“The ‘old Microsoft’ is still the ‘new Microsoft’, only the face of the company has changed – CEO and PR.”

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cut out or altogether drop the sweet talk, Microsoft…

“This anti-trust thing will blow over. We haven’t changed our business practices at all.”

Bill Gates

Summary: Microsoft’s claims of “love” for GNU/Linux aren’t being accepted by the community, so a lot of the PR campaign falls on deaf ears (except those wishing to be fooled and further disseminate the lie, e.g. in Microsoft-friendly/-funded media companies)

THE following message was posted not too long ago at Reddit. It’s more like a blog post published as a submission in the site and it is titled “Remember: Microsoft is still (and will always be) hostile to Linux and FLOSS.” We thought it was worth reproducing below (without any of the comments) because it also alludes to many things we covered here before, including Comes vs Microsoft.

Will the all the “nice” PR and news of Microsoft (seemingly) getting close to Linux, it’s easy to forget how Microsoft IS hostile to Linux and everything open source. Remember: All they did was get a new CEO, the company culture is still there.

All that’s changed is instead of publicly hating on Linux, they now publicly love Linux, but are really still very hostile to Linux. This will never change.

Just remember the Iowa consumer case files ( http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/ ) which has a lot of internal emails from Microsoft, many of them basically state their love for all things Windows and MS and hatrid for everything else. All are in PDF format and have been unsealed (thankfully). Some even go into detail about their plotting with things like the Vista Ready program in order to trick consumers (they basically don’t give a shit) etc.

Then there’s Halloween docs: http://www.catb.org/esr/halloween/

Again, take your pick – Get The FUD, whatever you choose. It’s all there. Then there’s Ballmer’s “Linux is cancer” etc.

Yeah, yeah sure, I’m off my rocker, this was all years ago etc. But it’s not – Microsoft HATES Linux, this will NEVER change! Again, the only thing that has change is the CEO and as a result, the PR. You’ll probably find that Nadella has internally said to everyone “publicly, we LOVE Linux and FLOSS, internally it’s still business as usual”; and changed the PR machine as a result.

Now I don’t know what Shuttleworth and Canonical are playing at or what benefit they may get from the deal they made, perhaps more Ubuntu market share (and money). But don’t let your guard down – Microsoft will ALWAYS hate Linux, even if you can’t directly see it.

Do you really think Bill Gates, while no longer chairman or CEO (he still works there tho), would really let his company, his ways, his wants and direction etc all go down the toilet and have someone else come in and take it all in a new direction? No… Gates is very smart and ruthless. MUCH smarter than that. His / the “old Microsoft” dirty business ways are fully entrenched in the company. No single change of CEO will fix the ways of the “old Microsoft”.

The “old Microsoft” is still the “new Microsoft”, only the face of the company has changed – CEO and PR. That’s it. Microsoft, if they could, would press a button and kill Linux and FLOSS over night.

Remember the “patents” they have that they will use to threaten our ways, even if not directly. Microsoft will always be hostile to Linux and free software. Remember that!

IDG‘s Paul Venezia has a reasonably good article (he’s pro-UNIX/Linux and always was), which he published this morning at InfoWorld. To quote one bit of it: “The fact that Microsoft now supports SQL Server on Linux isn’t really a technical development — it’s a business move. Fortunately for Microsoft, the Ballmer blinders are gone, and the company can see that Linux is the OS of choice for our cloud future, not Windows. Microsoft lost that battle a long time ago. Not surprisingly, the Azure cloud folks have taken the lead in pushing Microsoft toward supporting Linux (and other open source cloud-related technologies, including Docker, Kubernetes, and various NoSQL databases).”

“Microsoft isn’t loving or embracing GNU/Linux, except in the E.E.E. sense (remember what the first E stands for).”A roundup by Jim Lynch of IDG (also InfoWorld) later said (citing the above) that “Microsoft has recently made some moves toward accepting Linux in a prominent way, but has the company taken too long to do this? One writer at InfoWorld thinks Microsoft’s embrace of Linux might be far too little, and far too late.”

As we explained a day ago, there’s just a lot of rhetoric and provocative lying. Microsoft isn’t loving or embracing GNU/Linux, except in the E.E.E. sense (remember what the first E stands for).

Speaking of E.E.E., CSO (IDG) reposts and then expands on Maria Korolov’s Black Duck marketing FUD against FOSS by saying in the language of rhetoric (right there in the headline!) that there’s something wrong with “open source code quality”. Black Duck (it came from a Microsoft marketing guy) is advertised as follows:

As more open source software is created, the number of vulnerabilities goes up as well. Black Duck Software is currently tracking 1.5 million open source projects.

Open source vulnerabilities can be particularly dangerous, according to Black Ducks’ Vice President of Security Strategy Mike Pittenger. Open source software can be ubiquitous, he said, and typically has no process where patches are automatically pushed out to users.

Black Duck is somewhat similar to Xamarin in the sense that it acts a little bit like a Microsoft proxy. It would not be possible without the “embrace” (as in E.E.E.) of FOSS. Black Duck is a proprietary software company which merely exploits FOSS for marketing. See the long message at the top and realise that these tactics aren’t entirely new. Why make the same errors all over again? Learn from history.

“Don’t encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don’t help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed. [...] Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space.”

Ben Slivka, Microsoft

Battistelli’s Inner Circle is Expanding With More Miraculous EPO Promotions and Allegedly More Bodyguards

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If it looks like a coup, then…

Raimund Lutz
Source: Interview from last summer

Summary: Updated Inner Circle for the European Patent Office, where more people who are connected to Battistelli enjoy an extraordinary leap to top positions, cementing the coup d’etat

Le président de l’OEB, Benoît Battistelli, is not letting go and not stepping down. The longer he stays, the worse things get (there's a strike this week).

Sources tell us that things exacerbate further under Battistelli’s iron-fisted reign. The circle is expanding, so the entanglement only gets harder to untangle (some time in the future). For a summary of Bergot’s unbelievably fast rise to top management, see part one, part two, part three, and part four of an old series of articles (there are spousal aspects to it). Also recall Lefèvre [1, 2, 3] with her amazing series of promotions; she was tasked with or assigned the incredible challenge of making the staff appear happy when clearly enough the exact opposite is true. That’s far greater a challenge than trying to make Afghans look grateful after their country was brutally invaded because of more than a dozen Saudi hijackers.

“So the tribe elder, Battistelli, keeps surrounding himself by more familiar faces.”Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. Here is an update on Battistelli’s inner circle.

“On the Inner Circle 2.0 [PDF], Nadia Lefèvre and Raffaella de Greiff appear close to Elodie Bergot,” one reader told us. “Recently Nadia Lefèvre became director. On April 1, Raffaella de Greiff also became director, which corresponds to grade A5. Another rocket career it seems. She entered the EPO in grade A2 in 2011, and worked as advisor to Željko Topić.”

So the tribe’s elder, Battistelli, keeps surrounding himself by more familiar faces. It’s an echo chamber wherein nobody will tell him the truth (like the Naked Emperor) and instead tell him only what he wishes to hear. He is already acting like someone who needs to be in a mental asylum and considering his age (retirement) maybe this diagnostics isn’t so far off (some people openly challenge his mental state). Consider the following observations:

SENIOR management

The EPO Service Regulation stipulate that “A permanent employee shall be retired automatically on the last day of the month during which he reaches the age of sixty-five years” (Art. 54(1)(a)). A prolongation until 68 is, however, possible “if the appointing authority considers it justified in the interest of the service.” We have the impression that requests from ordinary staff members to continue working beyond 65 are almost systematically refused. But for higher management other rules apparently apply. At the end of his mandate, the President will be only two weeks short of his 68th birthday. Mr Minnoye will be 70 years old when his contract ends in December 2018.

The interesting question is: didn’t the Council know his age when it decided on the prolongation, or are the delegates lenient because some of them are still vying for a job in the EPO despite their relatively advanced age?

Battistelli is not only a megalomaniac; he’s also a paranoid and it turns out to be truly wasteful (a budget drain). He has been walking around with several private bodyguards for over a decade and apparently Bergot (the supposed overachiever) too. Consider the following little scoop:

Where is the danger?

Mr Battistelli recently confirmed that he has body-guards. Rumor has it that the same is true for Ms Bergot. Mr Battistelli claims this is due to recent security risks in France.

The following link seems to suggest otherwise:


“BATTISTELLI se lève, ses deux gardes du corps le suivent. Le concert est fini. L’invité nous a montré qu’il était capable de parler brilliamment d’un sujet qu’il connaissait depuis 53 jours. Note d’ensemble: 4/20.”

Even if Battistelli ever resigned or got sacked, a lot of work remains to be done restoring the EPO's HR integrity. What a mess! Then there’s the issue of obeying law.

“Even if Battistelli ever resigned or got sacked, a lot of work remains to be done restoring the EPO’s HR integrity.”As one new comment put it earlier tonight: “The solution of the EPO-problem seems to me very simple. Battistelli should start to sign the The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms).That is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe,[1] the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953. All Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify the convention at the earliest opportunity.[2] . The right in the EPO should be equal to the right in European countries. Can Battistelli tell us why not??

“The Convention established the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Any person who feels his or her rights have been violated under the Convention by a state party can take a case to the Court. Judgments finding violations are binding on the States concerned and they are obliged to execute them. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe monitors the execution of judgements, particularly to ensure payment of the amounts awarded by the Court to the applicants in compensation for the damage they have sustained.[3] The establishment of a Court to protect individuals from human rights violations is an innovative feature for an international convention on human rights, as it gives the individual an active role on the international arena (traditionally, only states are considered actors in international law). The European Convention is still the only international human rights agreement providing such a high degree of individual protection. State parties can also take cases against other state parties to the Court, although this power is rarely used.”

“By extension, as a matter of fact, Battistelli has had a damaging effect (discrediting effect) on the European Union, hence he did a lot to harm “Community” and “unity” (UPC is a misleading name, just like “Community patent”, where the community best served is a community of billionaires with countless tax havens).”Red Hat’s Jan Wildeboer ‏wrote (as the current government/ruling party turned out to be the real pirate, hiding money in tax haven): “So should there be a new election in #Iceland after #Panamaleaks it is quite clear we will have the first country run by the Pirate Party.” (the country’s leading party in polls)

The FFII’s President (the FFII is historically close to Wildeboer) wrote in response: “Iceland the first to leave the EPOrg?” Well, if Battistelli stays, his lack of credibility might lead to it. Battistelli damages the EPO more than anybody else these days. Nobody likes relying on a crook for political/trade/bureaucratic purposes. By extension, as a matter of fact, Battistelli has had a damaging effect (discrediting effect) on the European Union, hence he did a lot to harm “Community” and “unity” (UPC is a misleading name, just like “Community patent”, where the community best served is a community of billionaires with countless tax havens).

IAM Magazine Glorifies the World’s Largest Patent Troll, Microsoft’s and Bill Gates’ Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Patents at 7:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The latest cover of IAM says it all really…

IAM on Intellectual Ventures

Summary: Free advertising for the world’s most notorious patent troll from a magazine that’s partly funded by such trolls and wouldn’t even call them trolls (it habitually uses euphemisms to launder their bad reputation)

IAM ‘magazine’, based on yesterday’s announcement, makes Intellectual Ventures the front page story this time around, without mentioning the “T” word, as usual (they are always saying NPE).

“Can can IAM expect to be treated seriously by anyone (other than patent trolls who love this bias)?”They are still denying the existence of trolls and as we noted some days ago, a writer who is now moving away (based on the above announcement) is edited by an editor in chief who refuses to say "troll" (WiLAN isn’t being called a troll in this new article of his). Well, trolls are paying the company which publishes the ‘magazine’, so their image is being embellished and positives (if any exist) are accentuated with cleverly-worded euphemistic sentences (like altering languages of domination/occupation with one of defense).

Can can IAM expect to be treated seriously by anyone (other than patent trolls who love this bias)?

EPO Management Says Not a Word About Strike This Week, Not Informing Customers/Stakeholders Either

Posted in Deception, Europe, Marketing, Patents at 7:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) seems to have adopted a “pretend nothing is happening” strategy when it comes to a general strike that’s just a couple of days away

THE staff of the EPO is extremely upset at the management, based on an extensive recent survey. It’s hardly surprising that the staff wishes to go on strike.

Does the EPO inform the world about the imminent strike or does it simply pretend that it’s “business as usual”? Well, considering the fact the the EPO lies to journalists and to staff, don’t expect any honesty or transparency. It’s quite an irresponsible choice actually, as it will erode confidence among those who pay the EPO.

“It’s quite an irresponsible choice actually, as it will erode confidence among those who pay the EPO.”There’s virtually nothing from the EPO in Twitter (on Monday/this week) except some brag about the number of followers (which many people are just buying these days, in order to give a false impression of popularity). This kind of inactivity is rather unusual (only one non-substantial tweet today). There is no word at all about this week’s strike, not even in the EPO’s news section, blog/s, etc. This is what the homepage of the EPO looks like right now:

EPO invention PR

We can’t help but wonder if this year too there will be fake journalism at the event, with EPO-imposed self-censorship that lasts for a long time.

“How many people are scheduled (maybe with flight tickets) to come to the Office that day?”It’s surely embarrassing to tell one’s clients that thousands of one’s staff (majority of them) voted in favour of a strike because of human rights violations by the management. It’s even worse when they’re told that over 90% of that staff voted for a strike. This would deepen the crisis, but then again, a surprise strike or unannounced interference to normal operation/service would harm the clients too. Quite a dilemma. How many people are scheduled (maybe with flight tickets) to come to the Office that day? What about hearing and appeals? How many people are to make phonecalls and send queries? Shouldn’t they be told about what’s coming just 2 days from now? How long can EPO management suppress the inevitable?

To quote WIPR‘s good new outline: “The strike is scheduled for April 7 and will take place at the EPO’s offices in Munich, The Hague, Berlin and Vienna. In a vote, 91% (3,701) of those who voted on the proposed strike backed industrial action. In order to strike, at least 40% of staff are required to vote on whether to take action. In total, 4,062 out of the EPO’s 6,738 total staff members voted, representing 60%. Once this has been achieved, at least 50% of those must vote in favour of action. Of the 4,062 voters, just 219 voted against strike action, while 142 members of staff said they had no opinion on the issue.”

“It happened before… that they promised a response to scandals but never actually yielded any.”The writer then added: “The EPO is preparing a statement and we will update the story shortly.” By the end of the day there was no update from the PR team of the EPO (it’s well after 1 AM here).

It happened before… that they promised a response to scandals but never actually yielded any. They chose silence because it was probably seen as a better option (“no comment” basically). They did this after WIPR had written about their lawsuit threats.

At 8 o’clock on Monday (night) Kieren McCarthy wrote about this as well and there’s nothing there from EPO PR. Did they seriously think the media/press wouldn’t notice and report this? McCarthy correctly notes: “If SUEPO signs the agreement [MuO] as currently written, it would effectively sign up to the very rules that it is protesting and which led to EPO’s management aggressively targeting the union leaders when they opposed the changes.”

Where’s FTI Consulting at this time of crisis?

When we last wrote about the strike (more background therein about the strike) it was further reinforced that this strike would affect all sites on Thursday. SUEPO has just published this document [PDF] which we quoted here a while ago. It’s about lawlessness at the EPO. That’s what the strike is primarily about.

A week ago we mentioned Hans-Joachim Frieling’s letter to Süddeutsche Zeitung (now increasingly famous for the Panama leaks), which has just been translated as follows [PDF]. It’s about lawlessness and here is the English translation with our highlights added:

28 March 2016, 18:59

European Patent Office: Woeful lack of law

“A public authority on the brink of the abyss”, of 3 March:

“European Patent Office” (EPO) is a “super authority” – at least according to the head office – which is established on the soil of Munich. But the power games being played out at the EPO go way beyond local considerations, beyond the intrigue aroused by an obviously power-obsessed boss, and well beyond the interests vested in Munich, Bavaria, and even Germany; they are of major (European-level) importance politically, and of major significance with regard to constitutional law. The cause and core of the scandalous spectacle being enacted on the bank of the River Isar appear to lie in the “immunity” which the EPO was granted in its foundation charter by the states which support it, as an authority which is most specifically not EU. Or the way in which EPO President Benoît Battistelli interprets and applies this “immunity” unimpeded by his Administrative Council, on which the Federal Minister of Justice actually sits; the clear establishment of total autonomy, exempt not only from all straightforward rules of law of the host and location country (such as the law relating to protection against dismissal, law relating to labour tribunals, and many more besides), but even exemption from all protection of basic rights, such as are enshrined in the Bavarian Constitution, the Basic Law (GG) of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in the European treaties and statutes.

It is bad enough that, in the heart of Bavaria, so proud of its constitution, as described by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a situation could come about in which the presidential will alone prevails, a wilful domination which commits aggressive abuses against, among others, Article 9 Para. 3 GG (Freedom of Formation and Action of Staff Unions); but it is utterly intolerable that the decisions by the President, taken against individuals against this spirit of freedom, which in individual cases threaten their very existence, are not subject to any appeal by way of any effective outside or independent means of legal recourse.

Every German politician, when journeying in totalitarian or otherwise suspect countries, is beset on all sides when on their travels by demands to push hard in favour of the Western “export asset of the state governed by law”. But at the same time, amazingly, they turn a blind eye to the fact that on their own soil an institution exists which denies thousands of employees the essential constituents of that notion of the state governed by law, such as the guarantee of legal recourse and the protection of basic rights. What this means is that, leaving aside all the complexities of international law, the status of the EPO becomes a matter of honour for all those whose task it is to promote the notion of the state governed by law to pursue this not only abroad, but right here, on their own territory, and, if necessary, as in this case, to bring it about. This includes, as a priority, the Minister of Justice, by virtue of his office. But every other constitutional patriot should be urged to this as well – and not least in the media. Even if the present issue could be “cleared up” by a potentially expensively purchased (the SZ reports rumours of a golden handshake of 18 million Euro) or forced departure of President Battistelli, the situation cannot be allowed to remain that the Member States allow their EPO to continue to operate outside the constitutional principles of Europe and of the individual states. Dr. Hans-Joachim Frieling, Munich

The above is also available as French [PDF] and as Dutch [PDF] text. The letter does mention rights, but what about privacy rights, which Germany is a lot more conscious of (because of its past) compared to most other nations? We recently found the following commentary which alludes to Süddeutsche Zeitung and goes as follows:

Data protection

The deficiencies in the EPO’s data protection framework have been of concern to the national data protection authorities in Germany. Already in April 2014, the Bavarian Data Protection Commissioner, Dr Thomas Petri, informed the Federal Data Protection Commissioner, Andrea Voßhoff, of the outcome of his preliminary investigation which concluded that true oversight of data protection issues was missing at the EPO. Ms Voßhoff brought these concerns to the attention of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and requested assistance in conducting an examination of measures to remedy the deficiencies, including a possible amendment of the EPC. The Ministry of Justice replied to the FDPC stating that Germany was “only one state of 38” on the Administrative Council and that an amendment of the EPC would require a diplomatic conference.

A year later (in June 2015) the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on the use of covert surveillance measures at the EPO. Ms Voßhoff sent another letter to the Chairperson of the Committee for Justice and Consumer Protection of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) to inform the Bundestag. A copy of the letter was sent to the Federal Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, for information. The situation at the EPO was discussed during the 71st Session of the Bundestag Committee for Justice and Consumer Protection which took place on 14 October 2015. The report presented to the Committee by the Ministry of Justice uncritically relied on submissions made by Mr Lutz (VP5), who painted a rather one-sided and overly rosy picture of the state of data protection at the EPO.

There are also other forms of privacy abuses inside the EPO, as we noted in our series about Europatis:

  1. Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture
  2. Europatis: “Turnover of €211,800 and Zero Employees”
  3. Loose Data ‘Protection’ and Likely Privacy Infringements at the EPO: Here’s Who Gets Employees’ Internal Data
  4. Summary of the EPO-Europatis Series
  5. Revolving Doors of High-Level EPO Management: Jacques Michel and the Questel Deal With the EPO

Over the next few days we shall accelerate our coverage in order to remind EPO staff why going on strike is justified. There will also be more about privacy violations.

El Parcializado Editor en Jefe de IAM Va a la Ofensiva Contra Escépticos de las Patentes (Software), Todavía un Denialista de Trolles

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en America, Deception, Europe, Patentes at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IAM logo

Sumario: La última ilustración del cubrimiento parcializado del ‘magazine’ IAM , el cual es un sitio web por maximálistas de patentes para maximálistas de patentes (o lectore nada suspicacez que son indoctinados en maximálismo de patentes)

Hace varios dias atrás explicamos porque IAM no dice/pronuncia "trolles de patentes" (traducción al Español publicada esta mañana). El editor de IAM me dijo explícitamente que no cree en el término “trolles de patentes”, aunque esté claramente definido y es usado comúnmente (incluso por los más altos jueces el año pasado).

No aceptar el término “trolles de patentes” en el 2016 es como no querer aceptar el término “cloud” (el cual tambié es vagamente definido, sin embargo es ampliamente usado). Nosotros personalmente nos preocupamos de que la agenda de IAM incluyen traer a Europa un sistema/agenda al más puro estilo de la USPTO (de [cref baja calidad]). IAM es básicamente Europeo pero es financiado/pagado por muchas firmas en los Estados Unidos, como hemos notado aquí antes. Incluso trolles de patentes de los EE.UU ponen dinero en los cofres de IAM.

“IAM es básicamente Europeo pero es financiado/pagado por muchas firmas en los Estados Unidos, como hemos notado aquí antes.”Una “compañía Koreana reclama que Facebook, Kakao, Line et al estan infringiendo sus patents,” escribió IAM el otro dia (Facebook lo hace también). El escritor, Sr. Ellis, esta completamente en lo correcto cuando afirmó que “las compañías Koreanas no son particularmente conocidas ser proactivas o aggresivas en cuanto se trate de afirmar sus derechos de IP.”

Wild, por el otro lado (es jefe de Ellis), continúa atacando a los críticos de patentes, tales como Rackspace, el cual gasta un montón de dinero y tiempo atacándo las patentes de software (hemos cubierto esto aquí con anterioridad [1, 2, 3]). Par hacer materias cubiertas aquí antes mucho peor, Wild se asocia a sí mismo con el fanfarrón de Gene Quinn (a quien hemos apodado Observador de los Trolles de Patentes), quíen es el más y agresivo proponente de las patentes de software (o por lo menos el más vocal). Para citar la pieza de Wild: “Hace un par de dias Gene Quinn, quien dirige el IP Watchdog blog, tuvo un encontronazo en Twiiter con Van Lindberg, VP of technology en Rackspace, acerca de la validez (o no) de las patentes de software otorgadas por la USPTO.”

“¿Juegos vergüenza de nuevo? ¿Al igual que avergonzar a Alemania más por su falta de acción contra la UPC? ¿Incluso en repetidas ocasiones?”Como hemos notado aquí varias veces en Marzo, Quinn ataca personalmente a todo aquel que no consienta el otorgamiénto de las patentes de software. Es casi tán malo como Andrew Y. Schroeder y le gusta la confrontación (aunque me bloqueó en Twitter despues de perder un largo debate que lo dejó completamente avergonzado).

“Casi todos los profesionales de patentes de software reconocen que el 80% de ellas son inválidas,” Van Lindberg escribió. Por lo que aquí empezó el juego de tirar barro de Quinn y Wild’s. Wild habla a maximálistas de patentes por opinión ‘experta’ en esta declaración y luego termina con las palabras: “¿Debería Lindberg ahora pedir disculpas a IPValue por reportar erróneamente los puntos de vista dela firma? Lo dejare que él lo decida, pero por lo menos él podría querer hacer saber a sus seguidores de Twitter que el consiguió 96% de sus estadísticas mal.”

¿Juegos vergüenza de nuevo? ¿Al igual que avergonzar a Alemania más por su falta de acción contra la UPC? ¿Incluso en repetidas ocasiones?

Hablando de Twitter, Wild es aparentemente muy tímido de hablar a favor de IAM (donde el es el editor), así que usa un raro nombre para su cuenta personal, en la cual alude to spa, cuando escribe cualquier cosa relacionada conmigo.

“Vale realmente la pena pagar por una subcripción a una ‘revista’ tan parcializada al afirmar que los trolles incluso no existen en ella (y en su lugar ellos son acícalados y carácterizados como negocios legítimos)?”La agenda de IAM, la que incluye proteger a la gerencia de la EPO, heraldear la UPC (avergonzándo a sus obstáculos y opositores), acícalando a los trolles de patentes, animándo la acumulación de patentes y defendiendo las necesidades del patentamiento de software, necesita ser entendido por todos los trabajadores de la EPO, pero también el público generaanimándo la acumulación de patentes y defendiendo las necesidades del patentamiento de software, necesita ser entendido por todos los trabajadores de la EPO, pero también el público general. Si el ciudadano Europeo regular piense que no va a ser afectado, cuando esto ocurra va a ser muy tarde, van a tener la yuca/cassaba hasta el cuello. Vale realmente la pena pagar por una subcripción a una ‘revista’ tan parcializada al afirmar que los trolles incluso no existen en ella (y en su lugar ellos son acícalados y carácterizados como negocios legítimos)? Wild es el peor del grupo; algunos de sus escritores son pasables, pero Wild todavía llega a editar todo lo que no le gusta o convenga a sus amos del otro lado del charco, (o cambia las palabras) y eso es un problema. Actualmente he pasado meses leyendo cada artículo (habiéndo malgastado mi dinero en ello) de IAM antes de alcanzar esta conclusion.

Miren este nuevo artículo titulado “Subsidiaria New Marathon proclama movimiento más allá de las patentes en el licensing de tecnologíá”. Titulo alternativo para el mismo artículo: “Subsidiaria New Marathon es un Troll de Patentes” (como es su definición).

“IAM todavía no dice trolles de patentes, no incluso en este último artículo en el cual llama a un troll “NPE”, francamente usualmente lo típico.”“WiLAN, Intellectual Ventures y Spherix,” dice, “todos ellos an entrado en acuerdos reciéntes designados a diversificar sus modelos de negocios en varios grados.”

No dice la palabra “T” (troll) y en su lugar lo suaviza usando palabras como “acuerdos”, “diversificar”, y “modelo de negocios”. Talvez nuestro Primer Ministro debería contratar a Wild para describir el NHS crackdown como “inversión”, bombardeos en Syria com “democracia”, y Proyecto de ley para Poderes Investigadores como “seguridad”.

IAM todavía no dice trolles de patentes, no incluso en este último artículo en el cual llama a un troll “NPE”, francamente usualmente lo típico.

VENUE Act No es la Solución en Medio de EFF Noticias Acerca Intellectual Ventures y Garfum Es Tiempo de Enfrentárse a las Patentes de Software

Posted in America, EFF, Europe, Patents at 7:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en America, EFF, Law, Patents at 9:25 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reform jokeSumario: Algunas noticias acerca de patentes con enfasis en la situación de la EFF presente estrategia, que no observa al meollo del asunto, patentability de Software en los Estados Unidos

HOY (o esta tarde) el focus será la USPTO. Hay un montón para decir del sistema de patentes de los EE.UU., ambas buenas y malas noticias. Como nuestros viejos lectores saben, no somos oponentes del sistema de patentes per se, somos oponentes de las patentes de software, las que no deberían ser otorgadas, por que el código es propiamente protegido por derechos de autor. Virtualmente todos los desarrolladores de software (basado en viejos reportajes y encuestas) están de acuerdo con nosotros en patentes de software. Difícimente es materia de debate dentro de la comunidad de software, sólo fuera de ella.

“Virtualmente todos los desarrolladores de software (basado en viejos reportajes y encuestas) están de acuerdo con nosotros en patentes de software.”Hace unos dias remarcamos en la Acta VENUE, el último exagerado proyecto de ley que pretende sólo abordar cuestiones incluso tratándose de una solución a medio cocer. El año pasado vimos Ley de Patentes e Innovación (¿recuerdan? Una de las muchas encarnaciones y esfuerzos [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]). Son tan sólo palabras de moda y se centran en los trolles de patentes, no se enfocan en la esfera de patentes. El esfuerzo tomado para llegar a esos acrónimos tontos (como PATRIOTA) muestra que se trata más de su comercialización alrededor de ella en vez de enfrentarse al verdadero problema. Como lo acaba de explicar Techdirt el Acta VENUE (Nathan Leamer y Zach Graves, los autores, no son personas de Techdirt), “no es el tipo de corrección integral al problema de los trolles de patentes de los Estados Unidos” que nos gustaría ver, el Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Ac abordan una pequeña parte del problema. El proyecto de ley, S. 2733, reduciría las rampantes compra de lugares que injustamente distorsiona los resultados legales al permitir que los demandantes seleccionen jueces amigables con anticipación”.

Dada la inclinación algunos tribunales o jueces a aceptar patentes de software abstractas, esto potencialmente tiene un efecto positivo en la resistencia a las patentes de software. Aproximadamente al mismo tiempo que el artículo de la EFF anteriormente, Techdirt también republicó un artículo de la EFF (EFF es un defensor del Acta VENUE por cierto) acerca del mayor troll de patentes de Microsoft, Intellectual Ventures, a que calificó de “Mega-Troll” y afirmando que “Golpea florista con la patente de programación Hazlo-En-Un-Ordenador” (patente de software).

“Este Troll de Patentes conectado a Microsoft también ataca a Linux y Android, como lo mostramos aquí antes.”Para citar a la EFF: “Cuando se trata de trolles de patentes ninguno es más grande que Intellectual Ventures. El behemoth basado en el estado de Washington está al centro de ambos trolling de patentes y el debate acerca de la reforma. Aunque clame promover la innovación, Intellectual Ventures está detras de la más vergonzósas campañas de trolles en años reciéntes. Famosa por esconderse detrás demiles de compañías de cubierta, creó Lodsys, el troll que asedió a pequeños desarrolladores de apps, y la Oasis Research litigación que apareció en Esta Vida Americana.

“Este mes, Intellectual Ventures presentó algunas acciones legales contra objetivos nuevos incluyendo JCPenney, Sally Beauty, y servicios de entrega de flores Transworld Floristerías. Estudiamos las patentes valer para ver si alguno merecía nuestro Premio a la Patente Estúpida del mes. Todos eran buenos candidatas, pero una en particular se destacó”.

Este Troll de Patentes conectado a Microsoft también ataca a Linux y Android, como lo mostramos aquí antes.
Esta actuando como una suerte de proxy de Microsoft, una entre varias. Intellectual Ventures también tiene una red de miles de firmas satelite, haciéndola un fantasma que es muy difícil/torpe para seguirle el rastro.

“Intellectual Ventures también tiene una red de miles de firmas satelite, haciéndola un fantasma que es muy difícil/torpe para seguirle el rastro.”Separadamente, basado en este post de la EFF, “Blue Spike es un contínuo jugadore en litigación de patentes. Lex Machina (un servicio que colecciona filing de patentes en todo el país) indica que hay más de 100 juicios relacionados a Blue Spike y ´sus´ patentes. No sorprende entonces que, la campaña deBlue Spike’s campaign ha atraído la atención de la prensa. Hemos escrito acerca de Blue Spike y sus patentes en conección con la serie “Estupida Patente del Mes”. Otros han escrito acerca de Blue Spike también.”

En noticias más positivas del EFF, en Twitter que dice: “Corte dispone que matón de patentes pague los honorarios del abogado del cliente EFF.” Aquí está el artículo correspondiente, que dice:

En una decisión que podría ayudar a otras víctimas de los litigios sobre patentes abusivo, un tribunal ordenó hoy que la Corporación Garfum.com debe pagar los honorarios de abogados de un cliente de la EFF. La corte encontró que el juicio por patente de Garfum carecía de mérito y fue litigado injustificadamente.

Volviéndo a finales de 2014, Garfum demandó un pequeño sitio web de fotografía llamada Bytephoto.com por violación de patentes. Garfum afirmaba poseer la idea de tener un “voto por el mejor” competencia, pero en el Internet. A pesar de que su absurda patente no era válida claramente en virtud de la decisión del Tribunal Supremo en Alice v. CLS Bank, Garfum exigía que los propietarios de Bytephoto, Ruth y Steve Taylor, que pagen unos $ 50.000. Teniendo en cuenta el elevado costo de defenderse incluso en una frívola demanda de patentes, los Taylor se enfrentarón a una situación difícil.

Esto ya fué cubierto por Joe Mullin, quién a seguido el rastro a trolles de patentes por una década. “La Electronic Frontier Foundation,” escribió, “ha advocado contra ridiculas patentes de software por más de una década, pero no fue hasta el año pasado que la organización tomo un pro bono cliente acusado de infringimiento de patentes. Un pequeño sitio web de videos llamado Garfum.com enjuició a la fotografo de Pennsylvania Ruth Taylor, diciéndo que ella estaba infringiendo la US Patent No. 8,209,618. Garfum, propiedad de un hombre de New Jersey llamado Michael Garofalo, diciendo que la patente era infringida por las competiciones de fotos que Taylor tiene en su website, Bytephoto.”

Vale la pena notar que delo que estamos tratándo aquí son patentes de software, de nuevo. ¿Porqué la EFF simplemente no se enfrenta a las patentes de software en vez de “patentes estúpidas” o “trolles de patentes” Mejor unirse a la pelea justa, mejor tarde que nunca.

Links 4/4/2016: Linux 4.6 RC2, Wine-Staging Release 1.9.7

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 1btn: A Powerful, Open Source, And Hackable Button For The Internet
  • 11 Excellent Open Source Solutions for Home Automation

    Home Automation software is software that lets you control and monitor common home and office appliances using a computer. Home automation used to be confined to turning on and off lights and appliances. But the possibilities are much wider letting users build a wireless network, automate TV and hi-fi, monitor pets when you are away, set up an answering system, create a weather station – integrating an abundance of different home automation technologies into one.

    Many home automation systems use proprietary networking protocols. The protocols used will be specific to the company that developed the system. The software company may favor such an approach as it ties the customer to their products only. However, this can only be detriment to the user of the home automation system. It is therefore important to evaluate a home automation system to ensure that it is built on open protocols. All of these solutions are released under an open source license.

    Do not think home automation is just for geeks. It is now mainstream and a burgeoning industry. Become an home automation expert and try out these finest open source software for home automation. There are some real gems here. Many users flock to Domoticz and openHAB, but one of the others listed here may be a better fit for your requirements.

  • eBay Joins FIDO, Contributes Open-Source Authentication Server

    The FIDO Alliance, which is working to deliver stronger forms of authentication for online access, expands such efforts with eBay’s help.
    The FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance is gaining momentum, with eBay joining the effort and contributing a new open-source Universal Authentication Framework compliant server.

    FIDO is a multistakeholder initiative whose aim is to enable stronger forms of authentication for online access. The big milestone event for FIDO occurred in December 2014 when the group announced the Universal Second Factor (U2F) and UAF 1.0 specifications.

  • Education

    • Studying the relationship between remixing & learning

      With more than 10 million users, the Scratch online community is the largest online community where kids learn to program. Since it was created, a central goal of the community has been to promote “remixing” — the reworking and recombination of existing creative artifacts. As the video above shows, remixing programming projects in the current web-based version of Scratch is as easy is as clicking on the “see inside” button in a project web-page, and then clicking on the “remix” button in the web-based code editor. Today, close to 30% of projects on Scratch are remixes.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • The French Revolution Is In Doubt In 2016

      The basic concepts of FLOSS are now in the public eye. The public has been using FLOSS browsers and operating systems for a decade or longer and they know it. Will they be fooled? Will they be afraid? I don’t think so. Further, any politician who thinks this is a non-issue is about to receive an education.


  • Science

    • A Space Archaeologist May Have Found a Second Viking Settlement In Canada [iophk: free Vinland from the yoke of Canadian oppression]

      A thousand years before East Coast hosers went for the first rip in history, vikings may have walked the same land in Newfoundland.

      This discovery comes courtesy of “space archaeologist” Sarah Parcak, who used satellite imagery taken from space to pick out possible man-made shapes in Newfoundland, south of L’Anse aux Meadows. Parcak’s team, which includes Canadians, did some digging and found evidence of iron-working, which suggests that vikings might have made it all the way to the land of the donair.

      It’s not a sure thing, but if it’s true, then the Newfoundland site will be the second confirmed viking settlement in Canada, and in all of North America.

    • [Older] The man who studies the spread of ignorance

      In 1979, a secret memo from the tobacco industry was revealed to the public. Called the Smoking and Health Proposal, and written a decade earlier by the Brown & Williamson tobacco company, it revealed many of the tactics employed by big tobacco to counter “anti-cigarette forces”.

      In one of the paper’s most revealing sections, it looks at how to market cigarettes to the mass public: “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

  • Security

    • My first DSA
    • Linux Ransomware and why everyone could be affected [Ed: Bitdefender ad as ‘article’]
    • Kaiten targets Linux routers, gateways, access points and now IoT

      Change default passwords on network equipment even if it is not reachable from the Internet.

    • Security is really about Risk vs Reward

      Every now and then the conversation erupts about what is security really? There’s the old saying that the only secure computer is one that’s off (or fill in your favorite quote here, there are hundreds). But the thing is, security isn’t the binary concept: you can be secure, or insecure. That’s not how anything works. Everything is a sliding scale, you are never secure, you are never insecure. You’re somewhere in the middle. Rather than bumble around about your risk though, you need to understand what’s going on and plan for the risk.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Greenpeace reveals Indonesia’s forests at risk as multiple companies claim rights to same land​

      Compiled over almost a decade by Greenpeace using data from provincial governments, resource companies and others, the interactive maps highlight the vast scale of the concession overlap. Across more than 7m hectares – an area equivalent to the Republic of Ireland – licences for the same concessions have been allocated to as many as four palm, pulpwood, logging or coal mining companies at a time.

      With no central land registry in Indonesia, campaigners say the result is a mess of competing claims. Companies may end up thinking they have the right to clear land that another company or government body has pledged to protect from deforestation.

      The federal ministry of environment and forestry grants the rights to develop land for pulpwood and selective logging, whereas coal mining and palm oil concessions are granted by local and provincial officials.

    • Lost in Nicaragua, a Chinese Tycoon’s Canal Project

      There are also concerns about the seismic activity in the area, or the many volcanos. Some analysts point to China’s poor record on environmental matters and Mr. Wang’s inexperience in building anything, let alone a $50 billion (some say $80 billion) canal carving through miles of protected areas that are home to many endangered species, including the jaguar, and legally recognized indigenous lands. The little-known Mr. Wang made his fortune in telecommunications, not in construction.

    • Future for Oil As World Shifts to Combat Climate Change

      Carbon Tracker Initiative advisor Paul Spedding discusses why this oil price drop is different with Alix Steel on “Bloomberg Markets.”

  • Finance

    • Panama Papers: Ex-MPs, Lords And David Cameron’s Father ‘Named In Offshore Finance Leak’

      Former Conservative MPs, peers and David Cameron’s late father are among scores of people and politicians whose financial affairs have been exposed by a massive leak of data about offshore investments.

      The leak of more than 11 million documents from the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, casts an unprecedented light on the way the rich and powerful are able to use tax havens to shield their wealth.

      Ian Cameron, the prime minister’s father who died in 2010, is reportedly named as a client of the firm. Six members of the House of Lords, three former Conservative MPs and “dozens” of donors to UK political parties who have been shown to have had offshore assets – although none have so far been named.

    • Iceland’s prime minister walks out of interview over tax haven question – video

      Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the prime minister of Iceland, walks out of an interview with Swedish television company SVT. Gunnlaugsson is asked about a company called Wintris, which he says has been fully declared to the Icelandic tax authority. Gunnlaugsson says he is not prepared to answer such questions and decides to discontinue the interview, saying: ‘What are you trying to make up here? This is totally inappropriate’

    • The Panama Papers: what you need to know

      It is a Panama-based law firm whose services include incorporating companies in offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands. It administers offshore firms for a yearly fee. Other services include wealth management.

    • US companies holding $2.1 trillion offshore profits

      There’s enough cash sitting in offshore bank accounts to wipe out the federal deficit — if only it was subject to U.S. taxes.

      That’s because U.S. companies are saving some $620 billion by parking profits outside the country, according to the latest accounting from Citizens for Tax Justice and U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

      At least 358 large U.S. companies collectively maintain 7,622 separate overseas subsidiaries holding $2.1 trillion in profits, the group said in a report Tuesday. (The estimated tax bill comes from corporate regulatory filings.)

    • #PanamaPapers breaks the Internet with revelations of global corruption
    • Leak boosts Panama’s image as money-laundering hub

      A huge data leak from a law firm in Panama suggesting it hid billions of dollars in assets of global politicians, sports stars and entertainers threatened Sunday to dramatically boost the country’s reputation as an offshore haven for money laundering.

    • Iceland’s PM faces calls for snap election after offshore revelations

      Iceland’s prime minister is this week expected to face calls in parliament for a snap election after the Panama Papers revealed he is among several leading politicians around the world with links to secretive companies in offshore tax havens.

      The financial affairs of Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and his wife have come under scrutiny because of details revealed in documents from a Panamanian law firm that helps clients protect their wealth in secretive offshore tax regimes. The files from Mossack Fonseca form the biggest ever data leak to journalists.

    • Brazil’s former top judge hid price he paid for Miami condo

      When Brazilian news outlets found out then-Supreme Court chief justice Joaquim Barbosa had bought a Brickell condo in 2012, they asked the well-respected jurist how much he paid.

      Barbosa refused to say.

      The problem? In Florida, real-estate sales are public.

      But not Barbosa’s.

      Miami-Dade County property records seemed to suggest the 61-year-old paid a big, fat zero for his one-bedroom condo at Icon Brickell, one of the trendy neighborhood’s best-known condo towers.

    • Enormous document leak exposes offshore accounts of world leaders

      ….40 years of records and information about more than 210,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions.

    • Panama Papers Q&A: How assets are hidden and taxes dodged

      The revelations in the millions of papers leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca uncovering a suspected money laundering ring run by close associates of Vladimir Putin may leave readers drowning in a sea of confusing terms and phrases.

      Although there are legitimate ways of using tax havens, most of what has been going on is about hiding the true owners of money, the origin of the money and avoiding paying tax on the money.

      If you are a wealthy business owner in Germany who has decided to evade tax, an international drugs dealer or the head of a brutal regime, the methods are all pretty similar.

      Mossack Fonseca says it has always complied with international protocols to ensure the companies it incorporates are not used for tax evasion, money-laundering, terrorist finance or other illicit purposes.

    • Massive leak reveals money rings of global leaders

      A massive, anonymous leak of financial documents from a Panamanian law firm has revealed an extensive worldwide network of offshore “shell” companies — including ones with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin — that allow the wealthy to hide their assets from taxes and, in some cases, to launder billions in cash, a German newspaper alleges.

      The documents, combed through in the past year by dozens of journalists worldwide, show links to 72 current or former heads of state, including dictators accused of looting their own countries.

    • Panama Papers: Jurgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca – the lawyers whose firm is at the centre of global controversy

      John le Carre’s 1996 novel, The Tailor of Panama, tells the story of Harry Pendel, a British tailor who serves the great and good but whose refusal to come clean about his past almost leads to his downfall. In Panama, he believes, discretion is the only way.

      For more than four decades, the law firm Mossack Fonseca – whose twisting saga may even have been beyond the imagination of le Carre – has adopted a similar strategy of discretion and survival.

      If the documents obtained and analysed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) are to be believed, the firm that has its headquarters not far from those of the fictional Harry Pendel, has had financial dealing with a total of 128 politicians and public officials around the world. The company has denied any wrongdoing.

    • Panama vows to cooperate if legal fallout from ‘Panama Papers’ leak

      Panama’s government vowed Sunday to “vigorously cooperate” with any legal probe that might be launched in the wake of the “Panama Papers” data leak.

      “The Panamanian government will vigorously cooperate with any request or assistance necessary in the event of any legal action occurring,” it said in a statement.

    • The Panama Papers: how the world’s rich and famous hide their money offshore

      The hidden wealth of some of the world’s most prominent leaders, politicians and celebrities has been revealed by an unprecedented leak of millions of documents that show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes.

      The Guardian, working with global partners, will set out details from the first tranche of what are being called “the Panama Papers”. Journalists from more than 80 countries have been reviewing 11.5m files leaked from the database of Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm.

    • Who’s involved
    • Documents leaked from a Panamanian law firm reveal a global web of corruption

      German authorities had known about the connection between Mossack Fonseca and some criminal elements for at least two years. A whistleblower at the firm had sold information to the authorities, according to the story in the Suddeutsche Zeitung on the history of the Panama Papers’ leak.

    • About the Panama Papers

      Over a year ago, an anonymous source contacted the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and submitted encrypted internal documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that sells anonymous offshore companies around the world. These shell firms enable their owners to cover up their business dealings, no matter how shady.

      In the months that followed, the number of documents continued to grow far beyond the original leak. Ultimately, SZ acquired about 2.6 terabytes of data, making the leak the biggest that journalists had ever worked with. The source wanted neither financial compensation nor anything else in return, apart from a few security measures.

    • A storm is coming

      At the time, the country’s three biggest banks folded within just three days, in part because their senior executives had illegally doctored the stock listings of their own banks. “Market manipulation”, as Hauksson curtly calls it.

    • Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak

      The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”

      What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

      Ford Foundation
      Carnegie Endowment
      Rockefeller Family Fund
      W K Kellogg Foundation
      Open Society Foundation (Soros)

      among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

    • Oxfam reaction to Panama Papers tax leak

      “Tax avoidance is a local problem, as well as a global one – and the Australian Government must act now.

    • Mossack Fonseca: The Nazi, CIA And Nevada Connections… And Why It’s Now Rothschild’s Turn

      These include the Nazis, the CIA, Mexican drug lords, and of course, the U.S.

    • Massive Document Leak Details Offshore Accounts Connected to Putin and Other Leaders
    • Panama Papers: Vladimir Putin associates, Jackie Chan identified in unprecedented leak of offshore financial records
    • 5 things to know about the Panama Papers

      A massive data leak of files from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca went online Sunday, in a collaboration by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, exposing how the world’s ultra-rich manage their offshore accounts.

    • What you need to know about the #PanamaPapers investigation

      Eleven million leaked documents published on Sunday reveal how a secretive law firm based in Panama may have helped world leaders such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak move money.

      The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung acquired the Panama Papers, of the firm Mossack Fonseca, through an anonymous source and shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which distributed them to more than 100 media organizations worldwide.

    • Transparency International calls for immediate action by world leaders to stop secret companies
    • Want to hide your cash? This PanamaPapers game tells you how

      The Panama papers ICIJ website has created a flash game giving players tips to create offshore accounts and evade taxes. Titled ‘StairWay to Tax Heaven,’ it essentially shows three characters which include a soccer player, a politician, and a business executive.

      “Welcome to the secret world of offshore. Your goal is to navigate this parallel universe and hide your cash away. Don’t worry! Lawyers, wealth managers, and bankers are there to help you.

      Pick a character and don’t get caught,” reads the page.

      Each character you select puts you in a hypothetical situation where you’re asked to pick up an option. Depending on what you click, you’ll be given a final option which will determine whether you made the right move or is it game over for you.

    • Failing to provide the resources HMRC needs to tackle tax abuse is in itself a form of corruption

      Let’s be clear that corruption takes many forms. Failing to provide the resources needed to tackle corruption is, in itself and in my opinion, a form of corruption. The turning of the blind eye that it both implies and even endorses helps these corrupt practices take place with, at most, limited risk. That has to be a corrupt practice.

    • Panama tax leak reaction
    • Panama Papers: Huge leak alleges elites hiding money

      Several major media outlets have published the results of an investigation into the financial dealings of the rich and powerful, based on a vast trove of documents handed over by an anonymous source.

      The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ), a nonprofit group in the US, said the cache of 11.5 million records detailed the offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as businessmen, criminals, celebrities and sports stars.

    • Jobs Report Blues

      In short, corporations maximized short-run profits by ruining their domestic consumer market along with the personal income and sales tax base for government. It is unclear that this extraordinary mistake can be unwound.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How Israeli Propaganda Succeeds

      The United States is one gentile culture where the Zionist narrative dominates. Key to this is control of language, controlling thought. U.S. pollster Frank Luntz was commissioned to maintain this, producing a “dictionary” of language to use — a playbook for shading domination as defense.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Oculus Rift has some shady stuff in their terms & privacy policy

      Shocker, the Facebook owned Oculus Rift VR device has some pretty concerning stuff in its terms and conditions.

      Starting note: I’m really not surprised by any of this since Facebook own it, but it’s still not good.

    • We’ve streamlined the fight against Big Brother!

      You’ll now receive private StartPage search results on Ixquick.com. We’ve merged our two search engines so we can focus on fighting Big Brother, rather than maintaining two different brands.

      StartPage by Ixquick gives you actual Google search results with the full privacy guarantees of Ixquick. Google never sees you – and, of course, neither do we.

    • Who, What, Where, and Why: The FBI/NSA Mass Surveillance Collaboration

      Dragnet surveillance: Need to make a bust? Doesn’t matter for what. Just listen in!

      That pretty much sums up what could soon become the status quo for law enforcement in America.

      Executive action by the Obama administration is expected to authorize direct sharing of information collected by the NSA with the FBI. In other words, the FBI will be able to directly access unfiltered streams of NSA data. It will basically allow the NSA to spy for local cops.

    • Senator: let’s fix “third-party doctrine” that enabled NSA mass snooping

      This past week hundreds of lawyers, technologists, journalists, activists, and others from around the globe descended upon a university conference center to try to figure out the state of digital rights in 2016. The conference, appropriately dubbed “RightsCon,” featured many notable speakers, including Edward Snowden via video-conference, but relatively few from those inside government.

    • Rise of Ad Blocking Is the Ad Industry’s Fault, Says Outgoing FTC Commissioner

      A commissioner at the US Federal Trade Commission who is leaving the agency after six years of working on consumer privacy issues has some critical words for the ad industry.

      Speaking with Ad Age, departing FTC commissioner Julie Brill lamented the current state of consumer tracking and data collection on the web, linking the rampant rise of ad blockers with the ad industry’s foot-dragging and non-cooperation in the commission’s efforts to create privacy systems based on user consent.

      “We’ve seen an incredible rise in consumers taking matters into their own hands, which is precisely what I said would happen back then,” said Brill, who has tackled a host of consumer privacy issues during her tenure at the FTC.

    • FBI fights back against court order demanding Tor exploit source code

      The FBI is dragging its heels on a court order which requires the agency to reveal how an exploit was used against the Tor network to find a suspected child pornography viewer and their true IP address.

      US law enforcement says that revealing the source code of the Tor exploit, used to infiltrate the surveillance-thwarting network, is not necessary to the case, while the judge behind the order, Robert Bryan, considers it a “fair question” to ask how the defendant was caught.

      Jay Michaud, a school administrator from Vancouver, Washington, is the focus of the criminal case. Michaud was arrested on charges of downloading child pornography in July, 2015.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • How many H-1B workers are female? U.S. won’t say

      When the U.S. begins accepting applications for new H-1B skilled-worker visas today, we can be certain that tech workers from India will make up a large portion of the requests.

      What we probably won’t know, though, is how many of those applicants are female.

      While program data shows which job categories, countries and companies are awarded the most visas, the federal government says it is not tracking applicants’ gender — although the question is asked on the visa application form. The U.S. begins accepting H-1B visa applications on April 1 for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

      The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will not release the gender data. It has rejected a Senate request for the information, as well as public records requests from the IEEE-USA and Computerworld.

    • Fordham 2016: Without disclosure mechanisms or criminal sanctions is the EU Trade Secrets Directive a poor cousin to US trade secrets law?

      On the first, the draft DTSA included language taken directly from the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, allowing judges to issue injunctions against “threatened” misappropriation. Opponents expressed concern that this might be used by federal courts to apply the so-called “inevitable disclosure doctrine” to prevent employees from moving to a competitive job simply because they knew too much. The ultimate solution to this concern was specific and narrow: in concluding the existence of a “threat,” courts had to have evidence of untrustworthy behavior and could not rely simply on what someone knows. The DTSA whistleblower provision is similarly specific and narrow, providing immunity to individuals who reveal confidential information about wrongdoing, but only for communication in confidence to law enforcement officials. The EU Trade Secrets Directive is of course a step forward in European harmonization of definitions and remedies, but it mostly re-states the language and standards already required by TRIPs. It does add provisions covering confidentiality of information in judicial proceedings, but there is a requirement that at least one party representative always be given access, so the common U.S. practice of “attorneys eyes only” protective orders appears to be unavailable under the EU Trade Secrets Directive. In addition, the Directive does not require countries to provide criminal remedies, and it fails to address the fundamental challenge of every trade secret case: how can the trade secret owner get access to information to prove the misappropriation? This probably reflects the tension between common law and civil law systems, but the need is real. James is even more concerned about the broad and undefined “exceptions” of the Directive, allowing the use or disclosure of information for “exercising the right to freedom of expression” or “for the purpose of protecting a legitimate interest recognized by Union or national law.” As for whistleblowers, the exception broadly applies to any disclosure to anyone, so long as this is done “for the purpose of protecting the general public interest.” What James concludes from all of this is that the U.S. remains the leading jurisdiction in meeting customer needs and expectations for the protection of trade secrets. With the EU Trade Secrets Directive, we will need to wait for rulings from the CJEU to see whether the exceptions will present serious problems for trade secret owners.

    • Saudi Arabia executions reach record high as beheadings set to double this year

      Saudi Arabia has already executed 82 people this year and is on course to behead twice as many prisoners as it did in 2015, according to new statistics compiled by a leading human rights organisation likely to raise fresh concerns about the UK’s close ties to the Kingdom.

      The British Government has been urged to do more to put pressure on its Gulf allies to halt the bloodshed in light of the figures, which would see the total death toll in Saudi Arabia reach a record high of more than 320 by the end of the year if the current rate is maintained.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Reclaiming the Web

      Self hosting does not mean getting webspace with a provider. This is not enough. There are at least two serious options available to us that will allow us to be self-hosting we require. Running a Raspberry Pi plugged into your home router or hiring a droplet from Digitial Ocean. Both these offer a chance to both serve out your pages and also run software to pull in other content.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Perpetual image rights for the good: the proposed Dutch Cruyff provision

        As UK-based readers will know, in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 there is a peculiar provision [s301] that provides the trustees of London pediatric Great Ormond Street Hospital with a (perpetual) right to a royalty in respect of the public performance, commercial publication or communication to the public of Sir James Matthew Barrie’s Peter Pan, as well as any adaptation thereof, notwithstanding that – technically speaking – copyright in that work expired a while ago (31 December 1987).

        Now something similar to the Peter Pan provision under UK law is being advanced in The Netherlands, though the proposal has to do with image rights (or portrait right) rather than copyright.

      • Digital Rights Groups: DMCA Reform Should Target Takedown Abuse, Errors

        Advocacy groups supporting digital rights and access online joined rights holders and artists in calling for reform to the United States law intended to balance copyright protection with the free flow of information on the internet. But the advocacy groups say the problem may be rights holders’ improper takedowns of online content and errors in the system.

        At issue is the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which is being reviewed for reforms. Stakeholders submitted comments on the reform (focused on DMCA Section 512) by the 1 April deadline.

        Rights holders, artists and managers called for the DMCA protections to be made stronger as the “notice-and-takedown procedure is not working (IPW, North American Policy, 1 April 2016).

      • Rightscorp Plans to Hijack Pirates’ Browsers Until a Fine is Paid

        Anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp says that it’s working on a new method to extract cash settlements from suspected Internet pirates. The company says new technology will lock users’ browsers and prevent Internet access until they pay a fine. To encourage ISPs to play along, Rightscorp says the system could help to limit their copyright liability.

      • Copyright Troll Partner Threatens to Report Blogger to the Police

        A company assisting US-based copyright troll outfit TCYK LLC has just threatened to report a blogger to the police. Joe Hickster, an anti-troll activist who has helped dozens of wrongfully accused individuals avoid paying settlement fees, was threatened after describing troll services company Hatton and Berkeley as being involved in a smoke-and-mirrors operation.

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