Feeds

'No conflict of interest,' as MS recruits top Brussels IT Eurocrat

But a curious number of his staff seem to cover 'competition cases'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

In a barely-registered coup earlier this month Microsoft recruited senior European Commission official Detlef Eckert. But that's not a problem - Eckert, who it is understood will be joining The Beast on the 1st of December, "has had nothing to do with the Microsoft competition case," the FT's 'Observer' gossip column tells us, but simply "had responsibility to roll out broadband communications."

Oh really? Although both the Commission and Eckert assured the FT there was no possible conflict of interest, the entry in the Commission's internal Guide des Services for Eckert's unit of DGIS (Directorate General, Information Society) includes, in that case, numerous baffling entries.

Two of the staff reporting to him specifically cover "competition cases," and if you include economic analysis (some considerable overlap here, surely), then out of a total of eleven (excluding support staff), four have posts that would appear to have some considerable relevance to competition policy. And if they're not doing approximately what their job descriptions say, then one wonders what they are doing.

The listing for the rest of Eckert's little empire illustrates what an unfeasibly large pile of unimportant stuff can reside under the banner 'broadband rollout.' We have:

- Policy and technical aspects of information security, cryptography and related subjects
- Encryption policy, export controls of information security products and services, notification procedures, interception of telecommunications, third pillar activities, Internet. Informatics coordinator
- Electronic commerce, international aspects - Global Business Dialogue (GBDe), alternative dispute settlement, digital management
- e-Signature directive
- Information and network security, e-signature directive

Not forgetting "Employment and the Information Society," and of course eEurope, which does indeed have the goal of bringing "the benefits of the Information Society to all Europeans."

None of that little lot is likely to be of the slightest interest to Microsoft, of course, and nor is responsibility for issues such as open source software and patenting of computer-implemented inventions, which our sources assure us he also had.

But we're told he's only taking leave of absence from the Commission for a period of up to three years, during which time he can always come back. So maybe he's a spy. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.