While Americans and ignorant Conservatives complain about the NSA seizing email data, something more disturbing happened. A Federal Court granted Chevron, yes the corporation, access to 9 years of email meta data. This data includes names, time stamps, detailed location data and login info, but not context.
This data will be taken from activists, lawyers and journalists who criticized the company for drilling in Ecuador, while leaving behind toxic sludge and leaky pipelines. Since 1993 Chevron has lost numerous appeals and has payed about $19 billion to cover the cost of environmental damage. Chevron alledges that it is a victim of extortion, which is why it asked Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, the owner of Hotmail, to give them email data.
Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan of New York granted the Microsoft subpoena last month. He ruled it didnt violate the 1st Amendment because Americans weren’t among the people targeted. But evidently Americans are included. This brings questions to the validity of the subpoena. The First Amendment allows Americans to speak anonymously. A different Federal Judge stopped Chevron’s attempts to seize documents from Amazon Watch, one of Chevrons most vocal critics. That judge said the subpeona was a violation of the groups First Amendment rights.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) represents 40 of the targeted users. Some are members of legal teams and at least one of the targeted Hotmail users is American. Nate Cardoza, attorney for the EFF, says that many of the Yahoo and Gmail users are American.
This seems a desperation move by Chevron. They cannot seem to win any of these legal battles, because they are of course guilty. In 2011 alone Chevron payed $9 billion in damages and was forced to make a public apology. Chevron refused, therefore the damages were doubled. They were more comfortable paying $18 billion than saying “We are sorry”. The U.S.Supreme Court has declined to hear Chevron’s appeal.
I find it odd that Republicans attack President Obama about the NSA collecting email, despite the fact they knew about it, but say nothing about a corporation collecting email data. Most Republicans have recieved a portion of the millions of dollars spent lobbying D.C. each year. The Oil Industry alone spends about $100 million a year on lobbying. Democrats again have to protect our Constitution. Republicans only protect the parts they get paid to protect, 2nd Amendment, sponsored by the NRA. So apparently Republicans are fine with corporations having your information. But not the President they hate because he is a Marxist and Socialist.