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Windows 2000 to be banned in Germany? 355

Posted by Hemos
from the fun-with-religious-law dept.
tjansen writes "The German Site Heise reports in this article that Windows 2000 may be banned in Germany. The reason is the included deframentation software Diskeeper that is written by the Scientology-owned company Executive Software. Many state agencies and companies have policies that they are not allowed to use services from a company that is related to Scientology. " A good number of you will probably need to use The Babelfish.Update: 12/03 11:28 by H :Check out the English translation.
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Windows 2000 to be banned in Germany?

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  • Not that I love Windows 2000, but this sounds kind of silly.
  • by kmcardle (24757) <kmcardle@adelphi ... t minus language> on Friday December 03, 1999 @02:54AM (#1484828)
    The connection between the Psycho company and the software giant is sparkling wine assigning of the large churches a thorn in the eye.

    Ah. Good. Things are much clearer now.

    Redmond will quickly work around this one by removing the offending program. Good thing the guys didn't write IE 4.0. The Germans never would have gotten win98. :)

    --
  • If this really is an issue, then the diskeeper softwear would be fairly easy to remove (if it's not, maybe there should be an Anti-Trust suit about that one!)

    I've used their product on NT4, and I believe that it is almost identical to the one on 2000. It's just a single program, people - it's pretty easy to remove it and make it a free download from the US MS site.

  • by jd (1658) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday December 03, 1999 @02:55AM (#1484830) Homepage Journal
    If Germany makes a law, or passes a ruling, it does at least stick to it, through thick or thin. We've seen that with Compuserve, and other interesting episodes.

    This -could- be interesting, though, as Microsoft is likely to drop support for ALL other versions of Windows, in order to force people to upgrade.

    If Windows 2000 is banned, even if only in Government departments, that will essentially force the de-Microsofting of the German Government. And that could spell some interesting times for *BSD and Linux vendors.

  • "The connection between the Psycho company and the software giant is sparkling wine assigning of the large churches a thorn in the eye."

    Gotta love that translation. The Psycho (note the capital "P") company. :) Can you feel the hate?

    Now, I'm don't love the church of Scientology, but can someone explain this to me? And what is up with the references to "sparkling wine"?
  • W2K may be banned in Germany because a portion of the operating system (sic) was produced by a company owned/partly owned by the Scientologists?

    Thats one in the eye for M$ but I can never see this standing up!
  • Take a moment from your drop-of-a-hat Microsoft hatred to actually read the article. The issue at hand is that the Scientology 'church' operates a suspected intelligence organization (WISE [wise.org]) that the German government does not want to risk contaminationg German affairs. It's not about Microsoft hatred. It's about paranoia.
  • by zorgon (66258) on Friday December 03, 1999 @02:56AM (#1484834) Homepage Journal
    I'm not too sure about that article (Babelfish implied that the spokesman was the Catholic church's official in charge of sparkling wine, which I think would be a pretty cool job actually, Dominus vobiscum), but the German federal government is really serious about Scientology. If I'm not mistaken the legal sanctions being imposed against Scientology are pretty much the same as those being used to suppress Nazism... it would not surprise me if the German government goes toe-to-toe with Microsoft over this one if it proves correct.
    --
  • by Philipp (1858) on Friday December 03, 1999 @02:57AM (#1484835) Homepage
    The article quotes an official of the Catholic church, not a representative of the government. The word "Bann" in the headline has to be seen in this context: its a condemnation of the church. So to take this quote and speak of Windows 2000 going to be banned in Germany is quite a leap. So, don't believe everything Babelfish tells you and calm down, folks.
  • by Dacta (24628) on Friday December 03, 1999 @02:59AM (#1484836)
    after they stop shipping. It is in their standard support agreement.

    Why does it always have to be me defending MS from all the FUD on /.

    I don't like MS, and it kills my Karma. :-(

    Oh well.. if someone said something wrong about Linux, I'd do the same thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 1999 @02:59AM (#1484837)
    I suspect the WTO could make a case for this being back-door protectionism, especially given that Germany has a large native OS distributor. I'm not sure who I find more scary, the WTO or the Co$.

    Of course, I'm sure there are some Linux contributors who are scientologists, but I guess the regulation concerns companies.

    BTW, what does Win2000 need a defragmentor for? I thought disk fragmentation was cracked long before journalling and b-trees hit the agenda.
  • Reharding sparkling wine:
    In German you use the spelling Sekt both for the Wine and for the religious sect
  • by jw3 (99683) on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:00AM (#1484839) Homepage
    You are wrong: they also quote an official from the Innenministerium, the ministry for internal affairs, section devoted to Scientology. And the "bann" in this context meanst that it would not be used by public offices - and this does not have to do anything with the church.

    Regards,

    January

    P.S. No, I'm not using babelfish. I just speak German and live in Germany.

  • I noticed your User Info is an earthlink URL.

    Not many people know this, but
    Earthlink is owned by Scientology.

    I guess Germans aren't supposed to use
    Earthlink (or their acquired mindspring)
    either...

    If you hate Scientology as much as I do,
    you should switch providers and vote with
    your wallet.
  • by dnnrly (120163)
    Doesn't German law try to actively prevent 'cults' from spreading. I have a feeling that this is a side effect of thier anti nazism laws.
  • Oh, that was extremely funny. But, don't we typically use the Psycho company and "the software giant" interchangably?

    Another of my favorites is...Harald bear, catholic representative for sparkling wines and world looking questions. I'm glad someone represents these noteworthy causes! You think Mr. Bear can give us some good tips on champagne futures? I missed out on the RH IPO!

    Eric

  • You know, with the Universe and karma and all being how it is, you're in for one hell of an eternity ;))

    Alex.
  • Since you actually speak German, would you mind posting a "real" translation, and not some crazy crap that babelfish spits out? I'm sure a lot of us would appreciate it. Thanks.

    Eric
  • Your answers seem to imply that Windows 2000 will probably banned by Germany. But that is not the case, it's just a report of a German computer magazine (Heise) that the Catholic church is about to ban Windows 2000 for that.

    Actually I personally ban Windows at all - from my personal computers. Although I still have to use that OS at work. But that's another story ;-)

    Bright Blessings
    Mika
  • The quote of the lady from the Hamburg office is not in relation to Windows 2000. And come on, let's get real: You don't seriously believe that anyone in the goverment would stop Microsoft from shipping Windows 2000 to Germany, are you?
  • I think you refer to the german section

    > Die Verbindung zwischen dem Psycho-Konzern und
    > dem Softwareriesen ist Sektenbeauftragten der
    > großen Kirchen ein Dorn im Auge.

    Now the german word for "sparkling wine" is "Sekt", as opposed to german "Sekte" (note the additional "e") which means "sect".

    The mentioned "Sektenbeauftragen" are people who observe said sects. In this case, they are employees of the (catholic/protestant) church.

    So sorry, no alcohol this time. Just religion (which - as we now - is opium for the masses, not a bad deal, huh?).

    CMBurns, german by nature.
  • Sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately.

    OTOH, Germany is funding open source software (GPG).

  • Agree. I understand the desire to maintain freedom of speech and avoid the appearance of censorship, but this crap is getting out of hand. It is wasting everyone's time and making ./ look foolish.

    Why not specify "Fair Use" conditions that automatically assign a special category to "first post" and the use of profanity. And enforce it.

    If anyone want to read this junk, they can change their filter limits. The rest of us shouldn't have to put up with it.
  • Hmmm I have just had the Diskeeper BootDefrag tool lock up my NT Workstation for 31 hours. This on a 3.1gig partition!

    Maybe I would prefere it they didn't ship this tool with Window 2000, I don't think my manager will appeaciate me loosing 2 more days!
  • What about a mechanism to allow only a limited
    number of Anonymous posts from a certain IP Address within a Topic? (Similar to the Poll system) Only registered users may post as they wish.

    Sebastian
  • by Get Behind the Mule (61986) on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:17AM (#1484857)
    The Co$ has a history of attempting to disrupt online discussions about them, if they are likely to be critical of the "Church". The Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology [alt.religion.scientology] is legendary for this.

    So I wonder if this loon with the "Natalie Portman" posts has been hatted to disrupt Slashdot?
  • No, probably just some pimply faced teenaged, high school dropout with nothing better to do, and pissed off that Segfault [slashdot.org] doesn't put up with this sort of crap anymore.

    Eric

  • First of all the term "Sekte" (religious splinetr group) has as much to do with the term "Sekt" (sparkling wine) as with "Insekt" (insect)...

    More important is the fact that this warning was issued by the catholic church and not by state officials. They tend to exaggerate a little when it comes to CoS. I'm not a fan of CoS, but the big churches in germany tend to be quite hypocritical of "their competitors".

    Though we have laws that fight antidemocratic groups by cutting on their rights, this is always done cautiously and the dangers that come from the goup have to be quite clear. Based on that I would not expect real consequences on the findings here. The danger of CoS infiltrating the world by means of a disk defragmentization program seem a little too far fetched.

    If MS wasn't concerned, nobody had cared at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:24AM (#1484863)
    Ah, actually, the translation isn't all that bad. The original German used the word `Sektenbeauftragten'. `Sekt', as you may or may not know, is a sparkling white wine. But `Sekte' is used for sect. And a `Sektenbeauftragter' is a person assigned with studying sects, not an assignment of sparkling white wine... ;)
  • No more Anonymous cowards will not fix this, this guy could be doing this via an automated script, he can easily register an account with any free website, then with his script continue the stupid act. The best thing is simply to trace him and have him spanked, tho he might enjoy that.

  • by Megaweapon (25185) on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:26AM (#1484866) Homepage

    The whole Natalie Portman thing got moved to Slashdot because Segfault.org stopped allowing people to post messages. I was a frequent Segfault reader, and Natalie Portman was a very common topic over there. The Natalie Portman/Statue/Mae Ling whatever/etc... people just moved over here to Slashdot.

  • by gotan (60103) on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:28AM (#1484868) Homepage
    This is because Scientology [cisar.org] is perceived in Germany neither as a church [uni-wuerzburg.de], nor as a sect, but as an organisation threatening the democratic system in germany. They are observed [cisar.org]
    by the german "Verfassungsschutz" and aswered this with a public relations campaign [uni-wuerzburg.de], even drawing parallels [uni-wuerzburg.de] to the persecution of Jews in the Third Reich.
  • by Krollekop (86346) on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:28AM (#1484869)

    Maybe it's time to advertise the use of the GPLtrans [slashdot.org] engine instead of Babelfish ...

    Unfortunately, their German translation unit is under maintainance for a few days. Too many words [...] and MySQL isn't responding
    correctly
    , the web site [grmbl.com] says.

    I for one hope that GPLtrans will be mentioned next time a non-English article is referenced on Slashdot.

    Kk.
  • Don't use version 5... I had a similar problem.

    You know you're in trouble when they threw out the fairly useful interface in version 4 in favor of hooking into the Microsoft Management Console.
    The program also seems to run in real-mode priority regardless of what you tell it. My machine took 20 minutes to repaint the screen so I could shut the d*mn thing down.

    User Interface Hell... and it locks up your computer. I never had trouble with DK until version 5 and have just switched back to 4, no useful functionality lost either.



  • We know Microsoft is rather un-ethical as far as companies go. And Scientology is the ultimate Evil. Is there any doubt that the two are linked? It won't suprise me to see more `alliances' in the future between these two tyrants of vile injustice.


    Bad Mojo
  • The funny thing about this is, that the german army uses Lotus Notes internally with its weak encryption routines (the NSA has part of the key).

    The Scientology issue may sound odd, but as the government has found that they have been trying to infiltrate the state agencies to gain power and thus they have been considered a risk to the country's security, the decision not to use Windows 2000 would just be a side-effect of the politics of avoiding such threats.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    as follows: Windows 2000 contains Diskeeper, a disk defragmenter. Diskeeper was created by Executive Software. Executive Software's CEO is Craig Jensen, a fairly high-ranking Scientologist (OT VIII and stuff). Scientology has been under investigation as being a danger to Germany under the `Verfassungsschutz'-laws. Partly due to those investigations many companies and governmental agencies in Germany are asking their members, employees and commercial partners to sign documents in which they declare not to have anything to do whatsoever with the teachings and religion of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Now, Microsoft cannot truthfully sign these contracts anymore, and therefore many companies will at least think twice before doing business with Microsoft. Microsoft's official reaction is that you can simply remove the offending Diskeeper. This, however, seems to be quite somewhat easier said than done.
  • It depends on what you mean by support, though. Of course if you call Microsoft "support" and are willing to pay $195 (here in ca) per incident, they'll "support" you.

    Don't try to tell me that they'll "support" 98 and NT by releasing all of their applications for the next four years in 98/NT versions as well.
  • Hey, this sure looks like an organized attack from the scientologist (a.k.a. clams).

    Years ago, they tried the same kind of shenanigans against the alt.religion.scientology board, which is a forum for scientology criticists. First they tried to shut down discussions by forge-cancelling any critical article, and when that didn't work any longer, they tried swamping the board with meaningless rubbish.

  • Right I'm moving to Germany ;)

    Does this mean that GNU/Linux will be banned in the US of A, since Richard Stallman is obviously a communist... ;-)

    On a serious note, though, this amounts to state censorship, and should not be tolerated - I'm surprised that this doesn't contravene some EU directive. Perhaps if the defragger had some pop-up instructing the user to join the Church of Scientology, then it might be justifiable. Also, do the German government intend to ban all John Travolta (or any other star related to the Scientologist) films?

    If you want to ban W2K, I can think of far better reasons.
  • You have convinced me that you must be a Scientoligist trying to completely disrupt any discussion here.

    You have also convinced me that Scientologists and M$ actually deserve each other.

  • Hmm...
    I guess you can see this is another bad
    thing that happens when you start bundling
    too much stuff together with OS... if Microsoft
    had sticked to only making OSen and not bundling
    everything into it, they would not have run
    into all this hassle...
    Internet Explorer, Stacker, this defragging
    software... the list goes on.
    Seems like the old saying of sticking
    to your corebusiness still holds some truth....?



  • Why are products by Scientologists banned by German companies? Does Scientology have ties with neo-Nazi groups or something? Babelfish rather garbled that article, so I coundn't discern the reasoning of that if it was in the article, and I can't find any info about that elsewhere. Anyone know?

    Deosyne
  • I wouldn't be surprised to find Bill Gates evolved from a clam...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Good idea, although I happen to like Windows 2000. If you actually USE it it's damn good (and looks cool, esp with Transperizer...).

    This is a legacy I think from the Anti-Nazi laws everybody made Germany pass after WWII. But if it allows somebody to halt the march of such an enigmatic (and law bashing...) cult then they can't be that bad!

    While we're on, could we ban Mormon's as well?
  • This is post number 643.972571563*2984

    Shut the heck up, people, and comment on what's going on, or at least post nude pics of NP here *grins*
    Seriously, if you want to babble on like that, get a life, and get a list, they're free at Onelist [onelist.com], you know... that way you're not getting on any /. reader's nerves with posting senseless $h*t!
    Do good for once!
  • What happens if members of the Scientology group have contributed to Linux, etc.?

    ??????

    I mean it could happen, couldn't it?

  • When reading this, two things occured to me.

    First, i don't like the idea of banning neither religions, free speech or programs made by people / companies that has a certain belief. I have this nagging feeling when I hear about germans banning nazism. Of course, nazism is a Bad Thing(tm), but on the other hand.. it should be *legal* to have certain kind of opinions, and it should be legal to meet other people with the same opinions.

    The same thing applies to Scientology. Its a Bad Thing(tm), but on the other hand, I think its bad banning them, and I think its absurd to ban Windows 2000 just because a tiny little program inside it, is made by a company funded by clams. (Clams, slang for "scientologists").


    But, when we think about OUR goals, that is, killing of microsoft, scientology, nazism, and so forth .. I think the germans make good use of their laws. And, I guess it really could help SuSE, if windows2000 cannot be sold in Germany. I vision the entire German population using Linux and so forth. Oh, sweet dreams. :-)


    But, on the whole, I really think it stinks that they ban win2000, just because of some clams. Even though I don't like clams.. except for dinner.. I think :-)

  • Wow, there is surley enough derogatory comments about the clams in here to send them off into a legal frenzy. Can Slashdot stand up to the Scientologist Effect? Will they remove comments once the legal eagles come swarming in? Will they withstand the personal threats to their home and family!? Will they even notice the private dick who has been watching their every move since the article was published?

    All this and more....

  • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:52AM (#1484897) Homepage Journal
    Have you ever actually read something about Scientology? They are quite serious -- (the Scientologists are very strong minded and those opposed to them are equally so).

    See some of these links to understand some of the views ...

  • by Balazs (18529) <balazs@@@tud...at> on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:53AM (#1484898) Homepage
    I'm not mistaken the legal sanctions being imposed against Scientology are pretty much the same as those being used to suppress Nazism


    Finally, a CORRECT usage of a Nazi reference.

    In German-speaking countries, there is legislation against some kinds of groups that are aimed at undermining the democratic system.

    Scientology belongs into this category, as do extreme right and extreme left groups. The only difference is Scientology's ability to buy ads in US newspapers signed by Hollywood "stars" to lie about "a new Holocaust" in Germany.
  • by SL2C (82809) on Friday December 03, 1999 @03:55AM (#1484901)
    Windows 2000 in danger of being banned

    A component of Windows 2000 was made by a scientology company. The defragmentation program "Diskeeper" is scheduled to be shipped in February as a standard part of the NT successor.
    It is being developed by the firm "Executive Software" of the confessing [?] scientologist Craig Jensen, as has been reported in c't issue 25/99. The connection between the psycho trust and the software giant is a thorn in the side of the large churches.

    "This will not be interesting to the Catholic Church alone, but also to the states, the Verfassungsschutz [one branch of the secret service] as well as the German industry", Harald Baer, catholic commissary for sects and wold outlook issues [Weltanschauung issues], commented to the German press agency (dpa). According to Ursula Caberta, leader of the Scientology working group of the Hamburg interior authority, Executive Software is one of the leading businesses in the Scientology organization WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises). [She says] WISE is "the decisive branch of Scientology in order to infiltrate and spy on the economy". In the states of Bavaria and Hamburg, there have been resolutions according to which authorities, in particular in the area of information technology, are not allowed to buy services from scientology businesses. (em)
    (cp/c't)
  • Lots of people got beef with scientology. And vice versa as well...

    Check out this link: http://www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink/

    This page belongs to a good friend of mine, and she's been crusading against scientology for quite a while now. Not to mention that Scientology is trying to shut this down as well.
  • Choas in the street! has BANNED distribution. Slashdot erupts with rasied voises calling for immediate revokation of the ruling and flames the entire nation.

    said "this is a direct attack on the freedom of the people to choose what they wish, we should fight this at all costs".

    When contains GNU/Linux, this would be the story. The Spokeman would no doubt be Eric, Bruce or Richard and we'd all be telling each other to hold back the mindless mail bombings to whoever's government is offending.

    But this times its Microsoft, so it doesn't matter. Good on !

    Surely there is something wrong here. Yes, I know its MS. Yes, I know its scientology but this a stupid reason to suggest not using something, let alone banning it.

    We'd not let anyone suggest not using GNU/Linux just because Linus and the TLA crew[*] converted to some minority, much less becuase line 5329 of Perl was bug fixed by a member.

    Phill

    * ESR, RMS, ETC.
  • I hate doing this, but - again - I find that I have to defend Microsoft. I would like nothing better than see Microsoft locked up in chains and the key thrown away. But, it has to be for the right reasons.

    ESR has it right, even though I don't totally with him - Microsoft should be taken down by natural forces (ie. market). Let's ignore the fact (ie. MHO) that it wouldn't be possible without the intervention of the DOJ for now, since it's not really relevant.

    Windows 2000 banned in Germany ? Fine with me. Doing it because of scientology is simply clouding the issue - the only good reason to do it would be because Microsoft and its products are bad for your health. Any other reason will allow Microsoft to be victimized and gain symphaty.

    Like I said, I don't like to be on the same side with Microsoft, but for the sake of doing the right thing, I'll do it.

  • Windows 2000 threatened to be banned

    A component of Windows 2000 comes from a scientology-company. The defragmentation program "Diskeeper" is intended to be marketed as an integral part of the NT-successor. It was developed by Executive Software, a company of the confessing Scientologist Craig Jensen. The connection from the Pseudo-company [Scientology] to Microsoft bothers representatives of the big Churches concerned with sects.

    "Apart from the catholic Church also all German states, the office responsible for defending the constitution, and the german industy, will take an interest in this." comments Harald Baer, catholic representative for sects [...]. According to Ursula Caberta, head of the "workgroup scientology" of Hamburgs interior office, Executive Software belongs to the leading businesses of the WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises) Scientology organisation: "WISE is the main branch of Scientology for undermining and spying out the economy." In the german states Bayern and Hamburg resulitions exist, saying that official authorities may not buy services from Scientology-companies, especially in the Information Technology sector.
  • I think the Germans consider scientology a criminal organization. I don't think banning products from criminal organizations is something people would object to.
    Wether scientology is should be labeled as a criminal organization is the whole point, but it is another discussion.
  • Windows 2000 threatened by Bann

    A component of Windows 2000 comes from a Scientology company. The defragmentation software "Diskeeper" is to be shipped in February as a fixed component of the NT successor. It is developed by the company "Executive software" of the admitting Scientology member Craig Jensen, as c't reported in the issue 25/99. The connection between the psycho company and the software giant is a thorn in the eye of large church sect-observers.

    "That will not only interest the catholic church, but also all provices, the Verfassungsschutz [German equivalent to the FBI], and the German industry" comments Harald Baer, catholic official for sects and Weltanschauung-questions, to the german press agency dpa. Accoring to Ursula Caberta, head of the Scientology working-group of the Hamburg office for internal affairs, "Executive Software" is among the leading companies of the Scientology-organisation WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises).
    WISE is the "crucial lever of Scientology to infiltrate and spy the economy". The states of Bavaria and Hamburg have existing resolutions which forbid offices the aquisition of services form Scientology-companies, esp. in the field of information technology.
  • > MS will support NT & 98 for four years
    > after they stop shipping. It is in their
    > standard support agreement.

    Well since two years ago, it has not been possible to get a copy of Win 3.1 which has had all known security holes patched, and Win 3.1 stopped shipping only two years before that. I think "not fixing root exploits" is not the same as "supporting".

    Didn't MS claim to have lost some of the Win 3.x source code last year? That was less than four years after they stopped shipping it. How they're supposed to "support" a product to which they don't even have the source code, I don't know.
  • From what I understand, once the German Supreme Court has ruled that the Scientology folks are a threat to democracy, that pretty much leaves it up to the constitutional police to enforce their rulings. The constitutional police have nearly unlimited powers to enforce the court's rulings, since they only report to the court.
  • by harmonica (29841) on Friday December 03, 1999 @04:14AM (#1484920)
    Everything in [] are my comments to explain things. Translating this shows me how much a good translator is worth! ;-)
    --
    Windows 2000 threatened by ban

    One component of the Windows 2000 software is coming from a Scientology enterprise. The defragmentation program "Diskeeper" is going to be released in February as integral part of the
    NT successor. It was developed by Executive Software, an enterprise belonging to the confessing scientologist Craig Jensen, as C't magazine reports in issue 25/99. The connection
    between Scientology and the software giant is not liked by the Sektenbeauftragter (person responsible to review the activities of sects) of the large churches.

    "This is going to interest not only the Catholic church but also the Bundesländer (states ), the Verfassungsschutz (government institution that supervises activities that are against the German constitution) and the German industry", comments
    Harald Baer, Catholic representative for sects and philosophy of life [that's a straight translation] in response to DPA [a news agency].

    According to Ursula Caberta, who leads the study group Scientology of Hamburg's Innenbehoerde [an institution of the City of Hamburg], Executive Software belongs to the leading enterprises of the Scientology organization WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises). WISE, according to Caberta, "is the crucial arm of Scientology to infiltrate and spy on trade and industry". In Bayern and Hamburg [German states, Hamburg is a city state] there are laws that forbid public institutions, especially on the information technology sector, to buy services from Scientology enterprises.
  • by trance9 (10504) on Friday December 03, 1999 @04:15AM (#1484921) Homepage Journal
    Hah. I didn't even notice all the Natalie Portman spam because I always read with at least a minimal level of filtering based on score.

    That must drive the CO$ weenies crazy. I remember when they successfully ruined alt.religion.scientology by spamming the group with so many messages that any real discussion was lost.

    Scientology is an evil organization that is willing to go to any lengths to further its greedy interests. I'm not talking about protesting, or organizing church dinners here--death threats against "enemy" newspaper reporters, collecting damaging information about their own members for use as blackmail in the event that they testify against the cult, attempting to shut down, harass, and bankrupt critics... the list goes on.

    I don't blame the German govt. for not wanting to run any software written by Scientology. Given their thug like behavior in every other area, why would you trust their code? They probably did build some backdoors into it.
  • Choas in the street! [Country] has BANNED [Vendor's] [OS] distribution. Slashdot erupts with rasied voises calling for immediate revokation of the ruling and flames the entire nation.

    [Spokesman] said "this is a direct attack on the freedom of the people to choose what they wish, we should fight this at all costs".

    When [OS] contains GNU/Linux, this would be the story. The Spokeman would no doubt be Eric, Bruce or Richard and we'd all be telling each other to hold back the mindless mail bombings to whoever's government is offending.

    But this times its Microsoft, so it doesn't matter. Good on [Country]!

    Surely there is something wrong here. Yes, I know its MS. Yes, I know its scientology but this a stupid reason to suggest not using something, let alone banning it.

    We'd not let anyone suggest not using GNU/Linux just because Linus and the TLA crew[*] converted to some minority, much less becuase line 5329 of Perl was bug fixed by a [cult minority of the week] member.

    Phill

    * ESR, RMS, ETC.
  • Strictly speaking, it's not futile to have assholes and their material removed from a forum, and, with any luck, from their ISPs.

    The worst offenders are always a small minority of users. Vandals are usually punk kids with a difficult home life or psychologically aberrant adults, neither of which exist in large enough quantities to matter. If you can keep shutting them down from their ISPs, only the truly obsessed wackos will continue to find new ISPs to abuse. The more noise you can get from these freaks, the easier it is to get a lock on the individual doing it. Then targets of abuse have more options to pursue.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Even if some WTO officials don't want to admit it, but democratic principles, health, culture etc. still matter.

    In Germany (and Austria AFAIK) there are tough, constitutional rules [bundestag.de] intended to defend democracy and a lawful state. This means groups that aim t undermne the democratic order, like right-wing extremists or extreme communists are banned, and so are references to Nazism etc.
    Co$ is suspected to be a group that intends to destroy the democratic order as defined by the constitution, as these intentions are expressed in their writings.

    Those constitutional principles, based on General Human Rights, are definitely more important than WTO regulations.
  • In your /. preferences, set your threshold level to 1. Then when losers like the original poster get moderated to zero (usually pretty quickly), you'll never even see their inane babbling.
  • I don't think it's Scientology's beliefs that got the German federal and state governements all upset, it's their actions.
  • Folks,

    It should be noted that Windows 2000 is still quite a ways from being shipped for overseas editions. The North American edition (for US/Canadian use) will ship on February 17, 2000; the versions for European users will probably not ship for at least a month after that.

    There's still time to substitute a different disk defragmenter (or remove it altogether) to comply with German laws. For example, doesn't Symantec make a version of Norton Utilities for Windows NT? This means the German version of Windows 2000 will use Symantec's disk defragmenter instead of Diskkeeper.
  • I believe the Compuserve chief was declared innocent (or at least had his sentence removed) only last week.

    For those who doesn't know, German law said that the people who owned the Internet providers were personally responsible for everything that the customers put on the Internet, which lead to the Compuserve boss being sentenced to jail for, I believe, pedophelia (since Compuserve Germany hadn't monitored all Internet traffic in and out and stopped a customer from distributing nude pictures of children)!

    I believe the ban will never be a reality. Good thing too. I have no love for Scientology, but this is absurd.

    ************************************************ ***

  • To clarify that Scientology produced disk
    defragmentation thing:

    It is the German catholic church which is opposing
    Windows 2000 because of that piece of software
    This has nothing to do with German government or
    German laws (not yet :)

    As so often, IMHO moral and business are often
    pretty close together. Among moral considerations,
    churches see Scientology as competition for the
    souls and the purses of their faithful.

    The church ban [newadvent.org]
    was often used in former times to fight against
    individuals which were not in line
    with religious (or political) ideas of those at
    the top of the catholic church.

    More famous people banned were Martin Luther (in 1521),
    who later translated the bible from Latin into a
    living language and queen Elisabeth I of England (in 1570).

    So if you should get banned by accident, you are
    in prominent company :)


    --
  • by FreeUser (11483) on Friday December 03, 1999 @04:26AM (#1484932)
    The Germans are concerned about Scientology's well documented track record for

    - suppressing free speach through legal intimidation
    - violating people's privacy through various means, legal and otherwise
    - efforts to gain positions of trust and power
    - willingness to use such positions to promote their own corporate ... ah, religious ... goals

    They are concerned that Scientology is engaged in a power grab of titanic proportions which poses a direct threat to their democracy, which the above pattern of behavior appears to underscore rather clearly. Having a corporation controlled by Scientologists in turn controlling a critical peice of software (such as, say, an integral component of an operating system running on 95% of all PCs) is, they feel, a grave concern.

    OTOH if a scientologist contributes to Linux, the code is under the GPL. This takes control away from the Scientologists and puts it in the hands of the user. I doubt the German government would have any problem with that, though I suspect the hypothetical Scientologist contributing software of this kind might face immediate excommunication for giving away "intellectual" property which could have belonged to The Church. :-) (one must use a very liberal definition of intellectual to include anything written by Hubbard. Talk about horrible science fiction!).
  • Sorry to reply to my own post, but re-reading this: Translating this shows me how much a good translator is worth! is a bit contradictory - I meant that a professional translator (which I am not) could have done a much better job... I've simply copied and explained many German words for which I didn't find a translation.
  • by finkployd (12902)
    I'd really like to know if Andover.net gets any death threats or lawyer threats over this one. The Co$ is a pretty well known cult/terrorist org and has fscked up some people I know (it doesn't pay to try to leave the Co$, kind of like the mafia)

    As for Germany, good for them. If the WTO doesn't like it, fsck them! Germany is a soverign nation and they can do what they want. Sometimes in this messed up world, it's kind of nice to see a country stand up for it's ideals. It's a shame more countries don't take a stand against this money scamming cult.

    Finkployd

    Beware clams, I'm Xenu!

    hehe


  • Scientology practices extortion and other bad things. The german government is very right in staying clear of anything this organization is involved with.

    Actually I think the idea of MS teaming up with a scientology owned company is pretty ironic. Believe me MS' fud practices are amateurism compared to what scientology is capable of.

    Some might claim that prohibiting an organization like scientology goes against free speech but does free speech include extortion practices?
  • I agree. The MMC sucks big time. It's probably one of the most disappointing things about Win2k. The old tools like WinDisk and such are now tied into that load of bloat, making the tool run slower for no good reason. And the startup time is VERY annoying as well.

    More Microsoft bloat with no useful gain.
  • For those who may want an accurate translation of the article, view this article from the authors of the article: Translation Link [heise.de].
  • The one factor that made me hesitate 'bout that is that this will screen out *all* non-moderated AC posts -- which often seem to be ignored by moderators in favor of sometimes less worthy non-anonymous posts, despite the fact that some *do* deserve to be upped...
  • by leereyno (32197) on Friday December 03, 1999 @05:08AM (#1484969) Homepage Journal
    As an ex-scientologist news like this just makes me laugh with joy. Scientology is an evil cult whose goal is to take over the world and imprison or kill anyone who doesn't agree with them. Anyone who has spent any time in it can tell you that. Just look up the Fair Game PL. Scientology claims to be a religion but in fact the religious trappings it puts on are for PR and legal protection. It's no more a religion than Amway is. It's true nature is more like the Nazi party of the 1930's. If anyone could recognize this, its the Germans.

    Many scientologists as individuals are decent honest people. Its unfortunate that they have made such a poor choice in remaining in the "church." I could go on all day long about them, but many others have already covered it and more eloquently than I could.

    What is the difference between Scientology and Microsoft? One is an evil cult bent on world domination and the other was begun by L. Ron Hubbard.
  • > You really have got to wonder about a cult that can scare the IRS into submission.

    Not really. They just
    a) moved all their money off-shore, outside the jurisdiction of the IRS (hence legally being external to the Internal Revenue Service), and
    b) then adopted tactics of the IRS by spreading misinformation, fear, intimidation and harrassment. Of course paying off a few IRS people helped too.

    What you have to be scared of is your friends and loved ones being brainwashed by the cult.

    Cheers
  • by Twinky (32219) on Friday December 03, 1999 @05:23AM (#1484985)
    You can find an English translation of the newsbit on the Heise Server [heise.de]. They promised to post a translation of the full article [heise.de] over the weekend.

    The article contains some more details:

    • Diskkeeper has of course access to the full harddisk.
    • c't could find no obvious hints that the software is spying.
    • Of course you can only be sure when you have the source.
    • Microsoft, it seems, has the code.
    • Microsoft's Recommendation (to uninstall Diskkeeper) is not working. The files will be restored by the `System File Protection' (SFP).
    It will be worth to wait for the translation. It will contain some more background information.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The danger of CoS infiltrating the world by means of a disk defragmentization program seem a little too far fetched.

    Actually not. I cannot think of any user program that could access as much information as the disk defragmentization program. In fact, I never thought about this, but the disk defragmenter is the best place to put a trojan (system crashes or is abrutly powered down - and voila - you can modify W2000 kernel, any driver code, any registry entry, any directory access, any executable, any file on the system).

  • in general, you are right, but Scientology is a "relogion" that states that it's beliefs are more important than the law.

    If you check, most religions say this in one way or another. The law is of man, the Law comes from a higher power. (Or in the case of Buddhism is just how the universe works.)

    The german gov't finds the Orginization (the earthly part of the religion) to have done some very bad, bad things. I am already a little quesy with the idea, but I would have a major problem if they where saying that the beliefs of the religion should be banned.

    As far as I know example, the german gov, doesn't have any problem with the squirels (the people who leave $cinetology, but keep practicing the "tech").

    Just my 2 cents worth....
    RobK (Buddhist)
  • by kalandra (80008) on Friday December 03, 1999 @05:37AM (#1484992)
    Actually if you read the German version of the article. At the bottom it clearly states to go here for an english version. Which doesn't contain the white wine BS.

    Which just happens to be at http://www.heise.de/ct/english/99/25/news1/
    for those who care.

  • by Paul Crowley (837) on Friday December 03, 1999 @05:42AM (#1484996) Homepage Journal
    Scientology agents are watching my house

    Slashdot | Posted by CmdrTaco on 1999-0-0
    from the just-because-you're-paranoid dept.

    About twenty minutes ago, a gang of three Scientology agents collected outside Taco Mansions. They tried to harass one of my visitors when they arrived, telling them that I was hosting child pornography and was a convicted felon. If anyone's in the XXX area just now, you might like to come and look, they're on the corner of XXX and XXX. I've posted PNG images of them *here*. I could use some backup on this one.

    Cheers,
    CmdrTaco.

    No, I don't think the Co$ would be stupid enough to try that one. The Commander is far from powerless.
    --
  • by taniwha (70410) on Friday December 03, 1999 @05:48AM (#1484999) Homepage Journal
    After WW2 the Allies left the Germans with a constitutions that bans organisation which plan world domination .... which just happens to be one of $cientology's goals (well that and chasing away all the space aliens that are haunting them).

    This is one of the main reasons that Germany is down on Scientology (that and some real estate scams by its members)

  • Well, once you are in Germany you hopefully learn to speak (or at least read) the language, since you apparently don't understand what the c't newsitem was about.
    This has nothing to do with state-censorship, because the government only forbids its own agencies to do business with Scientology-related companies, and even that only in Hamburg and Bavaria AFAIK. And it makes perfect sense, as we have seen with the latest User ID-transmitting follies of programs less relevant to system security. This defragger will probably not send your password files to the Internet, but it should at least be checked, especially when it was developed by a Scientology-controlled company and especially when you're a government agency.
    I agree with my government on few things, but on this issue I'm pleasantly surprised how well they "get it" about Scientology and the US government doesn't.

    As for John Travolta/the Cruises, I'd guess that they probably don't even know what Scientology is _really_ about. They're obviously kept around for image reasons ("Hey, they're rich and famous, so how can Scientology be a bad thing ?"), get the VIP treatment and don't have to submit to any interrogation or rundown tortures. (At least I haven't heard otherwise)
    The only reason one might consider banning their films for is bad acting, but that's just IMHO. ;)

    And to the moderators: the above post got upped ? Please, that was mostly polemic !
  • You know, if they didn't have any, it might explain a few things :-)

    Seriously, the Church of Scientology is a nasty group of people. I don't know how comfortable I am with a connection between them and the software platform virtually everyone has to use at some point.

    D

    ----
  • is here [heise.de]. That link has been obviously added later at the bottom of the original German article.
  • by Myddrin (54596) on Friday December 03, 1999 @06:20AM (#1485015) Homepage
    I'm very fuzzy, but I seem to remember that LRH coined the phrase, referring to how cute and fuzzy squirels will steal nuts from people. Something like that. I talked to a few back when I hung out on alt.religion.scientology. They didn't seem like criminals to me, actually _most_ of them were very nice, just a little wierd. (There was one guy, Homer something that kept drawing me into flame wars.... :) )

    A bunch of them have banned together and formed a free society (the name of which I can't remember), that persues LRH's ideas w/o the oppressive leadership of the {ahem} Church. (They even liken them selves to the heretics during the Spanish Inquisition.

    I think there might be more info on xemu.net , but I can't be sure. [xenu.net]

    RobK
  • It's their actions that wory people. Their ignorance of human rights, their clear statement to destroy every government and become the supreme rulers of the world, their infiltration and espionage activities, and the more disgusting things.
    These people don't need to be banned. Criminals belong into prisons.


    Agreed, Criminals belong in prison. However, I was trying to point out that most people's beef is with the orginization, and that if you meet a $cientologist they are not ness. a criminal. Nor IMNSHO should believing in $cientology ness. be a crime... that's a little 1984ish

    It goes like this in some people's minds
    Some $cinetologist are Criminals
    Tom is a $cientologist
    ___________________________
    Tom is a criminal.

    This is not true as any student of elementary logic will tell you.
  • I've been a reader of /. for about 6 months. Normally everyone is honest, direct, and polite. What is up with this "Natalie Portman" thing?

    It's been explained in a few other threads, but just in case you missed them, here's what happened:

    Humour site Segfault [segfault.org] recently had to disable user comments because the system was being abused; a number of people were posting obscene comments about Natalie Portman and Mae Ling Mak. Every story on Segfault ended up with obscene comments attached to it.

    Because Segfault no longer allows commenting, the idiots who posted such comments appear to have migrated en masse to this site. At least we have moderators who can do something about this abuse.

    -Stephen (who had never even heard of Mae Ling Mak before the Segfault fiasco, and still hasn't got a clue who she is)

  • And come on, let's get real: You don't seriously believe that anyone in the goverment would stop Microsoft from shipping Windows 2000 to Germany, are you?

    I, for one, do believe that: when a user of xs4all in the Netherlands published a copy of the German forbidden radical-left magazine Radikal on his homepage, the German government instituted a ban to all of xs4all from Germany, which got widespread implementation, thereby also banning access to Dutch writer Karin Spainks anti-Scientology pages [xs4all.nl] one the same site. So I don't see why a ban on Windoze Y2K would not be similarly accepted and followed. xs4all sued, but I can't remember the outcome.

  • Would the Germans also ban software under the GPL written by Scientologists? I think it's a fairly safe bet that at least some GPLed code was written by one...

    (This sounds like a non-tariff barrier, rather than a legitimate social concern. Unless the software is designed to convert people into Scientologists, or Nazis, or tree-huggers, I can't see any good reason to ban it.)
  • by finkployd (12902) on Friday December 03, 1999 @08:01AM (#1485045) Homepage
    The Co$ is pretty much a terrorist cult that uses money, lawsuits, and worse to silence opposition. They basically prey on weak minded people and exploit them for money, work, you name it.
    Basically, they are a corporation pretending to be a religion to get tax breaks. There are lots of sites on the net dealing with these people, the largest of which is Operation Clambake [xenu.net]. An interesting note is that the Co$ distributes internet software to it's drones that have nearly all of these sites, newsgroups, and such filtered out.

    Finkployd

  • Seriously, the Church of Scientology is a nasty group of people. I don't know how comfortable I am with a connection between them and the software platform virtually everyone has to use at some point.
    OK, I don't like the CoS's practices. But the fact that a software writer happens to be a Scientologist has no bearing on his program's utility. Do you seriously think that using a program written by a Scientologist's company will harm you in some way? Maybe it will give you Scientologist germs, and you might catch Scientology and turn into one yourself! Oh no! heh. If it's the best tool for the job, use it.
  • Oh, not in those terms, no.

    But they do have an interesting record infiltrating various organizations, so the thought that a Scientology-sourced program might send confidential data to the Church would not be out of line.

    I realize it sounds absurd, but crazier things have happened - check the history of this bizarre organization before dismissing it out of hand.

    D

    ----
  • It has a REALLY smart database of phrases right now, since it's getting started.
    But that's no reason to be against it.. it's just that it needs a lot more work.

    However, in addition, it uses a simply phrase-replacement algorithm that I don't hope to much hope in...
  • Have you ever SEEN a Co$ intro video? They can only be described as comedies :) I've visited a local recruiting house and after what I saw and listened to, I still cannot imagine anyone joining with these people.
    However, it's possible that my experience was not representative of how they normaly work.

    Finkployd
  • First of all the term "Sekte" (religious splinetr group) has as much to do with the term "Sekt" (sparkling wine) as with "Insekt" (insect)...

    DoH, of course! I'd forgotten about Sekt. Left my Langenscheidt somewhere else... Okay, I want the job of being in charge of "Sekt." Not the other one. Thanks... z
    --

  • (you don't want to have the sovejt union one of that time at all, do you?)

    Actually, the Soviet Union had a fairly liberal constitution (as does the People's Republic of China). However, it (obviously) was not followed in practice.

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