Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Judge allows Chevron to access email metadata of 100 human rights workers
#1
Judge: Chevron can access its critics' private user information

Posted July 08, 2013 by Marissa Vahlsing

After more than eight months of silence, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan recently issued a long-awaited decision on the enforceability of a subpoena served by Chevron on Microsoft in connection with Chevron's lawsuit claiming that it has been the victim of a conspiracy in the $18.2 billion judgment against it for massive environmental contamination in Ecuador. But Kaplan's decision begs more questions than it answers.
The sweeping subpoena was one of three issued to Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, demanding IP usage records and identity information for the holders of more than 100 email accounts, including environmental activists, journalists and attorneys. Chevron's subpoena sought personal information about every account holder and the IP addresses associated with every login to each account over a nine-year period.
This could allow Chevron to determine the countries, states, cities or even buildings where the account-holders were checking their email so as to "infer the movements of the users over the relevant period and might permit Chevron to makes inferences about some of the user's professional and personal relationships." (see Order, below, p6). Confronted with this affront to their privacy and rights of speech and association, the account-holders, represented by ERI and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), brought "motions to quash" the subpoenas in courts in California and New York on First Amendment grounds.
Judge Kaplan, who presides over Chevron's conspiracy lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, and who has been accused of prejudice against the Ecuadorians and their lawyers, managed to sit by "special designation" in the Northern District of New York so that he could decide the enforceability of the subpoena to Microsoft as well.
And decide he did. Kaplan's decision upheld Chevron's sweeping subpoena with an argument that is as breathtaking as the subpoena itself. According to Judge Kaplan, none of the accountholders could benefit from First Amendment protections since the accountholders had "not shown that they were U.S. citizens."
Now, let's break this down. The account-holders in this case were proceeding anonymously, which the First Amendment permits. Because of this, Judge Kaplan was provided with no information about the account holders' residency or places of birth. It is somewhat amazing then, that Judge Kaplan assumed that the account holders were not U.S. citizens. As far as I know, a judge has never before made this assumption when presented with a First Amendment claim. We have to ask then: on what basis did Judge Kaplan reach out and make this assumption?
Whether or not this assumption was correct and whether or not it matters the account-holders were never given the chance to submit evidence on the question of their citizenship. Judge Kaplan is hoping he made a lucky guess, but First Amendment rights, and the account-holders they protect, are entitled to more respect than judicial guesswork.
http://www.earthrights.org/blog/judge-ch...nformation
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#2
So, if a part of the military-multinational-intelligence complex such as Chevron claims it is the victim of a "conspiracy", the US legal system takes this hugely seriously.

Quote:After more than eight months of silence, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan recently issued a long-awaited decision on the enforceability of a subpoena served by Chevron on Microsoft in connection with Chevron's lawsuit claiming that it has been the victim of a conspiracy in the $18.2 billion judgment against it for massive environmental contamination in Ecuador.

Whereas most ordinary people might think that the real conspiracy is the massive environmental contamination of Ecuador....
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply
#3
Jan Klimkowski Wrote:So, if a part of the military-multinational-intelligence complex such as Chevron claims it is the victim of a "conspiracy", the US legal system takes this hugely seriously.

Quote:After more than eight months of silence, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan recently issued a long-awaited decision on the enforceability of a subpoena served by Chevron on Microsoft in connection with Chevron's lawsuit claiming that it has been the victim of a conspiracy in the $18.2 billion judgment against it for massive environmental contamination in Ecuador.

Whereas most ordinary people might think that the real conspiracy is the massive environmental contamination of Ecuador....
Ah, but you are just a conspiracy theorist then....
Whereas the US knows the real conspiracy is that Ecuador is keeping all the oil that actually belongs to the US. Chevron are merely retrieving what is theirs by right. Ecuador can clean up their mess and say "thank you Chevron". If Ecuador wants oil they have to do it properly and buy it like every one else.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#4

Chevron Withdraws Key Element of RICO Charge Against Donziger

Gowen Group Law Office
18 October 2013 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Gowen, 610-513-0539, press@gowengroup.com



New York, NY With the first week of trial in Chevron's RICO case over, it is becoming increasingly clear that the oil giant is facing significant hurdles as it attempts to salvage a verdict that will allow it to block international efforts to enforce the $19 billion Ecuador judgment.
After the first four witnesses, several issues have come into sharp focus. First, Chevron is willing to give up major portions of its RICO claims to avoid compelling evidence of its environmental pollution and corrupt activities in Ecuador from coming out in court.
At the same time, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan is doing everything he can to assist the oil giant's case. Kaplan has blocked most lines of questioning about environmental contamination, blocked evidence of Chevron's surveillance of Donziger, granted Chevron a trial preparation room five times the size of that used by Donziger and Ecuadorian defendants Hugo Camacho and Javier Piaguaje, and most notably, has twice taken over the questioning of Chevron witnesses.
"I don't think there's a lawyer in the world who would guess that this is a RICO case had they sat through the first week of trial," said Christopher Gowen, the spokesman for Donziger. "Chevron clearly wants to retry the Ecuador case that it lost in its preferred court".
Gowen said Chevron's case rests largely on a veritable parade of witnesses "who seem to personally dislike Steven Donziger" but have little information relevant to the legal claims in the case. "Chevron will continue to use this proceeding to try to destroy Donziger's reputation by distorting facts about him, which seems to be central to their strategy," he added.
The most stunning development occurred the first day when Chevron dropped a key predicate RICO act alleging that Donziger and his colleagues pressed for prosecutors in Ecuador to file "bogus" criminal charges against Ricardo Reis Veiga, a top Chevron lawyer. Just as lawyers were about to confront Reis Veiga with evidence that the charges were based on scientific proof that he designed and supervised a fraudulent remediation, Chevron agreed to drop that issue.
That move "completely validates everything Steven Donziger has been saying about this issue for years." said Gowen. "It was manufactured by Chevron to put pressure on Donziger and harm his reputation, and it was false."
"We were prepared to prove that Veiga orchestrated a major fraud in Ecuador to try to get Chevron out of its huge liability, and that the criminal charges against him had a valid basis," Gowen continued. "You may draw your own conclusions about why Chevron dropped this claim."
Another of Chevron's key witnesses, a former technical consultant for the rainforest communities named David Russell's written testimony, authored by Chevron's lawyers, stated that Donziger pressured him to put out an inflated damages estimate in 2003 to pressure the company into a settlement. Curiously, Mr. Russell had a much different tone during a 2003 interview with the Wall Street Journal where, in his own words, he called the Ecuadorian contamination "larger than the Chernobyl disaster".
Under cross-examination on the stand, Russell testified that he spent days putting together the assessment based on assumptions then available from limited data, and did so with no interference from Donziger.
Whether the thousands of dollars Mr. Russell has made from Chevron for his "testimony prep" influenced his testimony is rather obvious. Russell even admitted that Chevron lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher wrote his testimony for him in the first person.
Chevron scientist Sara McMillen was caught having to admit that the company's technical experts were told to only look for "clean" soil samples during the judicial inspections. Donziger has long accused Chevron of engaging in junk science to defraud Ecuador's court. (For a copy of his own claims against Chevron that Judge Kaplan would not let go forward, see here).
McMillen also conceded that Chevron called its own paid experts "independent" the exact same term used by Donziger and his colleagues that Chevron claims was inappropriate.
"Chevron's witnesses have affirmed what the victims of Chevron's contamination have known all too well for decades that a huge area where Chevron operated is horrifically polluted," said Han Shan, spokesperson for the Ecuadorians named in Chevron's RICO suit. "Chevron's attempts to run from this basic truth adds insult to injury for thousands of people who continue to suffer the impacts of the company's reckless conduct."
Chevron's RICO has three main problems:
First, the main activity in the case took place outside the U.S. in Ecuador, while the statute only applies to acts in the country. Second, now that Chevron has dropped money damages claims to avoid a jury, there is no equitable relief remedy available (such as an injunction blocking enforcement). Third, and most notably, Mr. Donziger did not commit a "predicate act" as clearly required by the RICO Statute, according to Gowen.
"Chevron figured out how to avoid a jury because the company knew full well New Yorkers would have seen through its charade," he added.
http://chevrontoxico.com/news-and-multimedia/2013/1018-chevron-withdraws-key-element-of-rico-charge-against-donziger
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#5
Don't 'ya just luv those Corporate-symp Judges! The state of the Judicial System is as bad as all the others....Amerika is a total wreck - destroyed by its own system, which in turn is destroying all but a handful of Americans and the World!
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  The Standing Rock Battle for the Environment, Clean Water, Native Rights, Civil Rights, A Future Peter Lemkin 3 9,404 08-11-2016, 07:28 PM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  Nuclear plant workers developed cancer despite lower radiation exposure than legal limit Magda Hassan 0 1,874 28-07-2011, 05:03 AM
Last Post: Magda Hassan
  Avi Lewis & Naomi Klein On Workers Fighting Back. Peter Lemkin 0 1,782 16-05-2009, 10:20 AM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  Universal Declaration Of Human Rights. Ever Read It? Read It Here. Peter Lemkin 2 2,125 26-03-2009, 06:16 PM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  German beneficiaries of human extermination and genocide want billions to be bailed out Magda Hassan 0 2,572 05-02-2009, 07:43 AM
Last Post: Magda Hassan
  Human extinction Magda Hassan 0 2,212 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  From Tuskegee to Guatamala - Human Experimentation by U.S. 'Doctors' Peter Lemkin 0 2,387 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  Londoners to be used as human shields by military during U.K. Olympics Magda Hassan 0 4,012 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  Amazon takes away access to purchased Christmas movie during Christmas Magda Hassan 0 3,453 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:
  UK councils in breach of human rights? David Guyatt 0 3,115 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)