Big Corporations: Internal spies spy one everyone, even board of directors.
Mr. Gabbard, a 44-year-old Marine Corps veteran and former reserve deputy sheriff, spent 19 years at Wal-Mart, the last few in the Threat Research and Assessment Group. The team hunted computer hackers outside the company and regularly searched emails and monitored phones looking for misbehavior or leaks. It worked in a highly secure area nicknamed the Bat Cave.
Mr. Gabbard says he was tasked with the electronic monitoring of directors' meetings, in a hunt for anyone who might be spying on them. This gave him unusual access to information. He says that two years ago, while manning a countersurveillance desk during a board meeting in Puerto Rico, he listened as directors debated a multibillion-dollar settlement offer in a big lawsuit alleging sex bias in pay and promotions. The board voted to reject it for several reasons, including the bad publicity it would generate, Mr. Gabbard said in an interview in late March. Wal-Mart declined to comment.