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Romanian Prime Minister Accused of Plagiarism

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the let's-all-play-gerism! dept.

Education 64

ananyo writes "In a revelation that could bring down the country's government, Romania's Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, stands accused of copying large sections of his 2003 PhD thesis in law from previous publications, without proper reference. Documents compiled by an anonymous whistle-blower indicate more than half of Ponta's 432-page, Romanian-language thesis on the functioning of the International Criminal Court consists of duplicated text. Last month, the country's education and research minister, computer scientist Ioan Mang, resigned following accusations of plagiarism in at least eight papers." Looks like it's contagious.

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64 comments

I'll try to come back one day. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40371769)

I promise.

Re:I'll try to come back one day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372455)

don't

Governments fall (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371789)

But it seems odd to me that an entire government should fall due to one cretin's past misconduct. Europeans (and parliamentary governments) have some strange habits.

Re:Governments fall (3, Interesting)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371875)

It's about corruption. When the government is in jeopardy because it has a difficult time dealing with corruption, and then something like this hits the very top of the government, there's a major problem with the whole government. It's not just one cretin.

Re:Governments fall (4, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372001)

Ponta is innocent of such allegations. He paid someone to write his thesis so he is the victim here. These infidel hackers who stole from the publications should suffer. People in a position of power should always have the right to pretend to do something without fear of recrimination for work that was totally paid in full years ago! Go find those crooks, damnit!

Re:Governments fall (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372213)

Ponta is innocent of such allegations. He paid someone to write his thesis so he is the victim here.

You`re kidding right ?

Re:Governments fall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40373289)

That's just today's best comment.

Re:Governments fall (1)

ergean (582285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40374013)

No... no... no... Let me tell you how it happens - in Romania: you take some slaves (aka students) and put them to study a small set of the problem (like a chapter of your thesis) and then you take the best works and you make them your own. The students should be punished!!!

So I agree with alphatel, but nobody got paid. :)

Re:Governments fall (1)

AcademIQ (2666609) | more than 2 years ago | (#40385737)

I quote, rephrasing someone dear, for Romanian people to know: " ..and then we'll have a new shameless dictator among us.. who likes to play with words. It was his duty to search for the "crooks", not for others to be payed to do this now, he isn't a kid anymore to blaim it on others...or is he? anyway he is not a real man to admit his own flaws or mistakes or whatever he calls what he approved for his PhD thesis. He doesn't have the guts to give up on what doesn't belong to him - the scientific title. He doesn't know or doesn't want to understand the consequences of his stupid ambition. Has he the dignity to admit and assume his mistakes? Did he payed for his PhD studies or he would have to give back the money too? Why does the population has to pay for this kind of fakers, with money and time invested in researching his past? Or maybe he blames the educational system...but then why isn't he doing anything to change this situation? PhDs, Masters, and all other thesis should be checked from now on with special software with access to databases from all over the world. There are so many on the Internet for free. He is quite young but doesn't care about younger generations of this country, that he claims to represent in his public positions when going to international meetings. He particularly is only a continuation of an old regime, who doesn't understand today's trends in industry, research or education around the globe, even if he studied international law - I'm refering to IP law. Unfortunatelly, there are many like him in Romania and the network is deeply rooted into the system. But most of people don't truely want this, they hate politics, it's too dirty to even talk about it anymore, but they have to, because it hurts children's future. A lot of them have children and want something better for them all together. If there is a chance for Romania, it is represented by Romanians emigrants and understand the real purpose of their nation, only they have the educational "tools" to change something into the system. They have the perspective, only if they had the wish to fill up the generational gap. The "smart guys" already decided to break up the communication channel with emigrants because they probably understand the power and the danger they could provide for political cause -see ICR - Romanian Cultural Institute, which it was a good connector to Romanian network outside the country. I am not agreeing with the means this actual unrepresentative political class uses just to be on top. I am tired to see them acting so irresponsible. This kind of strategy is no more agreed today in civilized countries. It matters a lot the means also, not only the purpose. It matters the QUALITY of a person more than what it "manages" to do. It seems Romania needs to check up anything related to people's Quality, to worry more as a society of such inadequancies. Where are the professionals to say what is good and what is not working in practice for Romania? Why do they have to get dirty with politics just to have their word in decision-making? Can they fall more than this? What do parents want for their kids in Romania? Nowadays, it would be much easier to change something if Romanians could return in the country, for the good of the nation, to change it from the inside. But I wonder how many of them wish so, with all risks. I am afraid of what is going to happen, if this incident passes with no actions or good exemples to follow by the next representatives. Roads are closed, better said locked inside Romania for the young innocent generations if the things continue like this. Bad exemples at the top equals worst for population. If Ponta did it than any kid can do it.. shamelessly.. from now on anyone will be encouraged to copy-paste it, cause it's a "precedent"..in legal terms speaking. It's too high from where he is, but the higher he is the more painfull the fall... This kind of imature approach of justifying by playing with words will lead us nowhere. A true, decent, mature, rational conversation, argumentation leads to understanding, but this is just a fake talk, a false Doctor, with undisciplined thinking and disconnected from reality. It's even worse than Gigi Becali, because in that case we didn't expect anything else, but for Ponta...it's disappointing. Romania needs good models, smart hard-working, decent, dedicated representatives at all levels, at the highest levels, who know how to work in a team, because the next will follow...people want to respect their leaders, lawyers and laws in Romania and Europe. As the national song says: > it's still your mother country. There is no other way than learning to respect other's property ..including intellectual property if you want respect from others. The technology is advancing rapidly, and this kind of people only de-synchronises the country from other European countries. Only work can bring respect, not thefts. " And for all others generally: Stop thinking that you won't get caught and prepare your authentic CV instead, or contract a Copywriter to check it up for you, if this is legal in your country to do this...otherwise.. party less, study more...c'est la vie! but you already know that, right?

Re:Governments fall (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372971)

It's about corruption. When the government is in jeopardy because it has a difficult time dealing with corruption, and then something like this hits the very top of the government, there's a major problem with the whole government. It's not just one cretin.

How the fuck does plagiarism equate to being corrupt?

So you are saying, because someone was too lazy to paraphrase, and copy word for word, that they are corrupt and easily bought?

Interesting, but not true.

Re:Governments fall (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40373155)

Actually, yes, using the work of others and claiming it is done by you, and then using that as a stepping-stone to advance your powers is a form of corruption. It does not mean that the person is easily bought, but it does show that the person is dishonest and not a character fit for being a prime minister.

Re:Governments fall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40381991)

Don't worry, his plan isn't to be PM for long. He want to run for president!

Re:Governments fall (3, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40374323)

"How the fuck does plagiarism equate to being corrupt?"

He acted dishonestly in return for a university degree, which is a personal gain.

corrupt/krpt/
Adjective:
Having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.
Verb:
Cause to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.
Synonyms:
adjective. rotten - depraved - venal - bad - putrid
verb. spoil - pervert - deprave - vitiate - rot - debauch

Re:Governments fall (1)

baegucb (18706) | more than 2 years ago | (#40380513)

Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin never has this problem. Oh wait...

Re:Governments fall (2)

meloneg (101248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371881)

The phrase might make more sense if you read it as his "administration might fall". That's closer terminology from an American perspective.

Re:Governments fall (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371959)

Yes, that does put it into better perspective. Thanks for that!

Re:Governments fall (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372295)

that's what I thought - 'government' is a common term for the current executive branch in parliamentary systems

Re:Governments fall (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371975)

A 'government' is a parliamentary group(sometimes a party, most typically a coalition) large enough to pass whatever the procedural cutoff is for being allowed to put your prime minister in place. It doesn't, in this context, refer to the broader framework in which this occurs.

If the US actually had relevant 3rd parties, it'd be the rough equivalent of the Senate Majority Leader facing a scandal, and then having the alliance between the GOP and the Libertarians or the Democrats and the Greens that gave him the majority collapse, leading to a new Senate Majority Leader.

Not a nothing event; but hardly catastrophic.

Re:Governments fall (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372117)

The government and the party behind them chose that one cretin as their leader, making them also responsible. That doesn't necessarily mean that the government will fall, but it certainly isn't good publicity.

Obama's VP for his second term! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40371911)

Seems everyone's forgotten Joe Biden is a serial plagiarist....

Politicians and plagarism (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371951)

Politicians steal phrases from other politicians all the time without giving credit.

"I will not raise taxes" is one of the most-copied political statements of all time.

plagiarism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40371953)

don't you mean undocumented quotation?

Ponta isn't the only one (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40371967)

Oddly enough, Germany's minister for science and education, Annette Schavan, also faces allegations that substantial parts of her PhD thesis have been copied without proper attribution. As many as 56 out of 325 pages of her thesis were found to contain instances of plagiarism. Note that this Schavan is the same minister who called an earlier instance of plagiarism by the former German defense minister to be 'embarrassing'.

Remember kids (4, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40371969)

If you lie, cheat, and steal, you'll get into the top echelons of power. Just make sure you don't get caught... or at least, make sure that when you do get caught, you have the power to "take care" of whoever caught you.

Re:Remember kids (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372013)

If you lie, cheat, and steal, you'll get into the top echelons of power.

++

Next step, full disclosure of high school and college papers. I bet we would fine that most politicians were/are plagerizers.

Re:Remember kids (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372145)

If you lie, cheat, and steal, you'll get into the top echelons of power.

++

Next step, full disclosure of high school and college papers. I bet we would fine that most politicians were/are plagerizers.

Hmmm. Wonder if the Obamabots will mod you down for that.

Funny how George W. Bush's college grades were oh-so-important in proving how dumb he is. Well, at least until John Kerry's grades turned out to be WORSE. HA HA.

But Obama's a complete cipher - and we're supposed to believe how brilliant he is, DESPITE the evidence of the past 3+ years? And no, continually repeating, "It's BOOOSHES fault!" is anything BUT evidence of brilliance, either on the part of the person who keeps repeating it or the shallow twits who believe it..

Well, unless maybe he's actually relying on the utter lack of brilliance on the part of those who really do think^H^H^H^H^Hfeel that it really is all about BOOOOSH!

Then it's just cynical pandering. Still not brilliance, though.

Re:Remember kids (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372279)

Your devolution into "party politics" is a huge part of the problem. Please stop.

Re:Remember kids (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372393)

Fuck off, let him rant will ya. People need to vent the truth every now and then.

Re:Remember kids (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372463)

Sometimes it would be nice if the "truth" had some basis in provable facts though.

Re:Remember kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372593)

Your devolution into "party politics" is a huge part of the problem. Please stop.

One wonders what your opinion is of entire Hollywood produced movies about assassinating George W. Bush.

Did you say, "Please stop" then?

I bet the answer is, "No", isn't it?

Re:Remember kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372855)

That's a wonderful straw man you've got there. Too bad it isn't relevant.

another god & gunz t-bagger. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40387041)

just another t-bagger working to make sure things don't get fixed. Its amazing how you t-baggers want nothing but POWER and are willing to destroy as much as possible to seize it.

Re:Remember kids (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372259)

While we're on the subject, it's kind of a life goal of mine to change this situation in the long run. The most well-known and potentially most powerful system with the most corruption seems to be the US federal government. As a web developer who would also like to bootstrap a startup one day, anyone have some ideas as to how I can effect some change to lower corruption in the federal government, legally? I have a few ideas but I'd be interested to hear others.

Re:Remember kids (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372605)

Talk to Lawrence Lessig, it's his next big project: http://wiki.lessig.org/index.php/Corruption [lessig.org]

Re:Remember kids (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40376343)

Lawrence Lessig is a hero of mine. I'd love to work with him, though I'm sure he has access to the best and brightest anyway. Thanks for the idea.

Re:Remember kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40373041)

I'd have to note that if you lie, cheat, and steal, you'll get into the top echelons of power. Just make sure no one catches you... or at least, make sure that when you do get caught, you have the power to "take care" of whoever caught you.

At least that is my opinion of how things work. ;)

A Romanian accused of stealing? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40371981)

Total surprise!

Who cares? (3, Informative)

x0d (2506794) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372085)

Seriously, who does? Why is this on Slashdot? It's not like Romania is relevant in world politics..

Re:Who cares? (2)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372353)

It's relevant because it demonstrates how new technology can be used to expose misdeeds from the past.

Re:Who cares? (1)

x0d (2506794) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372833)

Nothing new here (see Guttenberg's and Schavan's case in Germany or Grasser in Austria).

Re:Who cares? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40374607)

What new technology? The article doesn't go into any details, so for all we know it was a student in a library reading a paper book who spotted it.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40375171)

Seriously, who does? Why is this on Slashdot? It's not like Romania is relevant in world politics..

It's not about Romania, it's about "copy" and "paste" features.

fight corruption where ever it's found (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#40375335)

because we should fight corruption where ever we find it. we live in a small world. shit goes comes around and goes around. we should make it the best world we can, and how that others will do the same for us.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40383171)

Oh really? So who was it that changed sides in WWII, pushing the eastern front all way to Germany, helping the allies end the war 6 months early?
Why are all those romanian soldiers in Iraq & Afganistan?
Where is the american missle shield being placed again?

US pols are smater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372135)

US politicians for years have hidden their college writings. Now we know why!

An old pal (3, Informative)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372141)

How could you forget Pal Schmitt [wikipedia.org] ? Getting elected is all about lying to the electorate. Who would have thunk they'd have any problems lying when in school?

That's not the worst thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372219)

They totally plagiarized the country name. They just took Rome and added -ania to it.

Re:That's not the worst thing (2)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372401)

They totally plagiarized the country name. They just took Rome and added -ania to it.

Also, this is the same country that has news like this [mirror.co.uk]

Romanian politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372559)

Posting as AC, i work with LE. The same KGB-backed group that staged a coup back in '89 is desperately trying to get back to power, by any means. They already got the government and the parliament, and many media outlets are under their payroll. Unfortunately, all their politicians have bad reputations, so they are putting puppets in front of them. The last person that backed by that group is Adrian Nastase, which is under investigation for illegal fundraisings. The current PM, victor ponta had a hallucinating declaration a few years ago, claiming that the current president had a better "vote stealing machine" than themselves and that's why he won. His last proposed education ministers were a lady that had gone to STANDFORD university(that's right, search her CV), and a CS professor which plagiarized a crypto document. Both have been changed. The only guy still fighting for whatever stand as right in Romania is current president Traian Basescu, but he has been under a media barrage for the last 8 years. The only press about this subject today was that TB framed Victor Ponta with a fake plagiarism claim. I can ellaborate mroe.

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372617)

So, put in a few attributions and be done with it. NEXT.

You know what they say: (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#40372621)

When in Romania, copy what the Romanians do

in revenge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40372821)

the man should drop all laws pertaining to what hes accused of and jump up and down like a king

Plagiarism is everywhere (1)

eimsand (903055) | more than 2 years ago | (#40373083)

Honestly, plagiarism is everywhere, even in mainstream academic press in the US. I've caught several papers that were heavily plagiarized that were submitted for peer review just using string searches on Google. (And that's not counting the SciGen stuff that still shows up from time to time.)

Immediate justice for the elite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40373379)

From the article:
"There is very clear evidence in these excerpts that the matter should be investigated further.”

That'll teach him. I propose we organize a committee tasked with coming up with the people who will investigate this further. Then later on we can make a comittee to work on deciding when we will begin investigating.

The final report on the plagiarism is epected 5 years after the Prime Minister retires at a ripe old age to the country.

finally! (1)

postdan (962573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40373393)

Ponta, you've been "slashdotted"!

but wait, it's ok! (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40373617)

he didn't actually use his law degree for anything law related, he became a politician! the ability to plagiarize and not get caught until you're already in power is a highly desirable skill among politicians. he's actually displayed extraordinary competence in his field.

yo0 Fail It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40374541)

sthere 4re

bii2natch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40374639)

Munches the m0st lube. This can lead

OK in the United States (1)

Jodka (520060) | more than 2 years ago | (#40374887)

Confirmed American plagiarists U.S. Vice President Joe Biden [google.com] and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin [google.com] are still enjoying successful careers. So it seems that at least in the U.S. plagiarism is somewhat tolerated.

Re:OK in the United States (1)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#40377483)

Confirmed American plagiarists U.S. Vice President Joe Biden [google.com] and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin [google.com] are still enjoying successful careers. So it seems that at least in the U.S. plagiarism is somewhat tolerated.

Why stop at Biden, Obama [cbsnews.com] seems to have his hand in it occasionally as well... How does that saying go again: great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ... My guess is that most politicians fall into the later camp...

ACTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40379649)

Strange, huh? Governments announce they will not be ratifying ACTA and a few months later all kinds of dirt starts to surface.

Plagiarism in a "family" style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40388521)

But some professor-bandit at Northwestern University (USA) with a united italian research gang from the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Joint Research Centre, universities of Ferrara and Genova is still "plagiarizing researching": http://issuu.com/r_sklyar/docs/sklyarvsmussaivaldi

Good job Mr. Traian Basescu and especially to SRI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40396415)

Another successes of our brave SRI. I am not surprised, however I am a bit skeptical about how much stupidity to bite on the anonymous posting without any proofs .....it's a classic SRI manipulation "dotore" Basescu.

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