An executive with the French government-owned energy company EDF "has been charged on suspicion of spying on the environmental group Greenpeace." The executive, "who previously worked as a police commander, is being investigated for conspiring to hack into Greenpeace France's computer system." Under investigation is whether EDF, "the world's biggest nuclear-reactor operator, hired a private detective agency run by a former member of the French secret services to illegally spy on environmentalists and infiltrate their ranks." EDF confirmed that it hired the firm, Kargus Consultants, but denies "ordering the use of any illegal spying methods." A Kargus employee admitted that he hacked into the computer system used by Greenpeace France's campaigns director in 2006. Greenpeace thinks the spying "could have been related to their campaign to block EDF's construction of a vast, new generation nuclear reactor in Flamanville" in northern France. Greenpeace France is tightening office security and saying the incident "shows just how frightened the nuclear industry is of transparency and a democratic debate." EDF recently bought British Energy and "nearly half of U.S. group Constellation Energy's nuclear power business ... in order to build power plants in Britain and the United States," according to Reuters.
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