This story in the Guardian, which reports that UK energy companies have
been carrying out covert intelligence-gathering operations on environmental activists
is sure to make U.S. climate activists paranoid. Of course, corporate espionage, be it employed against competitors or perceived opponents, is nothing new. If I was the head of a major climate advocacy group, I'd just assume that I had agent provocateurs in the ranks. And anyone familiar with the unsavory history of COINTELPRO knows that successful protest groups (here is the latest notorious case to emerge from the Civil Rights era) are often targeted by government agencies as "subversive." A recent lawsuit filed by Greenpeace suggests that corporate spying on green groups is nothing new, either.