PiggyLeaks – PG&E Spies on Smart Activists

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Cartoon by Brian Narelle

Three Bay Area Papers break the story. PG&E corporate espionage targets smart ‘smart’ meter ‘insurgents.’
It’s interesting that they refer to legitimately outraged citizens and ratepayers as “insurgents” which means they see themselves
as “authority.”

From Merriam-Webster:
insurgent – a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; especially : a rebel not recognized as a belligerent.

Did you ever have the impression that PG&E was the “civil authority or established government”?

The spy who emailed me…
by Ronnie Cohen
PG&E has turned over to a state regulatory agency hundreds of pages of emails detailing the utility’s employees spying on consumers protesting against wireless meters.
…”It’s beyond creepy,” said Sandi Maurer, moderator of a discussion group for the EMF Safety Coalition, an arm of the network.

The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates PG&E, is investigating the spying.
PG&E documents reveal that snooping executive widely shared his findings
By Dana Hull
Despite PG&E’s earlier claims that he acted alone, a former executive who monitored online discussion groups by activists opposed to SmartMeters widely shared what he gleaned with other PG&E employees.

Internal PG&E documents turned over to state regulators and made available to the Mercury News on Monday also reveal that PG&E went beyond mere online monitoring. A series of e-mail exchanges show that PG&E sent an employee to monitor a SmartMeter demonstration in Rohnert Park in October. The employee, whose name was redacted, took at least four photographs of protesters, writing in an e-mail, “This is fun no one said ‘espionage’ in the job description.”
PG&E says infiltration of online group was limited
David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer
The former Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive who tried to infiltrate an online group of the company’s critics by using a fake name appears to have been the only company employee who did so, the utility reported Monday.

But PG&E reserves the right to monitor websites and discussion groups of people opposed to the company’s controversial SmartMeters – provided those sites and groups are open to the public, a company spokesman said. On at least one occasion, the company even told its meter installers to vacate a work yard that was going to be targeted by protesters after learning of the plan online.

“There are people who will continue to review these, as long as they’re publicly accessible,” said PG&E spokesman David Eisenhauer.