Saturday, July 17, 2010


I'm impressed. I'm really and truly impressed. For a long time now I've had "visitors" who are not exactly the curious average citizen. They are basically of two types. One is the various government agencies, usually Canadian but sometimes American, who are "news gathering" in general. They will drop by concerning a particular issue, person or organization, and its understandable that they have to pretend to be working their office staff. In the end I expect that they gather so much trivia and repeated posts from the internet that their activities are pretty well useless. But isn't that something of a part of the definition of "bureaucracy" ? It's actually been a long time since either the RCMP or the Defense Research Establishment has dropped by here, and I sort of miss the buggers. Maybe, just maybe, after an extended period they finally got the idea that nothing sensitive is ever discussed here. Maybe, just maybe, the lightbulb finally went on in their heads and they realized that I have always been opposed to the sort of "sensitivity" that they publicly always oppose themselves but privately promote in certain instances. Ah well, I'm sure they have enough 'fake work' to occupy themselves without dropping by here.

Then there is the other category...private enterprise. I suppose it is simply good corporate policy (if that is not an oxymoron) for a business to keep a beady eye on how it is portrayed in the media, even in tiny little blogs. I've certainly seen dozens upon dozens of these corporate checks over the years. There are even supposed internet "services" who offer businesses info on how they are being portrayed on the internet, and I suspect that they are a great shell for doing nothing but a google search 99 times out of 100. Who am I to say how a corporation should waste its money on this sort of thing or on the innumerable "management consultant" scams ? If they didn't waste it here they'd waste it elsewhere.

The latest incident, however, is over and beyond the usual. It began with the previous article on the CAW's demonstration against the plant closure of Siemens in Hamilton. Fairly standard. I've probably written hundreds of similar articles on labour issues. These quite often attract the attention of the corporation concerned. This, however, is the first and only time that the corporation has gone to the extent of breaking into my private email. They even went so far as to look into the emails that I have sent to others. There are actually very few of these which I hadn't previously deleted, and I'm sure that none of them were of any use to the company. God only knows how they did this. In any case I have done my best to block future access.

The original break in occurred via a 'Suddenlink' IP 74.198.28. this was forwarded via email to a Rogers IP 99.247.178 in Pickering Ontario. There are multiple links to Siemens in Pickering. Now, as I said I've seen corporations snooping before, and it hardly bothers me. At its low level it has resulted in the owners of some smaller business owners getting drunk and firing an angry email back to the blog. I think, however, that Siemens is the largest outfit that I have ever pissed off. They rank #40 in the world according to the Fortune 500. I don't think I have pissed off any of the top 39 yet. Give me time. Comparing their revenues to that of 'countries' they make more money than the GDP of 137 countries across the world. They are also very much the definition of a "conglomerate" with their fingers in more pies than I have fingers and toes. Some of their interests are, of course, in IT. Hence their ability to track critics. One also has to say that as a German company that one has to "admire" their Teutonic thoroughness bordering on obsession. Nobody else goes to such lengths.

I'm uncertain if Siemens has broken any laws by their actions, but I am quite certain that it would be impossible to make a legal case against them even if they have. This whole entry then is just a cautionary tale of the depths that corporations sink to probably regularly.

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