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US Chamber of Commerce, HBGary and Hunton & Williams Caught in Domestic Spy Plot

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Published on Feb 21, 2011

In a stunning development, StopTheChamber.com has learned  that US Chamber of Commerce lawyers conspired with three private security firms to spy on Chamber opposition groups and engage in dirty tricks in order to discredit and destroy them. This was first reported by Think Progress on January9, 2011 after it received 40,000 leaked emails.

According to e-mails, the Chamber hired the lobbying/law firm Hunton and Williams to represent them in various matters.  its attorney  Richard Wyatt  and his associates , John Woods and Bob Quackenboss, solicited a trio of private security  firms — HB Gary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies (collectively called Team Themis) — to develop tactics for damaging progressive  groups and labor unions,

including StopTheChamber, Think Progress, ChamberWatch, SEIU, and  their staff.

According to one document prepared by Team Themis, the campaign included an entrapment project.  The proposal called for first creating a "false document, perhaps  highlighting periodical financial information," to give to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then to subsequently expose the  document as a fake to undermine the credibility of the Chamber's  opponents. In addition, the group proposed creating a "fake insider  persona" to "generate communications" with the organizations.  

The Themis program was developed for military and intelligence use to target foreign terrorist operations. Team Themis had a Power Point presentation detailing the lengths they were willing to go to using their software to gather personal data on American citizens, often posting as an alias on social media to interact and spy on them.

The e-mails detailing all of this were posted by members of "Anonymous," the hactivist community responsible for taking down websites for  oppressive regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, and American corporations that  have censored WikiLeaks.

Anonymous published the emails from HB Gary Federal after an executive at the firm, Aaron Barr, bragged that he had penetrated Anonymous and was hoping to sell the data to  Bank of America and to federal authorities in the United States.

The Chamber has denied any involvement in the spying scandal but emails prove that they were fully aware of the Themis plans.

StopTheChamber has asked Congress and the FBI to investigate this outrageous attack on journalists, Non-profits and unions.  It is considering both civil action and bar complaints against those involved.  

To help us in our efforts and to get involved on exposing the dirty tricks and the job-killing tactics of the US Chamber of Commerce, please go to StopTheChamber.com.

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