Electricité de France (EDF) has been spying on Greenpeace since 2004 according to a report this morning on the French news website Mediapart, which cites evidence from official investigation files. According to the files EDF was also seeking intelligence on Greenpeace activities in the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain, where it has substantial business interests.
On March 31, Greenpeace France discovered that its former campaign director's computer was hacked in 2006, and that the organisation had been targeted by the private investigation company Kargus Consultants under instruction from EDF. It is possible that the whole of the Greenpeace network was penetrated.
At least two contracts were signed between EDF and Kargus, in 2004 and 2007, for the provision of 'operational support for the ongoing strategic surveillance of environmental organisations and their activities and practices'. This 'operational support' suggests regular reports from Kargus to EDF on Greenpeace's activities. Kargus used various surveillance techniques and may even have infiltrated Greenpeace. In 2004, Kargus invoiced EDF for more than EUR 13,000 per month.
Regarding the 2007 contract it appears that EDF was aware of the use of illegal hacking.
"How can we trust a public company that devotes resources to spying on its critics?" asks Pascal Husting, Director of Greenpeace France. "How many contracts are we talking about here anyway? Are other agencies monitoring the activities of other environmental organisations?"
Following today's revelations, Greenpeace is calling for the suspension of EDF CEO, Mr. Gadonneix, and demands that the Government establishes an independent assessment of the nuclear industry as well as an open and democratic debate on nuclear power in France.
"The role of nuclear power in France, and its international business interests need to be thoroughly investigated," said Dr Rianne Teule, Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaigner. "Globally we need energy resources that maintain energy security and protect the climate, not ones that create more security issues and detract from the real solutions to climate change."
Greenpeace France, which is party to the case against EDF, will this afternoon present its evidence to the investigating judge.
Other contacts: Dr Rianne Teule, Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaigner;
Pascal Husting, Director Greenpeace France:
Frederic Marillier, Greenpeace France Nuclear Campaigner:
Alexandra Dawe, Greenpeace International Nuclear Communications:
Romain Chabrol, Greenpeace France Nuclear Communications:
Greenpeace International Press Desk: +31207182470