Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO Sinks Deeper in a Scandal After Paying Public Money for Military-Connected Control Risks to Stalk Journalists and Staff

Benoît Battistelli



Summary: Benoît Battistelli is now attacking the media itself, arrogantly doing so at the expense of the European public

THE EPO's management is truly out of touch. It is acting like a bunch of mercenaries or an army-tied contractor right now, hiring thugs with army connections, all working for Control Risks (see the open letter to Control Risks for background). The EPO is, in some regards, even worse than FIFA. At least FIFA didn't hire goons/thugs to attack messengers.



The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently wrote about the EPO in Germany and, according to SUEPO, "The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (printable version) reports on the information that the EPO has commissioned the company Control Risks to investigate elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union" (what about the journalists people may be reporting to?).

The Süddeutsche Zeitung, which has also been covering EPO matters for quite a while, wrote about Control Risks. To quote SUEPO, "The Süddeutsche Zeitung comments on the information that the EPO has commissioned the company Control Risks to investigate elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union"

Any translations of these articles would be very much appreciated, if readers could kindly provide them for us to publish in English (for future record).

SUEPO said that "IPKat comments on the information that the EPO has commissioned the company Control Risks to investigate elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union" and the following day it said: "The EPO has issued a communiqué confirming the use of external investigation firms."

The thugs who run the EPO are mistakenly assuming that the only people capable of speaking to the media are associated with SUEPO. They just use this as an excuse to crack down on SUEPO when in fact people from all parts of the EPO, as well as outside the EPO, have grown tired of the abuse. In an aggressive effort to suppress information the EPO's management will only motivate more people to speak out. Therein lies the Streisand Effect.

One day later it said: "SUEPO sent an open letter to the company Control Risks which we understand has been commissioned by the EPO to investigate staff members who are elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union.

"We have now received a reply from Nick Allan, Regional Director (Europe & Africa)."

Their policy is just denying their work completely, or not naming their clients altogether (even though it is so obvious, and the EPO's internal statement already served to confirm the allegations). Here are the contents of the reply:



To: SUEPO Central Executive Committee central@suepo.org

To whom it may concern (as your letter was unsigned),

Thank you for your letter. In all cases, our clients’ confidentiality is one of our highest priorities. Therefore, we do not comment on any specific cases and on our potential involvement. If you have any questions pertaining to the EPO, please direct them specifically to the EPO.

In general, I note your concern and would like to reassure you that Control Risks always conducts a due diligence with regard to the work we take on. Our Code of Ethics ensures that our employees always act in an ethical, independent and objective manner.

Sincerely yours,

Nick Allan Regional Director, Europe & Africa Control Risks



"Our Code of Ethics" is just marketing, much like their Web site, which hardly even mentions anything about the clients they have (or have had) and what they have done. Based on some articles, this company grossly overcharges for its unethical services, so one can only imagine how much tax money (of Europeans) got sunk into this abuse. The European purse is being misused by Battistelli and his cronies.

Control Risks is a rather evil company. Since they often work for military, mercenaries, etc. it's not too shocking that they use the cloak of secrecy. SUEPO shows that this ugly firm is actually spying on journalists, not just their sources. To quote a report/summary/overview from SUEPO:



More on Control Risks



SUEPO understands that the company Control Risks has been commissioned by the EPO to investigate staff members who are elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union. The following articles report on the activities of this company:

Spiegel Online, The Dark Side of Power: German Corporate Spying Scandal Widens

“the government agents were [...] interested in the role Control Risks may have played in the Deutsche Telekom wiretapping affair. The scandal has dominated the public debate in the worlds of business, politics and the media for more than two weeks.”

“It is already clear that Telekom also hired Control Risks, which in turn subcontracted some of its assignments to a company called Desa. Desa, which is run by two former informants for the East German secret police, the Stasi, has also completed assignments for other prominent clients.”

“Moreover, it is clear that Control Risks worked for other German corporations, like Lufthansa and Deutsche Post. And, more recently, it was revealed that the two security firms were not the only ones that investigated a journalist from the newspaper Financial Times Deutschland (FTD)”

Spiegel Online, Attack on Customer Data: Lufthansa Admits Spying on Journalist

“[...] news broke that the security firm Control Risks, working for Deutsche Telekom, spied on a journalist from the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper.”

The Guardian, Watching the detectives

“But probably the creepiest tale to come out of the investigation is that in 2000 Deutsche Telekom hired a British private security company called Control Risks to get to the bottom of who was behind leaks to Tasso Enzweiler, at the time the chief reporter for Financial Times Deutschland. Control Risks in turn hired Desa Investigation & Risk Protection - a Berlin detective agency set up by two former Stasi agents who worked for a department responsible, among other things, for spying on western journalists - which sent employees to follow Enzweiler around the clock for two weeks.”

Financial Times, From guard dogs and fences to business intelligence

“After making its name in hostage and crisis negotiation through the 1970s, London-based Control Risks has branched out to offer something close to a full risk management service for its clients. It has roughly 700 staff and annual revenues of about $250m and is one of the sector's bigger players.

Security services in Iraq account for about a third of the company's turnover, but revenues have been falling of late. Anticipating the decline, Control Risks has been seeking to expand its consultancy and investigation businesses."



This is, at the very least, inducing the chilling effect, e.g. a bunch of spies (almost a thousand all around the world) stalking journalists in their daily lives. It scares both journalists and sources. It's an ugly strategy of deterrence and retribution.

"SUEPO understands that the company Control Risks has been commissioned by the EPO to investigate staff members who are elected representatives of the Staff Committee and/or Staff Union," says the SUEPO Web site.

"The following articles report on the activities of this company:



The more we read about this shady company (Control Risks), the more disgusted we become. They clearly have no "Code of Ethics", just Code of Surveillance (or Harassment).

European taxpayers (that's everyone in the European Union) should reach out to local politicians and explain to them how the EPO is wasting public money. The EPO is now rogue, corrupt, and borderline insane (like irrational/paranoid dictatorships). It is behaving as though it has become another branch of organised crime -- a fitting analogy as some top staff have a résumé to show for it (not only Željko Topić). There's no room for truce when the EPO's management continues to attack. It should be clear who is offensive and who is defensive/reactionary here. Grievances among the staff are very much justified.

Techrights has a lot more coming about this subject. Battistelli is blackening his career each time he makes panicky moves in a desperate effort to gag critics.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft Lacks a Solid Strategic Plan Other Than Buying Its Own Stock (and Paying Staff in Shares)
Beware and be cautious of bubbles
Microsoft's Chatbot Strategy Resulted in Massive Losses, So Now It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as 'Hardware Company' (Once Again, Years After XBox, KIN, Windows Phone and Surface Failed Miserably)
revenues associated with Windows has fallen sharply
 
Microsoft's Pearls of Wisdom: Layoffs Are Growth
Microsoft boss: layoffs are "long-term growth."
[Meme] Hide the Bodies
hiding EPO's role in funding Lukashenko
Josef Kratochvíl and All the European Patent Organisation's Chiefs (at the Administrative Council Too) Notified That Over 1,000 Members of Staff Demand Action on Patent Quality and Compliance (Industry Too is Alarmed That Many Invalid Patents Get Granted)
Huge corruption
Debian trademark canceled
Debian trademark canceled
Links 23/02/2024: Feed Aggregator and 2 Years of Invasion, Alexei Navalny’s Mother Blackmailed
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/02/2024: Getting 'Sick' of Modern Tech and Deletion of One's Reddit Account
Links for the day
Links 23/02/2024: 227 Microsoft Layoffs Noted in Santa Clara and Disaster in Rivian
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 22, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 22, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] It's NOT Your PC
losing control of hardware
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: Removing Radio Ads and Being Seen on the Internet
Links for the day
Mark Shuttleworth and the Question of Liability (Debian Volunteers He Pressured Before the Suicides)
Humanity for me
Mark Shuttleworth's (MS) Canonical Running Microsoft (MS) Ads, Mischaracterising Mass Surveillance as 'Confidential' (the Usual Lie)
The money talks, so the facts are absent
Ads as 'Articles'
Money buys perception manipulation (or reputation laundering) campaigns
Abraham Raji & Debian, DebConf kayak death: search abandoned, evading liability
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 22/02/2024: Chatbots Failing 'Big Time' and More Condemnations Appear of Bill Gates
Links for the day
There May be Close to 100,000,000 Laptops and Desktops Running GNU/Linux Around the World in 2024
hard to track the number
Search Engine Market Share Worldwide Shows How Badly Microsoft's Chatbot Strategy (Hopes) and Vapourware Have Failed
Bing, which was marketed as the forefront "product" for chatbots (Microsoft paid the media a lot of money for hype campaigns), gained nothing at Google's expense
[Meme] Demoralising and Putting Down Your Staff
unproductive and dangerous approach
This Week's Letter to António Campinos About Mean-Spirited Line Managers at the European Patent Office (EPO)
Seems like a way to get rid of staff. Some will resign in anger.
Software in the Public Interest (SPI) & Debian obfuscated structure fooled suicide victim's family: the ultimate example of bad faith
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: What We Pass On and HTTP Header Viewer
Links for the day
Manuel Estrada Sainz (ranty), Andres Garcia (ErConde) & Debian Deaths overworking
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
GNU/Linux Rising to 8% of Desktops/Laptops in Jordan?
what statCounter shows
[Meme] If Iraq Launches an Investigation Into How Microsoft Bought OpenAI Without Paying for It
fake "money" from Microsoft
Windows Has Fallen to 13% Market Share in Iraq (It was 100% Just 15 Years Ago), GNU/Linux Rose Sharply in Recent Years
In recent years Iraq was developing its own GNU/Linux distro
Springtime is Next, Here's What We Plan for March and April
This month and next month we expect to publish something unique about EPO abuses every day
Studying the Freedom of firefox-123.0.tar.bz2
The "F" in Firefox
Abraham Raji, Jens Schmalzing & debian-private cover-ups after deaths, accidents, suicides
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Microsoft Bribes, Keeping Regulators at Bay
crime and corruption
[Meme] The Quotas Came From Above
EPO targets
EPO Talent Planning & Architecture is Another Attack on EPO Staff and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) Explains Why
ignore the flowery words
[Meme] Just Following Orders From "The Fu**ing President" António Campinos
Salary? OBEY!
Links 21/02/2024: China Working on West-less Tech Future, More Bounties on Patent Troll Leigh M. Rothschild (Which IBM et al Failed to Dismantle at the Root)
Links for the day
Links 21/02/2024: Encryption Backdoors Deemed Not Legal, Decentralised Web Under Attack
Links for the day
Games:Steam Audio as Free Software, Hazard Pay, ChipWits, and More
7 stories for today
Julian Assange, Wikileaks & Debian-private
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 20, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Links 21/02/2024: Microsoft Sued for Monopolistic Policies, More Layoffs Planned for Next Month
Links for the day