Freeport Fronts Its Way into Activists' Emails

The New York Times reports that the Louisiana-based mining company Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold worked closely with Indonesian military intelligence officers to monitor the email and phone calls of environmental activists concerned about the impacts of the company's Grasberg mine in Indonesia's Papua province. Freeport "set up its own system to intercept e-mail messages, according to former and current employees, by establishing a bogus environmental group of its own, which asked people to register online with a password. As is often the case, many who registered used the same password for their own messages, which then allowed the company to tap in," Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner report. Freeport declined to comment. Perlez and Bonner also disclosed extensive details on Freeport's payments to the Indonesian military. Freeport's joint venture partner, Rio Tinto, also declined to comment.