position:technician

  • The Gnawing Anxiety of Having an Algorithm as a Boss - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-26/the-gnawing-anxiety-of-having-an-algorithm-as-a-boss

    I recently got the internet in my apartment fixed, and my technician had an unusual request. I’d get an automated call after he left asking me how satisfied I was with the service, he explained, and he wanted me to rate him 9 out of 10. I asked why, and he said there was a glitch with the system that recorded any 10 rating as a 1, and it was important for him to keep his rating up.

    Since then, a couple of people have told me that technicians working for the company have been making this exact request for at least two years. A representative for Spectrum, my internet provider, said they were worrying over nothing. The company had moved away from the 10-point rating system, he said, adding that customer feedback isn’t “tied to individual technicians’ compensation.”

    But even if the Spectrum glitch exists only in the lore of cable repairmen, the anxiety it’s causing them is telling. Increasingly, workers are impacted by automated decision-making systems, which also affects people who read the news, or apply for loans, or shop in stores. It only makes sense that they’d try to bend those systems to their advantage.

    There exist at least two separate academic papers with the title “Folk Theories of Social Feeds,” detailing how Facebook users divine what its algorithm wants, then try to use those theories to their advantage.

    People with algorithms for bosses have particular incentive to push back. Last month, a local television station in Washington covered Uber drivers who conspire to turn off their apps simultaneously in order to trick its system into raising prices.

    Alex Rosenblat, the author of Uberland, told me that these acts of digital disobedience are essentially futile in the long run. Technology centralizes power and information in a way that overwhelms mere humans. “You might think you’re manipulating the system,” she says, but in reality “you’re working really hard to keep up with a system that is constantly experimenting on you.”

    Compared to pricing algorithms, customer ratings of the type that worried my repairman should be fairly straightforward. Presumably it’s just a matter of gathering data and calculating an average. But online ratings are a questionable way to judge people even if the data they’re based on are pristine—and they probably aren’t. Academics have shown that customer ratings reflect racial biases. Complaints about a product or service can be interpreted as commentary about the person who provided it, rather than the service itself. And companies like Uber require drivers to maintain such high ratings that, in effect, any review that isn’t maximally ecstatic is a request for punitive measures.

    #Travail #Surveillance #Algorithme #Stress #Société_contrôle

  • Palestinian teen shot, killed by Israeli forces in al-Bireh
    Dec. 14, 2018 5:39 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2018 5:55 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782092

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes that erupted in the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday evening.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that a Palestinian from the al-Jalazun refugee camp arrived to the Palestine Medical Center in a critical condition.

    Sources added that the teen was injured with live bullets in the abdomen.

    The ministry identified the killed teen as Mahmoud Youssef Nakhleh.

    Israeli forces opened fire at the teen from a very close range; from less than 10 meters away.

    Israeli soldiers attempted to detain Nakhleh afterwards, however, Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics were able to take him and transfer him to the Palestine Medical Center after having to quarrel Israeli soldiers for more than 30 minutes.

    Nakhleh was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • After Shooting a Palestinian Teen, Israeli Troops Dragged Him Around – and Chased an Ambulance Away

      A Palestinian from the Jalazun refugee camp was shot in the back and died after soldiers kept him from receiving medical care
      Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Dec 20, 2018
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium--1.6765800

      What goes through the head of soldiers, young Israelis, after they shoot an unarmed Palestinian teenager in the back with live ammunition, prevent him from getting medical treatment, move him around, putting him on the ground and then picking him up again – and chase away an ambulance at gunpoint? For 15 minutes, the Israel Defense Forces soldiers carried the dying Mahmoud Nakhle , pulling him by his hands and feet, it’s not clear why or where, before allowing him to be evacuated. They had already shot him and wounded him badly. He was dying. Why not let the Palestinian ambulance that arrived at the site rush him to the hospital and possibly save his life? Nakhle died from a bullet in his liver and loss of blood. He was two weeks after his 18th birthday, the only son of parents who are descendants of refugees, and he lived in the Jalazun refugee camp adjacent to Ramallah, in the West Bank.

      Nakhle was killed last Friday, December 14.

      Getting to Jalazun took a long time this week; it was a long and stressful trip. Overnight, terror attacks and other sights of the intifada had returned simultaneously: innumerable surprise checkpoints, such as we hadn’t seen for years; long lines of Palestinian vehicles, forced to wait for hours; drivers emerging from their cars and waiting in desperation by the side of the road, anger and frustration etched on their faces; roads blocked arbitrarily, with people signaling each other as to which was open and which was closed; some cars making their way cross-country via boulder-strewn areas and dirt paths to bypass the roadblocks, until those options, too, were sealed off by the army. And also aggressive, edgy, frightened soldiers, carrying weapons that threatened just about anyone who made a move near them.

      Welcome back to the days of the intifada, welcome to a trip into the past: Even if only for a moment, the West Bank this week regressed 15 years, to the start of the millennium.

      The wind blows cold at the Jalazun camp. A throng of thousands of children and teenagers is streaming down the road, heading home from their schools run by UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency. The two schools, one for boys and one for girls, are situated at the camp’s entrance, on both sides of the main Ramallah-Nablus road. We were here a year and a half ago, after IDF soldiers shot up a car stolen from Israel when it stopped outside the settlement of Beit El, spraying it with at least 10 rounds, and killing two of its passengers. About half a year ago, we returned to the camp to meet Mohammed Nakhle, the bereaved father of 16-year-old Jassem, one of those fatalities. The father cried through our entire meeting, even though this was a year after he had lost Jassem.

      Mahmoud Nakhle, who was killed last week, was a relative of Jassem’s.

      Last Friday, there was stone throwing in the valley between Jalazun’s boys’ school and the first houses of Beit El, across the way. The soldiers fired tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at the young Palestinians. Quite a few of the camp’s residents have been killed at this spot, which has become a main arena of the struggle against the large, veteran settlement that looms through every window in poverty-stricken, overcrowded Jalazun, situated below.

      The stone throwing had slowed down in the afternoon and had just about stopped when an IDF force, arriving in two vehicles, began chasing after the youths, who were now on their way back to the camp, at about 4 P.M. The latter numbered about 15 teens, aged 14 to 18. Suddenly the soldiers started shooting, using live ammunition – even as calm was apparently about to be restored. A video clip, one of several that captured the event, shows the soldiers walking along the road and firing into the air.

      The wail of an ambulance slashes the air now, as we stand at the site of the incident with Iyad Hadad, a field investigator for the Israeli human-rights organization B’Tselem, who collected testimony from eyewitnesses. Nakhle chose to return home by way of a dirt path that passes above the camp. The soldiers ran after him and one of them shot him once, in the lower back. Nakhle fell to the ground, bleeding.

      The occupant of the first-floor apartment in the closest building in Jalazun, just meters from the site of the incident, heard the shot, the groans and a call for help. She assumed someone had been wounded, but wasn’t sure where or who he was. From her window she saw a group of soldiers standing in a circle, though she couldn’t see the wounded person who lay on the ground between them. A second eyewitness saw one soldier nudge Nakhle with his foot, apparently to see if the teen was still alive. They then pulled up his shirt and pulled down his pants, apparently to check whether the stone-throwing youth was a dangerous, booby-trapped terrorist. As the video accounts show, he was left lying like that, exposed in his blue underwear. The woman from the apartment rushed out to summon help, but the soldiers fired toward her to drive her off. One bullet struck her husband’s car.

      The soldiers lifted Nakhle up and carried him a few dozen meters from where he’d fallen, laying him down at the side of the road. One of the eyewitnesses related that they carried him “like you haul a slaughtered sheep.” The video clip shows them carrying him not in the prescribed way for moving someone who is seriously wounded, but by his hands and his feet, his back sagging.

      Before the soldiers shot at the first eyewitness – whose identity is known to the B’Tselem investigator – to scare her off, she shouted at them to let the wounded person be and to allow him to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. “Leave him alone, do you want to kill him… give him aid.” She also shouted at the soldiers that she was his mother – apparently hoping that the lie would stir pity in them – but to no avail. In the video shot by her daughter on her cell phone, the woman sounds overwrought, gasping for breath as she cries out, “In God’s name, call an ambulance!”

      After five to seven minutes, the soldiers again lifted Nakhle, once more by his extremities, and carried him a few dozen meters more, in the direction of the main road, and again laid him by the roadside. A Palestinian ambulance that had arrived at the scene was chased off by the soldiers, who threatened the driver with their rifles. As far as is known, the soldiers did not give Nakhle any sort of medical aid. The woman from the house again shouted, now from her window: “In God’s name, let the ambulance take him away.” But still to no avail.

      It was only after a quarter of an hour, during which Nakhle continued to bleed, that the soldiers allowed an ambulance to be summoned. A video clip shows Nakhle raising one hand limply to the back of his neck, proof that he was still alive. Half-naked, he’s placed on a stretcher and put in the ambulance, which speeds off, its siren wailing, to the Government Hospital in Ramallah.

      The teen apparently breathed his last en route, arriving at the hospital with no pulse. Attempts were made to resuscitate him in the ER and to perform emergency surgery, but after half an hour, he was pronounced dead. Dr. Muayad Bader, a physician in the hospital, wrote on the death certificate that Mahmoud Nakhle died from loss of blood after a bullet entered his lower back, struck his liver and hit a main artery, damaging other internal organs.

      A group of children is now standing at the site where Nakhle fell, practicing stone throwing on the way back from school. They hurl the stones to the ground in a demonstrative fit of anger. In the mourning tent that was erected in the courtyard of the camp, adorned with huge posters of the deceased, the men sit, grim-faced, with the bereaved father, Yusuf Nakhle, 41, in the center. Disabled from birth, he is partially paralyzed in his left arm and leg. We asked him to tell us about Mahmoud’s life.

      “What life? He hadn’t yet lived his life, they robbed him of his life,” he replies softly. Mahmoud attended school until the 10th grade and then studied electrical engineering at a professional college in Qalandiyah. He completed his studies and afterward a year of apprenticeship, and was waiting to find a job as an electrician. His father was waiting for him to help provide for the family. Yusuf is a technician at a pharmaceuticals company in Bir Zeit, near Ramallah. He and his wife, Ismahan, 45, have two more daughters, aged 14 and 4. Mahmoud was their only son.

      In response to an inquiry, the IDF Spokesman’s Office gave Haaretz the following statement this week: “On December 14, 2018, there was a violent disturbance adjacent to Jalazun, during which dozens of Palestinians threw rocks at IDF soldiers. The soldiers responded with demonstration-dispersal measures.

      “During the disturbance, a Palestinian holding a suspicious object approached one of the soldiers. The soldier fired at him. Later, it was reported that the Palestinian had been killed. The Military Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Upon its completion, the findings will be transferred to the military advocate general’s office.”

      The spokesman’s office did not respond to a question regarding the denial of medical assistance to Mahmoud Nahle.

      Last Friday, the hours passed normally in the home of Nakhle family in the Jalazun camp. Breakfast, a shower; the son asks his father if he needs anything before going out around midday. Never to return. At 4:30, Yusuf’s brother called to inform him that his son had been wounded and was in the Government Hospital. By the time his father arrived, Mahmoud had been pronounced dead.

      “We are human beings and it is our right to live and to look after our children. We too have feelings, like all people,” says Rabah, Mahmoud’s uncle, the brother of his father. Yusuf has watched the video clips that document the shooting and the hauling of his dying son dozens of times, over and over. Ismahan can’t bring herself to look at them.

  • » One Israeli Killed, Two Wounded by Palestinian Teen; Assailant Killed on Site
    IMEMC News - July 27, 2018 5:53 AM
    http://imemc.org/article/one-israeli-killed-two-wounded-by-palestinian-teen-assailant-killed-on-site

    A seventeen-year old Palestinian allegedly carried out a stabbing attack in Geva Binyamin (Adam) Israeli colony, in the Occupied West Bank, killing one Israeli and wounding two others before he himself was killed by an armed paramilitary Israeli settler.

    Update: 8:40 AM: Israeli daily Haaretz has reported that the slain Israeli settler has been identified as Yotam Ovadia, 31, and added that Yotam succumbed to stab wounds.

    On its part, the “Times Of Israel” said Ovadia, a father a child, 2 years of age, and a 7-month-old infant, worked as a technician with “Brinks Security Company”.

    The Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Tareq dar Yousef , 17, allegedly managed to climb over the fence into the illegal Israeli settlement of “Adam”, which had been built on stolen Palestinian land which was taken from his village, Kobar, near Ramallah. He then stabbed three people before he was shot and killed.

    |Lieberman Decides To Expand “Adam” Illegal Colony|

    A 31-year old Israeli colonial settler was killed, but he has not yet been identified. Another unnamed Israeli settler, age 50, is in critical condition with stab wounds to the upper body, according to Israeli media sources.

    Before going to the settlement to carry out the attack, the young Palestinian wrote on his Facebook page, “After all of the injustice the Palestinians continue to face: the killing, the diaspora, the theft of land by force, this injustice still prevails, and many Palestinians are silent – including those who have weapons, and are watching the massacres. Those are the traitors.”

    He goes on to say, “You [Palestinians] who own a weapon, remember this is for your enemy, not for use against your own people. Remember the children of Gaza, suffering and dying.” The statement ends, “A salute to the people who defend their land and their honor. And to those who sold their land and betrayed their country, those cowards, you must be ashamed of yourselves. The people of Gaza and Jerusalem are resisting, and you are trying to silence them.”

    Dozens of soldiers in armored vehicles surrounded and invaded Kobar, near Ramallah, in the hours following this incident. Protests broke out in the village, and some teens threw stones at the invading soldiers.

    The troops invaded Mohammad’s home, surrounding it and demanding that the family leave. It is unknown at the time of this report if the soldiers are planning to carry out a punitive demolition of the alleged assailant’s home, but this is a known and common practice by the Israeli military.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Israel to demolish home of killed Palestinian as punishment
      Aug. 13, 2018 12:46 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 13, 2018 3:21 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780692

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces informed on Monday the Palestinian family of Muhammad Tareq Ibrahim Dar Yousef that their home in the Kobar village, in the central occupied West Bank Ramallah district, will be demolished.

      Local sources said that Israeli forces raided the Kobar village on predawn Monday and hung the demolition notice on the Dar Yousef home.

      The notice mentions that the family has two days to appeal against it.

      Sources mentioned that the demolition comes as a punishment for the actions of the family’s 17-year-old killed son, who carried out a stabbing attack in July in the illegal Israeli Adam settlement, in which one Israeli settler was killed and two others suffered light to moderate injuries.

      Sources added that the Dar Yousef family had already abandoned their home following the stabbing attack in anticipation of the demolition.

      Puntive home demolitions are a collective punishment policy, which Israel has always implemented against relatives of Palestinians who were involved in attacks against Israelis.

  • The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities
    https://theintercept.com/2018/06/25/att-internet-nsa-spy-hubs

    The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” It is a collaboration that dates back decades. Little known, however, is that its scope is not restricted to AT&T’s customers. According to the NSA’s documents, it values AT&T not only because it “has access to information that transits the nation,” but also because it maintains unique relationships with other phone and internet providers. The NSA exploits these relationships for surveillance purposes, commandeering AT&T’s massive infrastructure and using it as a platform to covertly tap into communications processed by other companies.

    It is an efficient point to conduct internet surveillance, Klein said, “because the peering links, by the nature of the connections, are liable to carry everybody’s traffic at one point or another during the day, or the week, or the year.”

    Christopher Augustine, a spokesperson for the NSA, said in a statement that the agency could “neither confirm nor deny its role in alleged classified intelligence activities.” Augustine declined to answer questions about the AT&T facilities, but said that the NSA “conducts its foreign signals intelligence mission under the legal authorities established by Congress and is bound by both policy and law to protect U.S. persons’ privacy and civil liberties.”

    Jim Greer, an AT&T spokesperson, said that AT&T was “required by law to provide information to government and law enforcement entities by complying with court orders, subpoenas, lawful discovery requests, and other legal requirements.” He added that the company provides “voluntary assistance to law enforcement when a person’s life is in danger and in other immediate, emergency situations. In all cases, we ensure that requests for assistance are valid and that we act in compliance with the law.”

    Dave Schaeffer, CEO of Cogent Communications, told The Intercept that he had no knowledge of the surveillance at the eight AT&T buildings, but said he believed “the core premise that the NSA or some other agency would like to look at traffic … at an AT&T facility.” He said he suspected that the surveillance is likely carried out on “a limited basis,” due to technical and cost constraints. If the NSA were trying to “ubiquitously monitor” data passing across AT&T’s networks, Schaeffer added, he would be “extremely concerned.”

    An estimated 99 percent of the world’s intercontinental internet traffic is transported through hundreds of giant fiber optic cables hidden beneath the world’s oceans. A large portion of the data and communications that pass across the cables is routed at one point through the U.S., partly because of the country’s location – situated between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia – and partly because of the pre-eminence of American internet companies, which provide services to people globally.

    The NSA calls this predicament “home field advantage” – a kind of geographic good fortune. “A target’s phone call, email, or chat will take the cheapest path, not the physically most direct path,” one agency document explains. “Your target’s communications could easily be flowing into and through the U.S.”

    Once the internet traffic arrives on U.S. soil, it is processed by American companies. And that is why, for the NSA, AT&T is so indispensable. The company claims it has one of the world’s most powerful networks, the largest of its kind in the U.S. AT&T routinely handles masses of emails, phone calls, and internet chats. As of March 2018, some 197 petabytes of data – the equivalent of more than 49 trillion pages of text, or 60 billion average-sized mp3 files – traveled across its networks every business day.

    The NSA documents, which come from the trove provided to The Intercept by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, describe AT&T as having been “aggressively involved” in aiding the agency’s surveillance programs. One example of this appears to have taken place at the eight facilities under a classified initiative called SAGUARO.

    In October 2011, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves the surveillance operations carried out under Section 702 of FISA, found that there were “technological limitations” with the agency’s internet eavesdropping equipment. It was “generally incapable of distinguishing” between some kinds of data, the court stated. As a consequence, Judge John D. Bates ruled, the NSA had been intercepting the communications of “non-target United States persons and persons in the United States,” violating Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. The ruling, which was declassified in August 2013, concluded that the agency had acquired some 13 million “internet transactions” during one six-month period, and had unlawfully gathered “tens of thousands of wholly domestic communications” each year.

    The root of the issue was that the NSA’s technology was not only targeting communications sent to and from specific surveillance targets. Instead, the agency was sweeping up people’s emails if they had merely mentioned particular information about surveillance targets.

    A top-secret NSA memo about the court’s ruling, which has not been disclosed before, explained that the agency was collecting people’s messages en masse if a single one were found to contain a “selector” – like an email address or phone number – that featured on a target list.

    Information provided by a second former AT&T employee adds to the evidence linking the Atlanta building to NSA surveillance. Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, alleged in 2006 that the company had allowed the NSA to install surveillance equipment in some of its network hubs. An AT&T facility in Atlanta was one of the spy sites, according to documents Klein presented in a court case over the alleged spying. The Atlanta facility was equipped with “splitter” equipment, which was used to make copies of internet traffic as AT&T’s networks processed it. The copied data would then be diverted to “SG3” equipment – a reference to “Study Group 3” – which was a code name AT&T used for activities related to NSA surveillance, according to evidence in the Klein case.

    #Surveillance #USA #NSA #AT&T

  • Gregory Klimov. The Terror Machine. Chapter 15
    http://g-klimov.info/klimov-pp-e/ETM15.htm

    The Marshal’s Emissaries

    So I fled from Moscow back to Berlin

    I closed the door of my Karishorst apartment behind me, went to my desk, sat down and stared miserably at the calendar. I had two more weeks of leave: what was I to do with them? Report for duty before my time was up? Some would think me mad, others would call me a careerist. Visit my friends? I would be asked too many questions which I had not the least desire to answer. I had been in a great hurry to get away from Moscow; but what I had hurried for, where I was hurrying to, I had no idea.

    In the end I decided to take a rest, and spent the next few days visiting bathing resorts, deliberately making for the most frequented spots, lying on the sand and watching the alien, carefree world all around me. At first I got a tremendous kick out of this occupation. But after a time I began to experience a mortal boredom with seeing the same packets of sandwiches and the same childish antics of grown-up people day after day.

    Ten days before my leave expired I reported to the head of the Administration for Industry, and expressed my desire to resume my duties. Alexandrov looked pleasantly surprised. “Well, did you have a good rest in Moscow?” he asked.

    “Very good!”

    “You couldn’t have turned up at a more opportune moment.” He got down to business. “Over half of our staff are on leave, and at this very moment the supreme commander has given us an urgent and responsible commission. We’ve got to collect material against the dismantling organizations to send to Moscow.”

    He spent the next half-hour discussing the tension that had arisen between the S. M. A. Department for Reparations and the Special Committee for Dismantling set up by the U. S. S. R. Council of Ministers. In order to justify the S. M. A.’s attitude we had to collect as much incriminating material as possible about the Special Committee’s activities. The Administration for Industry had been ordered to put at the supreme commander’s disposition a Special Commission consisting of several engineers.

    Officially their task was to coordinate the work of the S. M. A. and the Special Committee, but unofficially they would be charged to collect in-formation exposing the dismantlers. The commission was to make visits to all the most important industrial works in the Soviet zone.

    “If you agree, I’ll nominate you as a member of the commission,” Alexandrov said in conclusion. “Especially as you know German, for it will be necessary to make close contacts with German works directors.”

    Continual traveling and visits to factories! For the next few weeks, possibly even for months, I would be free of Moscow, and Karishorst too! I could not hope for anything better at that moment, and I readily agreed to Alexandrov’s suggestion. Next day I was appointed to the Coordination Commission, which was responsible directly to the Supreme Commander.

    So here was a Soviet citizen who had fled from Moscow, a Soviet officer who could find no peace in Karishorst, who at the same time was an emissary of the S. M. A. Supreme Commander, working for Moscow. A fortuitous coincidence? No! Rather a law of progression.

    II

    The gray automobile sped through the chilly autumn air. The road drummed monotonously under the tires. A covey of partridges flew over the bare field beside the road.

    “Let’s take a pot-shot,” Major Dubov proposed, reaching for his double-barreled gun, which was stuck behind the seat.

    “Why bother?” I answered. “In any case we’d have to hand our bag over to someone else.”

    “All the better!” the major laughed. “It might be a way of getting someone to talk. Vassily Ivanovich, to arms!”

    Our driver, Vassily, was an elderly man, a former soldier. He lowered one of the car windows, then turned off the road. The partridge’s thinking apparatus is rather restricted: it won’t let a man come anywhere near it, but you can almost drive over it in a car.

    Karlshorst lay behind us. In our pocket we had a plenipotentiary document signed by Marshal Sokolovsky, valid for the district of Thuringia, and empowering us to carry out a special commission for the S. M. A. Supreme Commander in Germany. That would be sufficient to open all doors in Thuringia. But if that failed to achieve its purpose, we had a second document ready, giving us ’full powers to check up on the fulfillment of the S. M. A. order No.... and the decree of the U. S. S. R. Council of Ministers dated... ’

    These resounding documents were chiefly intended for General Dobrovolsky, who was plenipotentiary of the Special Committee for Dismantling and also Soviet director of the Zeiss works at Jena. Although he was a hundred-per-cent civilian, and formerly had been director of a Soviet optical works, and in addition was a member of the ambiguous tribe of ’dismantlers’, he enjoyed some authority, since he held strongly entrenched positions in Moscow.

    Although Marshal Sokolovsky had issued the strict order that all members of dismantling organizations were to wear civilian dress, Dobrovolsky was behaving as though he had never heard of the order. Whenever Sokolovsky met Dobrovolsky, the marshal always addressed the general in an ironically friendly tone, using the civilian form of address, ignoring the military regulation that military men were always to be addressed by their rank.

    Apart from his childish attachment to the insignia of his rank, Dobrovolsky was also notorious for his rudeness. He had been known to throw officers down the steps when they arrived to check up on his activities, or had refused to allow them into the works at all, politely telling them: “If you don’t like it, complain to Moscow.” But in order to make a complaint it was necessary to have evidence, and that could not be obtained from the Zeiss works except through Dobrovolsky.

    So far as the Soviet Military Administration had internal enemies and antagonists at all in Germany, they were to be found mainly among the people collectively known as dismantlers. General Zorin, head of the Administration for Reparations and Deliveries, had made a number of futile attempts to work with the dismantlers, but at last he had given up all hope.

    Now all his communications with these bodies, who frequently were only five minutes away from Karlshorst, were made through Moscow, in the form of complaints, demands, and reports on failures to accomplish the reparations plan because of the dismantlers’ activities. But they only laughed and continued to search through the Soviet zone for anything that the S. M. A. had not so far succeeded in sequestrating. But even sequestration was not of much value, for the dismantlers quickly made contact with Moscow, with the result, as a rule, that an order came through to the S. M. A. to hand over the object in question to the dismantlers.

    Among the chief duties of the S. M. A. Economy Department were the securing of deliveries on reparations account and ensuring that German industry worked within the limits of the peace potential fixed under the Potsdam Agreement. The very task of reconciling these two functions was a difficult one, to put it mildly, as one can see especially when the scope of the reparations plan is borne in mind. But then a third power intervened, and so far as we were concerned it was an uncontrollable factor, for this third power - the dismantlers - was responsible directly to Moscow.

    The work of the dismantling organizations was directed by the Special Committee for Dismantling set up under the Soviet Council of Ministers, and therefore by the Council of Ministers itself, together with the ministries directly interested. The result was a kind of socialist competition: two milkmaids assiduously milking the one cow! One of the milkmaids behaved like a poacher, got as much as she could and went her way. That was the dismantlers. From the other the masters first demanded milk, then hung the half-dead cow round her neck with the demand to go on milking and milking. That was the S. M. A. No matter what happened to the cow and the two milkmaids, the masters got their milk down to the last drop.

    As soon as the Red Army crossed the German frontier special army trophy brigades were entrusted with the task of collecting and valuing the spoils of war, even to the extent of dismantling industrial plant. When it was found that these brigades could not cope with their task special dismantling organizations came more or less arbitrarily into being, and these were later coordinated under the Special Committee for Dismantling.

    Every People’s Commissariat, the chief administrations of commissariats, and even single Soviet works and factories sent their own dismantling brigades to Germany. Dismantling became all the rage. Things went so far that even the State Lenin Library in Moscow sent its own specialists to dismantle Goethe and Schiller, while the Moscow ’Dynamo’ sports stadium hurriedly sent its football team to Germany in search of a swimming pool suitable for dismantling.

    The dismantlers were given military rank on the following basis: a technician became a lieutenant, an engineer a major, a director became a colonel, and a higher ministerial official a general. The authorities that had created the dismantlers did not worry themselves unduly over this problem. But it gave the S. M. A. all the more headaches when it came to have dealings with these homemade officers. As time passed they grew more and more fond of their get-up, and the S. M. A. had no little trouble in dismantling them again.

    Major Dubov had been sent with me on this trip because he was an expert on optics and precision machines. In addition, there was the positive advantage that he and Dobrovolsky had been fellow students. While he was drawing the general into reminiscences of former days I would be free to prepare the downfall of our enemy and rival No. 1.

    In the case of the Zeiss works the conflict of interests between the S. M. A. and the Special Committee was particularly glaring. After the first spasm of dismantling in Germany, which the S. M. A. had neither the time nor the desire to prevent, economic considerations began to be thought of. From the very beginning the Special Committee had insisted that the Zeiss works be to be completely dismantled and transferred to the Soviet Union.

    From the aspect of military strategy that was sound. But there were difficulties in the way. The crux of the matter was that the industrial plant of the Zeiss works was of comparatively little value; in fact it included no machinery that did not exist in the U. S. S. R. already.

    The value of the Zeiss works inhered in its experts, starting with the ordinary workmen polishers, who had worked there all their lives and who passed on their experience from generation to generation, and ending with the engineers, who had laid down the classic formulae for optical mechanics. Without these men the whole of the Zeiss works would not have been worth a brass farthing in the Soviet Union. But to transfer the works complete with the staff would have been too difficult and too risky an undertaking.

    An attempt was made to find a compromise by proposing that Soviet workers and technical staffs should be sent to Jena to make special studies. After their return to the Soviet Union they were to take over the dismantled plant and apply the technical experience of the Zeiss works. This plan was put into operation to some extent, but inadequately. The Kremlin was very reluctant to let its children travel to foreign parts, even to occupied Germany, for they might learn other things besides the technical experience of the Zeiss works.

    The first round of dismantling proved unprofitable. The Zeiss equipment dismantled and sent to the Soviet Union made very little practical contribution to the country’s economy. Meanwhile the main works, which had thus been amputated, excelled all expectations, for it continued to turn out genuine Zeiss products to the astonishment even of General Dobrovolsky, who, after the dismantling was completed, had remained in Jena as Soviet director of the works. He was relatively little interested in this production, since it went to the S. M. A. Administration for Reparations and all the laurels fell to his sworn enemy, General Zorin.

    On the other hand, the S. M. A. was deeply interested in the works, for its production was beginning to play an important part in the reparations account. If a second round of dismantling were to occur - and Dobrovolsky was persistently pressing for it - the S. M. A. would lose a considerable contribution on that account. As the Council of Ministers would never reduce the figure set for reparations, new sources would have to be found for reparations deliveries, and as time passed this presented increasing difficulties. And now a duel began between the S. M. A. and the Special Committee. Dobrovolsky solemnly assured Moscow: “If I finally dismantle Zeiss, and it is set up in the Soviet Union, within twelve months it will be achieving a production worth a hundred million rubles.”

    The S. M. A. parried with the counter-blow: ’The first dismantled section of the Zeiss works already set up in the Soviet Union has so far achieved a deficit of fifty million rubles, and requires continual subsidies, whereas the half-dead Zeiss works in Jena is bringing us yearly reparations deliveries to the value of twenty million marks.’

    The conflict took an unexpected turn for both sides. After studying the reports of both parties Moscow ordered: ’A corresponding number of highly skilled German experts is to be drawn from the staff of the Zeiss works at Jena and its subsidiary undertakings for work in the optical industry of the Soviet Union, chiefly in the dismantled Zeiss undertakings; they are to be recruited on the basis of individual contracts and transferred to their new assignments.

    The selection of these experts and the execution of this order are entrusted to the director of the Zeiss works at Jena, Comrade Dobrovolsky. Simultaneously it is decreed that the restoration of the main undertaking Zeiss-Jena be to be forced in accordance with previous decrees. Signed: Minister for Precision Industry, by plenipotentiary powers from the Council of Ministers of the U. S. S. R.’

    So Dobrovolsky had achieved a partial success. It had been decided that the first step was to dismantle the Zeiss experts. But what was one to make of the fact that one and the same decree demanded the destruction and also the ’forced restoration’ of one and the same undertaking?

    Some days previously, in the Tagliche Rundschau I had read a nauseating letter written by one of the German specialists who had been sent to the Soviet Union on the basis of an ’individual contract’, which really meant compulsion. The happy expert hastened to inform the world that he was doing very well and was earning 10, 000 rubles a month. At this same period Marshal Sokolovsky was receiving 5, 000 rubles a month. The average Soviet engineer receives 800 to 1, 200 rubles a month.

    The deed was done: a considerable proportion of the workers and technical staff at Jena was sent to the East ’on the basis of individual contracts’. The Zeiss output fell. Dobrovolsky celebrated his victory, and sought to convince everybody of the soundness of his theory that the Zeiss works must be dismantled completely. But now Major Dubov and I were traveling to Jena as spies venturing into the enemy camp.

    “Why, old colleague, how’s things?” Major Dubov shook Dobrovolsky’s hand effusively.

    “What wind has blown you here?” The general welcomed his old comrade in a somewhat unfriendly manner. He behaved like a dictator in the works, and simultaneously like the commander of a besieged fortress. Especially when his visitors smelt of the S. M. A.

    I stepped aside and turned to study examples of Zeiss products which were attached to the wall, to give the impression that I was not in the least interested in business matters. But when Major Dubov had drawn Dobrovolsky into his private office I set to work to turn the general’s flank.

    Through a communicating door I passed from Dobrovolsky’s waiting room into the waiting room of the German director. I showed the woman secretary my documents with Marshal Sokolovsky’s signature, and expressed a wish to see the director. He was very glad to see me, and hurriedly got rid of the visitors who were with him. He was a fairly young man, a member of the Socialist Unity Party. Only recently he had been a worker in the packing department of the works. Now he was the director. Just the sort of man I wanted to get hold of. Not intelligent, but an energetic executive.

    “Well, Herr Director, tell me how things are going!” I said. I knew quite well that two feelings were struggling for mastery within him: his fear of Dobrovolsky and a feeling of professional or national duty, if such conceptions exist at all for members of the Socialist Unity Party. He must realize that the S. M. A. stood for the interests of the works, so far as its continued existence was concerned. I had no need to explain the situation to him; he knew it very well. He only wished to be assured that Dobrovolsky would not learn anything of our conversation.

    Despite his apparently quite genuine desire to spike Dobrovolsky’s guns, my talk with him did not get me very far. I thanked him for his exceptionally useless information and asked his permission to talk to the higher technical staff, ’just to elucidate certain details’. He was so forthcoming as to put his office at my disposition. A few minutes later a gaunt man in horn spectacles and a white overall came in. He was a being of a different cut. I stared at him silently, and smiled, as though he were an old acquaintance. I had already gathered information concerning the technical managers of the works. After a few preliminary remarks concerning Zeiss and its production we understood each other.

    I told him frankly that, although I was not moved by any philanthropic impulses, my object nonetheless was to free the works from Dobrovolsky’s terror regime. In this particular instance we were involuntary allies. I assured him that our conversation would be kept a dead secret. He declared himself ready to place his knowledge and experience at the disposition of the S. M. A.

    “What in your view are the bottlenecks in the work of the undertaking, Herr Doctor?” I tried to minimize the catastrophic situation by using the euphemistic word ’bottlenecks’.

    “It would be simpler to specify the bottles!” he replied with a mournful smile. “There’s a shortage of everything. But the chief thing is that we’ve been deprived of our brains, our specialists. And that damage cannot be made good for decades.”

    He went on to paint a pitiful picture. Unlike Soviet industry, German industry depends to a particularly high extent on the cooperation of related enterprises. In the Soviet Union economic considerations were sacrificed in order to achieve autonomy in industry whether large or small, both on a national scale and in regard to individual and factories. This issue was decided not so much by economic as by military strategic factors.

    The basis of capitalist economy is that production should at least pay its way. The structure of any enterprise and its viability are governed by strictly economic calculation and an active balance. Western economists would consider it absurd that in the Soviet Union the majority of the chief and basic industrial undertakings work at a loss and are dependent on a State subsidy, which the State through its plan pumps out of light industry by over-pricing means of consumption, and from collectivized agriculture.

    “At the moment we are still working with old stocks and semi-manufactures. We are not getting any new deliveries. When these stocks are exhausted...” the technical director threw out his hands in despair. “Our former suppliers in the Soviet zone have largely ceased to exist. The promised raw materials from the Soviet Union haven’t started to come in yet. It is practically impossible to obtain anything from the western zone. We’ve already tried sending lorries over the frontier illegally, at our own risk, in order to renew commercial contacts and thus get hold of something. But that is no solution.”

    We Soviet engineers were frequently amazed at the vitality of German industry, despite all the difficulties of total warfare, the capitulation, and the dismantling process. At the capitulation, stocks of raw materials in many German works were often larger than those held by Soviet works in peacetime.

    In May and June 1945, immediately after the fall of Berlin, Soviet dismantlers hurriedly dismantled the industrial plants at Siemensstadt, the heart of the German electro-technical industry. Even then, before the Potsdam Conference, it was known that the capital of Germany was to be occupied by all the four allies. Officially this decision was taken on 5 June 1945, by inter-allied agreement. But the Western Allies’ entry into Berlin was artificially delayed for another month. The reason? Dismantling. The Soviet dismantling brigades worked feverishly day and night in the sectors of Berlin to be handed over. And they dismantled in earnest: right down to the pipes of water closets.

    A year later I visited Siemensstadt in the company of Colonel Vassiliev, who had been in charge of the dismantling operation in these works. He shook his head in astonishment. “Where on earth have they got all this new plant from? Why, we even removed the cables from the conduits!” The German directors greeted the colonel genially as an old acquaintance. “Ah, Colonel, how are things with you? Have you any orders for us?” And that without a hint of irony, simply with an eye to business.

    The Zeiss technical director continued: “We’re trying to meet and we are meeting demands so far as we can. But it is being achieved only against an ultimate exhaustion of production. This is an internal process which so far is barely perceptible; but one day it will lead to a complete standstill.”

    I asked him to draw up a report, together with an economic analysis of the state of the undertaking. I would collect these documents on my way back to Berlin. I once more assured him that his name would not appear in my report to Marshal Sokolovsky. I took the same line with two other technical managers. I had to get a general picture of the situation, though in fact there was little difference between their stories.

    During a visit to the head of the Economic Department of the Jena commandatura I learned more details of Dobrovolsky’s activities. In regard to the Zeiss works the commandatura was working for both sides. It readily helped Dobrovolsky to draw up ’individual labor contracts’ for the Zeiss specialists to be sent to the Soviet Union, and just as readily it communicated all the details of this special measure to the S. M. A. representative.

    We obtained no new information from the head of the S. M. A. Economic Department in Thuringia, but he was loud in his complaints about Dobrovolsky: “He’s sabotaging the S. M. A. work shamelessly. He doesn’t care what happens to reparations, so long as he enjoys Moscow’s favor. ’So many units of installations sent to the address of the Ministry for Precision Tool Industry.’ But he doesn’t care a damn what benefit is derived from them. And now in the Soviet Union men are being put in prison because they can’t make use of the plant.”

    That was quite true. For instance, in one German works a serial installation of a hundred specialized machine tools for the mass manufacture of a certain article was dismantled and sent to Russia. But on the way one of the special machines attracted the interest of another dismantler, and without more ado it was readdressed to a new consignee.

    When it arrived at its destination it was discovered that a little mistake had been made; it was a special machine that could not be used in that works at all. So without unnecessary fuss it was scrapped. But when the rest of the series arrived at the rightful destination and they set to work to install them, it was found that one machine was missing. Yet without it the entire series was useless. There was no hope of finding a substitute for the missing item, so the whole lot was scrapped. The total cost was charged to ’capital investments’, and several men were brought to trial for sabotage.

    Our car sped through the frosty winter air of Thuringia; Karlshorst’s emissaries drew up the balance sheet of their work. Sokolovsky would have material for another report to Moscow and for further charges against Dobrovolsky. But there would be no change in the situation. The Kremlin knows what it needs.

    Major Dubov was more interested in the purely technical aspect of the affair. One day he unexpectedly asked me: “Do you know the story of Zeiss at all?” Without waiting for my reply he went on: "It’s a very interesting and striking story. While they were still alive old Zeiss and the scientific founder of the works, Professor Ernst Abbe, transformed the enterprise into a foundation. A foundation statute strictly bound the administration; the supreme management was vested in representatives of the town’s municipal council and representatives of the works.

    The district of Thuringia appointed the foundation president. So you had a kind of voluntary socialization of the works without the disadvantages of a state capitalistic enterprise. The revenues have contributed greatly to the material and cultural prosperity of the city of Jena. And that is precisely what we in Russia came too later, only in a different form.

    “And in addition....” Major Dubov gazed out of the window and said, apparently incidentally: “In addition, under the founder’s will all the workers and employees in the works directly participate in the profits. Which is exactly what should happen in the ideal socialistic society, according to our theories. But that has existed in the Zeiss works for decades, and still exists today.”

    Our driver, Vassily Ivanovich, whose presence we tended to overlook, pushed his cap on to the back of his head and added: “Not exists, but existed... until we arrived.”

    Sommaire https://seenthis.net/messages/683905
    #anticommunisme #histoire #Berlin #occupation #guerre_froide

  • A Critical Problem | Cheryl Rofer
    https://nucleardiner.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/a-critical-problem

    The metal rods in the top photo are plutonium. Rods can roll. These rods could roll closer to each other and perhaps produce the kind of runaway neutron reaction that killed Slotin and Daghlian. Putting a hand in to separate them could make the reaction worse because the water in a human body reflects the neutrons.

    I had formal safety training, informal discussions with more experienced people, and made it a point to internalize rules of thumb. Keep pieces of plutonium separate. Abide by glovebox limitations; every glovebox has a sign with the limits of plutonium allowed in it. For solutions, keep them dilute and in flat containers. Flat/thin is safer; the closer a shape is to spherical, the less material is needed to go critical. IIRC, there were racks to put rods in if you were working with that shape of metal, so that they didn’t accidentally roll together.

    That photo is at the center of two articles from the Center for Public Integrity (NMPolitics.net, Washington Post). They are based on an investigation reported here. According to those articles, a technician ignored glovebox limits and arranged the plutonium to take that photo for management.

    #nucléaire #plutonium #YOLO

    (incident de 2011 désormais tout va bien)

  • #Lesego_Rampolokeng’s Elegy To #Robo_the_Technician
    http://africasacountry.com/lesego-rampolokengs-elegy-to-robo-the-technician

    “Raise your hand up if you’re a hip-hop head” said Lesego Rampolokeng, rallying a house full of poets at a gathering in Melville on a wet Sunday afternoon in 2013. I put mine up, as did a few audience members seated towards the back. The rest sat in the sparsely-occupied restaurant and gazed at the ones who […]

    #BOOKS #MEDIA ##SAHipHop2014 #Finding_Fanon #Grayscale_Gallery #Hymphatic_Thabs #Johannesburg #Mafika_Gwala #POETRY #rap #Robo-Tech #Steve_Kwena_Mokwena #Ta_Ramps #Underground

  • CEO, two others charged over #turkey #mine #Disaster
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/ceo-two-others-charged-over-turkey-mine-disaster

    Turkey has charged three more people with manslaughter over the country’s worst mining disaster, including the CEO of the company operating the pit, reports said on Tuesday. Can Gurkan, the chief executive of mining company #Soma Komur, general manager Ramazan Dogru and a technician were the latest to face manslaughter charges over the disaster that claimed 301 lives, the private NTV television said. A total of eight officials from #soma_komur have now been charged over last Tuesday’s accident at the Soma mine that sparked anti-government protests in several towns and cities. read more

  • Technician called ’sole bad actor’ in Massachusetts drug lab debacle - CNN.com

    L’encadrement était juste mauvais mais pas méchant

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/04/us/massachusetts-drug-lab-report

    “Dookhan was the sole bad actor at the Drug Lab. Though many of the chemists worked alongside Dookhan for years, the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) found no evidence that any other chemist at the Drug Lab committed any malfeasance with respect to testing evidence or knowingly aided Dookhan in committing her malfeasance,” the report said.
    But the report didn’t stop short of blaming the unprecedented breach in confidence solely on Dookhan.
    “The directors were ill-suited to oversee a forensic drug lab, provided almost no supervision, were habitually unresponsive to chemists’ complaints and suspicions, and severely downplayed Dookhan’s major breach in chain-of-custody protocol upon discovering it,” according to the inspector general’s report.

    Rappel des faits et de la condamnation de l’intéressée en novembre 2013

    After Dookhan’s co-workers told state police her work might be unreliable, the state attorney general’s office began investigating the case in July 2012. The tampering called into question at least 40,000 cases going back to 2003 and, in some cases, may have wrongfully convicted the innocent.
    She was found guilty of multiple charges related to the case, including obstruction of justice, mishandling of drug evidence and lying about holding a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts. She was sentenced in November of last year to three to five years in prison.

    Pour l’encadrement…

    “The directors were ill-suited to oversee a forensic drug lab, provided almost no supervision, were habitually unresponsive to chemists’ complaints and suspicions, and severely downplayed Dookhan’s major breach in chain-of-custody protocol upon discovering it,” according to the inspector general’s report.

    Ah, tant qu’on y est : il y a aussi 2000 résultats de tests douteux dans lesquels elle n’est pas intervenue…

    In addition to the drug samples Dookhan mishandled, an additional 2,000 drug samples not handled by Dookhan were found to potentially contain “exculpatory evidence” to defendants in criminal cases because the drug lab failed to disclose “additional, inconsistent testing results,” the report said.

    À l’époque, http://seenthis.net/messages/93040 et http://seenthis.net/messages/93084. Dans ce dernier, @touti faisait déjà la comparaison avec le petit Kerviel auquel on pense instantanément à la lecture du rapport ci-dessus.

  • The Truth About Photography and Brown Skin - Jezebel
    http://jezebel.com/the-truth-about-photography-and-brown-skin-1557656792

    Over on Buzzfeed, writer and photographer Syreeta McFadden eloquently, thoughtfully and patiently breaks down the problem: Photography has an “inherited bias” against dark skin. McFadden explains that when it came to the invention of color film — developed to be used by the public and taken to a lab — “the technician worked off a reference card with a perfectly balanced portrait of a pale-skinned woman.”

    They’re called Shirley cards, named after the first woman to pose for them. She is wearing a white dress with long black gloves. A pearl bracelet adorns one of her wrists. She has auburn hair that drapes her exposed shoulders. Her eyes are blue. The background is grayish, and she is surrounded by three pillows, each in one of the primary colors we’re taught in school. She wears a white dress because it reads high contrast against the gray background with her black gloves. “Color girl” is the technicians’ term for her. The image is used as a metric for skin-color balance, which technicians use to render an image as close as possible to what the human eye recognizes as normal. But there’s the rub: With a white body as a light meter, all other skin tones become deviations from the norm.

    This is how modern photography was calibrated: Using a white woman. Which means, as McFadden points out, “film stock’s failures to capture dark skin aren’t a technical issue, they’re a choice.”

    #racisme #photographie

  • #Lebanon’s Communications : A One-Man Bottleneck
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/lebanon%E2%80%99s-communications-one-man-bottleneck

    A technician installs a 3G base station at the rooftop of Lebanese mobile operator MTC Touch in Beirut September 30, 2011. On October 1, 2011. (Photo: Reuters- Jamal Saidi). A technician installs a 3G base station at the rooftop of Lebanese mobile operator MTC Touch in Beirut September 30, 2011. On October 1, 2011. (Photo: Reuters- Jamal Saidi).

    For three months, the installation of fiber-optic cables in North Lebanon has been suspended. Elsewhere in the country, other important communications maintenance work is experiencing delays. The reason? A communications ministry official with conflicting interests has overstepped his boundaries, insisting that all maintenance work must go through him – and #OGERO. (...)

    #Economy #Abdul-Monem_Youssef #Articles #Ministry_of_Communications #Nicolas_Sehnaoui

  • Des fer à repasser ... destinés à spammer et à vous espionner

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-24707337

    State-owned channel Rossiya 24 even showed footage of a technician opening up an iron included in a batch of Chinese imports to find a “spy chip” with what he called “a little microphone”. Its correspondent said the hidden devices were mostly being used to spread viruses, by connecting to any computer within a 200m (656ft) radius which were using unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Other products found to have rogue components reportedly included mobile phones and car dashboard cameras.

    #sécurité #chine #attaques-physiques

  • Surveillance without oversight a danger to society | Amnesty’s global human rights blog
    http://livewire.amnesty.org/2013/06/20/surveillance-without-oversight-a-danger-to-society

    We owe a lot to Edward Snowden, the former Central Intelligence Agency computer technician who exposed large-scale surveillance efforts within the United States and worldwide.

    He’s accomplished what the US Congress could not do and the federal courts have so far refused to do. Far from committing an act of treason, as several top US lawmakers have suggested, by all appearances he’s done a public service.

    ...

    These disclosures reveal two trends in the United States’ approach to intelligence – starting with the Bush Administration and, we now know, continued and augmented on President Obama’s watch.

  • Most dangerous city: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/04/most_dangerous_city_san_pedro.html

    San Pedro Sula, Honduras, has been given the unfortunate title of the most dangerous city in the world. The data was compiled by Citizen Council for Public Security, Justice, and Peace, a Mexican think tank focusing on crime statistics from the Western Hemisphere.


    A forensic technician stands at a crime scene where a young man was shot dead in San Pedro Sula, March 28, 2013. (Jorge Cabrera/ Reuters)
    #photographie #honduras #violence

  • New York Review Finds DNA Evidence Was Mishandled in 26 Rape Cases - NYTimes.com

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/nyregion/new-york-reviewing-over-800-rape-cases-for-possible-mishandling-of-dna-evid

    The New York City medical examiner’s office is undertaking an unusual review of more than 800 rape cases in which critical DNA evidence may have been mishandled or overlooked by a lab technician, resulting in incorrect reports being given to criminal investigators.

    Supervisors have so far found 26 cases in which the technician failed to detect biological evidence when some actually existed, according to the medical examiner’s office. In seven of those cases, full DNA profiles were developed — in some instances, evidence that sex-crime investigators did not see for years, hampering their ability to develop cases against rape suspects.

    #etats-unis #viols #new-york #justice

    • The scope of the problem has yet to be determined; at several points over nearly two years, supervisors in the medical examiner’s office thought they had gotten to the bottom of the technician’s errors, only to find that the trail went further.

      (…)

      The errors, Dr. Prinz said in an interview, involved reporting false negatives, not false positives. “We do know that nobody was wrongfully convicted,” she added.

      (…)

      The office has not yet concluded its review of 412 cases out of 843 it intends to examine, Mr. Lien said. The cases span from 2001 to 2011.

      26 cas problématiques trouvés et il reste la moitié à analyser. Le bureau traite de l’ordre de 1500 agressions sexuelles par an.

      Différents cas :
      – l’opérateur n’a pas repéré des traces de sperme,
      – a salopé l’analyse et déclaré qu’il n’y avait rien,
      – des indices matériels étaient rangés dans le mauvais dossier (à 16 reprises, mélangeant les preuves dans 19 affaires de viol, ça devient plus difficile de conclure, a priori, à l’absence de faux positifs…

      (…) a quality assurance manager with the medical examiner’s office (…) [said] It was not “standard policy at all for a technician to have two cases open at once.

      (…)

      In an e-mail, Erin Murphy, a law professor at New York University, said that such a basic lapse in protocol also raised the question of what other basic rules of good forensic practice the technician might have ignored.

      “Is an analyst with such a callous disregard for the integrity of the evidence and the seriousness of his/her job one also likely to disregard other rules, like changing gloves or cleaning the workstation or other methods necessary to safeguard the evidence?”

  • ‘Hey,’ I announced to the technician, ‘its open!’ « MasterAdrian’s Weblog
    http://masteradrian.com/2012/10/13/hey-i-announced-to-the-technician-its-open

    ‘Hey,’ I announced to the technician, ‘its open!’
    October 13, 2012

    When my husband and I arrived at a car dealership to pick up our car after a service, we were told the keys had been locked in it.
    We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side door.
    As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked.
    ‘Hey,’ I announced to the technician, ‘its open!’
    His reply, ‘I know. I already did that side.’