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

11.17.19

Reactions to Last Week’s Thierry Breton Hearing

Posted in Europe at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thierry Breton Took his Web site offline. And then he deleted certain past employers from his résumé so they thought he's better than Sylvie Goulard.

Summary: Nobody is particularly impressed by Thierry Breton except those who know little about him (and he contributes to this lack of knowledge by obstructing, omitting, and misleading)

THE Breton series is ongoing and can be published in full by month’s end. No matter if he’s put in power or not (it seems likely), we need to know just what we’re dealing with. There are two many problematic connections and people are noticing these.

“Commissioner-designate Thierry Breton is not fit for office,” said this account in Twitter on behalf of Left MEPs, as “Breton failed to assuage MEP fears about conflicts of interest. We won’t support him for the Commission.” Here is their full statement:

Commissioner-designate Thierry Breton is not fit for office, Left MEPs conclude after a disappointing hearing today.
The former CEO of Atos, and France’s second nominee after Parliament rejected Sylvie Goulard, will be in charge of a portfolio that largely overlaps with the areas of operation of his previous job.
Breton failed to assuage MEP fears about conflicts of interest.
The Commission’s Code of Conduct requires a two-year “cooling off” period when Commissioners leave their post yet no such requirement is being asked of Breton in reverse, fuelling accusations of revolving doors.
MEP Manuel Bompard (France Insoumise, France) spelled out what a Breton Commission would mean if the rules were followed:
“Atos received EU money and is a dominant player in the digital market, so Breton should recuse himself entirely from decisions related to digital issues.
“Atos has helped set up a highly questionable tobacco traceability system for the benefit of tobacco companies, so Breton should recuse himself from the revision of the tobacco directive.
“Atos manages access to the data of the EU’s Copernicus programme, so Breton should recuse himself from decisions related to the space programme.
“In sum, his conflicts of interest would prevent him from delivering on his own portfolio. Unless he wants a fictitious job as France’s Commissioner, he should not become one.”
MEP Kateřina Konečná (KSČM, Czech Republic) echoed these concerns:
“The biggest problem with Mr. Breton is his obvious conflicts of interest.
“Someone who has worked for a company that is a direct beneficiary of numerous EU programmes should not be responsible for decisions about the allocation of these resources. Especially not in the field of EU defence and security,” she concluded.

“Breton is the subject of a complaint by @anticor_org for favoritism,” they added. “He and his chief of staff would have weighed in awarding Atos huge public contracts in connection with the management of speed cameras. The two men then became No. 1 and No. 3 in the group.”

Atos also killed a lot of people. We’ll cover this soon. Thierry Breton is hugely problematic for so many reasons; he has blood on his hands and putting him in charge (inside the EU) would merely cause or instigate more ‘exits’. He’s a symptom of what people dislike about the EU.

Another group of politicians (EPP Group) wrote: “State-owned economies like China, which buy strategic EU industries and technologies, need to be tackled. Will Thierry #Breton pursue ‘EU champions’ policy’ in that regard?”

“Very clear that Breton is going through,” Dave Keating wrote. “The contrast between his hearing and Goulard’s is striking. Everyone, including S&D, has held their fire. Only tough questions came from far left. Once again showing these confirmation hearings are all about theater, not about substance.”

Don’t mind the corpses around this man. Don’t mind the scandals. Breton is facing “tough questions [...] from far left” (whatever that means, sounds like “far right” with a slant).

“On a Greens’ question related to personal data protection,” a ‘Pirate’ wrote, “Commissioner-designate Thierry Breton implied today that citizens should be able to sell their data. No indication that personal data protection is crucial in the digital era. That is a confusing answer at best, isn’t it?”

Breton promoted Google’s ‘surveillance capitalism’ in Europe; it’s in his personal site/blog, which he took offline. We’ve made a copy of some titles of text. Had he kept his site online, people would see that Breton promoted Google.

“Hearing with Thierry Breton,” wrote another person. “Will EU digital policy be credible in spite of Breton’s revolving door issue? Are we giving grounds to the US and China to cast doubts about the commissioner favouring his former company and potential European champion #Atos?”

“When I mention the conflict of interests it is not to attack you. It is about democracy,” one question is quoted.

Breton is, according to his personal site, a fan of Milton Friedman, i.e. against democracy and for that concept of “corporate globalism” (the market will just ‘take care of itself’).

Breton’s conflict of interest goes way beyond just Atos and according to this Greens’ MEP “seeks clarity about how #Breton will manage conflict of interest on digital matters with @Atos. “I am not taking a step away from the sector as a whole”, TB. He says he has no “vested interests”. Can you really erase years as CEO of a multinational just like that?”

This is a quote from Corporate Europe, which recently wrote:

Breton, head lobbyist

As the CEO of Atos, Breton himself was often at the forefront of its activities to influence EU policy-making. He has twice met with President Juncker to advocate Atos’ positions – quite a privilege as President Juncker logged a relatively low number of meetings in his whole mandate. Breton’s social media also shows that he met with then Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip and Digital Economy and Society Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

Benjamin Henrion has taken note of Yann Dietrich, head of patents at Atos, who 2 days ago appeared with the state-backed patent troll “France Brevets”. To quote him (French): “[BCF Global] « Il faut se défaire de cette idée reçue selon laquelle la #propriétéintellectuelle est un centre de coût. Chez OVHcloud, nous avons pris le sujet très au sérieux et déposé plus de 50 #brevets en 18 mois pour sécuriser notre croissance » Audrey Plantureux d’OVHcloud, Guillaume Ménage de France Brevets, Philippe Therias et Yann Dietrich d’Atos discutent des perspectives de d’entreprises en #croissance lors de l’événement #BCFGlobal à Paris. #PI #startups”

“Independency is crucial for making the European Union fit for the digital age,” wrote another person. “It would be better to give the digital portfolio to an other commissioner.”

The unfortunate thing about Breton’s record is, most tweets about it are in French and the same goes for articles (such as this one). So many people in the EU do not and cannot know what’s wrong with this candidate. He has large ego. “We need large companies” he said. It’s all about money.

Taking stock of the Rothschild bank stint, Henrion also mentioned [1, 2, 3]: “Macron did the deal for Breton’s company to acquire Siemens division #breton #macron #revolvingdoors [...] Siemens: Macron did the merger deal for Breton when he was at Rothschild [...] Rothschild and Macron did the merger deal for Breton’s company Atos to acquire Siemens division #breton #macron #revolvingdoors #rothschild”

Breton and Macron worked for the same bank and people. Now Macron recommends Breton, yet only Breton removed that from his CV, as we noted the other day. He did this ahead of the hearing and people have noticed. His site is offline. The omission from the CV is deliberate deception; he should be disqualified for lying. Breton is a longtime liar. He also lied as a politician when asked about the scandals under his watch (and Techrights will publish more about this throughout the weekend and next week). As Henrion noted: “Breton says he does not like to the term ‘champion’, that is not consistent with his article that vanished from his website: https://web.archive.org/web/20191024093705/https://thierry-breton.com/en/lets-build-european-internet-champions/ …”

There’s some more in his site, as Henrion noted [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]: “Breton wants to create Internet Champions https://web.archive.org/web/20191024093705/https://thierry-breton.com/en/lets-build-european-internet-champions/ […] Breton wants to create European Google sized companies, probably lots of public money will be wasted “we prioritise the emergence of European Google-style companies” https://web.archive.org/web/20191024093705/https://thierry-breton.com/en/lets-build-european-internet-champions/ […] Breton Big Companies Delirium is here: https://thierry-breton.com/en/lets-build-european-internet-champions/ … Website under maintenance (hmm the day of the EP hearing), but http://archive.org has only one copy dated of 24 oct 2019: https://web.archive.org/web/20191024093705/https://thierry-breton.com/en/lets-build-european-internet-champions/ […] https://thierry-breton.com/ is down for maintenance #breton What does not want to hide? That’s a bad start for a “data” leader [...] http://Archive.org has a backup of Breton website: https://web.archive.org/web/20181210015724/https://thierry-breton.com/fr/ …”

So he’s good at making information vanish and contrariwise putting online what ought not be there. One person recalls: “In a set of 30 pages, Thierry #Breton answered MEPs’ written questions (a good evening reading). But his first answer sounds somewhat ludicrous if put in parallel with @NikolajNielsen’s recent investigation on #Atos (an even better reading actually): https://euobserver.com/justice/146476 pic.twitter.com/5lbwvBZp4A” (also via)

It’s an older article entitled “Breton’s firm hosted unlawful copy of EU police data” and to quote from it:

Atos, the company recently led by France’s choice candidate for European Commissioner, hosted unlawful partial copies of EU police data on behalf of the United Kingdom.

The firm’s now former chief executive, Thierry Breton, is slated to head Europe’s industrial policy following his nomination to the commissioner post, a move recently approved by European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen.

A confidential document obtained by EUobserver lists years of abuse by UK authorities in the way they handle the Schengen Information System (SIS), an EU-run database used by police to track down undocumented migrants, missing people, stolen property, or suspected criminals.
Although not a member of the passport-free Schengen area, the UK has been granted restricted access since 2015 on the premise it would respect the rules.

Despite this restricted access, the UK carried out over 514 million SIS queries in 2016, the second-highest among all EU states.

“Regardless of the outcome of Thierry Breton’s hearing today,” one person remarked, “the EU confirmation process for Commissioners is flawed and must be rethought #breton #vonderleyen #ThierryBreton https://twitter.com/alemannoEU/status/1194315993574780929 …”

Another one said: “Commissioner-designate @ThierryBreton committing not to touch the intermediary liability exemption in the forthcoming #DSA #EPhearings2019

“Breton does not mention the term of ‘European champion’,” said this third person, “but mentions the need to support the industry in strategic sectors… everything is about semantic after all.”

He has meanwhile taken his site offline to hide all the terrible things he said and did; “obstruction” is what they call it in the US when Trump and his enablers do the same.

We will separately deal with patent aspects.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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

What Else is New


  1. Reminder: Vice Chair of the Linux Foundation's Board is an Oracle Executive Who Used to Work for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation issued statements to the effect of opposing Donald Trump, but its current leadership (people from companies like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) is a strong proponent of doing as much business as possible with Trump (even in violation of international law)



  2. [Meme] How to Hijack Linux and Free Software to Make Them Proprietary and Microsoft-Controlled

    Intel keeps outsourcing almost everything (that's not proprietary with back doors, e.g. ME) to Microsoft's proprietary software prison, known as GitHub; to make matters worse, Intel now uses the Microsoft-hosted Rust to develop in Microsoft servers, along with Microsoft, code that promotes Microsoft proprietary software (e.g. Hyper-V) and non-standard 'extensions'.



  3. DDOS Attacks Against Us Lately

    (Distributed) Denial-of-service attacks or DDOS attacks have slowed down the site, but we treat that as evidence of suppression and fear (of what's to come and what was recently published), or accuracy (in reporting) rather than inaccuracy



  4. [Meme] Windows as Dead Man Walking (Patches Accelerate the Death)

    Microsoft is squeezing whatever life is left in its “burning platform” (which is already exceeded in terms of market share by Android) that has a "burning" (bricked) WSL with barely any users and plenty of critical problems



  5. We Let Them Get Away With Murder, But They Make up for It by Banning Words

    The Microsoft propaganda machines (notably ZDNet this weekend) are busy portraying Microsoft as a “good company” for censoring words, never mind the actual, meaningful, substantial actions of Microsoft, which is boosting authoritarian people who imprison even babies (for the ‘crime’ of being on the ‘wrong’ side of the border)



  6. High-Profile and Invalid (Invalidated) European Patents Harm the Presumption of Validity of European Patents

    The EPO's 'printing machine' (over-producing patent monopolies) is harming the legal certainty associated with such patents, helping nobody but deep-pocketed monopolists and law firms



  7. Epitaph for (Death of) Patent-Centric Media: Litigation Giant Bird & Bird Nowadays Doing Ads as 'Podcasts' in Think Tank Site 'Managing IP'

    Publishers don't hesitate and openly revel in taking bribes as if it's a badge of honour or importance, allowing themselves to be profoundly corrupted in pursuit of quick cash; we discuss what's happening in sites that pretend to cover patent news (but actually drive agenda of litigation giants, to the detriment of actual innovators)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 19, 2020



  9. Links 20/9/2020: 4MLinux 34.0 Released, September Release and EndeavourOS for ARM

    Links for the day



  10. Video: Free Communication With Free Software - Daniel Pocock - FOSSASIA Summit 2016

    The 2016 FOSSASIA talk from Daniel Pocock (Debian) about Free software alternatives to Google, Microsoft Skype and so on (Microsoft started paying Debian in 2016)



  11. [Meme] Microsoft Downtime... Now in 'Linux' (Wait a Month for Microsoft to Restore Uptime)

    Microsoft’s utter failure that is "WSL2" is bringing the failures Windows is so notorious for (loss of work, lack of security, fatal patches) to so-called ‘Linux’; the timeframe for a fix says a lot about just how much Microsoft “loves” Linux…



  12. Coming Soon: Microsoft Leaks (Which Microsoft Pressured Medium to Suppress and Promptly Unpublish)

    Microsoft is no ordinary company; exposing it is like dealing with the Mafia or some drug cartel in Mexico, but we're able to publish truths about Microsoft nonetheless (their notorious intimidation and silencing attempts have always failed against us)



  13. Dishonest Corporations -- Like Smug Politicians -- Pretend to be Something They're Not

    Corporate lies dominate the media, having been crafted by unethical marketing departments with their photo ops and hashtags



  14. GNU is Also a Brand, But It Boils Down to Philosophy and Principles, Not Greed or Corporate Identity

    Why the goal of GNU should be freedom rather than so-called 'world domination' (the objective of large firms with shareholders)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, September 18, 2020



  16. Links 19/9/2020: Taiwins 0.2 and a Call for Ubuntu Community Council Nominations

    Links for the day



  17. One Year Later Richard Stallman Needs to be Un-cancelled and Attention Turned to the Real Perpetrator of MIT Scandals

    The sheer hypocrisy, treating Stallman as the real nuisance to MIT when it was in fact Bill Gates who trafficked money through convicted sex criminals (to MIT); justice needs to be belatedly restored



  18. ZDNet's 'Linux' Section Isn't About Linux But About Microsoft

    ZDNet's so-called 'Linux' section isn't really about GNU/Linux; it's just the site's usual Microsoft propaganda, bought and paid for by Microsoft



  19. Debian's Network of Gossip and Gossipmongering in Debian-Private

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  20. More EPO Disclosures: An Explanation of How an EPO Survey Plots to Dismantle the EPO's Staff

    Dismantling the Office for the benefit of a bunch of private companies (taking over various duties of EPO staff) seems like the management's goal; included in image form (and text) below is today's publication. There's a PDF with text (not OCR) but it contains metadata.



  21. Forced Confessions and Thought Control in Debian

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  22. [Meme] You Cannot Elect/Vote Corporations Out of Power (Eternal Vigilance is Required)

    Based on early polls, Biden will be president-elect in about a month and a half; but it’s important to remember that the election (if honoured by the current tenant of the White House) won’t be the end of corporate abuse of power in the same sense that driving Microsoft out of business won’t miraculously mean that Free software ‘won’ (we have a lot more to confront still)



  23. Debian Volunteers Disallowed and Forbidden From Talking About Politics (Unlike Debian's Aristocracy That Handles All the Money From Sponsors)

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  24. Political Compass for Free Software (and Those Who Attack Software Freedom)

    With RMS (the father of the movement) betrayed from multiple angles (OSI, Linux Foundation etc.) it’s probably important to depict what’s going on, quasi-politically speaking



  25. Richard Stallman Has Not Changed His Tune at All

    Richard Stallman's (RMS) principled views regarding software go back to the days of zeroes and ones; his position 35 years ago was almost indistinguishable from today's position



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 17, 2020



  27. Keith Packard: Richard Stallman Was Right (About the GPL)

    A 2020 video (before lock-downs) from the brain behind X11 and various lesser-known projects



  28. The Quandary of 'Ethical' Sponsors and One's Ability to Criticise Them (Otherwise It's a Potential Bribe in Exchange for Censorship of Critics)

    When Free software advocacy groups are indebted to companies that greatly harm people's freedom (including privacy) we have to ask ourselves questions regarding morality and ethics because money isn't inherently evil, it depends who or where it comes from (on what implicit conditions)



  29. When Attempting to Run for Debian Project Leader (DPL), Only to Realise the Process is Rigged (and Censored) to Protect Past Leaders

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  30. [Meme] Linux Foundation Does Not Represent Linux Users

    With only one truly technical person inside the Linux Foundation Board (it got a lot worse in 2020) it seems safe to call it 95%+ corporate gerrymandering with no signs of improving any time soon; it’s all about letting hostile corporations change Linux rather than allowing Linux to change the world


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

Recent Posts