Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 5: The Federal Eagle's Disconcerting Metamorphosis

Series index:

  1. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 1: How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs
  2. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 2: Lack of Parliamentary Oversight, Many Questions and Few Answers…
  3. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 3: A “Minor Interpellation” in the German Bundestag
  4. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 4: Parroting the GDPR-Compliance Myth
  5. You are here ☞ The Federal Eagle's Disconcerting Metamorphosis


EPO 3 monkeys



Summary: How the German Federal Eagle metamorphosed into an EPO Management Parrot

In the last part we saw how the Federal Government's response to a parliamentary question about the EPO's data protection framework seemed to come straight from the EPO's internal echo chamber.



A clue to understanding how the mighty and sovereign Federal Eagle could be reduced to the subservient role of an EPO Management Parrot can be found in the footnotes of Bundestag Printed Paper no. 19/15072 [PDF] where the following is stated (in translation):

The answer was sent on behalf of the Federal Government in a letter from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection dated 8 November 2019.


Readers may recall that the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection did a lot of manipulative and highly questionable things for the notorious UPC, which was stopped due to constitutional issues [1, 2, 3].

The above passage confirms that the German government entrusted the Federal Ministry of Justice with the task of preparing its response to the FDP's interpellation.

As we shall see from the later parts of this series, close personal connections and secretive back-channels can be shown to exist between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and the EPO's Directorate of Legal and International Affairs (known internally at the EPO as DG5).

It is likely that these connections and back-channels played a key role in ensuring that any attempts to conduct an impartial and critical examination of the issues raised by the FDP were nipped in the bud.

"As we shall see from the later parts of this series, close personal connections and secretive back-channels can be shown to exist between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and the EPO's Directorate of Legal and International Affairs (known internally at the EPO as DG5)."The rubber-stamped approval of the EPO's data protection framework by officials of the Justice Ministry - under the apparent influence of their "controllers" at the EPO's DG5 - resulted in the Federal Government, the Bundestag and the German public being seriously misled about the true state of affairs at the EPO.

In its response to the FDP's interpellation, the government concluded by noting the following (in translation):

With regard to the assessment of the lawfulness of data processing in detail, it should be noted that this is not the responsibility of the Federal Government, but of the independent supervisory authorities.


This statement is quite remarkable.

"On that occasion Dr Petri noted that the EPO lacked any independent supervisory authority which could investigate alleged data protection breaches."Why? Because if the Federal Government had done its homework properly then it should have known that a couple of years previously - in 2014 to be precise - the Bavarian State Data Protection Commissioner, Dr Thomas Petri, had concluded that the EPO's data protection framework was not compliant with EU data protection standards.

On that occasion Dr Petri noted that the EPO lacked any independent supervisory authority which could investigate alleged data protection breaches. He recommended that urgent action be taken to remedy this deficiency.

"From the available evidence it would appear that this unfortunate outcome was the result of a nefarious act of collusion between the official of the Federal Justice Ministry entrusted with preparing the government's submission for the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag and a member of the EPO's senior management team."The Federal Data Protection Commissioner at the time in question, Ms Andrea Voßhoff, endorsed the concerns and findings of Dr Petri. In July 2015 Ms Voßhoff brought the matter to the attention of the Legal Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag.

However, the efforts of Dr Petri and Ms Voßhoff to push for a reform of the EPO's manifestly deficient data protection framework ultimately came to naught.

From the available evidence it would appear that this unfortunate outcome was the result of a nefarious act of collusion between the official of the Federal Justice Ministry entrusted with preparing the government's submission for the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag and a member of the EPO's senior management team.

In the coming instalments we intend to retrace the associated train of events in detail and present relevant facts concerning the main protagonists so that readers can form their own opinion about this matter.

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