Green Eyes: Corporate Surveillance of Environmental Activists

How to Cite

Irigoyen, E. (2021). Green Eyes: Corporate Surveillance of Environmental Activists. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, 11(1).


This analysis examines contemporary examples of corporate surveillance and offers new questions to guide future research on the role of privacy, social media, and grey intelligence on surveillance of environmental activist groups. In particular, this study explores different cases of activist monitoring, both online and in person, to demonstrate that the increase of activism on social media, while seemingly beneficial, has also made activists more vulnerable to surveillance by corporations because of the public nature of their personal information. The paper also proposes that grey intelligence, which is the phenomena of corporations colluding with former and current government actors to carry out their activist surveillance, is a rising phenomenon that should be the subject of future research. To provide background of these topics, this analysis investigates the various conceptions of privacy and surveillance and discusses how they have been defined previously in both philosophical and legal terms. This section covers how the definition of privacy and the requisites of the US legal system may pose a barrier to activists seeking recourse in the court system for corporate monitoring. This investigation also discusses the drivers of corporate surveillance and connects this phenomenon to reputational capital and corporate strategy literature.
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