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Surveillance firms spied on environmental activists

leaked documents from two corporate intelligence firms

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robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
1 12 Dec 2017
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/12/surveillance-firms-spied-on-campaign-groups-for-big-companies-leak-shows

British Airways, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Porsche are among five large companies that have been identified as having paid corporate intelligence firms to monitor political groups that challenged their businesses, leaked documents reveal.

The surveillance included the use of infiltrators to spy on campaigners.

The targets included the grieving family of Rachel Corrie, a student protester crushed to death by a bulldozer, as well as a range of environmental campaigns, and local campaigners protesting about phone masts.

The leaked documents suggest the use of secretive corporate security firms to gather intelligence about political campaigners has been widespread. However, police chiefs have in the past raised a “massive concern” that the activities of the corporate firms are barely regulated and completely uncontrolled.

The police have claimed that commercial firms have had more spies embedded in political groups than there were undercover police officers.

The revelations are based on hundreds of pages of leaked documents from two corporate intelligence firms, seen by the Guardian and the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, that reveal the inner workings of a normally subterranean industry over several years in the 2000s.

The cache shows how one of the firms, C2i International, used two infiltrators to acquire advance warning of demonstrations that were being mounted against firms and to feed this information to those firms.

The infiltrators pretended to be activists sympathetic to the cause of the campaigners, helping to organise and attending their demonstrations, including on one occasion dressing up as a pirate with a cutlass and eyepatch as part of a protest. They often obtained the campaigners’ internal documents such as emails and accounts of meetings.
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Leaked documents show that C2i claimed it had “real-time intelligence assets” in a range of environmental campaigns including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, local green groups in Oxford and “all anti‐aviation groups”.

C2i, which changed its name before being wound up in 2011, was set up by Justin King, a former special forces pilot who said he specialised in surveillance and counter-intelligence.
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