Posts Tagged ‘Neelie Kroes’

Plagiarist zu Guttenberg invited to join the European Commission

February 11, 2012

zu Guttenberg is back and has friends in high places. Baron Cut and Paste rides again.

This might be considered ironic but being the European commission I put it down to plain stupidity. To have a plagiarist who was brought down by net activism but who then bought his way out of criminal prosecution (by paying €20,000) as a special advisor on net activism illustrates the stupidity and the corruption at the centre of the European Commission.

Stupid is as stupid does.

From TechDirt:

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes has invited Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a former Federal Minister of Defence, and of Economics and Technology, in Germany, to advise on how to provide ongoing support to Internet users, bloggers and cyber-activists living under authoritarian regimes. This appointment forms a key element of a new “No Disconnect Strategy” to uphold the EU’s commitment to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected both online and off-line, and that internet and other information and communication technology (ICT) can remain a driver of political freedom, democratic development and economic growth.

Of course, that’s rather rich coming from a region where France already allows disconnections as punishments (HADOPI), and where the UK has legislation in place that will allow it to do the same (Digital Economy Act). But it turns out that the ironies are even deeper.

 The reason that Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg — once seen as a likely successor to Germany’s current Chancellor, Angela Merkel — is no longer the Federal Minister of Defence, and of Economics and Technology, is that he resigned when it emerged that he had plagiarized significant parts of his doctorate.

After initial denials, Guttenberg was forced to admit the extent of his plagiarism thanks largely to a crowdsourced wiki called GutenPlag (original German) offering “collaborative documentation of plagiarism”, which went through his thesis searching for passages taken from elsewhere without acknowledgement. In total, it claims to have found “1218 plagiarized fragments from 135 sources, on 371 out of 393 pages (94.4%), in 10421 plagiarized lines (63.8%).” There’s even an interactive, color-coded visualization of what happened where.

A petition against this stupidity can be found here: zu Guttenberg must leave the European Commission


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