PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Suit Accuses Dow, Sasol of Unlawful Activity

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Comment | More

Greenpeace Inc. has filed a federal-court lawsuit against coatings chemical makers Dow Chemical Co. and Sasol North America Inc., accusing the companies and their public-relations firms of sanctioning illegal surveillance, document theft and other unlawful acts of to infiltrate and muzzle the environmental group.

The action, filed Monday (Nov. 29) in U.S. District Court in Washington DC, accuses the chemical companies, PR companies Ketchum Inc. (now a subsidiary of Omnicom Group Inc.) and Dezenhall Resources Ltd., as well as a now-defunct security firm and its former executives of engaging in “a pattern and practice of clandestine and unlawful activities that has included misappropriation and theft of confidential information and trade secrets, unlawful surveillance, misuse of law enforcement personnel and, in all likelihood, unlawful breaking and entering into Greenpeace offices and other locations.”

The actions, detailed at length in the 57-page suit, are alleged to have occurred between 1998 and 2000, when Greenpeace’s activities included campaigns targeting the practices or products of the chemical companies.

Conspiracy Alleged

The goal, the suit alleges, was “to secure confidential information about, and potentially disrupt, the efforts of Greenpeace and other nonprofit organizations and individuals to expose and inform the public and regulators about the chemical companies’ activities that were damaging to the environment.”

Greenpeace accused the chemical companies of paying “other members of the conspiracy, including a private security firm (Beckett Brown International) that employed the individual defendants, for confidential information unlawfully obtained from Greenpeace.”

BBI was established in 1995 and staffed by former Secret Service and Central Intelligence Agency employees, the suit says. BBI was renamed S2i in 2000 and dissolved in 2001.

Spokesmen for Dow, Ketchum and Dezenhall have declined in published reports to comment on the suit.

A spokeswoman for Sasol issued this statement Tuesday: “Sasol North America is in the process of analyzing the complaint filed by Greenpeace on 29 November 2010. The alleged behavior of espionage relates to a time period more than ten years ago. At that time, the company was named CONDEA Vista Inc. and not owned by Sasol. Sasol acquired CONDEA Vista as a part of the worldwide CONDEA business in March 2001.”

‘Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars’

The allegations stem from an April 2008 article in the magazine Mother Jones, alleging corporate spying by BBI and detailing documentation by a former BBI investor—documents that allegedly included some stolen from Greenpeace.

The Greenpeace suit alleges that beginning in 1998, the chemical companies paid BBI either directly or indirectly “hundreds of thousands of dollars for engaging in the conduct described herein” and, in turn, “received confidential information that had been misappropriated from Greenpeace through a variety of unlawful means….”

BBI records, the suit alleges, identify Greenpeace as a “target” and show that the firm “spent hundreds of hours collecting and analyzing information from Greenpeace,” including information gained through “surreptitious and deceitful methods of data collection….”

Documents and Records

The suit says that the BBI executives conducted more than 120 instances of various efforts to obtain internal documents at Greenpeace’s offices, including 55 occasions aided by an off-duty District of Columbia police officer.

Greenpeace says it has recovered more than 1,000 pages of its own internal documents from BBI’s files—the vast majority of them “in pristine condition,” suggesting, Greenpeace says, that they were taken not from trash dumpsters but from recycling receptacles and/or from inside Greenpeace’s office.

BBI was also found to have confidential security codes and “highly confidential Greenpeace records” that “could only have been secured from Greenpeace’s offices,” the suit says.

The suit says the defendants sent a consultant to Greenpeace’s offices “masquerading as a prospective campaign volunteer,” with the intention of casing the office.

It alleges illegal surveillance of a Greenpeace employee and a public relations firm tied to Greenpeace; it also alleges theft of internal documents from the PR firm. All of these activities were spelled out in regular briefings to the chemical companies and/or their PR firms, the suit says.

The suit alleges trespass, invasion of privacy by intrusion, racketeering and other unlawful activities.

   

Tagged categories: Dow Chemical Company; Lawsuits

Comment from David Rice, (12/1/2010, 7:52 AM)

That's rich: a group known for flagrantly flouting both U.S. and international law filing suit alleging that someone used the same tactics against them!


Comment from Daniel Morenings, (12/1/2010, 9:13 AM)

Thats the first and overriding impression that I got from this story. I feel so sorry their privacy was intruded upon.....not.


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (12/2/2010, 8:39 AM)

Real liberty means defending the rights of those people we don't like. It's easy to defend the rights of those we do like.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

U.S. Zinc
Historic Reliability. Innovative Performance.

The reliable protection properties of our zinc dust help combat deterioration and corrosion in your paints and coatings. U.S. Zinc - Helping the world work™


Axxiom Manufacturing
Schmidt Improves
Portable Blasters

Schmidt's VBS System reduces blowdown intensity, prevents exhaust from damaging floor while using no screens or filters. Reduces sound; Increasing safety.
Call 1-800-231-2085


ABKaelin, LLC
Quality is our bottom line

Services include:
• Environmental, Health &
  Safety
• Contractor QP Certification
• Quality Assurance Programs
  and Auditing
• SSPC C3/C5 and other
  Training
• Coatings
• Design/Construction
See our website at abkaelin.com or contact us today abkaelin@comcast.net


LS Industries
LS Blasters: Optimum Steel Cleaning Efficiency

Simplify surface prep with the precise shot control of LS Blasters. Our blast technology delivers optimum coverage and finish. 800-533-8008


SAFE Systems, Inc.
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems

Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the
system that best fits
your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278


Trelawny Surface Preparation Technology
Surface Preparation Equipment

Manufacturer of needle scalers, grinders, scarifiers and scabblers. Pneumatic tools for Marine and Construction. US distributor CS Unitec: 800-700-5919


NLB Corporation
Water jet surface prep, high or low

See how quickly HydroPrep® tools do surface prep, with no containment needed. Choose automated Crawler for overhead, Vortex™ for floors, or handheld VertaJet™.


Dampney Co., Inc.
High Temperature
Stove Paint

• Multiple Colors.
• Prevents rust and corrosion.
• Wood Burning stoves,
fire pits, smokers.
• Aerosol, Quarts,
Gallons, 5 Gallons.


Abrasives Inc.
One Call Orders it All!

Life is good when it’s simple. We distribute Clemco blast equipment, nozzles & parts alongside our proven blast media. Make your call: Abrasives Inc. 800-584-7524

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com