Thursday, August 10, 2017

Statoil spies

Greenpeace has caught New Zealand's most infamous private spy agency, Thompson & Clark, spying on them:

Greenpeace claims it has caught spies in the act of tracking its staff and supporters and compiling detailed dossiers.

Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Russel Norman told the Herald the surveillance included tracking people in their private lives.

The environmental lobby group has filed a civil suit in the High Court against Thompson & Clark Investigations alleging breach of privacy and seeking an injunction to stop the surveillance.


"We have discovered that Greenpeace has been subject to systematic highly intrusive investigations by Thompson & Clark [Investigations] and people working for them," Norman said.

"They have been following our staff and volunteers in their private lives as well as their professional lives.

"We took steps to confirm some of the information we received. That involved looking at some of the dossiers compiled by Thompson & Clark. We also put in place a counter-surveillance operation to catch them in the act.

You may remember Thompson & Clark as the outfit Solid Energy hired to spy on anti-coal activists a decade ago and which has used illegal tracking devices on animal rights activists. Now they're working for Statoil and Anadarko - foreign companies. Which incidentally makes them an agent of a foreign power, spying on New Zealanders to try and disrupt our democracy. Supposedly we have an agency which is supposed to protect us from shit like that, but I think we all know whose side they're on. And so its left to Greenpeace to protect themselves through the courts.

The New Zealand government is allegedly involved in this as well (by which I assume MBIE). We've seen this before with Timberlands and Solid Energy, and it is simply not acceptable for any government agency to hire private thugs to spy on and disrupt democratic opposition to government policy. There needs to be a full and public inquiry into any government involvement, and if there is any, it needs to be stamped out and the people who arranged it fired. There should be no place in our public service or wider public sector for those who would suppress democracy.

Meanwhile, we should be asking Norway why a supposedly friendly country is hiring thugs to disrupt our democracy, and whether they think it is acceptable or in accordance with their democratic values.