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ShellNews.net: Applications to Shell under Section 7 (1) of the Data Protection Act 1998: of interest to anyone who has had dealings with Shell

Sunday 15 July 2007: By Alfred Donovan

We have provided what may be some helpful information for any current or former Shell employees, or anyone else who has had dealings with Shell over the years, and would like to know what Shell has been saying about them in private. There is no time limit on relevant documents. Shell has supplied us with internal documents stretching back a decade.

Remember that ours was a complicated application involving several High Court actions and other litgation. A normal application will be much simpler. Shell will supply a questionnaire to complete.

Below is the 16 March 2007 email to Royal Dutch Shell Company Secretary and Corporate General Counsel, Michiel Brandjes, which produced a treasure trove of Shell inside information about my son and me.
 
As a result we published yesterday the first article based on information gained from Shell under the Act.

http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2007/07/14/shellnewnet-shell-and-the-dreaded-donovans/

As one insider has already commented, the internal emails confirm that senior people at Shell are running round like headless chickens not knowing how to deal with us or our website activities.

More interesting articles will follow shortly including one relating to Sakhalin-2.

Email from Alfred Donovan to Shell dated 16 March 2007

To:

Mr Michiel Brandjes,
Company Secretary,
Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Dear Mr Brandjes

Further to my earlier email of today’s date, I formally request that you please send me the information which I am entitled to under section 7 (1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to my dealings with Shell since the act came into force. This is to include all documents, communications, correspondence and other information held by Shell which contain my name or information which relates to me. 

If you need further information from me, or a fee, please let me know as soon as possible.

If you do not normally handle these requests for your organisation, please pass this email to your Data Protection Officer or other appropriate officer.

Yours sincerely
Alfred  Donovan

This was the sequence of events following the receipt the same day of an acknowledgement email from Mr Brandjes: –

Letter from Shell International Limited dated 3 April 2007.

3 April 2007

Dear Mr Donovan

DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998 – SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST

We acknowledge receipt of your Subject Access Request form which we received on 28 March 2007.

Unfortunately, the information you have provided is insufficient to enable us to locate the information which you seek and we therefore request you to provide us with more detailed information regarding the nature of the information you seek and its likely sources.

In particular:

• You refer to communications with Shell legal departments relating to “various matters arising from … the operation of Shell related websites”. Please specify the matters you are referring to, the individuals with whom you have corresponded and the websites owned and operated by yourself.

• You state that you have been “in correspondence at various times between 1998/2007 with legal departments acting for Shell International Petroleum Company Limited and Shell Exploration & Production”. Please state with whom you have corresponded, approximately when this took place and the subject of the communication.

• Your letter refers to you being aware of Shell legal divisions and the Shell media department having sent communications about you to third parties, for example to the Legal Aid Board. Please state which third parties you are referring to and approximately when these communications were made.

• You state that you are also aware of Shell legal divisions having sent communications to senior management. Please specify the subject of these communications, and approximately when they were made.

• You also state that you are aware of correspondence about you involving management of Shell group companies. Please confirm the identity of the persons involved in such correspondence and approximately when such correspondence was made.

In order for us to process your subject access request, please provide us with the detailed information as requested above. Please be as specific as possible to assist us in locating the data you wish to see. Once this information is received, your cheque will be cashed and your application will be processed.

Yours sincerely

Company Secretarial, Shell International Limited on behalf of companies in the Shell Group operating in the UK

Reply letter to Shell dated 31 May 2007

31 May 2007

Dear Sirs

DATA PROTECTION ACT – SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST

Thank you for your letters dated 3 April 2007 requesting details of the information we are seeking. It has taken some time to assemble the information supplied herein.  In view of the delay on our part, we will assume that the statuary period for Shell to provide information will start from the date you receive this reply. The Subject Access Request is filed in connection with a book project.

THE BACKGROUND

General Counsel, Richard Wiseman has, for over a decade, been our principle contact at Shell. During this period he has held a number of positions, including General Counsel for Shell U.K. Limited, Legal Director of Shell U.K. Limited and General Counsel for Shell International Petroleum Company Limited.

We almost always sent copies to Mr Wiseman of communications sent by us to Shell executives. Mr Wiseman also sometimes served as a conduit to Shell executives passing on information we supplied to him.

From time to time, we have sent letters and information about Shell to various third parties and often advised Mr Wiseman accordingly. He liaised with Shell Media/PX/PX in relation to our activities and has confirmed that a process was set up whereby Shell “PX” was notified (presumably by him) and sent written communications to relevant parties giving Shell’s reactive comments. These were sometimes referred to as “holding statements” for reactive use. Mr Wiseman supplied us with the text from one such communication (example dated 8 June 2004 listed below). He pointed out that it was an example and that the content of the holding statement varied. We do not know if the reactive statements were sent to every third party we contacted or how long it was before the statements were sent.

Mr Wiseman has also sent communications to third parties about us i.e. injini Limited. 

In summary there was correspondence between Wiseman and Shell executives, between Wiseman and other parties and almost certainly between Wiseman and Shell Media

The following documents, in date order, provide some evidence/examples of what we are saying.

17 March 1995: Press statement about us released by Shell UK Media Relations.

14 May 1997: A letter from Mr. Wiseman dated 14 May 1997 to J Donovan of Don Marketing UK Limited confirming that Mr Wiseman was personally keeping Directors of Shell UK Limited and of Shell Transport informed of progress. This was in regard to then pending litigation. 

April 1998 (marked P447) Headed “MR JOHN DONOVAN”

April 1998 (marked P450) Headed “MR JOHN DONOVAN”

6 April 1998: Letter from Miss Jyoti Munsiff to Mr J Donovan (copied to Mr M Moody-Stuart and Mr R Wiseman).

9 April 1998: Letter from Mark Moody-Stuart to Mr J Donovan. Mentions role of Mr Wiseman in keeping “Mr Herkstroter” informed.

26/27 November 2002: Emails from Mr Wiseman to Alfred Donovan confirming that he was sending to Shell executives and other parties copies of a manuscript authored by Alfred Donovan.

8 JUNE 2004: Document headed “DRAFT 1: 8 June 2004 Holding Statement. For reactive use only” Donovan

24 June 2004: Copy of a Shell internal email sent by Mr Wiseman at 3.51pm on Thursday 24 June 2004 to Shell Executives Jeroen van der Veer and Malcolm Brinded. It stated “I am getting PX to send out our usual response to the Association of British Insurers. I will also let Mark Moody-Stuart know that Donovan is now accusing Mark’s brother of being in on the act”.

7 July 2004: An email from Mr Wiseman to John Donovan dated 7 July 2004 which mentions “the statement we have sent to some of those organisations contacted by your father”.  No doubt Mr Wiseman will be able to confirm who “we” is.

11 November 2005:  Email from Mr Wiseman to Alfred Donovan which Mr Wiseman copied to Shell executives Jeroen van der Veer and Malcolm Brinded.

If it is technically possible to run a search on our names on all correspondence and emails generated by Mr Wiseman, then a lot of the relevant correspondence would be found. We are able to run a search on our computers for any given name or other information. Obviously Shell’s IT system operates on a vastly different scale/basis but a search facility might be available.

We are seeking sight of all “Donovan” related correspondence involving Richard Wiseman – i.e. originated by him, copied to him/received by him. 

The Advertising Standards Authority (around April 1998)

The Suffolk Constabulary (Police) 1998/99

Office for Supervising of Solicitors (July 1998)

The Legal Aid Board (1998/99)

DJ Freeman (aka Kendall Freeman) including all correspondence with Colin Joseph (particularly in June 1998)

With any director/official of Shell UK Limited e.g. Dr Chris Fay, Shell Transport and Trading Company plc e.g. Mark Moody-Stuart, Cor Herkstroter, Jyoti Munsiff or of The Royal Dutch Petroleum Company.

We would also like sight of any correspondence in April 1998 involving Mark Moody-Stuart, and Jyoti Munsiff regarding the “Deed”/” Funding Deed” and other matters relating to us in which Mr Wiseman was not a participant.

We would also like sight of any correspondence in September 1998 between/involving Mark Moody-Stuart, Richard Wiseman and Jyoti Munsiff regarding the “Deed”/”Funding Deed” / the Donovan litigation/ The Guardian Newspaper and Mr Simon Rines. The same applies to correspondence in January to July 1999 involving Mark Moody-Stuart and/or Mrs Judy Moody-Stuart and/or Malcolm Brinded and/or Richard Wiseman.

Wiseman correspondence in August /September/October 2001 relating to “injini venture”/ Shell Make Money/ Repudiation of Deed of Compromise.

November/December 2002:

Subject of Correspondence: Alfred Donovan Manuscript including…

Between Shell General Counsel Richard Wiseman and: –

DJ Freeman (In his letter to Alfred Donovan dated 16 Dec 2002, Mr Colin Joseph of DJ Freeman confirmed that his firm was “acting on behalf of all of the companies within the Shell Group as well as all current Shell employees” – this means there must have been written instructions, probably from Mr Wiseman. )

Geoffrey Hobbs QC

Former Shell employee Andrew Lazenby

Mr Tom Moody-Stuart

And with Shell directors, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Sir Philip Watts, Clive Mather, Malcolm Brinded, Steve Miller

In his emails to Alfred Donovan dated 26, 27 November 20032 (cited above) and 29 November, 2002, Mr Wiseman confirmed contact with the above individuals on this subject. He may also have corresponded with Mr Justice Laddie (as he then was) and/or Mr Peter Smith (Court Clerk to Mr Justice Laddie)

In May/June/July 2004 Alfred Donovan contacted the individuals and parties listed below. We do not know if Shell Media/PX sent reactive statements or other communications to all of them. We only know that, as indicated above, a plan/system was in place to do so.

Fax to Shell directors listed below from Alfred Donovan 18 April 04
(Lord Oxburgh; Mr Malcolm Brinded CBE; Ms Judy Boynton; Dr Eileen Buttle CBE; Mary (Nina) Henderson; Mr Luis Giusti; Sir Peter Burt FRSE; Mr Teymour Alireza; Sir Mark Moody-Stuart KCMG; Sir John Kerr GCMG; Mr Aad Jacobs; Mr Maarten van den Bergh; Mr Wim Kok; Jonkheer Aarnout Loudon; Professor Hubert Marki; Mr Lawrence Ricciardi; Mr Henny de Ruiter; Jeroen van der Veer and Mr Rob Routs)

Fax to Shell directors listed below from Alfred Donovan 21 April 04
Lord Oxburgh; Mr Malcolm Brinded CBE; Dr Eileen Buttle CBE; Mary (Nina) Henderson; Mr Luis Giusti; Sir Peter Burt FRSE; Mr Teymour Alireza; Sir Mark Moody-Stuart KCMG; Sir John Kerr GCMG; Mr Aad Jacobs; Mr Maarten van den Bergh; Mr Wim Kok; Mr Jonkheer Aarnout Loudon; Professor Hubert Marki; Mr Lawrence Ricciardi; Mr Henny de Ruiter; Mr Jeroen van der Veer and Mr Rob Routs

Letter to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands Alfred Donovan 21 April 04
Fax to Shell Directors listed below sent by Alfred Donovan, Shell Shareholders Org 26 April 04

Sent to: Lord Oxburgh; Mr Malcolm Brinded CBE; Dr Eileen Buttle CBE; Mary (Nina) Henderson; Mr Luis Giusti; Sir Peter Burt FRSE; Mr Teymour Alireza; Sir Mark Moody-Stuart KCMG; Sir John Kerr GCMG; Mr Aad Jacobs; Mr Maarten van den Bergh; Mr Wim Kok; Mr Jonkheer Aarnout Loudon; Professor Hubert Marki; Mr Lawrence Ricciardi; Mr Henny de Ruiter; Mr Jeroen van der Veer; Mr Rob Routs.

Letter to Lord Falconer 20 May 2004

EMAIL SENT TO SEVERAL HUNDRED MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, 25/26/27 MAY 04; SUBJECT: HAKLUYT – THE COMMERCIAL ARM OF MI6?

E-mail to Rt Hon Howard Michael QC, Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition (27 May 04)

E-mail to Mr Emmanuel Dubois-Pelerin, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s. (sent 29 May 04)

E-mail to Pensions & Investment Research Consultants Ltd (PIRC) 31 May 04

E-mail to Richard Wiseman, General Counsel of Shell International Ltd: Legal Director of Shell UK 31 May 04. Copied to US Securities & Exchange Commission (Chairman); US Securities & Exchange Commission (New York Office); US Department of Justice; The Financial Services Authority; The Office of Fair Trading; The National Association of Pension Funds; Association of British Insurers; Investment Management Association; The International Corporate Governance Network; International Compliance Association; Institute for Global Ethics; Mutual Fund Connection; The Hong Kong Investment Funds Association; California Public Employees Retirement System (Calpers); Corporate Governance Network; European Corporate Governance Institute; European Corporate Governance Service; Local Authority Pension Fund Forum; Sustainable Investment Research International Company; Hermes Pensions Management Ltd (Director of Corporate Governance); Malcolm Brinded, Group MD Royal Dutch Shell Group; Jeroen van der Veer, Group Chairman Royal Dutch Shell Group; Chip Cummins, Oil & Gasoline Reporter for The Wall Street Journal and to Georgina Davies, BBC TV

EMAIL TO THE COMPANIES INVESTIGATION BRANCH OF THE UK DEPARTMENT OF TRADE & INDUSTRY: 1 June 2004

LETTER FAXED TO Hakluyt & Company Limited:  3 JUNE 04

LETTER TO LAW FIRM JOSEPH M. ALIOTO REPRESENTING US SHELL DEALERS SUING SHELL OIL COMPANY : 2 JUNE 04

EMAIL TO SHELL LEGAL DIRECTOR RICHARD WISEMAN REGARDING HAKLUYT AND THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND: 3 JUNE 04

LETTER FAXED TO HAKLUYT MI6 SPY FIRM REGARDING EMAIL FROM CHURCH OF ENGLAND SOLICITOR: 3 JUNE 04

LETTER TO UK INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE: 4 JUNE 04
EMAIL EXCHANGE WITH MR MIKE WEBSTER. CHURCH OF ENGLAND SOLICITOR: 7 JUNE 04

LETTER TO HER MAJESTY, QUEEN ELIZABETH II, SUPREME GOVERNOR OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND: 7 JUNE 04

LETTER FAXED TO SHELL DIRECTOR, SIR MARK MOODY-STUART: 7 JUNE 04

LETTER TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR, LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, LORD FALCONER: 7 JUNE 04

EMAIL SENT ON 10 JUNE 2004 TO US GASOLINE RETAILER ASSOCIATIONS

EMAIL TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
 
LETTER TO MR PETER MONTAGNON, HEAD OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, THE ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH INSURERS: 24 JUNE 04

FAXED LETTER SENT TO THE MALAYSIAN SOLICITORS, T H LIEW & PARTNERS, ACTING FOR 8 SHELL COMPANIES WHO ISSUED A HIGH COURT WRIT RELATING TO THIS WEBSITE: 5 JULY 2004

EMAIL TO THE ENFORCEMENT SECTION OF THE US SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION: 6 JULY 04

FAXED LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY, KOFI ANNAN, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS: 9 July 2004

LETTER DATED 6 JAN 05 FROM ALFRED DONOVAN TO UK PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, ENTITLED: “A TRAVESTY OF HIGH COURT JUSTICE – THE DARK SIDE OF SHELL” 6 JAN 05

EMAIL CIRCULATED TO UK Members of Parliament: 13 Jan 05

Email to President Putin about $26 BILLION overrun on Sakhalin2 project: Friday 25 November 2005

April/May/June 2005

Subject: World Intellectual Property Organisation / domain name dispute
Advice given by Shell General Counsel Richard Wiseman, probably to Shell lawyer David Crawford, in respect of the domain name proceedings against Alfred Donovan:  Mr Wiseman confirmed to John Donovan in a discussion at the 2005 Shell AGM that he had provided internal advice on the matter.
February 2006:

Subject of Correspondence:  Zack Brown / U.S. Public Interest Service Group.

Any communication on the above subject involving Royal Dutch Shell plc Assistant Company Secretary Mark Edwards and Lloyds TSB registrars (Including Bert Groves); Lloyds TSB Group (Maarten van den Bergh office); Jeroen van Der Veer, Michiel Brandjes and Gerard Paulides.

Also between Royal Dutch Shell plc Company Secretary Michiel Brandjes and Lloyds TSB registrars (Including Bert Groves); Lloyds TSB Group (Maarten van den Bergh office) and Royal Dutch Shell colleagues e.g. Jeroen van Der Veer, Mark Edwards, Gerard Paulides.

Also between Royal Dutch Shell plc Group Investor Relations official, Gerard Paulides and Lloyds TSB registrars (Including Bert Groves); Lloyds TSB Group (Maarten van den Bergh office); Jeroen van Der Veer, Mark Edwards, Michiel Brandjes.

Any Shell internal correspondence involving or sent by Jeroen van der Veer and/or Malcolm Brinded and/or Richard Wiseman and/or Keith Ruddock/ Michiel Brandjes, particularly from September 2006 onwards, relating to Alfred and/or John Donovan and: –

1. The Sakhalin-2 project

2. Threatened acts of terrorist activity against Shell

3. Mr Bill Campbell and Shell safety issues

Yours faithfully

Alfred Donovan

John Donovan

Letter and delivery received from Shell by special courier 9pm Friday 3 July 2007

13 July 2007

Dear Sirs

Subject Access Request dated 31 May 2007 (the “SAR”)

We enclose the information that the Shell Group is required to disclose in responding to the SAR.

As you may be aware, the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “Act”) contains certain provisions that are designed to protect the privacy of third parties where third party information is contained within information that would otherwise be required to be disclosed in order to respond to a subject access request. In particular, section 7(4) of the Act provides as follows:
“Where a data controller cannot comply with the request without disclosing information relating to another individual who can be identified from that information, he is not obliged to comply with the request unless:

(a)  the other individual has consented to the disclosure of the information to the person making the request; or

(b) it is reasonable in all the circumstances to comply with the request without the consent of the other individual.”

We have reviewed and interpreted this clause together with the Information Commissioner’s data protection technical guidance note dated 12 July 2006 entitled “Dealing with subject access requests involving other people’s information”. This guidance note states that in determining whether personal data needs to be disclosed a data controller should, at the outset, consider whether it is possible to comply with the request without revealing information which relates to, and identifies, a third party individual. The guidance note goes on to state that “as your obligation is to provide information rather than documents, you may delete names or edit documents if the third party information does not form part of the requested information”. If the third party information can be removed while still complying with a subject access request, then there is no need to consider the application of section 7 of the Act. As you will see therefore we have redacted from the enclosed information the names, positions and contact details of third party individuals that appear in the documentation.

We acknowledge receipt of your further subject access request, dated 20 June
2007 relating to the litigation in the United States District Court District of New Jersey: (iv: No. 04-374(JAP). Please note that we are treating this as a second subject access request from you and we will be responding to this in due course in accordance with our legal obligations. Unfortunately, the information you have provided is insufficient to enable us to locate the information which you seek and we therefore request that you provide us with more detailed information regarding the nature of the information you seek and its likely sources, for example, further detail of the names of those involved, the date of the litigation to which you refer etc. Once this further information is received your application will be processed.

Yours sincerely
Shell International Limited

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