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<nettime> Spooky Business: U.S. Corporations Enlist Ex-Intelligence Agents to Spy on Nonprofit Groups.

Spooky Business: U.S. Corporations Enlist Ex-Intelligence Agents to Spy on
Nonprofit Groups

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Giant
corporations are employing highly unethical or illegal tools of
espionage against nonprofit organizations with near impunity,
according to a new report by Essential Information. The report, titled
Spooky Business, documents how corporations hire shady investigative
firms staffed with former employees of the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), US military, Federal Bureau of
Investigations (FBI), Secret Service and local police departments to
target nonprofit organizations.

Corporate espionage against nonprofit organizations is an egregious
abuse of corporate power that is subverting democracy," said Gary
Ruskin, author of Spooky Business. "Who will rein in the forces of
corporate lawlessness as they bear down upon nonprofit defenders of

Many of the world's largest corporations and their trade associations
-- including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Monsanto, Bank
of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King,
McDonald's, Shell, BP, BAE, Sasol, Brown & Williamson and E.ON â??
have been linked to espionage or planned espionage against nonprofit
organizations, activists and whistleblowers. Many different types of
nonprofit organizations have been targeted with corporate espionage,
including environmental, anti-war, public interest, consumer, food
safety, pesticide reform, nursing home reform, gun control, social
justice, animal rights and arms control groups.

Corporations and their trade associations have been linked to a
wide variety of espionage tactics against nonprofit organizations.
The most prevalent tactic appears to be infiltration by posing a
volunteer or journalist, to obtain information from a nonprofit.
But corporations have been linked to many other human, physical
and electronic espionage tactics against nonprofits. Many of these
tactics are either highly unethical or illegal.

Founded in 1982 by Ralph Nader, Essential Information is a
Washington, DC-based nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. It
is involved in a variety of projects to promote corporate
accountability, a more just economy, public health and a sustainable
planet. It has published a bi-monthly magazine, books and
reports, sponsored conferences, provided writers with grants to
pursue investigations, published daily news summaries, operated
clearinghouses that disseminate information to grassroots
organizations in the United States and developing countries
worldwide, and has hosted scores of conferences focusing on
government and corporate accountability.

More information about Essential Information is at,
and about the Center for Corporate Policy at

The Spooky Business report is available at:

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