Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006


Group 4 On The Net

Squall 10, Summer 1995, pg. 39.

An article in the Independent on Sunday (26.2.95), ‘The Internet: Monitor and Censor With Prejudice’, rather patronisingly reported how Group Four had tapped into GreenNet to track upcoming road protest actions.

They were able to warn of an impending assault on the British Road Federation HQ and successfully prevented action taking place. Anyone can access GreenNet, but rather than gain a GreenNet account as an anonymous or independent, the company went for a full corporate entry. Why?

A spokesperson for Grope 4 stated: “We are members of it (GreenNet) and we use it as an information source. We are a company interested in environmental issues.” Such statements give the impression that Group 4 must be an enlightened company with a positive attitude towards their industrial sector.

This prompted my investigation into the Group Four entry. In the User Directory, the “areas of interest” included cleaners, nuclear and technology. Why are they interested in cleaners and why is transport not mentioned?

Group Four Securitas (BV) in the Netherlands bought a 50% share of Ecover, a Belgian phosphate-free detergent manufacturer, in 1992. Group Four Securitas (BV) is the “ultimate parent” of the UK companies which comprise of the prison, security guard and technology companies that we know and love.

The Guardian (24.10.92) quoted the company as being “anxious to extend its corporate image from the protection of property to the protection of the environment”. The incident at Twyford Down with Tarmac was dismissed by Group 4: “To suggest that there is some policy decision within Group 4 to try to confront ecological protesters is total nonsense. There would be no logical reason for Group 4 to do this.”

Related Articles In This Issue
Netrogressive - Breaking the information monopoly on the internet, by Ben Schneider
West Mercia Police And The Anonymous Remailer - police use dubious and potentially hack-able anonymising service
For a menu of many other Squall articles about the Anti-Roads Movement, including protest camps, Reclaim The Streets and more click here