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Email correspondence with Shell on database breach: 12 FEB 2010


From: [email protected]
Date: 12 February 2010 08:30:20 GMT
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected], [email protected]
Subject: RE: Shell Global Address Book

Dear Mr Donovan

There is no deceit and my statement was true.  An individual may chose to give out his or her card on the basis of the information it contains.  The address book along with the data it contained was distributed without the consent of anyone.

I am sure you would not counsel anyone to commit the criminal offences I drew your attention to.

Richard Wiseman

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

Registered in England and Wales number 4366849
Registered Office:  Shell Centre, London, SE1
Headquarters: Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, 2596 HR
The Hague, The Netherlands

Email: [email protected]


From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Date: 12 February 2010 09:53:24 GMT
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected], [email protected]
Subject: Re: Shell Global Address Book

Dear Mr Wiseman

Thank you for the confirmation that your media office has indeed been comparing the security implications of the leaked data, with merely giving out a business card.

In reality, as you have previously stated, and confirmed your statement again today, the leaked data does puts the personal safety of some employees at risk.

It is indefensible deceit on the part of Shell media to downplay (some would say cover-up) the crisis which has today been the subject of a front page article in the FT with a related  Lombard editorial. I was responsible for the FT investigation. I have had no contact with The Times in connection with the article it has published overnight, which as far as I know, is not entirely accurate. I have also given interviews last night and this morning to BBC World Service.

Like you, I believe that the safety risk is genuine, which is why I immediately agreed to your request not to make the database available online. A response you described as “responsible”.

Since, as I anticipated, you have confirmed that your statement was true, I will not be counseling anyone to make the database available online. If one of the international activist parties which have copies of the database, have made it available online from a non UK Country, then UK Data Protection Law would surely not apply. They could have decided that Shell’s evil conduct in Nigeria over many decades outweighs moral and even legal considerations in respect of making public access available to the data. I do not take that view. If the information is already freely available online, as stated in The Times article, I have no involvement or prior knowledge of the matter.

The employees on the database are not personally responsible for the crimes committed by Shell against the ordinary people of Nigeria. A leaked Shell internal report admitted that Shell’s actions had fueled corruption, poverty and violence in the Country. As reported in the FT, you have entered into commercial arrangements with militant leaders attacking your own installations and personnel. The Shell created pollution continues year after year and is a disgrace.

Shell settled in June 2009 a US lawsuit for $15.5 million brought by relatives of Ken Saro-Wiwa, hanged under false charges brought by the then Nigerian regime, allegedly in collusion with Shell. Malcolm Brinded claimed the settlement was a gesture of goodwill – another shameful deceit.

No wonder there is a strong Nigerian element in the current internal insurgency at Royal Dutch Shell and the consequential leak of the data. Shell’s crimes in Nigeria are coming back to haunt the company.

I believe we have already established that you have no objection to me publishing part or all of the 177 page plan supplied with the database.

John Donovan

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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