WASHINGTON: US private intelligence firm Stratfor has denounced whistleblower site WikiLeaks' disclosure that it provided Dow Chemical information on environmental activists after the Bhopal gas leak disaster - without confirming or denying the charge.
The Texas-based think-tank denied there was anything improper in the way it dealt with its contacts.
"Stratfor has worked to build good sources in many countries around the world, as any publisher of global geopolitical analysis would do," the company said in a statement.
"We have done so in a straightforward manner and we are committed to meeting the highest standards of professional conduct." In December, thieves had hacked into Stratfor data systems and stolen a large number of company emails, as well as private information of Stratfor subscribers and friends, George Friedman, founder and CEO of Stratfor said in an e-mail to subscribers.
"Today, Wikileaks is publishing the emails that were stolen in December. This is a deplorable, unfortunate - and illegal - breach of privacy," he wrote. "Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies. Some may be authentic. We will not validate either, nor will we explain the thinking that went into them," Friedman wrote.
However, Dow said in a written statement that "major companies are often required to take appropriate action to protect their people and safeguard their facilities," adding that it operated within the law.
Denying reports that he was resigning over the incident, Friedman said: "Clearly, as with my supposed resignation letter, some of the emails may be fabricated or altered." Apologizing for this incident, Stratfor assured that it is recovering from the hacking and "will continue to do what we do best: produce and publish independent analysis of international affairs" and "will be back in full operation in the coming weeks".