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Thursday, July 11, 2013

First Amendment protections in jeopardy...a chilling federal ruling

Following Chevron's guilty sentence for the dumping of 18.5bn gallons of toxic waste in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Chevron is amassing the personal information of the environmentalists and attorneys who fought against them in an effort to prove 'conspiracy.'
The US government is not the only entity who, with judicial approval, is amassing massive amounts of personal information against their so-called enemies. (Ordinary Americans.) A federal judge has ruled to allow Chevron, through a subpoena to Microsoft, to collect the IP usage records and identity information for email accounts owned by over 100 environmental activists, journalists and attorneys. The oil giant is demanding the records in an attempt to cull together a lawsuit which alleges that the company was the victim of a conspiracy in the $18.2 billion judgment against it for dumping 18.5 billion gallons of oil waste in the Ecuadorean Amazon, causing untold damage to the rainforest. The "sweeping" subpoena was one of three issued to Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.

"Environmental advocates have the right to speak anonymously and travel without their every move and association being exposed to Chevron," said Marcia Hofmann, Senior Staff Attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who—along with environmental rights group EarthRights International (ERI)—had filed a motion last fall to "quash" the subpoenas. "These sweeping subpoenas create a chilling effect among those who have spoken out against the oil giant's activities in Ecuador," she added at the time."

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/07/11-3

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you....then you win." (Gandhi)