03.14.21

Reporting the European Patent Office and Microsoft for Gross GDPR Violations

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The violation of privacy by Europe’s second-largest institution is certainly a big scandal (even if the mainstream or patent-connected media won’t talk about it); this is being disguised using lies, including lies about encryption

THE fifth part of our latest EPO series was published this morning. It was about the GDPR and there’s more to follow. Including all the videos there will be about 30 parts in total.

“We continue to urge readers across Europe to report this to their local politicians (e.g. MPs) and European level politicians (MEPs).”António Campinos allowed an illegal deal to carry on, so just like Benoît Battistelli he is breaking privacy laws while exploiting diplomatic immunity. We continue to urge readers across Europe to report this to their local politicians (e.g. MPs) and European level politicians (MEPs). There’s definitely merit to such reports or complaints. No diplomatic immunity can excuse violations of the law, at least not for long…

As the video explains, the EPO now promotes 'fake encryption' (probably while allowing European software patents on encryption). A technical associate of ours explains that “in summary,” based on documents we have, “it will be a challenge because all logic and facts go out the window once the string “Microsoft” comes up in any debate online. You can get people to agree to criteria, principles, and other ways for evaluating software and services. If the Microsoft products and services are described but not named, then they will be evaluated as unsatisfactory or worse.”

A passwordMicrosoft works for the NSA, not for the EPO. Their loyalties are with whoever pays more money (and right now that’s the US government and military).

It would be nice to envision the EPO admitting the mistake and maybe some managers resigning (“stepping down”) over this latest blunder. “However,” the associate says, “the same team will do a 180 and fight tooth and nail to promote those same unsatisfactory products and services once the string “Microsoft” is associated with them. This has been going for decades in such a manner.”

SuccessThe problem isn’t just Microsoft; had the EPO outsourced all its communications to Facebook, for example, then too there would be outrage (revolt from inside and outside the EPO, over what’s perceived to be an “Uncle Sam within…”) and the whole thing is basically illegal, so it doesn’t boil down to mere sentiments but law.

“Speaking of unsatisfactory,” our associate notes, “I would look into that last document and the recommendation of using the built-in encryption from Microsoft Office. It used to be easily broken. It would be important to know the current state of that claimed functionality.”

This was mentioned in Part II. Steve Rowan isn’t a technical person, so maybe he doesn’t understand how real encryption works. Moreover, he fails to see that sending decryption passwords/passphrases/tokens over the same company that deals with communication and storage is farcical at best. This protocol is a joke! It’s designed to fail.

Illustration of public-key encryption being used to protect a file sent across an open channel

Image credit: Johannes Landin, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. [via]

What It Means to be a Free Software Operator, Not a User or Consumer

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Microsoft at 4:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Digital Dream

Summary: A lot of people lack control over computers (or small computing devices) that they purchase and it’s getting worse over time

THE word “user” (in relation to software, not drugs) has long been mildly problematic because it lessens the role of a person operating some piece of software. Or sometimes a whole computing device. Large technology firms, typically monopolists in some respective domain, try to tell us “master” is a highly offensive word (an opportunistic distortion of this word's meaning and origin) but the word “master” accurately describes what they are to those so-called ‘users’ of their so-called ‘products’, ‘solutions’, ‘suites’ etc.

“It’s about social control, ‘dressed up’ or spun as safety (or health, more so during a pandemic).”First, let’s examine a little bit of background and recapitulate. It’s important to understand the extent to which “users” or “consumers” (who merely buy things) lose control of what otherwise can be general-purpose computers. It gets worse rather rapidly, over time…

Nowadays it’s no longer clear who truly owns a device. Is there a right to repair? To modify? If a buyer of some device lacks the freedom to do as he/she pleases with that device, is that buyer merely footing the bill for a device otherwise truly owned and controlled by the seller, the manufacturer (or the firm putting its brand on the device)? To use a more practical example, when one buys a “Chromebook” (a ChromeOS-running laptop, with an OS based on Gentoo GNU/Linux but controlled remotely by Google), is that just a laptop of Google whose production cost is partly covered by the buyer? Or even wholly by some ‘consumer’ that consumes ads and provides Google with personal data?

A lot of people never think about those things. They ought to.

Years ago, Microsoft and Intel plotted to make it even harder to boot on a computer any operating system other than “approved” ones (approved by them, not the person who supposedly owns the computer). Then, last week, Google and Red Hat (IBM), which played a big role in the Microsoft and Intel plot, worked to achieve the same at a software level. Fronting or relaying their malicious and self-serving intent through a thing misleadingly named Linux Foundation, they took a step towards that goal. Remember this is the same Red Hat which works for and with the NSA. And Google which famously (or infamously/notoriously) put ‘weakened’ – i.e broken — NSA encryption inside the Linux kernel. Google recently pretended to be championing security in Linux, but don’t fall for it. As a famous book puts it, “Google Is Not What It Seems” (it’s vastly worse; it’s also a trolling operation which bribes people).

“Nowadays it’s no longer clear who truly owns a device.”Notice we’ve not yet even mentioned Apple and Microsoft. We assume readers are already aware of the problems associated with them. They even deny users' right to repair their own devices/computers (which they paid for).

Suffice to say, moving away from Apple and Microsoft operating systems may not be enough; there are many operating systems out there that do not respect users’ freedom (or, they treat owners and buyers as mere “users”). We’ve already mentioned ChromeOS, but the most widely user-side (yes, user) operating system is Android. Unless devices are ‘jail-broken’, they will only operate within the artificial limits imposed by Google and its “store” monopoly (Apple’s is even worse and a lot more restrictive in that regard).

Digital DreamSo what does that mean to free (as in liberate) oneself from all those limitations? Being able to boot one’s operating system of choice, install and use one’s software of choice, repair one’s machine, modify/enhance it etc.

National security, often abbreviated as just “security” (to confuse us, conflating one thing with another — a contradictory concept), is a pretext for back doors, surveillance, and censorship. It’s about social control, ‘dressed up’ or spun as safety (or health, more so during a pandemic).

Based on what we’re hearing, the EPO‘s management now uses the pandemic to impose more oppressive (and sometimes illegal) software on staff. Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, the real criminals, are promoting fake encryption. Together with Microsoft they break the law, not just when it comes to granting European software patents (we already leaked evidence of favourable treatment for Microsoft) but also when it comes to violating privacy of EPO workers, as well as everyone those workers interact with.

“National security, often abbreviated as just “security” (to confuse us, conflating one thing with another — a contradictory concept), is a pretext for back doors, surveillance, and censorship.”Based on what we’ve read, it’ll get a lot more difficult for EPO workers to not use Microsoft malware inside their homes, which they share with other tenants. Usually loved ones, such as close family…

But we may have digressed somewhat.

To use a less specific example, many people out there are still under the false illusion of freedom or free will. Their world is superficially being limited, e.g. by what Microsoft considers to be “legal” code in GitHub (i.e. not harmful to Microsoft’s business agenda), what Twitter and Facebook consider to be ‘permissible’ viewpoints (something advertisers benefit from or at least tolerate), what Google and Apple consider to be “good” software (or apps), and what Amazon deems “good actors” (they deplatformed Wikileaks for exposing US crimes a decade before doing the same to Parler for other reasons).

Technology should be and remain decentralised to the degree which is possible. Anything else is ripe or destined for abuse. A lot of people overlook all those issues until it’s too late to do something about them. Even Let’s Encrypt poses such a dilemma [1, 2]. It creates a sort of monopoly and it’s indebted to imperialistic hands.

“Let’s help or at least strive to free as many people as we can, turning so-called ‘users’ into operators of their own machines.”If you are reading this on a “Mac” or a “Chromebook” or some sort of “PC” (this is a euphemism for a computer controlled by Microsoft; it’s typically possible to liberate such a computer without buying a new one), look at gnu.org and study the historical importance of digital/computing freedom. It predates “Linux” by nearly a decade and still pitches the right principles/philosophy. A lot of what was written back in the 1980s is still highly relevant today.

Let’s help or at least strive to free as many people as we can, turning so-called ‘users’ into operators of their own machines.

EPO and Microsoft Collude to Break the Law — Part V: The EU GDPR

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 3:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previous parts:

The EU GDPR
The US CLOUD Act and the EU GDPR entered into force at around the same time, but these regulations pursue completely different and inherently incompatible goals.

Summary: The António Campinos-led EPO is violating the privacy not only of EPO staff but also everyone whom that staff interacts with, in a clear violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); today we explain the GDPR

A few months after the adoption of the CLOUD Act by the US Congress, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into effect on 25 May 2018, two years after the EU member states had reached agreement on a major reform of the existing EU data protection framework.

“The principles underlying the GDPR are not uniquely European and some of its protections can be found – albeit in weaker, less prescriptive forms – in US privacy laws and in Federal Trade Commission settlements with companies.”The GDPR replaced the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive which was adopted at a time when the Internet was in its infancy. The new Regulation aimed to provide a reformed framework giving EU citizens more control over their own personal data and improving their security both online and offline.

The GDPR applies to all EU member-states and also to all countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) which includes Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.

The principles underlying the GDPR are not uniquely European and some of its protections can be found – albeit in weaker, less prescriptive forms – in US privacy laws and in Federal Trade Commission settlements with companies.

However, in contrast to Europe, the US does not recognise a universal fundamental right to privacy. Notwithstanding the fourth amendment to the US Constitution, US government authorities can often obtain personal information without court approval. Legislation that provides a legal framework for the handling of data at approximately the same level as the The European Commission found in that the Safe Harbor Principles would provide “adequate protection” under Article 25 of Directive 95/56/EC, when it comes to the transfer of personal information from the EU to the US.

GDPR only exists in one single state: California.

“GDPR aims at protecting personal data, and thus the rights and information of European citizens.”Although the US CLOUD Act and the EU GDPR entered into force at around the same time, these regulations pursue completely different goals.

GDPR aims at protecting personal data, and thus the rights and information of European citizens.

In contrast, the US enacted the CLOUD Act to clarify, extend, and speed up official access to electronic information held by US-based global providers, irrespective of the storage location of that data.

The bottom line here is that US companies are by nature not able to guarantee EU GDPR compliance, even if they provide their services via European subsidiaries.

“The bottom line here is that US companies are by nature not able to guarantee EU GDPR compliance, even if they provide their services via European subsidiaries.”Regardless where their data processing operations are located, US companies fall under the jurisdiction of the US CLOUD Act which places them in a situation of conflict with the GDPR.

Likewise European data processors can’t be GDPR-compliant either if they rely on use US-based cloud providers to handle their services.

The inherent incompatibility between EU data protection regulations and US “data harvesting” legislation has been confirmed by the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the landmark judgments known colloquially as “Schrems I” and “Schrems II” which we will look at next.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 13, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:28 am by Needs Sunlight

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