Target: John Roberts, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
Goal: Prevent Chevron from obtaining access to environmental activists’ internet information
Following a judgement against Chevron, in which the oil giant claimed it was the victim of a conspiracy which resulted in $18.2 billion dollars in fines for dumping 18.5 million gallons of oil in Ecuador, Chevron has now taken action against environmental activists. Through a subpoena to Microsoft, granted by U.S. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, Chevron now has access to the IP records and e-mail accounts of over 100 activists.
Chevron claims that environmental activists participated in a conspiracy against the corporation, involving the massive dump of waste into the Ecuadorian rainforest. Their retaliation is to monitor the movement of activists through these subpoenas. EarthRights International, an environmental rights organization, claims that Kaplan’s ruling violates the first amendment, stating that, “The account-holders in this case were proceeding anonymously, which the First Amendment permits. Because of this, Judge Kaplan was provided with no information about the account holders’ residency or places of birth. It is somewhat amazing then, that Judge Kaplan assumed that the account holders were not US citizens. As far as I know, a judge has never before made this assumption when presented with a First Amendment claim.” Judge Kaplan has also been accused of prejudice against Ecuadorians, which makes this ruling much more convoluted. Judge Kaplan’s intentions are clear: to befriend big business and undermine the rights of peaceful activists.
With recent events like the NSA scandal, private information has been under significant duress by large corporations and government agencies. Now, with the aid of Judge Kaplan, another corporation has been added to the list of entities that can violate the privacy of numerous citizens who should otherwise be protected by the first amendment. Sign this petition to encourage the U.S. Supreme court to overturn this ruling.
Dear John Roberts,
Recently, U.S. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled in favor of Chevron, granting the corporation the rights to the private information of over 100 activists involved in a case against Chevron in Ecuador. Chevron claims that the activists were part of a conspiracy to defame the corporation, who dumped 18.5 million gallons of waste into the rainforest. Now, they have access to the e-mail accounts of all those who participated in the allegations against their corporation. This is a horrifically unconstitutional ruling, violating the activists’ rights to privacy and anonymity.
I urge you to reverse this ruling and allow the activists their rights to privacy. Chevron should not be allowed to track the movement and personal information of environmental activists in an attempt to block them from peaceful protest and criticism. With access to this information, Chevron would be able to see where environmental activists are located, which completely destroys their rights to privacy.
Please, protect the rights of private citizens from large corporations and reverse the ruling by Judge Kaplan. The private lives of citizens have faced enough from large corporations and government agencies, and the rights to privacy and the first amendment need to be protected. Set an example to other judges, and show them that they cannot place the interests of big businesses before individuals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr