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