back to article Total WIPOut: IT chief finds his own job advertised

UN patent body WIPO is advertising for a new IT chief in a move widely seen as a reprisal against the current man in the job who blew the whistle on the dodgy behaviour of his boss. The World Intellectual Property Organisation's chief information officer Wei Lei complained to the chief ethics officer when director general …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Why does every time I read about patent governing bodies

    leaves me needing a shower afterwards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Why does every time I read about patent governing bodies

      You need some more wholesome occupation for that hand!

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Why does every time I read about patent governing bodies

      Agreed. The 'FIFA of the UN' is a good analogy - they should start using the Sepp Blatter Scale as a measurement of the level of corruption. Looking the other way when NorKor wants to patent a nerve agent should possibly rank as a 10 (highly corrupt)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corruption at the UN???

    Say it ain’t so!

  3. K Silver badge

    Wow... So I guess this will be Battistelli's next role when he gets bored at the EPO -

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/31/battistelli_tries_again_to_break_epo_union/

  4. EricM

    Makes you think "Intellectual Property" is shady business ...

    WIPO (as well as the EPO) as an organization shows an astonishing lack of respect to the the laws governing its own behavior.

    As opposed - of course - to the respect they demand for the laws governing their their reason for existence (IP laws), their revenue streams or the revenue streams of their members.

    May this be an effect of organizations made up primarily by lawyers seeing the law more as a tool to achieve a certain outcome than as a, well, common "law", governing all?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Makes you think "Intellectual Property" is shady business ...

      The Law is a tool used by Lawyers to make money.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Makes you think "Intellectual Property" is shady business ...

        @hplasm: "The Law is a tool used by Lawyers to make money."

        Yes, in the same way as copper pipe is a tool of plumbers to make money. What is your point?

  5. Francis Fish

    Ironic

    "The US government has withheld funding from WIPO because of its failure to protect whistleblowers."

    Don't do as I do, do as I say.

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: Ironic

      Indeed... They react somewhat differently when it's their whistle being blown.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Ironic

        They react somewhat differently when it's their whistle being blown

        As Clinton discovered..

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    Introductions in order?

    Hi Mario, this is Francis, Francis this is Mario... You've both been baaaad boys.

    Vipers all....

  7. tip pc Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    Anyone doing any actual work there?

    secret DNA tests on senior staff, awarding contracts to your mates, blowing whistles on each other, sending IT kit to the NorKs. Is there actually any productive work being done by WIPO?

    I guess that's what you get when you have a large international bureaucratic organisation accountable to many other international bureaucracies.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: actually any productive work being done by WIPO?

      erm... real world testing of various policies, legal frameworks, security practices etc? Sort of a grey hat organisation?

      1. K Silver badge

        Re: actually any productive work being done by WIPO?

        lmao +1 for you, I had to take a 2nd read of that.. Though you should have added the troll icon.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Anyone doing any actual work there?

      tip pc

      I think you've pinpointed the problem. In any international organisation where a significant proportion of member states see corruption as being a way of life there is very little chance that the oversight is going to be honest, (ditto for enforcing employment rules etc) and the result is that the management is not going to be kept honest. You can't accuse them of hypocrisy at least. It's clearly a case of " Do as I do."

  8. teknopaul Bronze badge

    itomg

    Where does el reg get this continuos stream of comically shocked looking IT workers from?

    Is it done in house? or is there a global ITOMG market?

    IMHO They should be credited. Id buy A2 prints for the server room door.

    1. fobobob

      Re: itomg

      I've long assumed that they're part of their office staff :)

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: itomg

        I've long assumed that they're part of their office staff

        I doubt whether any El Reg staff are that overgroomed and hipstered..

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: itomg

      The image file name says "shutterstock" which is an online image service. Possible that images are obtained from actors hoping to get a part in BBC TV's self-examining comedy show "W1A". ;-)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    I'll get me coat

    'cos my contract seems to have got weileid somewhere.

    Sorry, couldn't resist. OK, I deserve those downvotes.

  10. Gordon Pryra

    "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

    Could say the same is for all organisations, but unless someone is prepared to make as much cash as possible from the media and employment tribunals to last them the rest of the life, staff know that they should NEVER NEVER become a whistle blower.

    Sanctions are harsh and generally final to someones career. In the UK look at NHS or local Government whistle blowers for many examples.

    People need ask themselves, is it worth the years its taken me to get to this point? Because they will fuck me over and unless I wish to whore myself out to the media, I wont have any protection no matter what the law says.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

      "People need ask themselves, is it worth the years its taken me to get to this point? Because they will fuck me over and unless I wish to whore myself out to the media, I wont have any protection no matter what the law says."

      I suppose it depends on how principled a person you truly are whether you go ahead and blow that whistle.

      No doubt that the world is a hostile place, but if it weren't for people focused on the good (and prepared to stand up and be counted) then it would a worse place than it already is.

      Seems like a losing battle alright, however I don't see that as any reason to throw in the towel and bow my head in subjugation. If you believe in some higher power and the immortal soul etc. then that makes the decision a bit easier. For a devout atheist I expect the decision will be much harder and pragmatism would most likely prevail.

      1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
        Childcatcher

        Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

        "I suppose it depends on how principled a person you truly are whether you go ahead and blow that whistle."

        having principles are fine when you have a roof over your head and working central heating... but worthless when you have to sleep under a cardboard box on top of spikes put in the floor to keep the homeless away from the posh (but sheltered) windows of big corp outlet....

        so when you wake up to another cold morning with frost on your woolly hat, and decide its time to make that 200 mile walk south for the warmer weather for the winter you will think about your decision to blow that whistle on your boss who broke the rules to get his friend a lucrative contract.....

        whistle blowers tend to never get another job in their chosen profession because no matter if its right or wrong your boss needs to know he can trust you....

      2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
        Mushroom

        Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

        " If you believe in some higher power and the immortal soul etc. then that makes the decision a bit easier. For a devout atheist I expect the decision will be much harder and pragmatism would most likely prevail."

        Oh my.... I expect this sort of drivel in a youtube comment on a pro flat earth video,,, but on EL reg!!!

        so... lets put this another way....

        if you believe in a deity who is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. then you will be just fine if you blow the whistle on some wrong doing....

        you cant be "devout" and atheist, but anyway, just because you will not accept without evidence the existence of a god then you can easy make the decision to protect yourself and your family first, because you know the actual real people that have your life and future prospects in your hands will screw you over in a second if you get in their way and the people that are actually supposed to protect you will only protect you for little longer than a few weeks after the dust settles... but you expect the suspiciously absent space mage to protect you.....

        wake up and smell the coffee....

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

          "so when you wake up to another cold morning with frost on your woolly hat, and decide its time to make that 200 mile walk south for the warmer weather for the winter you will think about your decision to blow that whistle on your boss who broke the rules to get his friend a lucrative contract...."

          'A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come. <W.S.>'

          "if you believe in a deity who is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction..<snip>..then you will be just fine if you blow the whistle on some wrong doing"

          Not quite sure which belief system is being portrayed there, but it doesn't match the one I adhere to.

          "but you expect the suspiciously absent space mage to protect you.....

          wake up and smell the coffee...."

          Not sure I expect anything of the sort, I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything of the sort in my post. You seem to be a bit upset by my post, you might want to consider the underlying cause of your anxiety and sort that out, you'd be happier I reckon.

          For what it's worth, when I was faced with the choice of blowing the whistle or not, I found that it wasn't really a choice and the decision flowed naturally from my state of being. I suffered consequences, fortunately not so much that it ruined my life in the long term. Would I do it again? Of course. Would I do it differently? I certainly would.

          Perhaps my good fortune was based on my faith that it was the right thing to do and that the Universe saw fit to shift me out of the blast radius before it destroyed me, who knows. I'm certainly grateful.

          Let me state something for the record: There is no power on Earth that will make me throw my lot in with those who are seeking to make everyone else's life a misery - whether by action or inaction.

          The coffee I have sat in front of me smells great by the way :)

          1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

            Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

            The line was a quote from Richard Dawkins and was his description of the God of the The old testament in his book the god delusion. You should read it. And if you Happen to be a Christian who does not recognise his god then maybe go back and read your bible again. There are pages and pages of text that show god to be exactly how Dawkins described him.... Oh, and in a later interview when asked about the god of the new testament, he said that the god of the new testament was far worse and I happen to agree.

            What put a bug up my arse, is that you decided that a theist would do the right thing, but an atheist would not, choosing the easy road instead.... its an old argument between the theist and atheist that claim that without god you have no moral values and its a despicable argument... I choose what I do because I think its right, not because I fear the wrath of a suspiciously absent space mage...

            yes, the right thing to do maybe blow the whistle, but you have to think of how it affects the people around you first, and thinking that some imaginary friend will intervene on your behalf is the most ridiculous idea... but then maybe its your gods great plan that you blow the whistle and then ruin your entire families life....

            maybe you got lucky that in your case you were out of the blast radius, but most get caught up in it... and if management don't crucify you then your workmates will. (that reminds me of another story I heard once)

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

              What put a bug up my arse, is that you decided that a theist would do the right thing, but an atheist would not, choosing the easy road instead.

              I didn't say that, I merely said that on balance I thought an atheist might feel more pressure to not blow the whistle when taking into account the potential real-life impact. I in no way meant that as a slur on the character of atheists, just that I would understand if the prospect of retribution from authority figures was a bit more daunting.

              I'm not a Christian, but then again I don't adhere to any kind of dogmatic approach to understanding my relationship with God. That is something between me and God and I have no expectation of it having any bearing on anyone else's beliefs whatsoever.

              I've read a couple of Dawkins books, and he makes a good argument. As always I believe ultimate truth to be mutable (not facts, but what those facts mean) the best truths are the ones that help you grow and move on to another level of awareness. At that point old truths may need to be revised or even discarded if they no longer serve to help you progress.

              I hold no permanent views, I am always open to new truths, yet it amazes me how much core information gets re-inforced over the years and how much 'stuff' becomes more and more irrelevant as time goes by. Peace.

          2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

            Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

            ...Let me state something for the record: There is no power on Earth that will make me throw my lot in with those who are seeking to make everyone else's life a misery - whether by action or inaction....

            What are you doing working in IT, then?

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

              What are you doing working in IT, then?

              :) Looking for horse shoe nails.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

      @Gordon Pryra - the ideal whistleblower is someone with no stake in the job continuing. Someone looking to make a new career, or someone on the brink of retirement (and whose pension is safe).

      My favourite whistleblower has to be the former spy known as John le Carré, whose subsequent career proved very successful for him and enriched the world in general. Never even revealed specifics, just blew a whistle on the culture of the spooks and their masters. And he's never stopped blowing that whistle!

    3. Alistair Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

      Bah.

      I've done the whistle blowing thing. Admittedly it was quite early in my career and I had no investment whatsoever in continuing in the stream that was open to me. It *did* however get the other 12 individuals involved in the bullshit and bafflegab attempt by three separate firms what they had been promised when they signed on the dotted line. I also consulted a lawyer before I dived off the cliff. I paid the required price (about 5 years of full on black ball status) and returned to IT later. I was never in it for the fortune or the fame, but there was a day, some time later when one of the folks I helped out figured out what I had done and thanked me personally for the action. Happily, the two senior executive types who had attempted to pull this off never returned to those roles to my knowledge.

      One does not need 15 minutes of fame to reveal a well documented "fuck over the little guy" program to the appropriate authorities. Admittedly - in the case of EPO and WIPO they both seem to think that there is no appropriate authority. Given sufficient time I'm sure there will be a baseball bat in a back alley somewhere that will demonstrate how foolish that assumption by those folks is.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: "staff are meant to be protected against retaliation for cooperating"

        @Alistair, well done sir. I've blown a whistle too, because I looked around and realised i was the youngest and had the best prospects ahead of me. Took one for a small team, got canned, but still look back on it as a moment when I lived up to my ideals, because the rest of them benefited. It's given me a little warm glow through the years. Don't have many others...

  11. Dr. G. Freeman
    Coat

    Don't know what he's complaining about,

    It's not as if he's found out he's on the interview panel for his replacement, and didn't know he was getting replaced until after getting the request.

    Mine's the one with the new person's name above it.

  12. Nunyabiznes

    *checks pay stub*

    This all sounds so familiar - it is almost as if they changed the names to protect the guilty and are reporting on my organization.

  13. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Coat

    Yers Back

    I read in the Daily Excess that a guy was headhunted for a role at a higher pay grade than his current position, he resigned having it in writing that the client would be identified once he had left & the position was firm.

    First day at work he found himself back in his old office, doing the same job (I wonder how those that chipped into his leaving card & gift felt about that).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really annoys me when....

    ...I read stuff like this. The people down below getting shit on by the people higher up yet nothing ever gets done. He'll probably never be fired yet anyone else lower down the chain would be. And if he does essentially get fired, he'll be given a "golden handshake" to go away instead. How does that even work? I really don't get it.

    I see it happen at local governments as well. You can read it in Private Eye issues. Chief Execs of councils clearly behaving bently but instead of being fired they are given golden handshakes to go away. I've then see people way lower down in the chain get fired for minor mistakes.

    I don't get it. What it must be like to be rich.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Really annoys me when....

      One word: corruption.

    2. Roger Kynaston

      Re: Really annoys me when....

      I can sort of see the bad logic to this. If you know that the person at the top is on the take. Getting rid of them is going to be expensive and might fail given that they can probably afford good (read bent) lawyers who may make the whole thing fail anyway. Better to cut your losses and only cost the taxpayer a severance package rather than have them fleece the taxpayer of even more in the long run.

      I am not saying it is right and the fact that underlings wind up getting shat on is adding insult to the theft of taxpayer money.

      1. JohnOates

        Re: Really annoys me when....

        Many years ago a mate of mine was really chuffed to get his first job at an NGO in Pakistan.

        He was duly dispatched to a regional office where he uncovered fairly serious corruption by the local boss. With the innocence of someone in their first job he gathered evidence and reported it back to head office.

        He was quickly called back to headquarters and got on the bus expecting a glorious welcome and maybe a promotion.

        Instead was instantly sacked. Not a great start to his career.

        Either the local boss was paying off the man at the top, or the man at the top thought defending his position was more valuable than stopping corruption.

        But whistleblowers at the UN deserve better protection. This story, and dozens like it, would not be possible without their courage.

        And I can assure you they’re not doing it for the non-existent money.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really annoys me when....

          "Instead was instantly sacked. Not a great start to his career."

          The thing is, It was probably the person who he reported the corruption to, their job to make sure the people under them are not on the take. So if the shit hits the fan, then they will be asked why they allowed it to happen and would be in just as much shit...

          so,,, get rid of the whistle-blower and make sure the people on the take do a better job at hiding it from the greenhorns, and then take a cut if they were not already....

  15. DougS Silver badge

    Jealous of King Battistelli?

    Are all multinational/international bodies run by power mad dictators, or is it just the EPO and WIPO? Poor governance to let one person accumulate so much power they can silence dissent so easily (sort of the same problem currently at the US EPA, but that's due to the nutjob currently inhabiting the White House)

  16. Zwuramunga

    TRUTH!

    Is no defense anywhere any more it seems.

  17. Claptrap314 Bronze badge

    The UN is the UN equivalent of FIFA

    What are the members of the UN commission on human rights? How do these abuses differ from the UN Secretariat? Etc, etc, & etc.

  18. Frank Oz

    It's so very hard ...

    ... to summon up any respect for the UN when things like this happen.

    Do they do it deliberately to destroy support for the United Nations, or are all the UN's executives so corrupt, so without any moral fibre, that they are incapable of change?

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: It's so very hard ...

      Outside of (parts of) Europe, the British Commonwealth and the USA corruption is a way of life. Is it any surprise that the UN has a corruption problem?

  19. Dick Emery

    The Mafioso...

    The Mafioso never were disbanded. They just moved on to greener pastures. They have been running IP protecttion rackets probably since the invention of the pianola.

    Al Capone would have be proud of WIPO and its ilk.

  20. Steve McGuinness

    He should team up with the European Patent Office

    It appears they're both run by megalomaniacs who feel they are outside official jurisdictions and run their entities as individual Fiefdoms, terminating and harassing anyone who dares question them.

    How do NGO's like this get such overwhelming power to the point where actual criminal acts are impossible to prosecute?

  21. briesmith

    Old Ways are the Best Ways

    This is the way to do it.

    https://goo.gl/LAi7hU

  22. Levente Szileszky

    WIPO is one of the most corrupt UN bodies...

    ...which is not a small feat.

    Also: maybe it's just me but I found it strange that somehow WIPO is mostly staffed from Asia, the developed world's *least* respectful part of copyrights and patents, coincidentally being the most corrupt parts as well?

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