France: EDF fined for illegal spying on anti-nuclear campaign
Date: 11 Nov 2011
A French court has found EDF and Kargus, the security firm it employed to carry out the work, guilty of spying on Greenpeace anti-nuclear campaigners. Activities included hacking computers owned by the group.
EDF said that it had employed Kargus to monitor the group but that the company had exceeded its brief. It has said that it intends to appeal the verdict. The court fined EDF 1.5 million euros and ordered it to pay compensation to Greenpeace.
Two EDF employees, Pascal Durieu and Pierre-Paul Francois, heads of the company's nuclear security, were given jail sentences for their part in commissioning the spying. Two employees from Kargus were also jailed.
The case, although arising from actions taken in 2006, highlights how high the stakes are for a number of companies committed to nuclear power as the post-Fukushima backlash plays out.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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