Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Secrets Out: Spying on Environmental Activists

Revealed: how energy firms spy on environmental activists

Leaked documents show how three large British companies have been paying private security firm to monitor activists

Protesters at Ratcliffe-on Soar power station, operated by E.ON, which says it has hired security firms to gather information on climate activists. Photograph: Tom Pilston

14 February 2011 - Three large energy companies have been carrying out covert intelligence-gathering operations on environmental activists, the Guardian can reveal.

The energy giant E.ON, Britain's second-biggest coal producer Scottish Resources Group and Scottish Power, one of the UK's largest electricity-generators, have been paying for the services of a private security firm that has been secretly monitoring activists.

Leaked documents show how the security firm's owner, Rebecca Todd, tipped off company executives about environmentalists' plans after snooping on their emails. She is also shown instructing an agent to attend campaign meetings and coaching him on how to ingratiate himself with activists. The disclosures come as police chiefs, on the defensive over damaging revelations of undercover police officers in the protest movement, privately claim that there are more corporate spies in protest groups than undercover police officers.

Senior police officers complain that spies hired by commercial firms are – unlike their own agents – barely regulated. {continued}

Green groups targeted polluters as corporate agents hid in their ranks

14 February 2011 - Special report: After revelations of police spying, the focus turns to firms paid to infiltrate protesters {continued}

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