Bonum Certa Men Certa

European Censorship: Tyrants of the EPO Blacklist Techrights, Web Site Not Accessible Office-Wide

Free speech? That would be too scientific for ringleader Battistelli.

Benoit Battistelli



Summary: The management of the EPO -- not to be confused with scientists such as patent examiners -- shows utter disregard for Free speech and chooses to forcibly silence its opposition rather than counter its message (refutation may not be possible)

THE INFAMOUS RING of Battistelli is digging itself deeper into the grave. We have already reported confirmed censorship by the EPO [1, 2]. This kind of fruitless censorship may not be news anymore; however, we have just found out that the EPO blacklisted our Web site a couple of days ago. They have begun domain-based censorship, as if they are the US Navy trying to keep troops misinformed and brainwashed. If they are willing to go as far as blocking the whole site and we also know that they put the site under very extensive surveillance, then who knows, maybe they are indirectly behind all those DDOS attacks too. The Hacking Team leaks show that a lot of very powerful institutions shamelessly engage in cracking and DDOS attacks by proxy, 'as a service' so to speak. We have hardly had such problems until we started covering the EPO scandals (we hadn't had DDOS attacks against us since around 2009, so that's about half a decade DDOS-free until around the very moment we wrote exclusively about the scandals last summer). Our EPO wiki has the timeline.

A source told us that "since yesterday" (the day before yesterday) Techrights is not all all accessible from the EPO. There is more about it in the latest comments on this article from one month ago. "By the way," writes one person, "the website techrights.org has been blacklisted today, for access from inside the EPO" (this was said 2 days ago).

"Well, making the site inaccessible from work isn't too wise a plan because of the Streisand effect (people just get even more curious about what's being hidden)."One person responds: "Only now? Can't imagine that anyone has dared to try recently. Self-censorship is a powerful tool. I don't even look at ipkat from the EPO! You don't want to be caught in possession of any anti-BB thoughts."

Another person writes: "I can confirm that Techrights is not accessible anymore from within the Office.

"Disgusting."

Well, making the site inaccessible from work isn't too wise a plan because of the Streisand effect (people just get even more curious about what's being hidden). Some parts of the US government (e.g. US Navy) tried this against Wikileaks, but people can still access the 'naughty' site from home (after work). The only way to prevent access to the site universally is DDOS attacks and/or cracking.

This is basically an admission of defeat; the EPO's management is unable to counter the facts or sue for defamation (because the statements are correct and are even supported by European courts), so they are just trying to gag the messengers. China does it with the infamous DDOS 'cannons' (see press reports the recent DDOS attacks against GitHub, which was used to host mirrors of stories that the Great Firewall of China cannot ever effectively suppress). The EPO is trying a desperate and counter-productive censorship strategy as well. It's going to backfire; people cannot respect an employer who actively censors and spies on employees, especially if it's done in order to prevent the employees from finding out the truth about the employer. To make matters worse, Battistelli et al. attack journalists, not just staff. It's a form of shameless sabotage.

I have repeatedly asked Amazon where to serve legal papers to and Amazon refuses to even answer. They guard DDOS and have officially taken a "do not reply" approach after their machines had been attacking my site and caused a lot of damage (recent attacks on my sites caused even database corruption several times recently, with repairs taking hours, let aside disruption to service).

The EPO has been targeting Techrights in a variety of confirmed ways (censorship, surveillance, and maybe more); the only attack vector that's hard to concretely prove is DDOS, but we are going to pursue this pretty soon. SUEPO already initiated an investigation after it had come under cyber attacks. If anyone knows anything about it and has some documents that can prove it, please make an effort to anonymously send it to us. Transmission using Tor and an empty E-mail account can do the trick. We have never let down or betrayed a source (in our decade-old history with many whistleblowers). Potential sources and also the principal target audience are sadly unable to access this site from work anymore.

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