Corporate Spying on citizens


Governments aren’t the only ones spying on citizens, the lesser known aspects of the total surveillance society are in the area of corporate spying.

Shell, Nestle, Monsanto and McDonald’s Have Biggest Private Spy Outfits

Just as governments spy on activists, so do corporations. In an interview, investigative reporter Eveline Lubbers is asked which corporations have the most extensive intelligence-gathering operations. The answer ( via In Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark you detail policies of cooperation between state security services and corporate security in monitoring the activities of activist and pressure groups. In your research were you able to identify two or three nations and corporations that might, in your opinion, be the “worst” offenders?

LUBBERS: In my book, the worst offenders in Secret Manoeuvres are Shell, Nestlé and Monsanto. And McDonald’s to a lesser extent. Corporations under fire for many reasons, and for many years. My research depends on the availability of sources, whistleblowers, leaks or court transcripts.

The present corporate counterstrategies go back to the early 1970s, and in the UK to the Thatcher days, with corporations today building on the similar plans developed back in the days by those in PR and risk management. The networks of police and intelligence personnel now working in security for corporations or in consultancy is more than an old boy network exchanging information. The blurring boundaries give way to a joint network with a similar agenda of increasing power while getting rid of risk factors like boycotts or other political barriers.

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