Gates' political lobbying / Site sabotage
The Guardian, 28 January 2009
Bill and Melinda Gates hate controversy, but the world's top philanthropists do seem to be moving ever deeper into political lobbying. They've just given the Danforth plant science centre in St Louis $5.4m (GBP3.8m) to help them persuade African and other poor countries to "overcome regulatory hurdles" and allow the field testing of bio-fortified GM crops. So what is Danforth? Just a "charity" set up and funded by Monsanto.
There are always casualties in the continual low-grade war being fought between corporations and their critics, and the web is now a favourite battleground. Two weeks ago, aviation protest group Plane Stupid had its site summarily taken down after someone ratted to its server that it might be libelling the aviation industry. Now nuclearspin.org, a site that investigates the push for new nuclear power stations, has been subject to a sophisticated, sustained hacking attack. "It's clear the hacker went to considerable time and effort to find and exploit a weakness in the software," says Andy Rowell, one of site's editors. "Perhaps whoever was behind it doesn't like people examining the ethics, economics and greenwashing of the nuclear industry." Both sites have now been restored.