now in DG3) and PD HR at the time (another Belgian now in Alicante).

Recently their officials in The Hague travelled with Ms Bergot to have an official meeting in Brussel with the head office of FFPE.

FFPE is a yellow union.

Prior to this one person wrote:

Among the increasingly bizarre pronouncements of the President is the one that says he is about to sign an agreement with the unions in a matter of days. How can this be when SUEPO has long declined any further discussions as long as its representatives are under threat?

The answer is possibly that the President intends to enter into an agreement with FFPE. This is a management-sponsored union set up some years before the arrival of Battistelli, as an opponent of SUEPO. It was accorded privileges never allowed to SUEPO, such as its own office in The Hague. Now there is nothing wrong with any alternative union with different views appealing to staff – that is simple democracy. However, its candidates failed at the time to win election to the staff committee. That is also democracy.

Up until recently little was heard of it, but it was a party to the talks on Union recognition held earlier this year. I am prepared to bet that Battystelli intends to sign an agreement with it to show how Union-friendly he is. It is normal for such agreements to set a minimum requirement for the percentage of staff belonging to any Union before it is recognized as a negotiation partner. SUEPO membership is around 40-50% of staff. FFPE membership was secret last time I asked, but it was roughly estimated to be around 40 (members, not percentages) in its heyday. This would represent about 0.57% of staff. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on these figures, but the orders of magnitude are correct. It will be interesting to see if Batty ignores these facts.

In defence of FFPE-EPO one person wrote:

FFPE-EPO is not management friendly, but they lack capacity and experience, furthermore they are limited to The Hague only.
They split from SUEPO due to the overactivity of SUEPO, and because SUEPO did nothing to get the same rights for Dutch employees in The Hague as the “expats” in The Hague enjoy.
Therefore nearly all FFPE-EPO members are of Dutch nationality, which actually severely limits FFPE-EPO.

Another person wrote:

While I would welcome a second point of view in the on-going discussions, and a second report of how the meetings regarding the rcognition of the unions is proceedings, and thus a second union could be advantageous, I have a few problems with the way the current second union handles current “reforms to ensure the independency of the EPO for the future”. My major point of deficiency FFPE-EPO has in my views, that they do not communicate how they see the current discussions.
Once a year a blue page in the inbox of the emploees doesn’t tell us much about what they are doing to address the current topics, nor where they see a possible solution, nor if an how they are in cntct with the administration/other unions/….
To me it seems a lot like the FFPE-EPO officials “gave up” and do not care about FFPE-EPO anymore, and several of their members I know will leave FFPE-EPO due to their silence…

Here is the part about Bergot again:

well if you wish to know the FFPE position read management communication my friend ;o)

Again FFPE-EPO officials travelled WITH Mrs Bergot to meet their head office in Brussel. How can this be a trustworthy union.

Say no more

We previously covered FFPE-EPO’s statement or stance, but there are sceptical voices there which ask them, “tell us something FFPE-EPO: how many members do you have of how many nationality?” Another says: “SUEPO is not only an organization under Dutch law, If I am not mistaken. SUEPO also represents staff in Munich, Berlin and Vienna. FFPE-EPO does not seem to be an option for staff at those locations, which is the majority. If I am wrong, please put me right.”

Cynic said: “As a Suepo member, Ffpe is a union for primarily Dutch colleagues who do face distinct issues unrelated to their non-Dutch colleagues which do not get a large look in with Suepo. This is almost inevitable and I appreciate that the solution is either to have a dedicated romp within Suepo or a separate parallel union. Ideally they would find a place within Suepo but I don’t see them as ‘opposition’ although they have been played off against Suepo at times for mgt games.

“With regard to mgt fighting blog games, the actions of mgt are barely credible and the PR battle is going against them. For a long time they kept a lofty disregard but as the battles became uncomfortable they have signed up with agencies for tidy sums who are clearly trying for reputation mgt using a different tactic. It looks like a last stand with backs to the wall but maybe that’s wishful thinking. ”

That’s where we suspect there may be efforts to divide and rule (the above is clearly some kind of infighting). One person even pulled me into this and wrote: “Dr. Schestowitz has often expressed misgivings about the UPC. Presumably management at the EPO have concluded that he must be part of the anti-UPC conspiracy and must be crushed using all resources available.”

“Enemy in the own body” is what one reader of ours called this strategy. “Regarding what Battistelli says about the union,” referring to SUEPO, “(or as he called elsewhere, “minority of staff” – this is fully ridiculous) – he used the term “mafia”.

“I wonder,” the reader said, “why he did not use “cancer”, the enemy in the own body. It is he and his inner circle, not the staff, who is the enemy (cancer) in the own body. Reforms of the European Patent Organisation are needed, especially law (which is available) must be applicable and the waive of immunity (for all non-patent-related matters). Democracy and Human rights are ignored, I regard this as illegal, and the public must fight against the unlawful behaviour.”

The curious thing we find as we glance at comments in IP Kat is the effort to distract and to turn the debate into a combative argument between defenders of the EPO (or sceptics of the regulars), not the sharing of information among staff with the cloak of anonymity (offered with very clear caveats by Google).

Based on what we have learned, even money is being used in an effort to appease critics (not just delegates). We wrote about this a week ago. Bonus as an incentive goes a long way, no matter how miniscule. We have learned that among patent examiners, for example, a “vast majority” denied and even appealed against this form of “corruption”.

“In other words,” we were told, “since Brimelow, Pompidou and Battistelli, they did not want to become accomplices of the management. I know of some who donated their bonus, or a major part, to charity organisations, because they did not want this stinky euros.”

Appeasing or discouraging dissent by paying people more (than colleagues in the same pay grade) is one way to buy people’s silence. “My personal view,” our source told us, is that “this is money from applicants, public, and should not be fed back to public servants. Like the millions which are spent for the (cui bono?) “Inventors of the year” events.”

A similarly-obscene amount of money (nearly a million dollars) is being wasted because Team Battistelli is now paying a US-based PR firm for reputation laundering or disaster management. Considering the fact that this money is sucked up through patent tax (tax on European citizens, collected by the EPO's 'special' friends which it calls “major applicants”), that’s really something, isn’t it? A tax paid by the public is now being used for deceiving that same public so that the public keeps paying up. What a scam. And the EPO still enjoys a monopoly in Europe (and hopes to make it more so with the UPC).

To our reader it seems like “no one of the examiners wants a bonus in these times. It is internal corruption.”
__________
* Not sure if the the EPO meddles to achieve this or maybe FTI Consulting, to some degree. We wrote about this before.

Patent Maximalism and the Patent Trolls Epidemic Which It Leads to Not a Problem for Patent Lawyers

Posted in America, Australia, Europe, Patents at 2:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sometimes money is to be made by killing people, not helping people

Salk
[Via]

Summary: A roundup of recent articles and even paid-for press releases from proponents of software patents (and patents on just about everything) because they have nothing to worry about and patent wars (or patent stockpiling) is how they make money, regardless of the destructive outcome

THE patent maximalists, or those wishing to patent everything under the Sun (because they profit from it), are still occupying the media because everyone else is busy or apathetic.

An article in AOL, based on this press release, can be seen accompanying another press release titled “Stepes Files Patents for Its Chat-Based Translation Software”. These are software patents. They’re quite an epidemic in the United States and they should serve as a lesson for Benoît Battistelli’s EPO. This is why the US has so many patent trolls.

“This is why the US has so many patent trolls.”Remember AJ Park? It’s a firm that lobbied New Zealand for software patents at behest of rich multinational clients [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here they go again promoting patents on business methods (closely related to software patents as per Bilski). AJ Park is based in New Zealand and Australia, where patent lawyers still bemoan the difficulty of getting software patents (Jack Redfern and Matthew Ward from Shelston IP Pty Ltd in this case) because the Australian government isn’t as easy for monopolists to corrupt. It’s not just an Australian thing; patent lawyers keep working hard to make shallow software patents possible to have granted in the US after Alice. They even issue new paid-for press releases and lobby for continued existence of software patents in the US (this one is from Mark Williams of Snell & Wilmer).

“It’s not just an Australian thing; patent lawyers keep working hard to make shallow software patents possible to have granted in the US after Alice.”As we noted here earlier this month, software patents have a lot to do with patent trolls. Texas, which we have been writing a lot about lately [1, 2, 3, 4], is proof of it. According to this new article: “U.S. courts are seeing a rash of lawsuits involving old and sometimes expired patents as companies try to squeeze the last bit of profits from their 20-year-old inventions.

“The patents sometimes end up in the hands of speculators who may go to court with infringement claims against other companies in the hopes of a big pay off — either by forcing settlements or going to trial.

“Xerox Corp., the office-copier pioneer now a target of activist investor Carl Icahn, has been transferring old patents for electronic documents and communications to outside firms this year. Those entities have since filed about 290 lawsuits against retailers, airlines, insurance firms and gaming companies — even though the patents had expired or will in a few years.”

Notice the role played by Carl Icahn, who helped Microsoft essentially kill Yahoo (he is still doing so). Also remember that Acacia used Xerox patents against Linux.

“Much like debt collectors,” said this EPO person, the above people are “buying old (often expired) debt claims to extort money to the unaware. Vultures. Parasites. Leeches.”

“It’s gratifying to see more complaints about patent trolls, but one way to tackle them would be to ban software patents, as a large majority of parasites and patent trolls rely on these.”Some of these types of leeches already come to Europe.

This patent maximalists’ site refers to trolls as NPEs and writes: “US tech companies have for years battled lawsuits against non-practising entities (NPEs), but now they are fighting back.

“A group of 24 amici curiae, including Adobe, eBay and Google, want to end patent law suit forum shopping – a tactic favoured by so called ‘patent trolls’.

“The group submitted a brief to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit urging that a domestic corporation’s “residence” for patent-suit venue purposes, is limited to its state of incorporation.”

It’s gratifying to see more complaints about patent trolls, but one way to tackle them would be to ban software patents, as a large majority of parasites and patent trolls rely on these.

Links 19/12/2015: Manjaro Linux 15.12 RC 2, Jolla is Back

Posted in News Roundup at 1:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Openalpr – An Open Source Licence Plate Reader

    There is also an OpenALPR agent tat can run as a Linux daemon. In this mode it can monitor one or more MJPEG video streams and return JSON packaged data containing the licence number it found.

  • rsync.net: ZFS Replication to the cloud is finally here—and it’s fast

    In mid-August, the first commercially available ZFS cloud replication target became available at rsync.net. Who cares, right? As the service itself states, “If you’re not sure what this means, our product is Not For You.”

    Of course, this product is for someone—and to those would-be users, this really will matter. Fully appreciating the new rsync.net (spoiler alert: it’s pretty impressive!) means first having a grasp on basic data transfer technologies. And while ZFS replication techniques are burgeoning today, you must actually begin by examining the technology that ZFS is slowly supplanting.

  • Why OVH is betting on OpenZFS

    The annual OpenZFS Developer Summit took place on October 19-20 in San Francisco. Used in a relatively discrete manner by IT professionals until now, OpenZFS celebrates its 10 year anniversary as its adoption continues to grow. Witness how this open source technology has been used to store the twelve petabytes of dailies for the movie Gravity (1), or its integration into the latest release of Ubuntu as a native file system. This year, two representatives from the OVH storage team were sent to the Developer Summit to learn about new developments and to propose their contribution to the community, “Live migration with Zmotion”. Explanations and an overview are provided by François Lesage and Alexandre Lecuyer, OVH storage engineers.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How Fast is Your Hadoop? Here’s How to Measure That

      Many organizations are also wrestling with how to quantify the performance they are actually getting from big data tools like Hadoop and Spark. On that front, there is good news. The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) has announced two new additions to its growing arsenal of industry-standard benchmarks: TPC-DS 2.0 and TPCx-V. TPC-DS 2.0 is billed as “the first industry-standard benchmark for SQL-based Big Data systems, including Hadoop and Apache Spark-based systems, as well as relational database management systems (RDBMSs).” It could provide a standard for quantifying big data performance.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0.4 for Slackware-current

      My christmas break has started! So there is finally time to finish some of the stuff that had been piling up. First thing to release is the new version of LibreOffice 5, because it is so fresh. Release 5.0.4 was announced yesterday on the Document Foundation blog. My virtual server I rent from HostUS gives me so much better speeds than my build server at home for RAM-hungry compilations like LibreOffice… I built my new packages in a third of the time it usually takes me. Plus, the server at home was free to work on Slackware Live Edition… more about that soon, in another post.

    • Collabora brings LibreOffice Online to ownCloud
    • Ministry of Defence Continues the process of migrating to LibreOffice [Ed: automated translation]

      Perugia, 17 December 2015 – the Defence Association and LibreItalia announce the conclusion of the first course for referees LibreOffice computer, run independently from the group of trainers within the organization of the defense (formed last November) and under the supervision of mentor volunteers Association LibreItalia.

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • New Product in stock: PIC32-RetroBSD Open Source Hardware Board running Unix like RetroBSD OS

      RetroBSD is a port of 2.11BSD Unix intended for embedded systems with fixed memory mapping. The current target is Microchip PIC32 microcontroller with 128 kbytes of RAM and 512 kbytes of Flash. PIC32 processor has MIPS M4K architecture, executable data memory and flexible RAM partitioning between user and kernel modes. The project is open source and hosted at RetroBSD.org

    • Linux Predictions 2016, FreeNAS Logo Contest & More…

      FreeNAS Logo Contest: Okay, artists, get those colored pencils sharpened, those brushes cleaned and ready, because you have an assignment — that logo isn’t going to design itself. FreeNAS — “founded in 2005 on the guiding principle that network storage software should be available to the public at no cost and free of license restrictions” according to its site — has initiated a logo contest, urging the community to contribute artwork to become a part of FreeNAS history.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software Foundation submits comments to U.S. Department of Education encouraging free licensing for all grant-funded materials

      The Department was seeking comments on proposed rules that would ensure that works created with competitive grant funds from the Department would be licensed to give the public and educational institutions the right to freely modify and distribute the works. The FSF’s comment lauded this goal, but suggested an important wording change in the regulation to ensure that “the license must grant public permission to ‘distribute modifications’ or equivalently ‘distribute adaptations.’” Earlier this month, the FSF also called on free software supporters to submit comments of their own, or add their signature to the FSF’s filing.

      “What the Department of Education is proposing is a great step for education and for computer user freedom. We submitted our comment, along with comments from our community, to ensure that the updated regulations create the greatest benefit: that all public grant-funded educational works carry the essential four freedoms,” said FSF’s executive director, John Sullivan.

    • GNU MediaGoblin: State of the Goblin: Stripe Open Source Retreat, and more!

      It’s been a few months since my last major update so I wanted to fill in what’s going on. As usual, a lot has been happening, and it’s been hard to cover it all as we go. There’s some particularly huge news in this update, including something about funding something oh hey this should help us get MediaGoblin 1.0 out the door, plus something about the standards work we’re doing, something something. So let’s dive in and resolve all those somethings, right?

    • Help put the Planet in LibrePlanet by sponsoring an attendee

      Each year, free software fans from across the world gather for the LibrePlanet conference. At this year’s LibrePlanet, our theme, “Fork the System”, will explore how free software creates the opportunity of a new path for its users, allows developers to fight the restrictions of a system dominated by proprietary software by creating free software replacements, and is the foundation of freedom, sharing, and change.

    • Bash logo

      I received a very generous offer to create a new logo and donate it for the project’s use. The benefactor is Justin Dorfman, and he has been very patient to wait for me to select from among a number of good alternatives (part of what made it so tough).

    • Server Software Matters

      Yesterday I had the pleasure of engaging in a conversation hosted by Bryan Lunduke on the topic of compromise in Free software. He has uploaded the audio and video recording of Richard Stallman, Stuart Langridge, Swapnil Bhartiya and myself tackling this topic.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The golden age of open source, predictions for 2016, and more news
    • Oakland biohackers beat funding goal for open source insulin protocol

      Wednesday evenings the hackers and biologists of Counter Culture Labs, a North Oakland “anarchist collective,” meet to work on a project aiming to create an open-source protocol for manufacturing a more accessible and affordable version of insulin, made by recombinant DNA, also known as genetic engineering.

      From day jobs at such powerhouse facilities as UC San Francisco, Amgen Inc., and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, they come to work on the project called Open Insulin. The project aims to accelerate development of a generic version of the lifesaving medicine while showing that citizen scientists and biohackers can contribute an alternative to methods now used by the for-profit pharmaceutical business model, says the group’s 35-year-old co-founder Anthony Di Franco of Berkeley.

Leftovers

  • Revealed: how Google enlisted members of US Congress it bankrolled to fight $6bn EU antitrust case [Ed: It is worth remembering that EU antitrust push is caused for the most part by hypocritical Microsoft lobbying with its satellites]

    Google enlisted members of the US congress, whose election campaigns it had funded, to pressure the European Union to drop a €6bn antitrust case which threatens to decimate the US tech firm’s business in Europe.

  • Security

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Revealed: Prince Charles has received confidential cabinet papers for decades

      Prince Charles has been receiving confidential cabinet papers for decades, giving him access to the inner workings of British government, according to a Whitehall manual released after a three-year freedom of information battle.

      The heir to the throne, who has previously been criticised for “meddling” in politics, is sent all cabinet memoranda, alongside the Queen and ministers in charge of departments, including secret proposals for new legislation and other discussion documents that have only been released to the public after 30 years.

  • Finance

    • TPP Ratification Process Grinding To A Halt As Canada Launches ‘Widespread Consultations’ On The Deal

      As we noted recently, the arrival of a new government in Canada has meant that the corporate sovereignty provisions in CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, might be re-examined, even if they are unlikely to be dropped completely. The other major trade deal involving Canada, TPP, is much more complex, since there are 11 other nations to consider. Although that limits the Candian government’s scope for changing course, it appears that it is nonetheless taking a radically different approach compared to its predecessor.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Arun Kundnani on Islamophobia & the ‘War on Terror,’ Keane Bhatt on a Tale of Two Elections

      This week on CounterSpin: Alleged San Bernardino killers Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik did not pledge allegiance to ISIS on social media, the FBI now says, but no matter: The California killings have already added fuel to an upsurge of Islamophobia in US media and politics that in some ways is worse than that seen in the wake of September 11, 2001. One new element is the murky idea of “radicalization.” We’ll talk about that with Arun Kundnani, adjunct professor at NYU and author of, most recently, The Muslims Are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism and the Domestic War on Terror.

    • NY Times Public Editor: Flawed Stories Should Be “Red Alert” For Paper

      According to The New York Times’ public editor, the paper’s repeated publication of front-page, anonymously sourced stories that required major editor’s notes damages the paper’s credibility and should be a “red alert” for its editors.

    • How to feed and raise a Wikipedia robo-editor

      Wikipedia is to put artificial intelligence to the enormous task of keeping the free, editable online encyclopaedia up-to-date, spam-free and legal.

      The Objective Revision Evaluation Service uses text-processing AI algorithms to scan recent edits for signs that they may be spam, an effort at trolling, part of a revert war (where edits are made and reversed endlessly), or otherwise dubious. But humans are excellent at making sense of the nuance of the written word – can a computer do the same?

      Natural language processing is a branch of AI, focusing not on creating smart computers but on intelligent comprehension of text. Its aim is to help computers understand human language, and communicate as humans do.

    • Prosecutors Set to Appeal Scott Walker “John Doe” Case to U.S. Supreme Court

      Despite the best efforts of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his allies on the state Supreme Court, the John Doe is not dead.

      On Friday, three county prosecutors filed a motion to intervene in the case, the first step towards appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

      In July, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision rewriting the state’s limits on money in politics and ending the “John Doe” investigation into Walker’s campaign coordinating with dark money groups. Yet some justices faced serious conflicts-of-interest in the case, since the same groups that coordinated with Walker’s campaign were among the majority’s biggest financial supporters, spending $10 million to elect the court’s majority.

      Under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the justices likely should not have heard the case at all. The Special Prosecutor leading the probe, Francis Schmitz, asked two justices to recuse but they refused to do so.

  • Privacy

    • European Union lays down first cybersecurity rules

      The European Parliament has made headway into the development of cybersecurity rules its member states should follow. Under the first set of regulations it has laid down, critical service companies in all 28 member states will have to make sure they’re using a system robust enough to fend off cyberattacks. By “critical service companies,” we mean those that fall under any of these six categories: energy, transport, banking, financial market, health and water supply. Each member state will have to list businesses that can be identified as critical service companies under a category. Any company that makes the cut will have to be able to quickly report security breaches to authorities.

    • Tor Has a New Leader, Heads Toward its Next Frontier

      There continue to be many people around the globe who want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. Typically, the anonymous crowd turns to common tools that can keep their tracks private, and one of the most common tools of all is Tor, an open source tool used all around the world.

    • Juniper warns of spying code in firewalls

      Juniper, a major manufacturer of networking equipment, said on Thursday it found spying code planted in certain models of its firewalls, an alarming discovery that echoes of state-sponsored tampering.

      The affected products are those running ScreenOS, one of Juniper’s operating systems that runs on a range of appliances that act as firewalls and enable VPNs. ScreenOS versions 6.2.0r15 through 6.2.0r18 and 6.3.0r12 through 6.3.0r20 are vulnerable, according to an advisory.

    • Secret Code Found in Juniper’s Firewalls Shows Risk of Government Backdoors

      Encryption backdoors have been a hot topic in the last few years—and the controversial issue got even hotter after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, when it dominated media headlines. It even came up during this week’s Republican presidential candidate debate. But despite all the attention focused on backdoors lately, no one noticed that someone had quietly installed backdoors three years ago in a core piece of networking equipment used to protect corporate and government systems around the world.

      On Thursday, tech giant Juniper Networks revealed in a startling announcement that it had found “unauthorized” code embedded in an operating system running on some of its firewalls.

      The code, which appears to have been in multiple versions of the company’s ScreenOS software going back to at least August 2012, would have allowed attackers to take complete control of Juniper NetScreen firewalls running the affected software. It also would allow attackers, if they had ample resources and skills, to separately decrypt encrypted traffic running through the Virtual Private Network, or VPN, on the firewalls.

    • Trying to prevent browser fingerprinting? The odds are against you

      With recent revelations about browser fingerprinting, the race is on to find ways and means that will help reduce your browser’s fingerprint, and with it, make it difficult for it (and you) to be tracked.

      After trying Panopticlick yesterday, a tool released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to help users determine if their browser is safe against tracking and fingerprinting, I set out to find out how to make my browsers less unique to trackers.

      For the very paranoid, the results are not good.

    • Congress snuck a surveillance bill into the federal budget last night

      After more than a year of stalemate, Congress has used an unconventional procedural measure to bring a controversial cybersurveillance bill to the floor. Late last night, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced a 2,000-page omnibus budget bill, a last-minute compromise necessary to prevent a government shutdown. But while the bulk of the bill concerns taxes and spending, it contains a surprise 1,729 pages in: the full text of the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, which passed the Senate in October.

    • Telegram gains 1 million users in a day following WhatsApp ban in Brazil

      WhatsApp has been blocked for 48 hours in Brazil following a court order by a judge in the country. It has been alleged that the messaging service has been providing “pirate” services, undermining the role of the country’s telecommunications companies, and should be regulated. The so-called blockade goes into effect at midnight tonight.

  • Civil Rights

    • Ten Triumphs of 2015

      We saw off a sneaky attempt to introduce Snoopers’ Charter into law. Four members of the House of Lords tried to insert the text of the Snoopers’ Charter into the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill, just when that Bill was at its final stages. With only a few days notice, ORG responded, galvanising supporters to call Lords and explain why this was unacceptable. The Lords saw sense and the amendments were dropped.

    • Fox Co-Host Suggests Killing Detainees To Close Gitmo

Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Revolving doors, or monetising a public career for private profit later, using publicly-acquired connections and access

Europatis

Summary: A look at a new kind of scandal at the EPO, where data protection is severely compromised for the sake of the management’s dubious goals

Benoît Battistelli’s EPO is a lot worse than people care to realise, even some of the EPO’s existing staff. The other day we alluded to "cooling-off periods" for resigning or retiring staff. Well, we have just received new information, backed by hard evidence, of something rather nasty involving http://www.europatis.eu. This site was created by the globe-trotting former VP1 Jacques Michel, another Frenchman who had his own agenda in mind. To quote patent maximalists (emphasis is ours): “As president of the EPO, Pompidou should have considerable powers over an organization covering 27 countries and a population of some 500 million. He is responsible only to the Administrative Council of the EPO. In practice, however, his strong political backing by the French government and the extensive lobbying by the French former EPO vice-president, Jacques Michel, indicate that he is likely to remain well disposed to Gallic influence. Pompidou has an extensive scientific background and considerable political experience as a member of the European Parliament from 1989 to 1999. However, he is a relative novice to the world of patents and is expected to be heavily reliant on his backers for most of his term of office.”

“Internal staff data has been intentionally leaked to Michel’s site.”This happens to relate to our series “Battistelli’s Furious Love Affair With French Power”, which is still ongoing.

Anyway, focusing on the main point, Michel is trying to headhunt/poach staff leaving the Office (be it by resigning or by retiring) for paid searches. This is fully in contradiction to what Battistelli now wants/wanted to establish. So, does Battistelli work contra Jacques Michel? As our source jokingly put it: “One or both are liars, Mafia, Templers, Scientology. File under conspiracy theory. You cannot trust them both.”

The main revelation, however, is this: Internal staff data has been intentionally leaked to Michel’s site. Our source has evidence for the fact that personal EPO staff data (at least full common name and E-mail address) has been leaked from internal EPO pages to Michel’s site in a case of resignation/retirement before the effective date.

“It’s not about what you do but about who you are and who you know.”How would European privacy (or “data protection”) authorities feel about it? How does existing EPO staff feel about it? It serves to highlight also the hypocrisy of Team Battistelli, which habitually complains about data leaking out of the EPO when it fact it is doing so itself. They try to distinguish between “good” leaks (those serving Team Battistelli by smearing the accused in the media or helping former EPO bigwigs) and “bad” leaks (those that expose abuse or even corruption implicating EPO bigwigs).

This whole affair reminds us of Keith Alexander’s highly fortunate career (he is a big millionaire now) after stepping out of the NSA and using privileged/confidential information to make money at incredible hourly rates. When Snowden gives evidence of NSA abuses to the public (gratis, not for personal gain) it’s naughty treason that merits death by hanging (apparently), whereas Alexander selling this information to private clients is just fine. It must be the Petraeus/Clinton-type of hypocrisy on confidentiality. It’s not about what you do but about who you are and who you know.

Rumour: Administrative Council Advises Benoît Battistelli Not to Fire Staff Representatives

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli may risk losing his job if he sacks Ms. Hardon, Ms. Weaver and/or Mr. Brumme

SUEPO reps

Summary: New rumours about Benoît Battistelli’s union-busting efforts, new complaints to the EPO about traffic floods (possibly caused by its censorship Bluecoat appliance), and fresh complaints sent to the Administrative Council

“Now BB [Benoît Battistelli] has allegedly been advised by the AC,” said a comment this morning, “not to fire the suspended staff reps. He does not usually take this sort of advice. However, I wonder whether, in case that BB fires them despite this advice, the AC will prosecute then the charges of institutionalised abuse put before the AC by the staff rep in question.” (some typos corrected)

“I gave the network administrators enough time to respond and preferably take action.”This would certainly be quite a breakthrough given other rumours or speculations we have been hearing after the Administrative Council's sessions (some said that Hardon would be sacked imminently).

Incidentally, yesterday I reported to the EPO’s relevant people (admin_network@epo.org, jbielsa@epo.org, nderuiter@epo.org, wherler@epo.org, and ywoue@epo.org) abuse by its IP addresses (i.e. computers) against my site. I gave the network administrators enough time to respond and preferably take action. Here is what I wrote in the early hours:

Subject: Network abuse

Dear Network Administrators at the EPO,

Please be aware that IP addresses belonging to the EPO have been abusing my site, techrights.org, for a continued length of time, despite techrights.org reportedly being blocked from your network. This week, for instance, 145.64.134.245, has been quite busy hammering on the site and last night I had to ban it for nearly 200 attempts against Varnish in a very short period of time (just over a minute).

I don’t know if you are using a bot to access the site and I don’t know if there is an exclusion to the ban inside the Investigative Unit, which has engaged in some truly atrocious (and possible illegal) union-busting actions as of late.

I ask you politely to stop the offending addresses from effectively staging digital attacks or floods or my site. If I do not hear from any of you by 5 PM CET today, I shall escalate to the suitable European authorities and may pursue even further action.

These floods have been going on for literally months and they are becoming an embarrassment to your institution. I am eager to contact journalists regarding this matter unless this matter comes to a close by the end of the working day.

Kind regards,

Roy

Deadline was reached within more than half a (working) day, but no action was taken, so I ended up escalating. How does one respond to an organisation which is effectively above the law though? Well, perhaps the only way is to speak to those capable of taking action against the EPO. That’s Administrative Council delegates.

I sent the following message to some prominent delegates the same evening:

Subject: Abuses by EPO Against Bloggers

Dear European representative,

I am writing to you with the kindest of intentions, for serious problems arose at the European Patent Office and these affect me personally. For a number of years, as a software professional in the UK, I have been writing critically about the EPO, whereupon EPO simply banned my site (inaccessible to EPO workers), later threatened to sue me (widely reported on in the mass media because they were not even legally capable of suing), and right now IP addresses belonging to the EPO digitally vandalise my site by overwhelming it with automated requests (this has gone on for quite a while). They have, in essence, launched an assault on access to information itself. They actively threaten staff that speaks to the media about abuses and 3 months ago the EPO secretly signed an (almost) $1,000,000 1-year contract with the infamous Washington-based FTI Consulting for reputation laundering in the media. They actively try to prevent the public from finding out about a queue-hopping programme (for selected large corporations that submit patent applications), among many more scandals which serve to deny the illusion of EPO “success” and “growth”.

European delegates are the last resort now, as the EPO enjoys a controversial immunity that emboldens for abuse and disregard for European laws.

After repeated DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks on my site I implemented some defenses and found that IP addresses belonging to the EPO are among the culprits. I reported this to the EPO, but they are not taking action to stop this. I asked them politely earlier today (message sent to their network administrators and is guaranteed to have been received), but no action has been taken, so I have to conclude this may all be intentional or that low-level staff is simply too afraid to intervene, having seen the extreme actions taken by management when any morsel of dissent/discontent was shown. The EPO has already threatened delegates, politicians, staff representatives, lawyers of staff representatives, and even journalists or bloggers.

I kindly ask you to put restraints on these practices and respond to unlawful behaviour by the EPO, not just directed at EPO staff but also at outsiders. The EPO rapidly became an embarrassment to Europe as a whole and it is consequently jeopardising unity inside the European Union, which I wholeheartedly support.

My sincere regards,

Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We don’t know if the message sent to selected delegates caused some kind of new contact between them and the EPO.

“We don’t know if the message sent to selected delegates caused some kind of new contact between them and the EPO.”To better understand what was likely hammering on our server we asked someone who may be familiar with the insides of the EPO network, whereupon we learned that “all internal EPO users, examiners etc., when they access the Internet, are routed through a PROXY! [...] In the techrights case it can be the case that so many examiners are currently trying to access your page, and that the Bluecoat appliance [believed to be in use] not only blocks the users from accessing techrights but also pings techrights, which causes a lot of traffic to your pages, but does not bring contents to the internal users. So it may be that it is not a DDOS but a side effect of (blocked for the internal users, by Bluecoat) accesses in the internal EPO network to your pages (but each try-access is sending a request to your server).”

Either way, the EPO should get its Bluecoat appliance under control. According to an RSF report (which we cited back in March), “American Company Blue Coat, specialized in online security, is best known for its Internet censorship equipment. This equipment also allows for the supervision of journalists, netizens and their sources. Its censorship devices use Deep Packet Inspection, a technology employed by many western Internet Service Providers to manage network traffic and suppress unwanted connections.”

What does that say about the real ‘enemies’ of EPO management?

EPO Pays FTI Consulting (Nearly a Million Bucks), Which Pays IAM for Pro-UPC Propaganda Event

Posted in Deception, Europe, Marketing, Patents at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Below is a self-explanatory screenshot

IAM events

Summary: Benoît Battistelli’s EPO has paid a lot of money to FTI Consulting, which is in turn paying an untold amount of money to IAM in order to help create a pro-UPC forum, stuffed with biased (for their pockets) attendants, keynotes, etc.

IAM’s MANY writings about patents have been followed by yours truly for over half a decade. I’m no stranger to their ‘work’. As noted here before, IAM glorifies patent stockpiling (irrespective of the consequences), it promotes software patents everywhere, and it puts at risk people who are critical of the EPO. It recently blocked anyone who dared to expose IAM’s pro-EPO agenda as if they try to prevent communication and perhaps even have a lot to hide (they already admitted receiving money from the EPO).

“As noted here before, IAM glorifies patent stockpiling (irrespective of the consequences), it promotes software patents everywhere, and it puts at risk people who are critical of the EPO.”The UPC isn’t bad for everyone. It gives money to patent lawyers (who along with large corporations that employ them stand to benefit from more lawsuits, injunctions, etc.), but what about the rest of European society?

Last night we spotted what looks like some kind of a new EPO campaign hosted and run by its (paid by their own admission) ‘buddies’ from IAM. Remember that FTI Consulting was paid €880,000 a few months ago.

The event site is quite revealing. The agenda is made clear right at the front page. Regarding the UPC, for example, before it’s even approved they dub it “Europe’s New Patent Market” and then they use positive language like “Winning Strategies for the UPC Regime” (winning in the litigation sense?).

Who’s winning? Patent lawyers? Europe certainly would not win, and Battistelli is trying very hard to silence high-level EPO staff that antagonises the UPC, even after leaving the EPO.

EPO privatisedThe EPO’s FTI Consulting AstroTurfing campaign is becoming quite a disaster. Once made visible and known to more people, everything the EPO does looks like manipulation of media. What on Earth was Battistelli thinking? The implications of this are severe and even French politicians are complaining about it (we still need a translation from French, both of the letter and of this new article).

It is starting to look more plausible (or probable) that IAM blocked many people because it had become the girlfriend of Battistelli and the EPO. Trying to defend such a relationship isn’t easy. FTI Consulting is essentially an EPO purse right now, serving as somewhat of a proxy, almost like a money-laundering operation (budget for one year: nearly $1 million). Just watch what FTI Consulting apparently did for fracking clients.

“Just watch what FTI Consulting apparently did for fracking clients.”We have researched this a little further and found that, based on tweets such as this, the site’s section has been around for at least a week (maybe a lot longer).

whois.net lookup shows “Creation Date: 11-sep-2014″ and does not reveal who registered it. We previously saw how lobbying groups or front groups of Microsoft hid their lobbying domains quite cleverly but then exposed that. Looking a little deeper (identity is partly concealed) we find who set up the domain:


Admin Name: Christopher Proud
Admin Organization: Globe Business Publishing
Admin Street: New Hibernia House
Admin Street: Winchester Walk
Admin City: London
Admin State/Province: London
Admin Postal Code: SE1 9AG
Admin Country: GB
Admin Phone: +44.2072340606
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax: +44.2072340606

There was also an event for patent trolls organised just months after this site’s setup. Is this a way to start a venture? Collecting money from trolls to promote trolls or at least improve their image? Others do so too and when challenged online they failed to defend it.

“Shameless lobbying with the veneer of an ‘independent’ ‘news’ site. Clever stunt from FTI Consulting?”See the “NPE 2015″ pages. Among the sponsors (which paid IAM) were infamous anti-Linux, Microsoft-connected trolls such as MOSAID (renamed since) and Acacia, both as “Gold” sponsors. They’re joined by other trolls, famous lawyers of trolls, and Microsoft-connected aggressors like Finjan. There’s no FTI Consulting in sight, so the EPO connection (not the IAM connection) seems likely to have put them in the UPC event. Among other sponsors we only see the world’s most vocal proponents of software patents, which serves to reinforce our perception of the principal forces behind UPC.

Isn’t that wonderful? Shameless lobbying with the veneer of an ‘independent’ ‘news’ site. Clever stunt from FTI Consulting? Or will it simply backfire?

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts