Over the last year climate action groups have become aware that they have been targeted by a private security firm who has been gathering information to sell on to a variety of companies. The following is an account of what is known about them.
The centre of this particular web is one Rebecca “Becki” Todd, from Kent. She is a former employee of C2i, a private security and intelligence gathering firm best known for their employment of Toby Kendall / Ken Tobias who attempted to infiltrate Plain Stupid. She has since struck out on her own to set up her own company, Vericola Ltd.
Ms Todd came to light in 2010 when it became clear that she was signing up to the lists of various environmental groups and passing them on to various companies, including Scottish Coal. At first it was thought that this was simply ‘open source’ intelligence gathering, but on digging a bit further it became clear that she was up to more. It turned out that she was hiring people to come to meetings and gather more detailed information.
The evidence for this was slight for some time, however a mistake by Becki Todd provided conclusive evidence, that is, when she forwarded on an email naming some clients to one of the groups being monitored. We have seen these emails and verify that they both identify some of her clients and that she was collecting this sort of information.
The evidence for her working on direct infiltration is not as clear. It is known that this is something she is doing, and a number of people have been potentially identified. We believe that the Guardian through their own sources have been able to confirm this. In particular it is now known that some of them came to Kingsnorth Climate Camp and to the ‘Swoop’ at Ratcliffe on Soar. A number of them have been approached to be given them a chance to put their case forward. However, none of them have replied to deny it.
While there appears to be interest in direct action it does not appear that they were interested in being directly involved but had a hands-off approach. What is worth noting from this situation is the use of a variety of people to quickly pass through groups and the use of multiple identifies for signing up to lists rather than any attempt for deeper infiltration.
Carl Bishop is another individual associated with Becki Todd. There is evidence that he came to various London Climate Camp events and the ‘Great Climate Swoop’. A review of the documents make it clear that he is very close to Becki Todd and we concur with the investigating group that he is working on her behalf in the full knowledge that he is gathering information for her business. He was approached and given a chance to put his side of the story but did not responded to disassociate himself from her.
We are aware that the Guardian  have independently confirmed that Vericola’s clients include Scottish Coal (a.k.a. Scottish Resource Group), Scottish Power and e.on.
The position of the ActivistSecurity.org collective, who have seen the work of the investigating group, is that they have been successful in exposing a genuine attempt of low-level information gathering by a private security firm. Some of the sources of information need to remain confidential, but having viewed them we believe them to be genuine. We support the publication of this story  and the exposing of Becki Todd / Vericola Ltd, and encourage groups to examine their email lists in particular to ensure that she is removed.
List of known email addresses for Rebecca Todd: