By Contributor on July 17, 2013

On June 25, a federal judge approved a subpoena, to be served by Chevron to Microsoft, granting the oil company private Internet and phone data related to 30 email addresses, including those related to environmental nonprofits, activists, journalists and lawyers.

This information forms part of a larger fishing expedition by Chevron to go after those who won an $18 billion judgment against the company in Ecuador in February 2011 for dumping 18.5 billion gallons of highly toxic waste into the streams and rivers in the rainforests of eastern Ecuador.

In its retaliatory lawsuit, Chevron claims that "this judgment is the product of fraud." And it is seeking the IP addresses of individuals involved in the suit over a nine-year period.

In particular, the subpoena calls for the production of all documents related to "the identity of the users of the email addresses, including 'all names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, billing information, date of account creation, account information and all other identifying information."

Like the NSA, Chevron claims that "the subpoena does not call for contents of emails sent or received by any of the thirty email addresses." It does however request Microsoft to "produce documents identifying the account holders and their available personal information" and "the IP address connected with every subsequent login to each account over a nine-year period."

As the subpoena itself states, it would allow Chevron to determine the countries, states, cities and even building addresses from which accounts were used.

Chevron also served subpoenas around September 18, 2012,to Google and Yahoo, demanding IP logs and identifying information for approximately 71 email accounts. Earth Rights International and the Electronic Front Foundation filed a motion to quash these subpoenas on First Amendment grounds in northern California on November 28, 2012.

According to Marissa Vahlsing, attorney, Earth Rights International (ERI), working on the case, "Chevron lost in Ecuador. Now, they have gone on the offensive in the U.S."

"Chevron fought particularly hard," she continued, "to enforce two extremely broad and invasive subpoenas against Amazon Watch, which has been running the Clean Up Ecuador Campaign for a decade."

In November 2012, Chevron served Amazon Watch a 28-page subpoena, demanding almost all internal documents and communications, memos, Facebook postings and emails related to Chevron campaigns and litigation.

The request included "all documents concerning any protests, rallies, marches, demonstrations, petitions or other similar events concerning Chevron or the Chevron litigations."

It included "all documents concerning any activities organized, created, or held on social media including, but not limited to, Facebook and Twitter, concerning Chevron or the Chevron litigations."

The subpoena was quashed on April 5, 2013, on First Amendment grounds. The document quashing it stated that "Amazon Watch has made a prima facie showing that the subpoenas seek information protected by the First Amendment."

With the latest subpoena, Vahlsing says activists are being "harassed and chilled" and "that Chevron seeks to establish a blueprint to go on the offensive."

Tina Gerhardt is an independent journalist and academic who covers energy policy, climate negotiations and related direct actions. Her work has appeared in Alternet, Climate Progress, Grist, The Nation, The Progressive and the Washington Monthly.

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This Halloween movie will scare anyone who cares about news.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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