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

Business security measures using SSL

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.