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Anti-Fracking Group Settles Surveillance Lawsuit With Pennsylvania – January 26, 2015

Deal doesn’t alter the cozy relationship between the energy industry and the state, says group’s founder

A grassroots anti-fracking group wrongfully cited as a terror threat in intelligence bulletins distributed by the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security (OHS) in 2010, settled its lawsuit against the state last week. The suit by the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition (GDAC) stems from the state agency’s efforts to gather intelligence on groups it deemed a threat to Pennsylvania’s critical infrastructure. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

anti-fracking activists wave signs on a bridgePhoto courtesy of GDAC Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, a group seeking to educate the public about fracking, was swept up in an attempt to root out so-called "eco-terrorism."

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by: Adam Federman

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New York’s Fracking Ban is a Major Setback for the Oil and Gas Industry – December 18, 2014

Activists are now laying the groundwork for a national campaign against "extreme energy"

Five years ago it wasn’t a question of if fracking would come to New York but when. Yesterday’s decision by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban high volume hydraulic fracturing in the state is a measure of how much things have changed in a relatively short period of time. New York is the first state, other than Vermont (which has little or no proven shale deposits) to ban the controversial drilling technique. New York’s decision is particularly striking given that it sits atop the mother of all gas reserves: the Marcellus Shale. In no uncertain terms the decision is a major setback for the oil and gas industry in North America.

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by: Adam Federman

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PR Firm to Advise New York Oil & Gas Group to “Win Ugly” – November 12, 2014

Leaked transcript shows energy companies will be told to make the fight against fracking opponents personal

A PR firm well known for its hardball tactics in defense of Big Tobacco will deliver the keynote address at tonight’s Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York’s (IOGA-NY) annual conference in Buffalo. The same talk titled, “Big Green Radicals: Exposing Environmental Groups,” was presented at the Western Energy Alliance annual meeting in Colorado this summer. Richard Berman, president of the consulting firm Berman and Company, told the audience of oil and gas executives that they were engaged in “an endless war,” and warned that, “You can either win ugly or lose pretty.”

Anti-fracking protest in Albany, NY Photo by eranderson428/FlickrAn anti-fracking rally… more

by: Adam Federman

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New Oil & Gas Industry Intel Network Circumvents FOIA law – November 10, 2014

Now the public has no way of finding out what kind of information is being circulated among network members or with the federal government

What if the private sector banded together to create its own intelligence sharing networks exempt from FOIA law and public accountability?

In the last decade a number of different industries ranging from financial services and health care to nuclear energy and defense have created what are known as Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs). They allow member companies to share information anonymously without fear that it will be subject to FOIA requests or anti-trust violations. Now the oil and gas industry is getting in on the act.

view thorugh a spyholePhoto by Vince PooleyInformation Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs)created by private industries allow member… more

by: Adam Federman

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Deep Undercover: Police Officer in UK Fathered a Child with an Activist as Part of an Investigation – October 28, 2014

Court settlement raises new questions about ethics of police infiltration

What are the limits — if any — to undercover policing? At what point is a moral, ethical, or legal threshold crossed when an undercover operative insinuates himself into a targeted group or the lives of its members?

Last Thursday British media reported that the UK’s Metropolitan Police would pay £425,000 (about $686,000) in a settlement with a woman, known only as Jacqui, who was conned by a man who fathered her first child, said that he loved her, and then one day disappeared. She knew him as Bob Robinson. His real name, as she would learn 25 years later, was Bob Lambert. He was an operative with the Special… more

by: Adam Federman

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