Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Power of the Power Provider

EDF accused of spying

I read today that EDF, France's state owned nuclear energy operator and my own domestic electric supplier is alleged to have paid investigators to infiltrate the anti-nuclear movement around Europe, that's according to testimony given in a French judicial investigation. The investigation is looking into whether the state firm condoned illegal practices as part of a surveillance operation. I don't know about this but my household bill has increased by approximately 20% in the last two years, which translates into £10 a week from my meagre dole money

The EDF affair has exposed an underworld of computer hackers and private investigators who have worked for some of the world's so-called respected companies. Pierre Francois, the deputy head of EDF's production security division, said he had organised surveillance on Greenpeace in France and Europe since about 2002.

Last month judges opened an investigation into allegations that state-owned EDF hired a private detective agency run by a former member of the French secret services to illegally spy on environmentalists and infiltrate their ranks.

Last week, in front of the investigating judge, the head of Kargus Consultants confirmed his involvement in hacking into Greenpeace computer systems and said a senior EDF official knew about the operation.

A computer expert from the detective agency admitted hacking into Greenpeace computer systems. The scandal sparked outrage among anti-nuclear campaigners in France, where the state has a troubled history with activists. Twenty-four years ago, the French secret service bombed the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior.

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