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

06.21.16

EPO Self-Censorship by IP Kat or Just Censorship of Opinions That IP Kat Does Not Share/Accept (Updated)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The impact of the EPO’s ‘lunatic/irrational/unpredictable dictator’ strategy (or its notorious wrath plus SLAPP) likely

EPO hiding evidence

Summary: Free speech when it’s needed the most (EPO scandals) needs to be respected; or why IP Kat shoots itself in the foot and helps the EPO’s management by ‘sanitising’ comments

THE EPO’s management may seem scary. It has already banned IP Kat before. We spent a lot of time defending that site by writing about the ban and alerting journalists about it, creating backlash that might have played a role in reversal of the ban (we don’t know for sure, we can only hypothesise). The more people know about the EPO, the more likely justice and lawfulness are to be reached/restored.

We were rather reluctant to publish this post as we’re not (and never were) wishing to nitpick on the site which helps EPO employees. Yes, we have our occasional criticisms. For instance, it is hosted on a platform (E-mail and blog) where Google spying is a lot more likely than in other sites and yet most comments and a lot of material go there (because anyone can comment there anonymously).

Yesterday I left a comment at IP Kat and it vanished. This happens to other people too, but they don’t have a blog in which to write about it. Some tell me about this. I honestly don’t know what goes on in IP Kat‘s mind/s and what happens behind the scenes, but maybe someone is afraid to publish anything that might anger the EPO’s management after that notorious, short-lived ban. I am tempted to think that IP Kat was left with cold feet after that ban, but they had done this even beforehand, as people told me about that. If IP Kat is challenging or limiting the free speech of people wishing to comment, then it serves the EPO’s agenda to a lesser degree, by limiting the visibility of particular opinions or information. I already spoke to IP Kat about it several months ago (amicably, not in a confrontational fashion) and clearly not much has changed. I spoke about it before, urging them not to censor comments, but it is still happening.

I generally do not comment on blog posts because of impersonators (as of 7 years ago), but yesterday I decided I should make the exception because I was bothered to see an unfair comment about SUEPO’s head. I’ve been an activist for free speech and transparency — for quite a few years now as a matter of fact — and I believe in truth through rebuttal rather than outright removal/censorship. I left a comment in an effort to correct the record.

To IP Kat‘s credit, it did publish my first (of two) comment. This started with an anonymous comment that said, collectively: “We don’t really care about what happened to Mrs Hardon here” (where the word “we” seems to allude to staff or readers in general). To quote:

We don’t really care about what happened to Mrs Hardon here or what reason there was for nobbling the board, as Merpel says.

This is about obstruction of justice. This is about threatening a high court. These are pretty serious offenses anywhere.

The Office can’t afford to leave these offenses unanswered.

To nobble: “to cause or force (someone) to do something that you want by offering money, making threats, etc”. Try to do that to a court in your own country and see what happens.

One person quickly responded to the “We don’t really care about what happened to Mrs Hardon here” part:

Actually, we do – because if the reason she was dismissed is that she contacted the accused member of the BoA, and at the end the President is unable to show that he did anything wrong, that the accuses against her should fall too and she should be reinstated.

Another reason why we care is that the strategy to get rid of them seems to be the same.

We care about Else, actually we really do.

Then, having read that while cycling at the gym, I could not help myself but comment for the first time. I wrote: “The actions taken against Staff Reps, including some in The Hague right now (to further cement atmosphere of terror top-down), began with Hardon, so of course that matters. It is offensive to suggest otherwise.”

This comment did appear, but not my second comment, which spoke about the ‘quality’ of the so-called ‘evidence’. It was a polite comment and there is pretty much no justification for deleting it. I don’t have a local copy of that comment because I typed it on a cycling machine running Android, which basically means a public terminal with no detachable media.

I have been waiting to get the comment approved for more than half a day now, but it never showed up. In fact, later on another comment showed up (approved) but it was not mine. It said:

The potential “charge sheet” seems to be expanding – gradually but inexorably.

* deploying covert surveillance measures of questionable legality

* attempting to “nobble” a judicial body by means of alleged “threats”

* attempting to interfere with the course of justice by obstructing the hearing of witnesses

Anyone for an investigation ?

Perhaps if someone competent to carry it out can be found.

Watch this space but don’t hold your breath …

I asked Merpel for a copy of my comment (which they refuse to approve apparently), but have not heard back yet. My guess is, they later might claim that they have lost it or suddenly found it, in order to save face (that’s a common routine).

What is the bottom line? IP Kat censors comments. As a free speech advocate and enthusiast, I simply cannot support it. Over 35,000 comments have been posted in Techrights over the years (including harsh insults and threats against me) and I never deleted any of them, as a matter of principle. Quality control is not an excuse. Just remember that self censorship by fear is exactly what Team Battistelli wants; to do the job for him is undesirable.

Update: It seems as though my comment was indeed deleted (it definitely made it through, see comments below). Strangely enough, I may need to wait before finding out who did this and why. Here is the correspondence about this:

Dear Roy

Thank you for your email.

If your comment was correctly posted, then it has been deleted because one of the IPKat moderators considered that it did not comply with our moderation policy:

http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/p/want-to-complain.html

The IPKat comments moderation policy has been in place for many years, and unchanged in substance since long before Merpel started writing about the events at the EPO.

Blogger does not store such comments so I regret that we are unable to email the content to you.

Kind regards

With respect, I’m at a loss for words. That is very regrettable. We discussed this matter only a few months back. I thought I would get some assurances that people’s free expression would not be impeded based on (in my opinion) what was often arbitrary if not agenda-motivated. People are rightly passionate about the subject and they need a forum in which they can be heard. The subject of legal liability for comments on one’s article/s is still sort of ‘in the air’ in the US and I believe in the UK as well. So I doubt it’s about legal safety; maybe it’s fear of a ban (the EPO recently banned IP Kat for a day) or spoiling of one’s business/professional ties with the EPO (some who write for IP Kat do have such ties).

As I recall it, it was argued that not deletion but moderation without publication was at stake. Now I learn that unwanted comments are basically just being permanently deleted, without as much as an E-mail trail/record (like notification of a new comment with its contents). It’s like I just wrote my comment to myself.

Trying to reconstruct the comment from memory, as it was not particularly long, it went something like this (but shorter):

It is also worth mentioning that the evidence presented about the judge might not tell the whole story. The EPO’s management already got caught lying about the disciplinary committee (e.g. its recommendations regarding dismissal and other punishments for staff representatives), so the alleged access to E-mail by means of screenshots isn’t to be taken at face value. It is possible that these were acquired by means of parallel construction (look at the method [1]), whereby initial pointer/intelligence is obtained though other means (e.g. spy agencies or Google) and it then enables the management to set up surveillance like cameras or keyloggers at the ‘right place’, in order to help capture something and never mention where the initial pointer came from as it may have been illegally-obtained. This is common in the FBI and US DoJ, and it is the subject of very heated debate in the United States to this date. I should probably mention it’s widely documented that CRG, which works with the IU, employs/contracts former Statsi staff (from Desa in Germany) and CRG itself is close to the British government.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_construction

It is sad that pointing out such a thing is unsayable. I would like to know who deleted my comment and why. If this was not you, then it’s possible that someone with very scarce knowledge of internal EPO affairs just took the initiative to purge comments, which I think is not responsible. How often does this happen to other people who have no facilities to complain (and must remain anonymous for their own protection)? I am an ardent proponent of free speech and any policy which deems the above unsuitable for publication speaks rather negatively about the platform or the site, in my humble opinion. Moreover, in this case, people’s justice and careers are at stake. To eliminate such views can, in some loose kind of way, be seen an obstructing justice.

With great respect and admiration for your good reporting, I would like to see my feedback taken seriously and for the importance of free speech to be honoured, no matter what risks this may entail. The EPO is an aggressive organisation (at the top) and being too soft makes us vulnerable to its despicable methods. ‘Sanitising’ what may be viewed as ‘strong’ views (I don’t believe the above is even strong) helps it maintain lawlessness at the EPO.

Kind regards,

Roy

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Anton_P said,

    June 21, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Gravatar

    You may see it as censorship but the more likely explanation is that either the comment did not get past the android machine or has been overlooked rather than censored. Have you tried their complaint procedure?
    http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/p/want-to-complain.html

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I got the screen acknowledging that the comment had been registered and was awaiting moderation. I am pretty familiar with how those things work (it’s what I do for a living), so I cannot accept the claim that it just vanished. There was no URL or ‘strong’ word in the comment, so no reason it should be flagged as potential spam, either.

    I very much doubt it was overlooked as only half a dozen comments got posted that day (blog-wide) and a comment later than mine got approved.

    When I publish the comment that IP Kat censored people will see just how innocent a comment they deem unpublishable. I can only imagine how many (and of what nature) other comments disappear like this.

    People have told me about this for a while. Maybe it’s time to look deeper into this matter.

What Else is New


  1. The Crook Goes to Brussels to Lie About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The person who spent years lying about the UPC and severely attacking critics (usually by blatantly lying about them) goes to Brussels for another nose extension



  2. The EPO's HR Roadmap Retrospective

    A look back at the terrible ‘accomplishments’ of the Jesper Kongstad-led Administrative Council, which still issues hogwash and face-saving lies, as one might expect from a protector of Battistelli that lies to national representatives and buries inconvenient topics



  3. Links 26/3/2017: Debian Project Leader Elections, SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva FSF Winners

    Links for the day



  4. His Master's Voice, Jesper Kongstad, Blocks Discussion of Investigative and Disciplinary Procedures at the EPO

    The Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation is actively preventing not just the dismissal of Battistelli but also discussion of Battistelli's abuses



  5. Heiko Maas and the State of Germany Viewed as Increasingly Complicit in EPO Scandals and Toxic UPC Agenda

    It is becoming hard if not impossible to interpret silence and inaction from Maas as a form of endorsement for everything the EPO has been doing, with the German delegates displaying more of that apathy which in itself constitutes a form of complicity



  6. With IP Kat Coverage of EPO Scandals Coming to an End (Officially), Techrights and The Register Remain to Cover New Developments

    One final post about the end of Merpel’s EPO coverage, which is unfortunate but understandable given the EPO’s track record attacking the media, including blogs like IP Kat, sites of patent stakeholders, and even so-called media partners



  7. Everyone, Including Patent Law Firms, Will Suffer From the Demise of the EPO

    Concerns about quality of patents granted by the EPO (EPs) are publicly raised by industry/EPO insiders, albeit in an anonymous fashion



  8. Yes, Battistelli's Ban on EPO Strikes (or Severe Limitation Thereof) is a Violation of Human Rights

    Battistelli has curtailed even the right to strike, yet anonymous cowards attempt to blame the staff (as in patent examiners) for not going out of their way to engage in 'unauthorised' strikes (entailing dismissal)



  9. Even the EPO's Administrative Council No Longer Trusts Its Chairman, Battistelli's 'Chinchilla' Jesper Kongstad

    Kongstad's protection of Battistelli, whom he is supposed to oversee, stretches to the point where national representatives (delegates) are being misinformed



  10. Thanks to Merpel, the World Knows EPO Scandals a Lot Better, But It's a Shame That IP Kat Helped UPC

    A look back at Merpel's final post about EPO scandals and the looming threat of the UPC, which UPC opportunists such as Bristows LLP still try hard to make a reality, exploiting bogus (hastily-granted) patents for endless litigation all around Europe



  11. EPO Critics Threatened by Self-Censorship, Comment Censorship, and a Growing Threat to Anonymity

    Putting in perspective the campaign for justice at the EPO, which to a large degree relies on whistleblowers and thus depends a great deal on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and anonymity



  12. Links 25/3/2017: Maru OS 0.4, C++17 Complete

    Links for the day



  13. Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

    Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults -- sometimes even libel -- against judges



  14. Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

    Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO



  15. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management



  16. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  17. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  18. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  19. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  20. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  21. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  22. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  23. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  24. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  25. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  26. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  27. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  28. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  29. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  30. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts