12.01.15

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The European Patent Office (EPO) Crushes Not Only Unions But Also the Press and Even Bloggers

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s “All Out War” at EPO

USB statement

Summary: The EPO is crushing unions pretty hard right now, but at the same time it spends around $80,000 per month fighting against critics and manipulating the media, as a recently-leaked EPO/Administrative Council (AC) document serves to prove

THE picture above is a screenshot of the original [PDF] (not at risk of censorship by the EPO, unlike SUEPO, so no local copy has been made here). It is self-explanatory and it states (in text):

Labour dispute at European Patent Office

Dear Colleagues,

We regret to inform you that three Staff Representatives have been suspended at the European Patent Office last Tuesday, 17 November 2015. The (EPO) has the privilege of setting their own rules independent of national framework, which in the absence of adequate checks and balances leads to many abuses. The (EPO) has been suffering from a wave of suicides in recent years and the social tensions are very high (see reports of the French newspaper Le Monde, attached).

Staff Representatives have to be protected from retaliating actions so that they can accomplish their function, which is to bring more balance to power.

With this e-mail to all staff in Brussels, we aim to foster awareness of these events and contribute to have them satisfactorily addressed.

With kind regards,

Union Syndicale Brussels

Additional information can be found here :

http://www.fosspatents.com/2015/11/epo-labor-dispute-getting-completely.html

http://www.worldipreview.com/news/epo-suspends-more-staff-claims-threats-of-

violence-9187

http://www.pyleborgn.eu/2015/11/courrier-a-emmanuel-macron-sur-la-crise-a-

loffice-europeen-des-brevets/ (French MP ́s letter to the French Minister of
Economy and Finance)

http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2015/04/06/un-si-bon-office_4610059_3232.html

http://www.suepo.org/public/ex15152cp.pdf

So who is Union Syndicale Brussels? SUEPO says that “Union Syndicale Brussels (USB) is the biggest trade union in the European Public Service. Its members are drawn from all the European institutions and organisations. It has sections for the European Commission, the EU Council, the European Parliament, Eurocontrol etc. Founded in 1973, it was set up to defend the unique status of officials of the European Communities.”

Techrights too has experienced legal bullying, despite the EPO having no authority over Techrights (none of us is an EPO employee).”To quote USB: “Staff Representatives have to be protected from retaliating actions so that they can accomplish their function, which is to bring more balance to power.”

Techrights too has experienced legal bullying, despite the EPO having no authority over Techrights (none of us is an EPO employee).

“Union Syndicale Brussels has published a message of solidarity,” SUEPO explained earlier today, “for our three suspended colleagues and initiated the distribution of this message to the entire staff of the above European institutions and organisations – more than 50,000 employees.”

“A million bucks to shut up critics? Wow…”
      –Anonymous
Techrights is happy to support the actions or the messages of SUEPO. It has been disturbing and increasingly troubling to see what EPO management can get away with in Munich. People are either in disbelief or they just know nothing about it. Thankfully, in the coming days, a lot of the large press in the UK will shed light on these issues. Articles in English are also readable outside of Europe. And speaking of which, here is a new article in Portuguese (we need a translation as potential readers are only Portuguese or from former Portuguese colonies). We also welcome more leaks, especially those showing misconduct or bad conduct, rendering any leaker a whistleblower (who enjoys special protections, enshrined in law).

Regarding the EPO/AC document leaked the other day, one reader wrote to tell us: “My jaw just can’t drop anymore, it’s now stuck to the floor.

“A million bucks to shut up critics? Wow…”

“Expect agents provocateurs, industrial strength astroturfing, etc.”
      –Anonymous
Look at the original document. It names this as “support of Directorate for External Communications.” That’s probably alluding to Director of External Communications Jana Mittermaier, who helped Siemens restore their 'normal' public image or at least save face after their massive bribery scandal.

Remember what Bank of America (BoA) did right after it had discovered that material from the bank got leaked to Wikileaks? The authors and volunteers at Wikileaks wrote a great deal about it at the time. There was sabotage. See articles such as Bank of America Employing Three Intelligence Firms to Dismantle WikiLeaks, Anonymous Responds With Hacks.

“I sincerely hope you have a contingency plan should they try to steal or subpoena your computers.”
      –Anonymous
For Bank of America, money wasn’t the issue. At EPO too, budget is a bottomless pit. They think they can just pay (not their own money because it’s a European public service) to achieve anything they want, even after erring, abusing the law, etc.

Our reader continued pessimistically: “Expect agents provocateurs, industrial strength astroturfing, etc.

“Or for that money, they could also attempt to buy opponents.

“I sincerely hope you have a contingency plan should they try to steal or subpoena your computers.”

Well, I have backups remotely stored — physically — at safe places, but in order to protect sources I never remove my laptop from my house. This is probably known to those who follow me in social media sites (like Twitter); airports and other such places are now checkpoints for digital data (encryption does not help as they can compel the traveler to decrypt everything or face serious trouble).

“The minister of justice tried to shut up a group of Internet activists and critics who had the tendency to present very interesting stuff that was leaked, or even legally obtained using FOI laws!”
      –Anonymous
Given the appealing treatment that the suspended judge and staff representatives have been subjected to (military-grade interrogations and de facto raids), we must prepare for the worst. The legal bullying was a serious escalation in tactics, only months after the EPO had blocked this site.

Our reader added: “Have you heard of the Netzpolitik.org affair in Germany? The minister of justice tried to shut up a group of Internet activists and critics who had the tendency to present very interesting stuff that was leaked, or even legally obtained using FOI laws!

“If not, you might do well to look into this, as I see parallels.

“The AG tried to shut them up by using an A-bomb: TREASON LAW!

“Heiko Maas, the German minister of justice, who also happens to be the one ultimately responsible for the EPO in his country, made a bloody fool out of himself.”
      –Anonymous
“That caused a general uproar.

“You should perhaps get in touch with them, with the magnitude reached by this business, I think you need all the publicity you can get.

“Heiko Maas, the German minister of justice, who also happens to be the one ultimately responsible for the EPO in his country, made a bloody fool out of himself.”

“Recall what the ‘British Blackwater’, CRG, has been up to here, not just spying on sources of Techrights but also on Techrights itself.”Well, some people have already been mirroring Techrights in other relatively censorship-resistant sites and services. It makes silencing efforts rather futile, but maybe not impossible. Over the course of the past few months we suspect that even censorship at DNS (or ICANN) level was attempted, for reasons we specified here (in passing) a few times before. Without some recognition/status, knowhow (e.g. when it comes to system administration or combating DDOS attack), and supportive media coverage, we would have struggled to keep posting new information as we habitually do. Some people in positions of power really don’t like this Web site and would go as far as they conceivably can to derail operation. Recall what the ‘British Blackwater’, CRG, has been up to here, not just spying on sources of Techrights but also on Techrights itself. We mentioned that in posts such as:

We kindly ask readers to do what they can to also protect our right to free speech and our right to speak without an atmosphere of terror, which includes intimidation from lawyers, spying by goons who work with the Army, and incredible accusations against yours truly. Yes, the ad hominem attacks have already begun and maybe it’s no coincidence that right now the EPO has nearly a million dollars working on reputation laundering, which may include discrediting critics (at a budget of around $80,000 per month). The BBC is going to publish an important article, possibly tomorrow.

“A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.”

Robert Frost

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