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The Guardian reports that surveillance firms spied on campaign groups for big companies

A leading lawyer has called media reports that businesses including British Airways and Porsche used spies to infiltrate campaign groups ‘scandalous’ if true.

12 December 2017

According to The Guardian a huge leak of documents from two corporate intelligence agencies has exposed the extent to which commercial businesses including British Airways, Royal Bank of Scotland, Porsche and Caterpillar paid corporate intelligence firms to infiltrate campaign groups and activists that challenged their businesses.

The paper reports that the infiltrators pretended to be activists sympathetic to the cause of the campaigners. Leigh Day currently represents five prominent anti-asbestos campaigners whose network was allegedly infiltrated by a corporate spy engaged by K2 Intelligence Limited, a corporate intelligence agency based in Mayfair.

The campaigners are bringing claims for breach of confidence, misuse of confidential information and breach of the Data Protection Act against K2 Intelligence Ltd, its Executive Managing Director, Matteo Bigazzi, and Robert Moore (the alleged spy).

Richard Meeran, a partner in the international claims team at Leigh Day who represents the anti-asbestos campaigners says:

“There is increasing evidence of the targeting of campaigners by corporate intelligence companies representing big business.

“Campaign groups and activists are frequently a thorn in the side of big business, monitoring the behaviour of multinationals and, when needed, shining a spotlight on their abuses.

“As such, information about campaign groups’ actions and strategies is potentially extremely valuable to these large companies and therefore must be protected.”

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