03.12.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

EPO and Microsoft Collude to Break the Law — Part II: Steve Rowan Announces Microsoft “Outlook Migration”

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Security at 4:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previous parts:

Steve Rowan - Vice President DG1 - Patent Granting Process
Steve Rowan – passionate about “talking the talk”.

Summary: Steve Rowan on the implementation of illegal surveillance by Microsoft and the United States, covering all EPO operations including strictly confidential communications

Steve Rowan moved to the EPO in 2019 (warning: epo.org link). Prior to that he had held the position Director of Patents, Trade Marks, Designs and Tribunals at the UKIPO.

Steve was recruited by Campinos as part of a drive to give the EPO’s senior management team a “new look” and as part of a carefully orchestrated attempt to create a “perception of independence” from Team Battistelli which had fallen into public disrepute.

Since then this affable and garrulous Welshman has been busy doing the rounds, “talking the talk” and pressing the flesh in an effort to convince EPO staff that everything has changed for the better.

When listening to him you could be forgiven for coming away with the impression that it’s all one big happy family now and that the unpleasantness of the Battistelli era has been consigned once and for all to the dustbin of history – even if Elodie Bergot is still running the show at the HR Department.

Steve has taken to his new role like a duck to water and he seems to enjoy playing the EPO’s “Prince of Woke”, sponsoring events such as the “Women in the Lead” programme – a mentoring initiative for women at the EPO aspiring to managerial roles – and various other worthy “diversity & inclusion” causes.

More recently, at the start of February, Steve issued a communiqué to EPO staff on the subject of “Outlook Migration to the Cloud”. This communiqué is noteworthy because it confirms the EPO’s increasing reliance on cloud computing services hosted by Microsoft.

In his communiqué Steve informed EPO staff that “as announced in previous intranet items published in May and December 2020, our Outlook mailboxes are being transferred to the cloud.”

But when reading the full text of the communiqué it’s impossible not to wonder whether Steve fully understands the P’s and Q’s of data protection and the potential risks associated with putting all of the EPO’s precious data eggs into the Microsoft basket:

“With the help of contract terms, a data protection agreement and technical implementation, the EPO has ensured the best possible protection for the data stored using Microsoft’s cloud services. Microsoft guarantees that the data itself is stored on EU servers within the jurisdiction of the European data protection rules (GDPR).

Under the US Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) and the US Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act), Microsoft is obliged to grant security and intelligence agencies access to data stored in its cloud, even when stored on EU servers.

However, the protection level offered by Microsoft is still sufficiently high for DG 1 processes in place for confidential data exchange not to need encryption.

By contrast, to comply with the highest standards, which of course include the requirements imposed under the GDPR, encryption is needed for strictly confidential data.

The guidance on the use of cloud tools therefore states that it is only strictly confidential data that must not be stored in plain form in the cloud, whereas merely confidential information can be stored there without limitations.”

Cloud fantasy
Is EPO Vice-President Steve Rowan living in a data protection “cloud-cuckoo land”?

Steve’s blind faith in Microsoft and its assurances is very touching but one wonders whether he realises the full ramifications of handing over the EPO’s internal e-mail and video-conference communications to a US-based electronic communications services provider.

Quite bizarrely, he doesn’t seem to bat an eyelid over the fact that “Microsoft is obliged to grant security and intelligence agencies access to data stored in its cloud, even when stored on EU servers”.

Despite the gushing optimism of the EPO Vice-President, there remains a nagging suspicion in some quarters that the EPO’s increasing reliance on Microsoft – in particular its cloud computing services – is a legitimate source of public concern.

Before looking into this in more detail we will make a detour into the subject of mass surveillance and “digital sovereignty”.

This planned intermezzo is intended to assist the reader in making a fully informed judgment as to whether everything is really as fine and dandy as Steve would have us believe or whether – as some suspect – he is living in a data protection “cloud-cuckoo land”…

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  2. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  3. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  4. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  5. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  6. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations



  8. Links 25/10/2021: New Slackware64-current and a Look at Ubuntu Budgie

    Links for the day



  9. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)



  11. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  12. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021



  13. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO



  16. Links 24/10/2021: GPS Daemon (GPSD) Bug and Lots of Openwashing

    Links for the day



  17. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 23, 2021



  19. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day



  20. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  21. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  22. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)



  24. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  26. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  27. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  28. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  29. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates


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