Greenpeace Sues Dow for Unlawful Espionage

There is an intriguing lawsuit filed in Washington where Greenpeace has alleged that Dow Chemical, Sasol North America and their contractors engaged in a two-year campaign of illegal espionage against it, including taping telephones and stealing documents.

The 56-page lawsuit also names public relations firms Dezenhall Resources and Ketchum as responsible for hiring people to spy on Greenpeace from 1998 to 2000 and to perform “clandestine and unlawful” actions to undermine its efforts against the industry. They allege that companies hired former NSA experts to steal employee records and confidential plans.

Beckett Brown International is named as the security firm.

The lawsuit reminds one of the campaign against Ralph Nader by General Motors that led to the ruling in Nader v. General Motors. If not dismissed, the case against Dow could lead to some highly damaging discovery. However, such a case will require a serious commitment from Greenpeace to litigate challenges to discovery and likely appeals to the D.C. Circuit. It is a process that could take many years.

What is striking is the absence of a criminal complaint for unlawful surveillance or theft. We will be following this case closely.

Source: Washington Post

Jonathan Turley

5 thoughts on “Greenpeace Sues Dow for Unlawful Espionage”

  1. This certainly does merit watching. I hope Greenpeace sticks to their guns. Dow is historically a prime example of a corporate actor willing to break, buy or bend the law to the their benefit. They should be held accountable.

  2. Jeremy Scahill and James Bamford have both done exhaustive research documenting the outsourcing of intelligence to private contractors. This intelligence gathering, more accurately called spying, is conducted against our entire population. Information is passed on to the govt. who uses it to target peace activists and other “undesirables” who threaten to expose its unjust activities. Companies regularly purchase and use such information against those they consider “undesirable” as well. It is an interlocking directorate between giant corporations and the govt.

    There is a distinct pattern in who the govt. will and will not prosecute for wrong doing. It would do citizens well to pay attention to that pattern because it is a clear indication that we have a totalitarian govt. based on the rule of fiat not law. Law has become simply another tool of unjust power against we the people.

  3. Kudo’s to Greenpeace, but I hope they have some deep pockets for this sure to be expensive and time consuming lititgation.

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