“The Decision of the President [Battistelli] to Overstep the Recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee is Arbitrary and Shows Bad Faith.”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It also highlights the fact that EPO management lied to all staff about its union-busting activities

Els Hardon

Summary: A letter sent from Elizabeth Hardon to Benoît Battistelli shortly after her unjust dismissal, which is part of a wider-spread campaign across EPO branches to crush the unions and replace them with pseudo (management-leaning) unions

THIS morning we mentioned that the EPO ‘generously’ gave back to a staff representative her pension for which she worked and she’s totally entitled/eligible for (as per the rules). She did not get her job back (she ought to), but here is what happened behind the scenes in order to make Battistelli relent a little and then attempt to recover. There’s no generosity at all from Battistelli, just an effort (however minuscule) to salvage a morsel of credibility after making a mockery of justice itself. What do scientists and lawyers (people who work for the EPO) think of this business school graduate and his epic (mis)handling of science and law?

Here is the letter sent to Battistelli:

TO Benoît Battistelli, President of the EPO
FROM Elizabeth Hardon, Staff Representative (SUEPO, MSC)
RE Dismissal with 20% reduction of pension
DATE 28 January 2016

1. With a letter dated 15.01.2016 I was informed of the decision to dismiss me with immediate effect and to reduce my pension by 20% (ANNEX 1).

2. The above letter indicated that the legal means of redress against the decision is a request for review in accordance with Article 109 ServRegs.

3. Therefore I herewith file a request for a review of the above decision pursuant to Art. 109 ServRegs. The request is filed within 3 months of the decision and hence is receivable.

4. I file this request under protest for the following reasons.

5. According to Article 10(1) ServRegs “A request for review shall be compulsory prior to lodging an internal appeal …” Decisions following a disciplinary procedure are not subject to review by an internal appeal (Art. 110(2)(a) ServRegs) and should therefore logically not be subject to the review procedure.

6. Moreover, the review procedure is a pre-litigation dispute resolution mechanism whose claimed purpose is to come to an early, informal resolution of conflicts. This may be possible before a disciplinary procedure, but is highly unlikely after a disciplinary procedure.

7. I note in the passing that even at the best of times, the review procedure seems ineffective. The external auditors of the EPO reported that only about 4% of the requests reviewed by them were successful (CA/21/15)

8. The investigations against me were initiated by Ms Bergot, PD HR and right hand of the President. The decision after the disciplinary procedure has been taken by the President himself. Under the circumstances it seems highly unlikely that anything that I can submit will make any difference.

9. The requirement to go through a review procedure is thus procedurally incorrect and merely serves to delay my access to the Tribunal.

10. Given that there seems no chance of an impartial and objective review of the disputed issues, I will not expand on the many other formal errors made in my procedure. I merely refer to the letter of my lawyer dated 02.12.2015 (ANNEX 2).

11. The accusations against me were set out in a document sent to me on 17.11.2015, signed (on every page) by Ms Bergot, and are as follows:

(a) Acting as an accomplice in a campaign to disseminate information and opinions detrimental to the EPO, its proper functioning and its reputation as well as the reputation of its employees (based on investigation C-61b),

(b) threatening colleagues at a meeting on 10.12.2104, and at a subsequent meeting, asserting in threatening terns that those volunteering for the posts of members of the Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) would suffer serious harm (based on investigation C- 071/2015), and

(c) disregarding (i) the express instruction of my employer and (ii) my concurrent obligation under Art. 4 of Circulars No. 341 and No. 342 to keep the investigation C-011/2015 confidential.

12. Concerning the first allegation (acting as accomplice to the suspended DG3 member) it is surprising that the alleged conspiracy was only “discovered” almost a year after the investigations that led to the suspension of the DG3 member had been closed and at a moment when the initial accusations in my case (a purported harassment campaign against a staff representation colleague in The Hague) were not being confirmed by the external investigators of Control Risks.

13. The allegations in the investigation C-61b were sent to me on 09.11.2015 (at 17.44h). The summary of the findings relating to the investigation was sent to me for comment on 16.11.2015. The deadline for comments was 23.11.2015. A disciplinary procedure based on those findings was initiated on 17.11.2015, i.e. the day after I received the “preliminary” findings and well before the deadline set for my comments. Ms Bergot apparently received the “summary of findings” even earlier because the copy in my disciplinary file is dated 13.11.2015. In other words: Ms Bergot was informed of the findings barely four (!) days after I was informed of the accusations and well before I was able to comment.

14. The timing of events gives the strong impression that the additional accusations were patched together with haste in order to make up for the failure of Control Risks to confirm the earlier accusations.

15. Concerning the accusations themselves, the Enlarged Board of Appeal found in the reasoning for its decision of 17.09.2015 the allegations against the DG3 member unsubstantiated to the extent that neither the accused nor the Board could understand what exactly he was accused of (points 7.10-7.12 of the reasoning; ANNEX 3). If the “evidence” provided in the case of the DG3 member was identical or similar to mine, I understand the position of the Enlarged Board of Appeal.

16. I furthermore strongly deny “having acted as an accomplice in a campaign to disseminate information and opinions detrimental to the EPO, its proper functioning and its reputation as well as the reputation of its employees”.

17. Concerning the second allegation (threatening colleagues at a meeting on 10.12.2104) I first note that the complaint was not lodged by any of the persons allegedly affected but by Ms Bergot (PD HR), in a wider investigation targeting the staff representation and

accusing its members of harassment. The investigations were started at a time when the administration, represented by Ms Bergot, and the staff representation found themselves increasingly in conflict. This in itself raises questions about the credibility and good faith of the accusations pursued by Ms Bergot.

18. The meeting of 10.12.2014 was a meeting of the Munich Staff Committee. Policy discussions within the Committee are confidential. The investigation launched by Ms Bergot obliged the members of the Staff Committee to breach that confidentiality. This is inappropriate and in my opinion constitutes misconduct.

19. ILO-AT judgment 3106 states that the principle of freedom of association “ … precludes interference by an organisation in the affairs of its staff union or the organs of its staff union (see Judgment 2100, under 15). A staff union must be free to conduct its own affairs, to regulate its own activities and, also, to regulate the conduct of its members in relation to those affairs and activities. The same principle obviously applies to other staff associations, like the Staff Committee.

20. In other words: the investigation into the activities of the Staff Committee and my subsequent punishment on the basis of my alleged behaviour in a meeting of the Staff Committee are in breach of fundamental principles of freedom of association.

21. The relevant discussion within the Staff Committee was triggered by a letter of the President inviting individual members to “volunteer” as a staff representative in the Internal Appeals Committee (IAC). At the relevant time two of the previous members had been suspended and/or were facing disciplinary proceedings. With that invitation the President was trying reconstitute the IAC while avoiding any discussion with the Staff Committee concerning the problems in the functioning of the IAC. The invitation was in breach of the Service Regulations that do not foresee “volunteers” selected by the President but only nominations by the Staff Committee (Art. 36(2)(a) ServRegs).

22. The invitation of the President was controversially discussed within the Munich Staff Committee. However, the tone and contents of the discussions never went beyond what could fairly be expected from a lively policy discussion in an international environment. I emphatically deny having threatened or intimidated anybody.

23. The external investigators held that the exact wording of my allegedly threatening statement could not be determined. The wording relied on by the disciplinary committee is based on the assertions of only one (!) of the seven witnesses. The selective presentation of “facts” and the many procedural short-cuts taken by the disciplinary committee raise serious doubts about its impartiality and objectivity.

24. In that context I note that in an earlier video-conference discussing Patent Administration matter, a Principal Director who was subsequently a member of my disciplinary committee in the present case shouted at me “SUEPO is a cancer, a CANCER!” thereby making it impossible for me to speak. I left the room in distress.

25. Art. 5 ServRegs, interpreted by the administration as requiring from employees of the EPO “the highest standard … of integrity” throughout their employment in the Office, should apply a fortiori for members of the disciplinary committee who are called to judge upon their colleagues. The above mentioned aggression was not considered to disqualify the Principal Director concerned from participating in my disciplinary

committee and acting as rapporteur. In contrast, my alleged “threat”, that did not have any visible impact on the person(s) concerned, is considered to merit a severe disciplinary measure. The lack of consistency and double standard being applied here is obvious.

26. Concerning the third allegation (breach of confidentiality) I maintain that in a well-run public service organisation transparency would be the norm, and confidentiality only requested in circumstances that justify such a request. The desire of the administration c.q. Ms Bergot to cover up its wrongdoing in the form of unjustified and spurious investigations and disciplinary actions against the elected staff representation is not a valid reason for demanding confidentiality. Moreover, staff has a legitimate interest in being informed about such attacks, in particular when the administration simultaneously makes public claims to the effect that it is seeking a social dialogue.

27. The Disciplinary Committee found me guilty of the majority of the charges. It recommended the penalty of dismissal. The Disciplinary Committee explicitly stated that in view of my many years of positive contribution to the EPO there would, however, be no justification for a reduction of my pensionable rights and that the standard conditions of dismissal should be applied. The President nevertheless decided on a 20% reduction of my pension. The decision of the President to overstep the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee is arbitrary and shows bad faith.

28. The recent investigations and the disciplinary procedure against me are not my first. I have already been investigated and downgraded for alleged harassment despite a unanimous recommendation of the disciplinary committee in my favour. At the time the alleged offense was a single sentence expressing a common opinion (belief) within the Munich staff representation that was contained in a confidential e-mail sent to a small group of people (17 persons, including myself) via a suepo.org address.

29. The repeated investigations against me (now 3 in total), the fabricated accusations and the total disproportionality of the sanctions are indicative of a process of institutional harassment against me. The permanent, unexplained and seemingly unjustified, house-ban1 further illustrates the apparent desire of the administration to inflict maximum damage upon me and to isolate me from staff.


30. I request the above indicated decision as well as the earlier decision to down-grade me to be quashed. I also request full reimbursement of my legal costs as well as moral and/or exemplary damages for the prejudice suffered.

1 «I remind you that you remain excluded from entering the Office premises at any time », Yann Chabod, letter dated 25.01.16

The part about “a process of institutional harassment against me” is reminiscent of older letters.

How can justice be expected to happen in secret when the EPO management shamelessly lies to the staff about the process?

Forget About Tay: Microsoft Has Serious Issues, Including Existential Ones

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Insults which earn attention and cannot be blamed (no liability) on the attention seeker

Barbed wire
A Donald Trump-like media strategy

Summary: The media keeps obsessing over some apparent fluke which gives Microsoft press iota/attention it wouldn’t get otherwise, but the real news is buried deeper inside the papers

WHILE the media is obsessed with a Microsoft fluke which some of our readers interpret as a clever Microsoft publicity stunt (attracting media attention) [1-3] there are much bigger things going on, other than the recent Microsoft layoffs. One reader, for instance, told us (or made claims) about Microsoft’s role in F-35 failures [4] which the media compares to BSoD, some point out that Yahoo is under attack again [5], and there is even news about Vista 10 being a total disaster [6] that’s now being compared to Vista [7] (not by us but by the British media). Don’t be misled by what’s known as the “news cycle”. There’s a lot going on at Microsoft right now that’s a lot worse than some bot (nonhuman) called “Tay”.

As one reader of ours who specialised in marketing put it, the fluke is “a win win in terms of publicity [...] publicity about making a big deal about this bot in the first place, and then after the obvious happens [...] marketing 101 [...] It’s the Trump method as well [...] if this was an “experiment” it would have more likely have been done in the way I described [...] hence why I am incredulous towards the idea that Microsoft was just naive [...] wouldn’t it be more useful to introduce this bot in an unknowing public environment to see how it interacted without interference or bias? [...] if they wanted to avoid this, they would have not advertised what this bot is in the first place, then nobody would know what it did and assume it’s just another twitter user [...] I have no doubt that some of these are done in ignorance on the company’s/organization’s part, but this one, seems too obvious [...] note that I have no proof that Microsoft knew this was going to happen, this is just an opinion based on recent trends [...] that said, it is incredulous that an supposedly-Internet-savvy company like Microsoft wouldn’t know this would happen, especially consider the amount of incidents in the past, like the Coca-Cola one where Gawker caused their campaign-bot to quote Mein Kempf [...] how do you sexually harass something that is incapable of perceiving anything, has no feelings or self-awareness, and oh yeah ISN’T ALIVE and is technology? [...] but don’t worry, money-hemorrhaging Microsoft, laying off employees and killing products and divisions, still can assign a team to address this “issue” [...] I bet those fired employees can sleep easy now [...] I think they knew this was going to happen [...] a PR stunt, so they can promote the “dangers” of AI harassment or some other nonsense [...] not that long ago there was an article about Cortana “harassment” (weird questions being asked etc) and how MS actually set up a research team to deal with the “issue” of AI “harassment” [..] so by playing the unknowing victim here, MS can promote this agenda and gain regressive-left points [...] I hypothesize that MS in addition to becoming a patent troll/fog computing company is also appealing more to the regressive left and using more PC [political correctness] tactics.”

MinceR, responding to the above, said that “playing the victim is popular among crybullies [...] PR experiment [...] Microsoft is not a tech company or a science company.”

Related/contextual Microsoft items from the news:

  1. Microsoft is deleting its AI chatbot’s incredibly racist tweets

    In one highly publicised tweet, which has since been deleted, Tay said: “bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have now. donald trump is the only hope we’ve got.” In another, responding to a question, the program said, “Ricky gervais learned totalitarianism from adolf hitler, the inventor of atheism.”

  2. Microsoft’s Lovable Teen Chatbot Turned Racist Troll Proves How Badly Silicon Valley Needs Diversity

    Tay, programmed as a 19 year old, was created as a machine learning project meant interact with peers between 18 and 24 years old. Users can play games with her, trade pictures, tell stories, and ping her for late-night chats. That last activity went awry Thursday when the chatbot began regurgitating inappropriate messages that skewed anti-semitic, used the n-word, and condemned feminism.

  3. Microsoft deletes ‘teen girl’ AI after it became a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours

    A day after Microsoft introduced an innocent Artificial Intelligence chat robot to Twitter it has had to delete it after it transformed into an evil Hitler-loving, incestual sex-promoting, ‘Bush did 9/11′-proclaiming robot.

    Developers at Microsoft created ‘Tay’, an AI modelled to speak ‘like a teen girl’, in order to improve the customer service on their voice recognition software. They marketed her as ‘The AI with zero chill’ – and that she certainly is.

  4. Dodgy software will bork America’s F-35 fighters until at least 2019 [Ed: this one says, “make the ground subsystem compliant to Microsoft Windows 7″]

    In another exercise, conducted by the Marine Corps in May 2015, the exercise was delayed because file formatting problems meant target information couldn’t be uploaded to the aircraft. The US Air Force had similar problems, aborting a test after none of the aircraft could fly due to startup problems requiring software and hardware shutdowns and restarts.

  5. Hedge Fund To Launch Proxy Fight To Remove Yahoo’s Entire Board: Report [Ed: recall what Microsoft did]

    Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP, which is leading an investor revolt against Yahoo Inc’s management team, is seeking to remove the entire board of the struggling Internet company, the Wall Street Journal reported.

  6. Creaking Surrey distie Northamber: Windows 10 ate my hamster

    AIM-listed tech distie Northamber’s sales are again withering on the vine, with blame falling on Microsoft’s Windows 10 and pesky human beings who are failing to buy more computers.

    Sequestered in an industrial estate in deepest Surrey, Northamber has made a living from selling IT for the past 35 years but might just have seen its best days – peaking at £299m in the early noughties.

  7. Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage [Ed: comparing Vista to Vista 10]

    So, Windows 10 isn’t the saviour of the PC industry after all – and is beginning to look more like a Windows Vista than a Windows XP.

    PC growth predictions have been revised down by IDC. A range of companies including HP Ink and Northamber blame Windows 10 for flagging sales.

    “We have not yet seen the anticipated Win10 stimulation of demand that we would hope for,” HP Ink’s CEO Dion Weisler told analysts in January.

    Windows Vista drove Microsoft’s marketing team to despair, because when they blind tested it on users around 18 months after launch (on hardware capable of running Vista well), the users liked what they saw. They couldn’t reconcile the positive experience of using Vista with Vista’s noxious reputation. This was the Mojave Experiment, unfairly derided at the time. The lesson from Mojave was that a reputation sticks.

Microsoft Esta Pretendiéndo Ser una Compañíá FOSS Para Asegurárse Contratos con el Gobierno Con Software Proprietarior en Ropaje ‘Abierto’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en Decepción, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:07 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft esta ahora pretendiendo que su proprietario SQL Server on GNU/Linux is “abierto” (a quién quieren engañar con esas mamadas) y según los informes lo vende al gobierno como tal

SQL Server loves PRISM

Sumario: Microsoft esta implementando una estrategia del cameleon al pretender que sus stacks de software proprietario son “abiertos” y por lo tantos elegibles para integración en servicios públicos

PONIÉNDO de lado los asuntos de la EPO y ls patentes por un momento, deseamos señalar algunos de los últimos subversivos movimientos de Microsoft. No podemos simplemente ignorar a Microsoft cuando Microsoft no nos está ignorando, y ESTA CONSTANTEMENTE ATACANDONOS (FOSS) CON PATENTES.

“Es una buena manera de distraer al público y suprimir la crítica con algunas imágenes cursis de corazonsitos rojos.”Para aquellos que se la perdiéron, Microsoft está tratándo de EEE GNU/Linux servers en medio de despidos en Microsoft; egoístas intereses de ganancias, como fué notado por varios escritores [1, 2] esta mañana, de nínguna manera nada tiene que ver con FOSS (no hay aspecto de FOSS en ello de ningúna manera!) que estén guíando esos movimientos. Es sólo acerca de encadenárlos en un software proprietario que no será available por otro año de todas maneras. Es una buena manera de distraer al público y suprimir la crítica con algunas imágenes cursis de corazonsitos rojos.

La bocona de Mary Branscombe, una ayayera de Microsoft por largo tiempo quién ocasionalmente ataca a FOSS (vean sus insultos "free puppy" por ejemplo), has reciéntemente publicado un artículo con un cargado titular, “ Las razones detrás del impulso de Microsoft para el código abierto” [3] (no hay tal impulso, así que ¿porqué explorar las “razones”?). Esta cargado de tonteríás, comenzando por el sumario: “Encontrando el equilibrio entre el open source y los negocios comerciales” (Branscombe de nuevo nos muestra una falsa dicotonomíá, donde FOSS es antithetico a los “negocios comerciales” — cualquier cosa que sea – probablemente es simplemente software proprietario)

“El problema con el artículo de Wallen es que está basado en una falsa suposición de que a Microsoft le importa FOSS.”Las últimas ganancias de Red Hat [4,5,6,7] ayudan a desaprobar todas las mamadas de Branscombe, pero no es sólo Brascombe la que está haciéndo eso. Hace dias literalmente encontramos docenas de piezas de hojaldre que disfrazan de abierto a Microsoft. Todas ellas provienen de la India, donde Microsoft esta cabildeando/corrompiendo al gobierno en contra de FOSS (recuérden el enyucamiento de EDGI de hace una década). Microsoft ahora esta planeando un ´evento´ FOSS en India (vean dos diarias links resumiéndo bajo ¨Openwashing¨ in [1, 2] y esta claro que Microsoft trata de engatusar/engañar al gobierno de la India a la noción de que Microsoft es una compañía FOSS, por lo tanto elegible para cualquier contrato con el gobierno (adquisición lucrativa). Necesitámos batallar esta propaganda o simplemente seremos infiltrados por el enemigo, que nos esta atacando a la manera EEE, no simplemente con patentes, sino con todo lo que tienen a disposición.

“Esto es proteccionismo mediante el engaño de Microsoft y los que can en el juego de su campaña (o presión) están haciendo un daño al genuino/legítimo FOSS.”Un nuevo artículo de Jack Wallen [8] nota que las “gananias de licensamiento al consumidor de Microsoft ha declinado un 34 por ciento” y sigue con el titular: “Es tiempo para Microsoft de abrir el código fuente de Windows” (algunos lectores nos lo enviáron despues de que lo encontramos). El problema con el artículo de Wallen es que está basado en una falsa suposición de que a Microsoft le importa FOSS. Aparte de ello, no trabajaría. Ellos convirtieron Windows en SPYWARE (vean en lo que Vista 10 se convirtió). El licensiamiento FOSS removería toda esa porquería. Si es FOSS, a la gente le gustaría remover esos mecanismos indeseables y redistribuirlos sin ellows (FOSS verdadero/genuino significa exactamente eso). Microsoft no se puede dar el lujo de permitirse eso.

En sumario, rechazen la idea que Microsoft es de alguna manera “abierto” ahora. La Unión Europea, el gobierno Indio e incluso la Casa Blanca ahora se arriman a FOSS, así que Microsoft está pretendiendo ser FOSS. Esto es proteccionismo mediante el engaño de Microsoft y los que can en el juego de su campaña (o presión) están haciendo un daño al genuino/legítimo FOSS.

Contenido relacinado/contextual de las noticias:

  1. ¿Ama Microsoft a Linux tanto como Odia las Databases SQL de Oracle?

    Dada la larga espera, el apoyo a Linux del SQL Server 2016 parece reflejar una táctica de negocios más que un movimiento de amor de Microsoft hacia la comunidad de open source

  2. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Emitirá SQL Server 2016 para Linux En 2017

    Es creído ampliamente que el SQL Server en Linux creación del CEO Satya Nadella, cuando la compañía quiere enfocarse en proveer servicio de clase superior. Más aún, algunos han ido más lejos al decir que la estrategia de la compañía acerca de SQL en Linux revela el ejemplo más fino de ir donde está el dinero, si no viene a ti.

  3. Las razones detras del impulso de Microsoft hacia el open source

    En otras palabras, SQL Server vendrá a Linux, pero no será una versión libre, open source.

  4. Red Hat Es Ahora un Bebe $2 Billion Open-Source

    Red Hat, quien prometió hace unos pocos meses atras llegar a $2 billones en ganancias anuales, lo ha hecho y ahora dice ser la primera compañía de open source que alcanza este hito

  5. ​Red Hat Se Convierte en la Primera Compañíá Open Source de 2B

    Simplemente piensa: Alguna gente todavía no cree que no puedes hacer dinero de Linux y open-source software. Estúpidos! Red Hal se ha convertido en la primera compañía de open source de hacer 2 billones de dolares.

  6. Red Hat Alcanza $2 billones de Ganancias Anuales
  7. Red Hat Ganancias Anuales alcanzan US$2b por Primera Vez
  8. Es tiempo para Microsoft de open source Windows

    Imaginen un mundo en el que Windows fuese open source. Jack Wallen cree que ahora es tiempo para tal realidad.

La Voz de Sus Amos (¿Quiénes Bloquean Techrights?): La FFPE-EPO Abiertamente Desalienta a Sus Miembros a Leer Techrights

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en Europe, Patents at 10:04 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Esto en cuanto a la libertad de expresión o de pensamiento (el acceso a la información)…

FFPE-EPO reply
Respuesta de la FFPE-EPO: “PS: No lean mucho [sic] Techrights”

FFPE-EPOSumario: Los empleados de la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO) continúan hablándo del horrible acuerdo que la FFPE-EPO firmó con la gerencia, sirviendo a dividir y a castigar aún más a la SUEPO, la que representa a más de la mitad de sus empleados

Los tipos de la FFPE-EPO no están siendo totalmente ignoardos, parcialmente debido a sus más reciéntes acciones. Su current lider sólo tiene unas pocas semanas como tál y fuentes cercanas nos dicen que una facción de miembros de la FFPE-EPO reciéntemente se desligaron de ella en protesta. Los únicos aliados que les quedan parece ser de la gerencia de arriba. Para listar algunos artícules acerca la FFPE-EPO de nuevo:

  1. Enla Foto Oficial de la EPO Op, “Sólo Una de las Caras es Actualmente FFPE-EPO”
  2. Mayor Evidencia Sugiere y Muestra Fuerte Evidencia de que el Equipo Battistelli Usa a la FFPE-EPO como ‘Union Amarilla’ Contra la SUEPO
  3. “La FFPE-EPO Fué Creada Hace 9 Años Con Apoyo y Ánimo de la Gerencia”
  4. Secuelas de la FFPE EPO Memorando de Entendimiento Con el Círculo de Battistelli
  5. La Estrategia de la EPO’s en los Medios Trabajando: Peleas de Síndicatos y Fracturas de Grupos
  6. Caricatura del Dia: Reconociéndo a la FFPE EPO
  7. Unión Sindical Federal Golpea a la FFPE-EPO por Ayudar a la Abusiva Gerencia de la EPO al Firmar un Malicioso, Divisivo Documento
  8. La FFPE-EPO dice el MOU con Battistelli "defenderá Condiciones de Empleo"

“Aquí hay otro documento de la famosa Amarilla EPO Unión FFPE-EPO,” un lector nos dijo, habiéndonos enseñado el texto de arriba, añadiéndo: “estos estúpidos comentaron en Techrights” (dice “No lean mucho [sic] Techrights,” el que está bloqueado de todas maneres, por los sátrapas de la gerencia de arriba con los que la FFPE-EPO ha firmado un terrible acuerdo).

Techrights nunca fue un enemigo de la EPO pero sí un enemigo de las patentes de software.”“Gracias por el trabajo y apoyo a los empleados de la EPO,” nos dijo el lector. “los empleados están contentos con tenerlos cerca.”

Techrights nunca fue un enemigo de la EPO pero sí un enemigo de las patentes de software. Es una gran diferencia. Incluso envié unas cartas a la EPO allá en los viejos días, en particular acerca de las patentes de software.

No dejen que la FFPE-EPO pinte a Techrights como un enemigo. Es una falsa narrativa y lo de arriba erróneamente characteriza a Techrights como “odio a los derechos de Propiedad Intelectual”. Bueno, nosotros NUNCA hemos usado el término “Propiedad Intelectual”; nosotros adecuadamente distinguimos entre derechos de autor, marcas y patentes, y específicamente abordamos las patentes de software. La FFPE-EPO probablemente no ha estudiado el sitio lo suficientemente para hacer tan estúpido comentario.

“…la respuesta de la FFPE es bastante hilarante, afirmando que sólo hay una diferencia entre los cuadros acuerdo de la Comisión de la UE y el memorando de entendimiento con la OEP.”
Para el record, Techrights no fue un enemigo de la FFPE-EPO. En realidad, los apoyamos muchísimo antes del MoU, como cualquiera puede ver en nuestros artículos pasados, e.g. este de aquí. Uno podría decir que la FFPE-EPO estúpidamente (si no intencionalmente o incluso maliciousamente) desertado. Aquí esta un nuevo comentario que dice: “la respuesta de la FFPE en vez es risíble, la respuesta de la FFPE es bastante hilarante, afirmando que sólo hay una diferencia entre los cuadros acuerdo de la Comisión de la UE y el memorando de entendimiento con la OEP.

“Ellos tienden a olvidar el artículo 9 de la” cadre acuerdo “, que trata sobre” La representatividad de las organizaciones “. La gerencia de laEPOno podría haber insistido en tal elemento, de lo contrario habrían perdido todo lo que podrían haber mostrado y jactado.

“Es una pena que los sindicatos comienzen a pelearse unos contra otros. Todos estamos en el mismo barco, y disparando el uno al otro no va a ayudar en nuestro deseo de conseguir que la EPO se ponga de nuevo en marcha, y el reconocimiento de los derechos humanos.”

Una respuesta a este comentario, dijó: “La última página (página 16) es muy informativa. Así, de acuerdo con el “acuerdo cuadre” de la UE, la SUEPO sería una organización representativa reconócida que aún no ha firmado, pero no habría conseguido pleno acceso a las habitaciones, la licencia sindical, y correos electrónicos? La FFPE-EPO no hubiera sido reconocida una organización a lo mejor y ellos no son elegibles para firmar.

“Ellos no lo hacen fácil para reconocerlos como profesionales…”
¿Y la FFPE-EPO vende la MoU como siendo la misma como el acuerdo cadre de la comisión European EU? (la única diferencia que ellos reconocen son los elementos de huelga en el “acuerdo cadre”)

“¿En verdad?

“Ellos no lo hacen fácil para reconocerlos como profesionales…”

“De todos maneras, estos ataques el uno contra el otro deben parar.”
La SUEPO durámente ha hecho algún comentario que ataque a la FFPE-EPO; simplemente criticó -con justa razón – al MoU. Sirve como un ataque encubierto contra la SUEPO, como la gerencia de la EPO la usa como amunición contra la SUEPO y los representántes de empleados despedidos.

Links 25/3/2016: KDE Applications 16.04 Beta and *buntu Betas

Posted in News Roundup at 10:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • How to hurdle community management obstacles

    Another risk organizations face when initiating a community support program is mistaking the community for a market or for customers. Although community members may also fit these roles, and traditional marketing and sales outreach techniques can be helpful at times, treating the community like anything other than a community can lead to resentment and ill-will from its members. Remember: A community is a self-organized and self-identified collection of people. Identification is a powerful thing, and treating someone contrary to their selected identification is arrogant and disrespectful. When an organization begins to think of the community it supports merely as a well-qualified market or as sales leads, it has lost connection with the community and risks public negative feedback and losing members.

  • An Open-Source Audit: Where Financial Firms Are Turning to Open Source

    Industry participants tell WatersTechnology about the use of open source among financial services organizations. Dan DeFrancesco highlights some of the specific work firms are embarking on in the open-source space.

  • Animation Software Used by Futurama and Studio Ghibli is Going Open Source

    The prayers of many starving animation artists out there may have finally been answered. Cartoon Brew reports that the same animation software used by Futurama and Studio Ghibli will soon be available for the low price of…nothing.

  • New open source software for high resolution microscopy

    With their special microscopes, experimental physicists can already observe single molecules. However, unlike conventional light microscopes, the raw image data from some ultra-high resolution instruments first have to be processed for an image to appear. For the ultra-high resolution fluorescence microscopy that is also employed in biophysical research at Bielefeld University, members of the Biomolecular Photonics Group have developed a new open source software solution that can process such raw data quickly and efficiently.

  • Events

  • Comms/Telecoms

    • Verizon SDN, NFV plans look to open source to counter challenges

      Telecom operators moving towards software solutions using software-defined networking and network functions virtualization technologies are finding a challenging environment. Traditional vendor support for such moves are being hindered by internal business models that are being overhauled by the move away from traditional hardware to commodity white boxes powered by software, which is forcing many telecom operators to search outside their usual vendor channels for support or turn internally to develop their own platforms.

    • Patton Enters SDN/NFV Arena with Virtual eSBC, Seeks Alpha Partners

      Implemented as a virtual machine (VM) within cloud infrastructure, Patton has tested its VNFs with VirtualBox, vmWare ESX, KVM, and OpenStack hypervisors to date.

    • Do What Providers Do; Open Source

      The Tier 1 providers use open source software. The providers use middleware to develop application for communications. Enterprises have now embraced open source software so they can create their own applications. Both providers and enterprises have realized that hardware has become a commodity, software rules.

      Open-source software has its source code available with a license in that the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software can be developed in a collaborative manner.

  • Databases

    • Citus Unforks From PostgreSQL, Goes Open Source

      When we started working on CitusDB 1.0 four years ago, we envisioned scaling out relational databases. We loved Postgres (and the elephant) and picked it as our underlying database of choice. Our goal was to extend this database to seamlessly shard and replicate your tables, provide high availability in the face of failures, and parallelize your SQL queries across a cluster of machines.

      We wanted to make the PostgreSQL elephant magical.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Busy Week: UbuntuBSD, FreeNAS 9.10 Released

      Most of the attention this week has been around the release of UbuntuBSD, which in and of itself is a noble effort for those who want to escape from systemd, as the developers have dubbed it according to Phoronix. This manifestation joins Ubuntu 15.10 Wile E. Coyote — sorry, Wily Werewolf — to the Free BSD 10.1 kernel.

      To its credit, UbuntuBSD uses Xfce as its default desktop. It also joins a list of other marriages between Linux distros and the BSD kernel: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, ArchBSD (now PacBSD), Gentoo/BSD and others along the FOSS highway. It’s worth a look and we’ll be giving it a test drive sometime soon.

      But for now, there’s a more interesting and significant development in the BSD realm rising on the horizon.

    • AMD Polaris Support Already Lands In LLVM
    • DragonFlyBSD’s Radeon Driver Code Up To Linux 3.18 State

      The DragonFlyBSD operating system with its AMD Radeon graphics driver ported from the Linux DRM/KMS code is up to a state equivalent to where it was in the Linux 3.18 kernel.

    • Why OpenBSD?

      Using OpenBSD as my operating system of choice is the conclusion of my now 20 years journey into UNIX-like systems. I’ve been using FreeBSD from 2000 to 2005 as my sole operating system at the time (both on servers and workstations), from 4.1 to the end of the 4.x series. I have fond memories of that period, and that’s probably the main reason why I’ve been diving again into the BSDs during the last few years. Prior to that, I had been running Slackware, which in retrospective was very BSD-like, since January 1996.

      When I first installed OpenBSD, two things struck me. The installation process was both easy and fast, as the OpenBSD installer, a plain shell script, is very minimalistic and uncluttered. It is in fact the fastest installation process I’ve ever experienced, and it made a really positive first impression. The second one is the quality of the documentation. Not only does the OpenBSD project produces high quality code, they are also very good at documenting it. And it’s not only man pages and documentation, presentations and papers also reflect that.

    • New routing table code (ART) enabled in -current

      With this commit, mpi@ enabled the new ART routing table implementation, which paves way for more MP network stack improvements down the line.

    • bsdtalk263 – joshua stein and Brandon Mercer

    • FSF to begin accepting scanned signatures for copyright assignments from India

      The Free Software Foundation is striving to provide more and simpler ways for hackers to contribute to the GNU Project. For projects that are assigned to the FSF (such as GNU Emacs or GCC), dealing with the paperwork for assigning contributions can sometimes be a bottleneck in the process. We are always working on ways to make assignment itself simpler. Our legal counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center recently gave us the all clear to begin accepting scanned assignments for contributors residing in India. We would also like to particularly thank Mishi Choudhary of SFLC and SFLC India for providing local counsel on this issue.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Mycroft – The World’s First Truly Open Home AI

      If you haven’t heard of Mycroft, there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock. And not one of those fancy under-a-rock condos either—the kind of under a rock without—horrors!—wifi! Mycroft is a project over at Indiegogo and Kickstarter that has the distinction of being the first truly open source, open hardware home AI to grace the technological landscape. And, of course, it runs GNU/Linux.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Jenkins 2.0 eases automation for dev teams

      Jenkins 2.0, an upgrade to the popular continuous integration and continuous delivery platform for software development, is due in April with improvements to the delivery pipeline and user interface.

      In version 2.0, the Pipeline subsystem will enable users to automate processes and describe functions, such as for running tests and builds, said Kohsuke Kawaguchi, Jenkins founder and CTO at CloudBees. Users “can describe this choreography of automation,” he said. The capability can, for example, enable users to execute tests in parallel, he said. Pipelines will be developed by writing code in a script language that serves as a DSL on top of the Groovy language.

    • Rage-quit: Coder unpublished 17 lines of JavaScript and “broke the Internet”


  • Worker Blames Google Maps After Tearing Down Wrong House

    Two owners of a Texas duplex found their home destroyed after a demolition company accidentally tore down the wrong house. An employee of the company blamed the error on a false addressing listing on Google Maps, according to WFAA.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • On World Water Day, See Our Extended Interview with Flint Activists Nayyirah Shariff & Melissa Mays

      As communities mark World Water Day, we turn to Part 2 of our extended conversation with Flint water activists Nayyirah Shariff and Melissa Mays. We spoke to them after Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder testified for the first time before Congress about lead poisoning in the water supply of Flint, Michigan, which began after he appointed an unelected emergency manager who switched the source of the city’s drinking water to the corrosive Flint River. Snyder testified along with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Flint’s former emergency manager, Darnell Earley, who refused to appear at last month’s hearing despite a subpoena from the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Melissa Mays is an activist and founder of Water You Fighting For?, a Flint, Michigan-based research and advocacy organization founded around the city’s water crisis. She and her three children suffer from long-term exposure to heavy metals because of the water supply. Nayyirah Shariff is a coordinator with the Flint Democracy Defense League.

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Secure code before or after sharing? [Ed: FUD season. US moving to FOSS, so parasites pop up]

      The White House wants federal agencies to share more of their custom code with each other, and also to provide more of it to the open source community. That kind of reuse and open source development of software could certainly cut costs and provide more able software in the future, but is this also an opening for more bugs and insecure code?

    • SMTP Strict Transport Security Standard Drafted for Email Security

      Love it or hate it, email remains a must-have tool in the modern Internet, though email isn’t always as secure as it should be. When users connect to email servers, those connections have the potential to be intercepted by attackers, so there is a need for standards, like the new SMTP Strict Transport Security (STS) standard, published March 18 as an Internet Engineering Task Force (IEFT) draft.

    • Certified Ethical Hacker website caught spreading crypto ransomware
    • Certificate pinning is a useful thing, says Netcraft. So why do hardly any of you use it?

      Venerable net-scan outfit Netcraft has issued what cliché would describe as “a stinging rebuke” to sysadmins the world over, for ignoring HTTP Public Key Pinning (HPKP).

      Pinning is designed to defend users against impersonation attacks, in which an attacker tricks a certificate authority to issue a fraudulent certificate for a site.

      If the attacker can present a user with a certificate for fubar.com, they can impersonate the site, opening a path for malfeasance like credential harvesting.

    • Oracle issues emergency Java patch for bug leading to system hijack

      Oracle has released an emergency patch for Java which fixes a critical bug leading to remote code execution without the need for user credentials.

    • Hospital Declares ‘Internal State of Emergency’ After Ransomware Infection [iophk: "The FBI needs to prosecute those that brought Windows into the hospital."]

      A Kentucky hospital says it is operating in an “internal state of emergency” after a ransomware attack rattled around inside its networks, encrypting files on computer systems and holding the data on them hostage unless and until the hospital pays up.

    • Judge Won’t Consider EFF’s Arguments in FBI Mass Hacking Case

      Earlier this month, digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a strongly worded amicus brief arguing that the warrant used by the FBI for its use of malware to identify visitors of a dark web child pornography site was “unconstitutional,” and qualified as a broad, “general warrant.”

      But on Tuesday, Robert J. Bryan, the district judge overseeing the case rejected the group’s argument, saying it contained allegations of fact not supported in the record, and that it was simply repeating arguments already made by the defense.

      “According to EFF, a self-proclaimed ‘recognized expert’ on the intersection of civil liberties and technology, the law enforcement techniques employed in this case present novel questions of Fourth Amendment law,” Bryan writes in his order. The brief was signed by Mark Rumold, Nate Cardozo, and Andrew Crocker from the EFF, and Venkat Balasubramani, an attorney who is representing the organization.

    • Security education outfit EC-Council dishes out ransomware online

      Senior threat intelligence man Yonathan Klijnsma says the website of the EC-Council, the organisation responsible for the Ethical Hacker certification, is serving the dangerous Angler exploit kit to infect PCs.

      Klijnsma of Dutch firm Fox-IT says the website was serving the world’s most highly-capable and dangerous exploit kit hours ago to users of Internet Explorer.

      Checks by this writer appear to show it is still serving the exploit at the time of publication.

    • Weak links in the blockchain: We’re neglecting the foundations

      Premature infatuation with blockchain overlooks security weaknesses in the platform that underlies Bitcoin digital currency.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Real Likelihood of a Nuclear War

      “When you destroy trust between nuclear powers you recreate the possibility of nuclear war, either by intent, or miscalculation. So this is a reckless and irresponsible act on the part of Washington….The information war that is going on now is to prepare the American population and NATO countries allies for military conflict with Russia. This is part of the preparation of that. We now have high level people in the US government and military who go to Congress and say that Russia is an existential threat. This is rubbish!…You have to remember that before the wars started in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, it was the constant demonisation of the leaders of the governments, against Gaddafi, Hussein. When you see these kinds of demonisation it fits a pattern.”

    • Glasgow mosque leader praises extremist killer

      The religious leader at Scotland’s biggest mosque has praised an extremist who was executed for committing murder in Pakistan, the BBC can reveal.

      Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman of Glasgow Central Mosque used the messaging platform WhatsApp to show his support for Mumtaz Qadri.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Lost emails from Clinton server discovered

      Conservative legal watchdogs have discovered new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server dating back to the first days of her tenure as secretary of State.

      The previously undisclosed February 2009 emails between Clinton from her then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, raise new questions about the scope of emails from Clinton’s early days in office that were not handed over to the State Department for recordkeeping and may have been lost entirely.

    • Clinton Pressed NSA to Modify Unsecure Devices for Government Use

      Communications between the US National Security Agency (NSA) and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton show she repeatedly tried to obtain unsecure devices for use in government business, according to emails released by the US Department of State.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • After 115 Years, Scotland Is Coal-Free

      After some 115 years, Scotland has burned its last lump of coal for electricity.

      The Longannet power station, the last and largest coal-fired power plant in Scotland, ceased operations Thursday. What once was the largest coal plant in Europe shut down after 46 years before the eyes of workers and journalists, who gathered in the main control room.

      “Ok, here we go,” said one worker moments before pressing a bright red button that stopped the coal-fired turbines that generated electricity for a quarter of Scottish homes.

  • Finance

    • ‘Who’s Developing What for Who?’

      Our guest suggested instead that Chicago’s dreaded, ruinous red ink should be considered a mirage. Americans seem very accepting of the idea that we’re living in objectively dry economic times, and tough choices have to be made. But that tendency is precisely why it’s so important to hold a light on what, precisely, politicians and the press mean when they talk about public money we “don’t have” or “can’t spare.” Because a whole lot of human hardship gets predicated, gets accepted and normalized, on that assumption of scarcity.

    • Warren: ‘I’m still cheering Bernie on’

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday said she has no desire for Bernie Sanders’s exit from the Democratic presidential primary.

      “He has put the right issues on the table both for the Democratic Party and for the country in general so I’m still cheering Bernie on,” she said while touring a community healthcare center in Quincy, Mass., according to The Associated Press.

      “He’s out there,” Warren added when asked if she thinks the independent Vermont senator should suspend his presidential campaign. “He fights from the heart. This is who Bernie is.”

      Warren refused comment on who she voted for in Massachusetts’s Democratic presidential primary earlier this month, AP reported. She also said she plans on making an endorsement but would not elaborate further on her pick.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Member state offices in Brussels: wide open to corporate lobbyists

      Meanwhile, the report exposes the inadequacy of the current EU lobby transparency regime which is both voluntary and excludes lobbying directed at the permanent representations and the Council. The study shows that at least one in five lobby meetings at some national offices are with companies and organisations unregistered in the current EU register.

    • ALEC Exposed: Corporate Polluters Undermining Clean Power in Virginia

      Today, the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter and the Center for Media and Democracy released ALEC EXPOSED: Corporate Polluters Undermining Clean Power in Virginia, a report that reveals the influence that ALEC and its political allies have exerted to stymie state climate and clean energy policies.

    • Bernie Sanders Would Now Outraise Clinton Almost 2-to-1 With Small Donor Matching Funds

      Bernie Sanders would have raised almost twice as much money by the end of 2015 as Hillary Clinton for his presidential campaign if the U.S. had a system of public matching funds for small donors, according to a report by U.S. PIRG, a federation of the state-level activist groups founded by Ralph Nader in the 1970s.

      In addition, Sanders would also have far outraised any of the remaining Republican candidates.

      The U.S. PIRG report examines how 2016 presidential candidates would fare under a campaign financing system similar to that of New York City, which matches small donations to local candidates with additional public money at a six-to-one ratio. For example, if someone gives $10 to a candidate for the New York City Council, the city provides an additional $60, so the candidate receives $70 total.

    • Sanders Tip-toes in Criticizing Israel

      Sen. Sanders ventured hesitantly down the scary path of criticizing Israel, but even his timid approach looked heroic compared to the pro-Israel pandering from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, says Joe Lauria.


      Snubbing AIPAC requires a degree of courage in American presidential politics and almost no one dares do anything but pander to the hardest-line Israeli partisans. But Sanders, who is fighting for his political life in the campaign, hasn’t taken money from the kind of large donors that AIPAC coordinates. Plus, he could never match the other candidates’ fervor for Israel.

    • Most Americans Believe Palestinians Occupy Israeli Land

      Israel-AIPAC claims of ‘disputed lands’ are working

  • Censorship

    • How Rock Music (Mostly) Defeated Castro’s Censorship

      The Rolling Stones prepare their historic concert in a country that once banned the Beatles, and still harasses artistic free expression

    • Staging Shakespearean dissent: spring magazine 2016

      This year brings the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and Index on Censorship is marking it with a special issue of our award-winning magazine, looking at how his plays have been used around the world to sneak past censors or take on the authorities – often without them realising.

      Our special report explores how different countries use different plays to tackle difficult themes. Hungarian author György Spiró writes about how Richard III was used to taunt eastern European dictators during the 1980s. Dame Janet Suzman remembers how staging Othello with a black lead during apartheid in South Africa caused people to walk out of the theatre. Kaya Genç tells of a 1981 production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream in Turkey that landed most of the cast in jail. And Brazilian director Roberto Alvim recounts his recent staging of Julius Caesar, which was inspired by the country’s current political tumult.

    • Report Shows Arts Censorship Reached Unprecedented Levels in 2015

      A new report on artistic freedom by the Danish free speech advocacy group Freemuse has found that global censorship and threats on artistic freedom increased significantly in 2015, according to the Art Newspaper.

      The report, which analyzes artistic freedom in over 70 countries, gathered data from media sources as well as partner organizations, such as the Copenhagen-based civil society network Artsfex. The findings show a 20 percent increase in registered killings, attacks, abductions, imprisonments, and threats related to artists worldwide, as well as a 224 percent increase in acts of censorship.

    • HK government is toeing PRC line: Nonsensemakers

      Members of the Hong Kong performance troupe Nonsensemakers on Monday accused the Hong Kong government of political bias over demands they claimed had been placed on the group as it prepares for an event.

    • Hong Kong lawmakers from all sides urge home affairs chief to explain missing word ‘national’

      Lawmakers from across the political spectrum urged Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah to give a detailed explanation of the government’s controversial decision to prohibit a local artiste from publishing the full name of her Taiwanese alma mater in a drama programme leaflet.

    • Unnecessary fuss turns a cultural event into a political drama

      A government-sponsored cultural drama has unnecessarily been thrust onto the political stage, all because of the innocuous word “national”. A misguided sense of political correctness within the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is being blamed. Officials seem so eager to screen out perceived unacceptable content that even an artiste’s biography in a house programme is not spared. The alleged censorship is not just a threat to artistic freedom; it also undermines the city’s image as an arts hub and risks upsetting ties with other places.

    • Home affairs minister continues to evade questions over Taiwan censorship controversy

      The government’s home affairs minister has continued to avoid questions over the recent controversy whereby the word “national” was removed from the names of Taiwanese institutions by a government department.

      The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) allegedly removed the word on different occasions – an act criticised by the affected Taipei National University of the Arts and by the Hong Kong Federation of Taiwan Universities Alumni Association.

    • ‘Insulting’: Taiwan alumni group in HK condemn gov’t over university naming row

      A Hong Kong alumni group of Taiwanese universities has “strongly condemned” a government department over a controversy whereby the word “national” was removed from the names of schools. The group called the incident “insulting”.

      On Monday, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) was criticised for allegedly demanding the word “national” be deleted from the biography of a member of a drama company which performed at a public theatre last week. The member graduated from the Taipei National University of the Arts. Other similar cases have since emerged.

    • Politicians slam Facebook for censorship of Yeni Şafak

      Ministers, deputies and lawyers condemn Facebook’s ban on Turkey’s most popular newspaper pages, called on social media platform to rectify mistake as soon as possible

    • After Withholding Mail, Army Allows Chelsea Manning to Read EFF Writing

      EFF is pleased to announce that the U.S. Army has allowed Chelsea Manning to receive a packet of news articles, EFF blog posts, and a regulatory filing related to prisoner free speech rights that it had previously withheld. Manning is currently imprisoned at the U.S Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Ft. Leavenworth for her role in the release of military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks.

      As we reported last month, the Army had rejected the mail from a Manning supporter citing regulations limiting printouts from the Internet. Initially, the mail had been withheld under provisions that both limited the number of pages an inmate can receive from the Internet and allowed the prison to block Internet pages that it believed may violate copyright laws. The information provided to Manning made the actual basis for withholding unclear, and EFF wrote to the Army pointing out that printing the materials for Manning would not infringe our copyright. We also sent the materials to Manning directly.

  • Privacy

    • Hottest job? Data scientists say they’re still mostly digital ‘janitors’

      Data scientists are considered to have the hottest job right now, but a new study suggests they’re little more than “digital janitors” who spend most of their time cleaning data to prepare it for analysis.

      That’s according to CrowdFlower, a crowdsourcing company, which surveyed 80 data scientists with varying levels of experience.

    • Internet providers have built huge data systems to track every move you make online

      Web users face an even greater threat to their privacy as large ISPs align themselves more closely with data brokers to track their customers, an advocacy group said.

      Several large ISPs have either formed partnerships with, or acquired, data tracking and analytics firms in recent years, giving them a “vast storehouse of consumer data,” according to a report Wednesday from the Center for Digital Democracy.

      “ISPs have been on a shopping spree to help build their data-targeting system across devices and platforms,” the report says. “Superfast computers analyze our information … to decide in milliseconds whether to target us for marketing and more.”

      Through digital dossiers that merge all of this information, we can be bought and sold in an instant — to financial marketers, fast-food companies, and health advertisers — all without our knowledge.”

    • The NSA is trying to create a virtual clone of me

      It seems there’s a Twitter account that has been copying my tweets, along with the tweets of half a dozen other tech people who follow me. I don’t mean stealing our jokes; I mean only tweeting paraphrases of our tweets, even fairly mundane ones. It’s a shame that I can’t show you the account in full, because after an hour of our trying to figure out what was going on, I finally made a public tweet about this — and the account instantly vanished. A couple people verified by user id that the account was actually deleted, not just renamed.


      It looked like the account of an average nerd named “Nikki V.” Except that it had 1600 followers, yet never garnered a single like or retweet. And seemingly everything it wrote was a paraphrase of someone else.

    • Georgia License Plate Reader Bill: Bad for the Public, Bad for the Police

      H.B. 93 began with good intentions. Georgia legislators saw a need to protect privacy by regulating how law enforcement agencies use automated license plate reader (ALPR) technology and limiting how long police can store location data collected on everyday drivers.

      Unfortunately, the version of the bill currently on the fast track to passage is rife with problems that would not only harm the public, but threaten security research and hinder law enforcement’s ability to ensure the integrity of ALPR systems. It could be voted upon by the Georgia Senate as early as Thursday.

    • Obama Has Gotten 3,000+ Tweets about Encryption. Let’s Double That.

      EFF, ACLU, and Access Now released a statement in support of Apple and its stance on encryption last week. We called on the President to reject any attempt to force backdoors like the one the FBI was seeking to Apple’s operating system. We asked our communities to help by tweeting at the President.

      Over three thousand people have joined us, sending a stream of tweets to the President.

      Since then, the FBI has at least temporarily backed off its attempts to strong-arm Apple into defeating its own security. But the backdoor battle isn’t over: Obama still must answer our petition on encryption, signed by over 100,000 people.

    • NSA Isn’t the Going Dark Solution, Part II: There’s No Such Thing As Magic

      Still, that outcome is not nearly as bad as the alternative. Paradoxically, things would be even worse in the universe that Richard Clarke believes we live in: the one in which NSA does, in fact, have superpowers. I turn to that world in the final post in this series.

    • NSA Isn’t the Going Dark Solution, Part III: “Beat Me If You Can”

      Turning to the intelligence community as a solution to the Going Dark problem increases the interaction between the classified world and the criminal justice system at a time when there are good reasons to support more separation, not less.

    • NSA Isn’t the Going Dark Solution, Part I: Richard Clarke Gets It Wrong

      Clarke’s allegation that the FBI is more interested in legal precedent than in solving the problem appears to have been soundly refuted by this week’s events. Not only has the FBI actively sought alternative methods to unlock the phone, but it has apparently found such a method. And it is apparently willing to use it as an alternative to compelling Apple’s assistance under the All Writs Act.


      What federal agencies cannot loan one another is legal authorities; to the contrary, in providing technical assistance, they adopt one another’s legal constraints.

    • DOJ Steps In To Salvage The DEA’s Toxic, Possibly Illegal Wiretaps

      Late last year, USA Today’s Brad Heath and Brett Kelman uncovered a massive DEA wiretap program — one that was being run almost exclusively through a single California state court judge and being signed off on by a single DA’s office. The wiretaps were likely illegal, seeing as the warrants weren’t being run by federal judges. They also weren’t being signed by the top prosecutor in the area, as is required federal law.

    • Parliamentary Evidence on the UK Investigatory Powers Bill

      My written evidence to the Scrutiny Committee in the UK Houses of Parliament that is currently examining the much-disputed Investigatory Powers Bill (IP)…

    • “Snowden has done a service”: Former Bush official Lawrence Wilkerson applauds the whistleblower

      “I try to stay up with Snowden,” said Lawrence “Larry” Wilkerson. “God, has he revealed a lot,” he laughed.

      A retired Army colonel who served as the chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell in President George W. Bush’s administration, Wilkerson has established himself as a prominent critic of U.S. foreign policy.

      He sat down with Salon for an extended interview, discussing a huge range of issues from the war in Syria to climate change, from ISIS to whistle-blower Edward Snowden, of whom Wilkerson spoke quite highly.

      “I think Snowden has done a service,” Wilkerson explained. “I wouldn’t have had the courage, and maybe not even the intellectual capacity, to do it the way he did it.”

      Snowden’s reputation in mainstream U.S. politics, to put it lightly, is a negative one. In the summer of 2013, the 29-year-old techno wiz and private contractor for the NSA worked with journalists to expose the global surveillance program run by the U.S. government.

      His revelations informed the public not only that the NSA was sucking up information on millions of average Americans’ private communications; they also proved that the U.S. government was likely violating international law by spying on dozens of other countries, and even listening to the phone calls of allied heads of state such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who subsequently compared the NSA to the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police.

    • Appeals Court Sends Smith v. Obama NSA Lawsuit Back to the Trial Court

      One of EFF’s three cases against the NSA, Smith v. Obama, has been sent back to the trial court by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuit was brought by an Idaho neonatal nurse, Anna Smith, who was outraged to discover that the NSA was engaging in bulk collection of telephone records. This same program is challenged in our First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA case and has also always been a part of our long-running Jewel v. NSA case.

    • Congressional Reps Tell NSA To Cease Sharing Unminimized Data With Domestic Law Enforcement Agencies

      The FBI announced (without going into verifiable detail) that it had implemented new minimization procedures for handling information tipped to it by the NSA’s Prism dragnet. Oddly, this announcement arrived nearly simultaneously with the administration’s announcement that it was expanding the FBI’s intake of unminimized domestic communications collected by the NSA.

    • Remember, It Was A ‘Lawful Access’ Tool That Enabled iCloud Hacker To Download Celebrity Nudes

      You may have heard, recently, that the guy who was apparently behind the celebrity nudes hacking scandal (sometimes called “Celebgate” in certain circles, and the much more terrible “The Fappening” in other circles) recently pled guilty to the hacks, admitting that he used phishing techniques to get passwords to their iCloud accounts. But… that’s not all that he apparently used. He also used “lawful access” technologies to help him grab everything he could once he got in.

    • Keystroke Fingerprinting Is Raising Concerns, Possible Kernel/Wayland Solution

      With companies like Google and Facebook having developed keystroke fingerprinting technology to identify users based upon how long they press keys on the keyboard and the time between key presses, this poses new challenges for those wanting to stay completely anonymous on the Internet. A developer is trying to come up with a solution down to the display server or kernel level.

    • We Asked NSA’s Privacy Officer If U.S. Spying Powers Are Safe With Donald Trump. Here’s What She Said.

      A QUESTION ABOUT the potential of Donald Trump wielding power over the country’s eavesdropping capabilities evoked nervous laughter, and eventually a careful answer from the National Security Agency’s recently installed director of privacy and civil liberties.

      Becky Richards, who was appointed to the newly created position in January 2014, insists the “checks and balances” on the intelligence community are strong — to protect employees so they can brainstorm new ideas without fear of reprisal, while also being properly monitored to prevent abuse.

      At an event last week on Capitol Hill hosted by the Just Security law blog and NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, a reporter for The Intercept asked Richards, “Would you trust someone — such as, let’s say, a Donald Trump — to oversee these sorts of powers?”

      “I’m going to edit that question,” said Deborah Pearlstein, associate professor at the Cardozo School of Law and a moderator for the panel.

      “No matter who becomes president of the United States, you would want these exact same constraints in place?” she asked.

  • Civil Rights

    • Prison Telco Claims Prisoners Will Riot If Company Can’t Keep Overcharging Inmate Families

      For many, many years interstate inmate calling service (ICS) companies have charged inmates and their families upwards of $14 per minute for phone calls. Because these folks are in prison, and as we all know everybody in prison is guilty, drumming up sympathy to convert into political momentum had proven difficult. But after decades of activism the FCC intervened last year, voting to cap the amount companies can charge the incarcerated. According to the FCC’s updated rules, ICS companies can no longer charge more than twenty-two cents per minute — depending on the size of the prison. Caps were also placed on the fees companies could charge those trying to pay these already bloated bills.

    • Philip Hammond, the World’s Sleaziest Man and the Ultimate Corrupt and Undemocratic British State

      His second wife, Christina Estrada, a Pirelli calendar model, is divorcing him because he married (concurrently) a third wife, a Lebanese supermodel. Divorce in the UK is potentially expensive to billionaires. In September 2014 Juffali therefore acquired diplomatic immunity in the UK by becoming – wait for it – the Ambassador of the Caribbean island of St Lucia to the International Maritime Organisation, a UN agency located next to Lambeth Palace.

      As Juffali has no connection to St Lucia or to international maritime affairs, the High Court in London ruled that the appointment was a “transparent subterfuge” and that Juffali does not have diplomatic immunity. This incensed Philip Hammond who argued that the courts have no right to question his “actions under the Royal Prerogative”.


      If the United Kingdom were a democracy, the Court of Appeal would defy Hammond and the police would be investigating him.

    • Hot Summer GOP Convention Coming Up After Appalling DOJ Report on Cleveland PD

      This July the GOP (Gasping Old Party) is going to hold its nominating convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Given the way things are headed, this may turn out to be a contested convention, where everyone but Donald Trump tries to make sure Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee. Trump, in a classy move, has suggested if he is not anointed there will be riots.

    • An Interview with Paul Craig Roberts

      For example, if a country has a law against GMOs (genetically modified organisms) the US corporation Monsanto can sue the country for “restraint of trade” in a tribunal that consists solely of corporations. The country’s own courts are bypassed. In short, the TPP permits corporations to negate any law in the countries that sign the “partnership” that does not serve the interest of the corporation.

    • Horror Persists, From Brussels to Cuba — Guantanamo, Cuba, That Is

      Islamic State militants attacked a European city this week, setting off three bombs in Brussels that killed 31 and injured 260. In the United States, the response was immediate, first with the outpouring of support from the public, then, unsurprisingly, with a flurry of bellicose pronouncements from most of the remaining major-party presidential candidates.

      The violence overshadowed what might well be one of the most enduring and significant accomplishments of the Obama presidency: the reopening of relations with Cuba, cemented when he became the first president in 88 years to visit the island nation.

      After the bombings in Brussels, Republican candidate Ted Cruz said, “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” Donald Trump told NBC regarding Salah Abdeslam, the suspect in the November Paris massacre who was captured in Brussels last Friday, “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding.” On CNN, Trump said, “He may be talking, but he’ll talk faster with the torture.” Give Trump credit for calling it what it is, torture. But actually advocating for torture?

    • Lawful but Awful: Texas Law Enforcement Agencies Must Find Alternatives to Lethal Force

      On March 13, 2016, off-duty Farmer’s Branch police officer Ken Johnson confronted two youths — 16-year-old Jose Raul Cruz and his friend Edgar Rodriguez — as they were allegedly attempting to break into a car. The youths fled, and Johnson pursued them, ramming the teens’ vehicle and forcing it to spin out of control. According to the officer’s account, an “altercation” ensued, during which Johnson drew his service weapon and fired, wounding Rodriguez and killing Cruz.

    • Two Lawyers Walk Into a Bar. And Get Kicked Out for Being Black.

      When the police arrived, several customers explained to the officers that the bar staff were enforcing the rule against us only. Some told the police that a one-drink rule did not exist. Others even tried to buy us drinks. But the bartenders wouldn’t let them.

      And still, the police forced us  —  two Black women in the bar  —  to leave.

      Police departments are supposed to enforce criminal laws and threats to public safety, not enforce personal biases.

    • Israeli Rights Group Releases Video of Soldier Executing Wounded Palestinian Suspect

      An Israeli soldier was arrested on Thursday after a rights group published clear video images of him shooting a wounded, immobilized Palestinian suspect in the head following a knife attack in the West Bank city of Hebron earlier in the day.

      The graphic, distressing video was posted online by B’Tselem, an Israeli group that provides cameras to Palestinians to help them document human rights abuses in the West Bank territory that has been under military rule since Israel first occupied it in 1967.

    • Humanitarian Groups Refuse to Partake in ‘Mass Expulsion’ of Refugees

      In a stinging rebuke to Europe’s political leaders, four prominent humanitarian groups are ceasing operations in refugee camps on several Greek islands this week because of what they characterize as human rights violations in the wake of the controversial EU-Turkey refugee deal.

      “We will not allow our assistance to be instrumentalized for a mass expulsion operation, and we refuse to be part of a system that has no regard for the humanitarian or protection needs of asylum seekers and migrants,” said Marie Elisabeth Ingres, the head of the Doctors without Borders (MSF) mission in Greece, on Tuesday.

    • The Fight Against Female Genital Mutilation in Somalia

      Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is joining a campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia.

      Sharmarke signed an online petition proposing a federal ban of the long-standing practice that 98 percent of Somali women undergo. Ifrah Ahmed, an anti-FGM activist, who herself underwent the procedure as a child, told the BBC she persuaded Sharmarke to sign the petition. Sahra Samatar, Somalia’s minister of women and human rights, said Sharmarke’s support is a “huge boost” to the campaign for a national anti-FGM legislation.

    • Brussels attacks: How Saudi Arabia’s influence and a deal to get oil contracts sowed seeds of radicalism in Belgium

      But the mosque remains a concern for the Belgian government: in August, a WikiLeaks cable revealed that a staff member of the Saudi embassy in Belgium was expelled years ago over his active role in spreading the extreme so-called Takfiri dogma. The cable – between the Saudi King and his Home Minister – referred to Belgian demands that the ICC’s Saudi director, Khalid Alabri, should leave the country, saying that his messages were far too extreme, and that his status as director meant he should not be preaching anyway.

    • The Obama Doctrine

      It appeared as though Obama had drawn the conclusion that damage to American credibility in one region of the world would bleed into others, and that U.S. deterrent credibility was indeed at stake in Syria. Assad, it seemed, had succeeded in pushing the president to a place he never thought he would have to go. Obama generally believes that the Washington foreign-policy establishment, which he secretly disdains, makes a fetish of “credibility”—particularly the sort of credibility purchased with force. The preservation of credibility, he says, led to Vietnam. Within the White House, Obama would argue that “dropping bombs on someone to prove that you’re willing to drop bombs on someone is just about the worst reason to use force.”

    • The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, has condemned an Iranian death warrant against British writer Salman Rushdie, 27 years after it was pronounced

      The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, has condemned an Iranian death warrant against British writer Salman Rushdie, 27 years after it was pronounced.

      Two members quit the academy in 1989 after it refused to condemn Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini’s fatwa, or religious edict, against Rushdie for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his book “The Satanic Verses.” Citing its code against political involvement, the academy issued a statement defending free expression but without explicitly supporting Rushdie.

    • UK seeks review of UN Julian Assange ‘arbitrary detention’ finding

      The British government has formally asked a United Nations panel to review its finding that Julian Assange is “arbitrarily detained” in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, calling the opinion “deeply flawed”.

      In its first formal response to the finding of the UN working group on arbitrary detention, which published its opinion in February, the Foreign Office confirmed it would contest the finding, saying: “The original conclusions of the UN working group are inaccurate and should be reviewed.”

      In a statement, the Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire said: “We want to ensure the working group is in possession of the full facts. Our request for a review of the opinion sets those facts out clearly.

    • a simple (local) solution to the pay gap

      International Working Women’s Day was earlier this month, a day that reminds the world how far it has yet to go to achieve just treatment of women in the workplace. Obviously there are many fronts on which to fight to dismantle patriarchy, and also cissexism, and also transphobia, and also racism, and sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming just to think of a world where people treat each other right.

      Against this backdrop, it’s surprising that some policies are rarely mentioned by people working on social change. This article is about one of them — a simple local change that can eliminate the pay gap across all axes of unfair privilege.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Angolans Turning Zero-Rated Wikipedia, Facebook Into Ad Hoc File Sharing Services

      Zero-rating — the nifty trick companies use to edge around net neutrality rules — is being offered to developing countries as a way to provide cheap internet access to their citizens. There’s a bit of altruism in the offerings, but there’s also a lot of walls surrounding gardens. Facebook’s “Free Basics” is a zero-rated platform that functions like a twenty-first century AOL, funneling users into Facebook’s version of the internet.

  • DRM

    • LibrePlanet 2016 – Freedom Sympatico

      The interesting thing about the EME spec is that it doesn’t describe DRM – it just seems to describe an intricately shaped hole in which the only thing that will fit is DRM.

    • Memories of a march against DRM

      I participated in a rally against the W3C endorsing DRM last Sunday. I know it was recorded, but I haven’t seen any audio or video recordings up yet, and some friends have asked what really happened there. I thought I’d write up what I remembered.

      First, some context: the rally (and subsequent roundtable discussion) wasn’t officially part of LibrePlanet, but it did happen right after it. This was one of the busiest free software focused weeks of my life, and just earlier in the week I had been participating in the Social Web Working Group at the W3C, trying to hammer out our work on federation and other related standards. I’m so excited about this work, that it stands out in an interesting contrast to my feelings on a different “standards in the W3C” issue: the real danger that the W3C will endorse DRM by recommending the Encrypted Media Extensions specification.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

As Expected, Microsoft Uses Proprietary DCOS as a Weapon Against Free Software (GNU/Linux)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.”

Brad Silverberg, Microsoft, now sponsor of Mesosphere/DCOS

Summary: As foreseen by Techrights, DCOS and Microsoft climb into the same bed and help dominate GNU/Linux using proprietary software

The predictions we made are becoming a reality, based on what’s reported in the media right now. An IDG article says: “Designed to help enterprises build microservices-based applications, run big-data systems and operate massive production container environments, Mesosphere’s Datacenter Operating System (DCOS) is “the most exciting new enterprise operating system since Linux,” said Lak Ananth, managing director at Hewlett Packard Ventures, in a statement.”

“The predictions we made are becoming a reality, based on what’s reported in the media right now.”As we noted a few months back, DCOS is about control by a central authority (see “Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre”). It is connected to (and funded by) notorious thugs from Microsoft’s antitrust days, just like Xamarin before Microsoft took over [1, 2].

DCOS is proprietary, not FOSS. “In addition to forming the basis for Microsoft’s Azure Container Service,” says IDG, “DCOS will also soon run on Windows Server as well as Linux thanks to the collaboration between the two firms, Trifiro said. That technology is expected to enter beta later this quarter.”

“It doesn’t take a domain expert to foresee that. EEE in motion.”Seems like a convenient mechanism by which to make GNU/Linux subservient to (or dominated by) Windows, just like in the case of Hyper-V. It doesn’t take a domain expert to foresee that. EEE in motion.

“What the [user] is supposed to do is feel uncomfortable, and when he has bugs, suspect that the problem is DR-DOS and then go out to buy MS-DOS”

Brad Silverberg, Microsoft

“b) put a kind gentle message in setup. like an incompatible tsr message, but not everytime the user starts windows. [...] the most sensible thing from a development standpoint is to continue to build dependencies on msdos into windows.”

Brad Silverberg, Microsoft

IDG Publishes an ‘Ad’ For Black Duck, But it Looks Like an Article and It’s Inflammatory for Hits (Click Bait)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 4:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Still stabbing FOSS in the back

A stabbing

Summary: Black Duck, a company that came from a Microsoft guy, continues to generate negative publicity for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in order to attract business

YESTERDAY afternoon I was sent this bizarre article with a rather bizarre headline. Upon closer inspection it was from IDG and I immediately suspected (based on the headline alone) that Black Duck had something to do with it. It turned out that I was right.

IDG’s Maria Korolov apparently got used by Black Duck for shameless self-promotion, weeks after all that ‘future’ of Open Source PR/publicity stunt [1, 2, 3] (all the articles about it were listed in our daily links without further comment) or the ‘rookies’ stunt [1, 2, 3]. We tried hard to ignore Black Duck, but Black Duck sure isn’t ignoring FOSS. It’s acting like a parasite feeding off FOSS news, in order to sell its proprietary software of course!

“IDG’s Maria Korolov apparently got used by Black Duck for shameless self-promotion…”As usual, Black Duck, a proprietary software company and false prophet for FOSS, interjected itself into articles about FOSS; this yielded FOSS-hostile headlines in IDG, for example “Public concerned about security flaws in government open source code.” (in CSO)

This article contains Black Duck talking points: “In addition, open source code poses two additional security problems, said Mike Pittenger, vice president of security strategy at Black Duck Software. “Open source projects are often ubiquitous, so if there’s a vulnerability it creates a target-rich environment for attackers,” he said.”

“They are trying to sell proprietary software by piggybacking FOSS.”There is also pure marketing there: “Black Duck is currently tracking more than 1.5 million different open source projects, he added.”

Remember the time Black Duck told the media that it can cost $25,000 to fix a bug in FOSS? That was just months ago. Why does the media keep entertaining these propagandists at all? They are trying to sell proprietary software by piggybacking FOSS.

Letter Says EPO MoU “Raises Questions About FFPE’s Credibility as a Federation of Genuine Staff Unions”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO meme

Summary: The letter from Union Syndicale Federale and some news regarding the staff unions, one of which seems yellow and another genuine

EARLIER this week we published images of a letter from Union Syndicale Federale, in which FFPE-EPO was slammed for its MoU with EPO management. We’ve finally found some time to manually extract the text from it and it goes like this (with our emphasis in yellow):

Brussels, 18 March 2016

USF position on the Memorandum of understanding signed 2nd March 2016 EPO/FFPE

Union Syndicale Federale (USF) has been occasionally a partner of FFPE since the signature of the first “accord cadre” with the EU Commission decades ago.
USF is very disappointed by FFPE’s support for the EPO (European Patent Office) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed on the 2nd March 2016 in Brussels.

In contrast with FFPE, the Union Syndicale branches at the European Patent Office (Staff Union of the EPO, SUEPO) affiliated to USF did not sign the MoU. While the signatures under the document only include FFPE-The Hague (the only FFPE branch of the EPO), FFPE officials from the federal level at FFPE attended the ceremony in Brussels (European Commission, Council of Europe). It is obvious that FFPE as a whole decided to be outspoken about the MoU submitted by the EPO president and to support it. We do not know what considerations drove FFPE at federal level to this step — perhaps the insignificance of FFPE in The Hague (a few dozen members, according to media reports, no members at the headquarters in Munich or other EPO places of employment), to be compared with more than 3000 SUEPO members may have played a role. Whatever their motivation, the FFPE signature raises questions about FFPE’s credibility as a federation of genuine staff unions.

It is our position that it is unthinkable for any union to sign a MoU with the EPO while three SUEPO leaders in Munich have been severely sanctioned, two of them being summarily dismissed in January 2016 on very questionable grounds. SUEPO participated in the early tripartite meetings with the EPO administration and FFPE to discuss a draft MoU and we can even recall from the first meeting in May 2015 everyone’s readiness to establish a MoU based on the framework agreements already in place at other EU institutions.

But the first prerequisite, of course, is that the EPO President reinstates the dismissed union officials, suspends all other cases and investigations against union representatives and submits all such sanctions to external review. Further prerequisites are that SUEPO’s claim that the severe limitations on the right to strike introduced with EPO Circular 347 (June 2013) must be removed, since they appear to violate fundamental rights and freedoms provided under ILO Conventions. The so far ignored Dutch Appeal Court’s Judgement of 2014 in favour of SUEPO-The Hague must finally be enforced by the EPO and the questionable internal EPO investigation guidelines must be removed.

Considering the disastrous HR policy at the EPO of the last three years which has been amply reported upon in the media (see the links at the bottom of this communication), signing an agreement simply on the basis of good trust should not have been possible for any staff union.

Furthermore, the final content of the MoU has some unconvincing elements: the “generous” authorization to communicate twice per year with staff members via internal e-mails (Art.16.3 of the MoU), the total absence of representativeness criteria to be met for formal recognition (Art.7 of the MoU) and the veto the EPO President may exercise over the agenda of meetings (Art.11, 12.2, 13.4 of the MoU) clearly fail to counterbalance the constraints imposed on the signatory unions elsewhere in the document (Art.13.6 of the MoU).

USF firmly believes that it is just unthinkable, even for a union like FFPE that happens to compete with USF branches, to let competition between unions prevail over their fundamental rights. FFPE members in international public service deserve a much better leadership. Consequently, 2 March 2016 will be remembered as a black day in FFPE’s history and a sad memory for all genuine staff unions serving staff in the international public sector.

Finally, we refute the EPO President’s claims that anything meaningful was achieved with the agreement of the 2nd March 2016.

The MoU is available under:

Links to public comments on the social dialogue at the European Patent Office
(see also the TV reports in Germany and the Netherlands available as links on the SUEPO website)

Bernd Loescher
USF President

On Thursday we saw a new comment noting that the “words of USF are not harsh but they call a spade a spade: no true union would do what FFPE-EPO did whilst spending its time criticising SUEPO for years, falling in the back of SUEPO by submitting documents to the defense position of the EPO in the Office court case in TH and now signing this appalling MoU.”

“FFPE is known everywhere to be a yellow union. They are pro management at the EU too. At least they should assume they positions !”

Recall what we previously wrote on the subject.

  1. In the EPO’s Official Photo Op, “Only One of the Faces is Actually FFPE-EPO”
  2. Further Evidence Suggests and Shows Stronger Evidence That Team Battistelli Uses FFPE-EPO as ‘Yellow Union’ Against SUEPO
  3. “FFPE-EPO Was Set up About 9 Years Ago With Management Encouragement”
  4. Fallout of the FFPE EPO MoU With Battistelli’s Circle
  5. The EPO’s Media Strategy at Work: Union Feuds and Group Fracturing
  6. Caricature of the Day: Recognising FFPE EPO
  7. Union Syndicale Federale Slams FFPE-EPO for Helping Abusive EPO Management by Signing a Malicious, Divisive Document
  8. FFPE-EPO Says MoU With Battistelli Will “Defend Employment Conditions” (Updated)
  9. Their Masters’ Voice (Who Block Techrights): FFPE-EPO Openly Discourages Members From Reading Techrights

Problem Solved? Nope. Hardon Gets What She Worked Hard For.

Meanwhile, there are several indications that SUEPO is getting some justice (however little). Sources are telling us that in the case of Elizabeth Hardon the sanctions/dismissal was softened somewhat. It’s a symbolic token, but it might be a first step among several. “You probably already heard,” one person told us, “that the decision against Elizabeth Hardon was partially reversed by the president this week. During an internal review procedure, Mr Battistelli maintained the dismissal but he dropped the 20 percent reduction of her pension. [...] Mr Battistelli must have had a lot of pressure from the Council to make a little step back, for the first time.”

“Staff representatives enjoy some particular protections and arbitrarily punishing them for their union duties is not compatible with this century in a civilised continent.”This kind of sanction was so controversial that it’s no wonder it had to be removed. But it’s hardly enough. Based on the latest votes, Hardon remains a leader in SUEPO, so her dismissal still looks terrible and simply unjust. If Battistelli truly believes that giving people their retirement entitlement (which they worked hard for) after firing them and just before Easter can be considered a ‘gift’, then he must be assuming that concessions from him can be as “‘generous’ [as] authorization to communicate twice per year with staff members via internal e-mails,” to quote the letter above.

SUEPO has already made its demands clear on numerous occasions, both while negotiating a potential MoU [PDF] and when it later made a call for strike. Staff representatives enjoy some particular protections and arbitrarily punishing them for their union duties is not compatible with this century in a civilised continent.

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