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16 Jan 2013

Karen Gullo, Bloomberg

Chevron Subpoenas in Ecuador Suit Challenged in Court

Chevron, which faces a $19 billion damage award in an Ecuador environmental case, shouldn’t be allowed to obtain information about the e-mail accounts of lawyers, activists and scholars in contact with plaintiff attorneys, a privacy rights group told a judge. Marcia Hofmann, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins…to block Chevron subpoenas, saying that free speech and privacy rights are at stake. She alleged that the company is trying to harass and intimidate activists associated with the legal effort to hold Chevron responsible for environmental damage…Chevron is seeking information about when and where people logged into e-mail accounts, not the content of e-mails, to use as evidence in its racketeering lawsuit against Steven Donziger, the lead U.S. legal adviser for the Ecuador plaintiffs, said…Chevron’s lawyer. [also refers to Texaco (part of Chevron), Google, Yahoo!]