Why did a private security firm spy on Greenpeace?
In 2008, Greenpeace learned from an investigative report published by James Ridgeway in Mother Jones magazine that chemical companies including Dow Chemical, as well as public relations firms including Ketchum and Dezenhall Resources had paid the private security firm Beckett, Brown, International (BBI) to spy on Greenpeace from 1998 to 2000.
After conducting its own investigation Greenpeace filed suit on November 29, 2010 against Dow, Sasol North America (formerly Condea Vista), Ketchum, Dezenhall and several individuals connected to BBI. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case was later refiled in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia and charged that defendants stole thousands of documents and conducted unlawful surveillance and theft of confidential information related to Greenpeace’s campaigns to protect communities and the environment from extremely toxic chemicals like dioxin.
Chronology of the Spygate Litigation
November 29, 2010
Greenpeace files suit in the District Court for the District of Columbia. Read the original complaint
U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer dismisses the case without addressing a majority of allegations raised. Read more.
Greenpeace re-files in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
February 5, 2013
Judge Michael Rankin of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia rules that claims of trespass to Greenpeace’s Washington, DC office and misappropriation of Greenpeace’s trade secrets could proceed. Rankin dismisses the four remaining claims. Click here to read the court’s decision.
Greenpeace appeals the four counts dismissed by Judge Rankin to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Read the appeal and the appendix of supporting documents:
Greenpeace Appeal to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, filed October 2013.
Appendix of supporting documents for October 2013 Appeal
SpyGate in the News
- CNBC Video Clip
- Washington Post
- Mother Jones
- CNBC Print
- Ethical Corporation
- The Guardian
- New Zealand Herald
- Washington Post