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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Allegedly Used Email Alias As Exxon CEO (arstechnica.com) 171

According to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Rex Tillerson used an email alias of "Wayne Tracker" to communicate with other Exxon executives about climate change while serving as CEO of Exxon Mobil. "New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been leading an investigation of Exxon Mobil centered on whether the company misled investors by publicly arguing against the reality of climate change even though its executives knew the science was accurate," reports Ars Technica. "The investigation was triggered by news reports describing climate research the company undertook in the 1970s and 1980s, which affirmed the work of other climate scientists and showed that greenhouse gas emissions were causing climate change. Exxon buried that work and spent the next couple decades claiming that the science was unclear, although it has recently publicly acknowledged reality." From the report: The e-mails that were provided allowed the attorney general to figure out that Tillerson used the account between 2008 and 2015 at least, but it didn't appear on Exxon's list of accounts for which records were preserved. The letter also mentions 34 other e-mail accounts "specifically assigned to top executives, board members, or assistants" that the attorney general thinks should have been included. In a statement, an Exxon spokesperson explained, "The e-mail address, Wayne.Tracker@exxonmobil.com, is part of the company's e-mail system and was put in place for secure and expedited communications between select senior company officials and the former chairman for a broad range of business-related topics." The Office of the Attorney General's letter claims that "Exxon has continuously delayed and obstructed the production of documents from its top executives and board members, which are crucial to OAG's investigation into Exxon's touted risk-management practices regarding climate change."
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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Allegedly Used Email Alias As Exxon CEO

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @06:44PM (#54040123)

    and I approve of this message.

    • Wayne Tracker is such a boring alias. Carlos Danger was far, far better.

      Also, if you're going to do something this scandalous, why bother to keep using the company's mail servers instead of something else.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Do you honestly think this guy even knows what a mail server is?

        I know it got a lot of coverage due to Clinton, but most of the rent-a-quote politicians talking about it are just reading from a script. I bet 90% of them don't realize that they have email servers too.

  • Popcorn.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by skids ( 119237 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @06:47PM (#54040141) Homepage

    Wow this story has:

    AGW? check

    Trump? check.

    EMAILS!? check.

    Which means I need:

    popcorn? popcorn? Not check?!? No popcorn! Sad.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by bongey ( 974911 )

      0) BeauHD? Check

      Raging SJW moonlighting as tech editor on /.

    • popcorn? popcorn? Not check?!? No popcorn! Sad.

      I got popcorn for ya! [youtube.com]

    • Maybe you need popcorn subsidies.
  • So what? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Dude had IT set him up another account so he could surf porn... who hasn't?

  • by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @07:10PM (#54040273) Homepage

    it could not, a company is not animate. People do things on behalf of the company. Thus it is people who misled investors, etc.

    The difference is important because all too often they will let the company/corporation pick up the blame for what they did and pay any fines. Until executives start losing their homes and pensions their behaviour will not change, we will continue to see scandals such as this. I am not talking about making executives paying for mistakes, even bad ones, but for deliberate lies/... such as this.

    • Exxon did nothing wrong... it could not, a company is not animate. People do things on behalf of the company.

      You are apparently not familiar with Citizens United [wikipedia.org]. Corporations are, for many legal purposes, people. You may think that's stupid (I certainly do), but it is the law of the land.

      • That is a limited personhood, and does not absolve directors or the board of a company if they partake in unlawful or actionable conduct.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Exxon did nothing wrong... it could not, a company is not animate. People do things on behalf of the company.

        You are apparently not familiar with Citizens United [wikipedia.org]. Corporations are, for many legal purposes, people. You may think that's stupid (I certainly do), but it is the law of the land.

        They didn't rule that a corporation was people. That is just the bullshit spin. They ruled that associations of people had the right to speak. This right was previously limited to certain associations, like labor unions and news media companies. They rules this distinction was unconstitutional.

        "Justice Kennedy's majority opinion[24] found that the BCRA 203 prohibition of all independent expenditures by corporations and unions violated the First Amendment's protection of free speech. The majority wrote, "

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The problem is far more subtle than you think. Consider what would the ramification of this problem have been if the company had been one tenth its current size. Smaller company and whole less problem, in fact something like one hundredth of the problem. Oversize corporations are an extreme danger to humanity as has been repeatedly demonstrated, simply too much power. Bust them up now.

  • Quit using my real name some 20 years ago. One email account is for real mail, closely guarded. The other is for everything else.

    I get 2-3 messages a week in my real email, and 10-20 a day in the other one. I read maybe 2-3 of them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      sounds agreeable enough. However if you are subpoenaed for your emails and you fail to report both, that is when it gets interesting.

  • when his salary depends on him not understanding it.

    None of this matters. I don't care about climate change. I care about whether I'm going to have a job and whether my kid's gonna have a job because in our civilization those who work eat and those who don't starve.

    It's impossible to have a meaningful discussion on climate change without socialism. As long as we accept that it's OK to abandon over half the populace to abject poverty in the name of freedom we have to accept that those people will opp
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Oh give me a break. You don't give a flying fuck about the poor. If you did, you would at least accept that climate change is going to inordinately effect them. But it will affect your kids as well, so it is clear you don't actually give a damn about then either. There are solutions that don't involve socialism, so that to is just a strawman.

    • What is necessary is for polluters to pay the full price of the damage that they are doing to the environment. This can be achieved by carbon pricing in the case of the flap over climate change, which can occur without 'socialism' as such. If however you fail to implement that, it's as immoral as dumping sewage on someone's front garden or graffiting priceless painting...

    • It's impossible to have a meaningful discussion on climate change without socialism.

      No, you've picked up a cheap trick from the denialist crowd which sounds convincing but is wrong. It's an argument in the gamut of "we don't know, the evidence isn't there, the evidence is fiddled, ok the evidence is right but we don't know people are doing it and finally it's too political to discuss properly".

      • It's impossible to have a meaningful discussion on climate change without socialism.

        No, you've picked up a cheap trick from the denialist crowd which sounds convincing but is wrong.

        I'm sorry, which word do you think is wrong? All government which attempts to serve the people is socialist by definition. Therefore all government except perhaps our current one is partly socialist by definition. The only thing left to argue about is what percentage socialist a government is. If it does things for everyone, that's socialism. It's not a bad word.

        • I'm sorry, which word do you think is wrong?

          It's the meaning of the sentence that's not correct.

          All government which attempts to serve the people is socialist by definition.

          Erm, I'm not sure precisely what you mean. Also, aren't we talking about climate change?

          Therefore all government except perhaps our current one is partly socialist by definition

          I don't think that's a commonly accepted definition of socalism to be honest.

          The only thing left to argue about is what percentage socialist a government is.

          Well,

  • I have had 10 / 15? email address's since the early 90's and not one had my real name, not even my .gov or .mil address's. The govt. computers did not like the way my name is spelled and it is not Bobby Drop Tables either. Still have 4 or 5, only one that I use for real mail the rest are for sign-ups. My e-mail address is fairly close in spelling to my real name, but not quite. And I use mailinator too.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @07:55PM (#54040489) Journal

    The people who are ruling our world are really a bunch of lying jackoffs. All the money, all the power, but they're still lying jackoffs.

  • Why, all it takes to outwit them there government revenuers, I mean regulators, is just a email alias. Hell, even I cun unnderstand tha-ut.

    Seriously, an email alias was his cover? Geesh!

  • by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @09:03PM (#54040841)

    If a small company was being investigated and their emails were significant to the crime, then there would be no problem with grabbing everything despite the damage that it would do to the small firm. Yet when a big firm is being investigated, they are free to hand over what they feel like. A similar problem was visible when News International was done in the UK over its phone hacking behaviour. A little less subtly from prosecutors would be welcome!

  • EPA head Lisa Jackson, also used an alias to communicate at the EPA. She was known as Richard Windsor. Funny how that wasn't a scandal.

  • Our system conspires by its very structure to allow crimes against the public. Exon does a great wrong. Exon pays a huge fine. Exon passes along the fine as an additional cost for the public to buy gasoline. The public is punished. OK, so we through some Exon executives in prison. The public pays for those prison sentences, trails etc.. If we really want to punish companies tactics such as shutting them down in a number of states for a few years might work. For example we could disallow Exon to sell

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith

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