Author Topic: The Times India: Dow Chemicals appointed Stratfor to spy on Bhopal activists: WL  (Read 3884 times)

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Dow Chemicals appointed Stratfor to spy on Bhopal activists: WikiLeaks
AFP | Feb 27, 2012, 07.36PM IST

US firm spied on Bhopal activists: WikiLeaks

LONDON: Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks today began publishing more than five million confidential emails from US-based intelligence firm Stratfor, the anti-secrecy group said.

The messages, which date from between July 2004 and December 2011, will reveal Stratfor's "web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods," claimed a WikiLeaks press release.

"The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients," added the press release.

The messages show that Dow Chemicals used Stratfor to monitor and analyse the online activities of activists seeking redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal.

The online organisation claims to have proof of the firm's confidential links to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co and Lockheed Martin and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is currently in Britain fighting extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning on rape and sexual assault allegations, and WikiLeaks has long expressed concern that if he is sent to Sweden, Stockholm would quickly send him on to the United States.

Washington is eager to lay hands on the founder after the organisation's publication of hundreds of thousands of classified US diplomatic files.

WikiLeaks promises that the latest leak will highlight Stratfor's attempts to "subvert" the website and expose the US's attempts to "attack" Assange.

Stratfor, which was founded by George Friedman in 1996, describes itself as "a subscription-based provider of geopolitical analysis."

"Unlike traditional news outlets, Stratfor uses a unique, intelligence-based approach to gathering information via rigorous open-source monitoring and a global network of human sources," according to the Texas-based firm's website.

The company promises subscribers will "gain a thorough understanding of international affairs, including what's happening, why it's happening, and what will happen next."

WikiLeaks predicts that the significance of the emails will only become clear over the next few weeks as its 25 media partners and the public sift through the raft of messages.

Its media partners include Rolling Stone magazine, The Hindu newspaper and Italy's La Repubblica.

The group claims to have found evidence that Stratfor gave a complimentary membership to Pakistan general Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistan's ISI intelligence service, who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack against international forces in Afghanistan in 2006.

The group also alleges it has proof that Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of activists seeking redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India.

Bradley Manning, the man suspected of turning over a massive cache of classified US documents to the secret-spilling site, on Thursday declined to enter a plea at his arraignment.

Manning, a 24-year-old US army private, is charged with 22 counts in connection with one of the biggest intelligence breaches in US history.

WikiLeaks was due to hold a press conference at London's Frontline Club later today.


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The Hindu: Stratfor accused of spying for Dow on Bhopal activists
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 12:35:55 PM »
Stratfor accused of spying for Dow on Bhopal activists

US-based security think-tank Stratfor spied for the Dow Chemicals on the activists of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, WikiLeaks alleged today as the whistleblower website started publishing millions of confidential emails of this prominent private intelligence analyst group.

The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011, WikiLeaks said.

“They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency,” WikiLeaks alleged.

Stratfor was not immediately available for its reaction on the allegations by WikiLeaks. But the website of this Texas-based organisation said that it is offering all its contents for free.

“I wanted to warn you that individuals continue to send out false communications that appear to be from Stratfor.

These spam emails may contain malware and attachments, and may attempt to lead you to websites that look like our own. They may also attempt to convince you to provide your private information,” says Stratfor CEO George Friedman on its website.

The emails posted by WikiLeaks on its website, revealed that Stratfor not only provided to Dow Chemicals and Union Carbide the analysis of the daily developments on the case related to the Bhopal Gas tragedy in Indian courts, but also the activities including the travel plans and like where they are staying or what they plan to do.

PTI has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of these emails.


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February 27, 2012

Dow paid U.S. firms to spy on Bhopal activists: WikiLeaks emails

Priscilla Jebaraj

Even as Dow Chemical has resisted all compensation claims with regard to the Union Carbide gas leak disaster in Bhopal, it found the money to hire an intelligence research firm to intensively monitor all NGOs and activists working on the issue.

On Monday, WikiLeaks released a cache of 5.5 million emails from the Texas-based intelligence company Stratfor, which revealed that regular monitoring reports of NGO activity as well as media coverage were sent to Dow and Union Carbide communications directors.

Dow Chemical, which bought Union Carbide in 2001, insists that it bears no responsibility to compensate victims or clean up the contaminated site of the 1984 disaster. However, these emails prove that it is still very much invested in monitoring the fallout of the disaster, and its impact on Dow's image.

A typical monitoring report begins with a round-up of all news items referencing Dow, Union Carbide or Bhopal from news wires, newspapers, television channels and news websites, both in India and abroad. It includes a comprehensive dossier on activist activity — covering court cases, online petitions, film screenings, fundraisers and publicity events, press releases, blog posts, items on message boards, emails to mailing lists, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. No event or statement seems to have been too obscure for Allis Information Management, the Michigan-based firm that prepared the monitoring reports for Dow. Intelligence analysts going so far as to track petition signers, commenters on blog posts, or those who might have re-tweeted a Dow-related article. Names such as Bhopal-based activists Rachna Dhingra and Satinath Sarangi find frequent mention, as well as anti-corporate pranksters, the Yes Men. In the latter part of 2011, much attention was paid to the campaign protesting Dow's sponsorship of the London Olympics.

In the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, Stratfor analysts also discussed the trends in activist strategies, speculating whether major NGO players would be able to connect Bhopal to the larger issue of corporate irresponsibility, the issue of “other Bhopals.”

The Yes Men activists accused Dow of using “sinister spy tactics” and corporate paranoia. “These leaks seem to show that corporate power is most afraid of whatever reveals ‘the larger whole' and ‘broader issues', i.e., whatever brings systemic criminal behaviour to light,” a Yes Men statement said on Monday.

However, while the monitoring was extensive and intensive, there does not seem to be any evidence of espionage, or of any illegal activity by Dow in this cache of emails. All the data mined by the intelligence research firm seems to be in the public domain, and openly available to any interested person.


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The Hindu: Dow's surveillance not surprising, say Bhopal activists
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 12:44:53 PM »
BHOPAL, March 1, 2012

Dow's surveillance not surprising, say Bhopal activists

Mahim Pratap Singh

“It just shows they are scared of us, even more than they are of the government”

Activists associated with the Bhopal gas tragedy have expressed little surprise over the WikiLeaks expose claiming Dow Chemical had hired surveillance corporation Stratfor to spy on them.

“We are not surprised at all because that is the kind of company Dow chemical is. We believe they had put someone on our ‘Remembering Bhopal' list during 2004-06 when Dow was lobbying intensely with Ambassador Ronen Sen, Minister Kamal Nath and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. With the benefit of retrospect, it all seems to make sense now,” said Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group of Information and Action (BGIA).

Other activists also echoed similar views.

“It just shows that they are scared of us, even more than they are of the government,” said Abdul Jabbar of the Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan — an organisation of gas victims.

However, reacting to media reports claiming India would partially boycott the Olympics and Indian officials would not be part of the opening and closing ceremonies for the tournament, Mr. Jabbar said it should be the last resort.

“India should firmly put its feet down and persuade the organisers to push Dow out of the games. Boycott and other such measures should be the government's last resort,” he said.

Meanwhile, two survivor organisations have sent a memorandum to Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), requesting both bodies to rescind Dow Chemical's sponsorship.

The memorandum has been sent by N.D. Jayaprakash of the Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti — a coalition of all-India and Delhi-based organisations for supporting the struggle of the gas-victims — and Mr. Jabbar.

“We consider that Dow is guilty of practising and condoning racial discrimination... of resorting to falsehood, bribery and intimidation to promote its business interests.

“For maintaining the spirit of the Olympic Movement and for upholding the sanctity of the Olympic Charter and the Code of Ethics, we urge the IOC and the LOCOG to rescind that decision for, it was made on the basis of false and misleading information furnished to you by Dow,” the memorandum reads.

Invoking the “six fundamental principles of Olympism,” enshrined in the Olympics Charter 2011, the two organisations have urged the IOC and the LOCOG to reconsider its earlier decision on the basis of a fair and balanced assessment of all the facts and not solely on Dow's ‘fabricated' version.

The memorandum cites the following parts from the Olympic Charter: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement,” and from the IOC's Code of Ethics (2012): “The Olympic parties, their agents or their representatives must not be involved with firms or persons whose activity or reputation is inconsistent with the principles set out in the Olympic Charter...”


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#Gifiles Wikileaks Releases on Bhopal aktivists monitoring:

DOW CONFIDENTIAL -- Bhopal monitoring 09-09-11

DOW CONFIDENTIAL: Bhopal Monitoring Report Friday, December 09, 2011

« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 09:55:55 AM by isis »