US company spied on Bhopal activists, claims WikiLeaks

Blow for Dow

US company spied on Bhopal activists, claims WikiLeaks

Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks on Monday 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 showed 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 claimed to have proof of the firm’s confidential links to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical and Lockheed Martin and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, US Marines and US Defence 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 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 promised that the latest leak will highlight Stratfor’s attempts to “subvert” the website and expose the US attempts to “attack” Assange.

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

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

The company promised subscribers will “gain a thorough understanding of international affairs, including what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what will happen next.”
WikiLeaks predicted 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.
The group also alleged it has proof that Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of activists.

India asks IOC to scrap deal with Dow

New Delhi:  In the face of International Olympic Committee’s intransigence over withdrawing Dow Chemicals, owner of Union Carbide (responsible for 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy) as London Olympics sponsors, Indian government on Monday asked the IOC to scrap its deal with the company. 

In a letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge, signed by  Rahul Bhatnagar, joint secretary in the Ministry, the government asked the Committee to “go beyond lesser considerations” and cancel the deal.

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