Coca-Cola hired the Stratfor intelligence firm to monitor Peta animal activists at the 2010 Vancouver WinterOlympics, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange revealed.
The whistle-blowing site has started publishing more than five million emails hacked by Anonymous from the server of Stratfor. Among them, internal email exchanges between the company's vice-President Fred Burton and other analysts reveal Coca Cola's concerns over activism during the Olympics in Canada.
Burton even claimed to be in possession of an FBI classified investigation on Peta operatives. "I'll see what I can uncover," he says in a message.
"Coca-Cola just sent me a long list of questions regarding Peta/Animal Activism and the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver," reads an email by analyst Anya Alfano to Burton. "I'm not entirely clear on how much we can task the public policy group at this point--is there any guidance you can give me on that front? Coke has asked for a short teleconference with one of our analysts to discuss this issue."
Stratfor's research was aimed at discovering how many Peta, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, were in Canada, how many inclined on activism and what sort of attacks has the group carried out in North America.
"Our client is looking forward toward the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and is somewhat concerned that Peta affiliates might be interested in carrying out direct action against Olympic sponsors and events during that time frame," reads another email by Alfano to Burton.
Talking at a press conference held at the Frontline Club in London, Assange also attacked Thomson Reuters news agency, claiming it has lost its traditional independence and balance.
"Reuters is a confederation partner of Stratfor along with others news companies with a US agenda," he said. "But Reuters is meant to be independent. Something happened when Reuters merged with Thomson, which was not a news agency but an information provider."