Fact Check: Starfall Claims
by Tao Li, FactCheck.org
Editor Note: Let me state that, for the record, I own personal electronics. None of them have the “SD” logo on them, but that’s out of mere circumstance, and not cause I have any dislike for the company.
Today we investigate the claims that the anti-corporate group “Starfall” has made against Stellar Dynamics and their CEO, Ken Kason. Let’s start with the big one.
Claim #1: Stellar Dynamics is trafficking drugs
Starfall representative Camille Ryan said in a statement: “Stellar Dynamics is actively trafficking drugs across the border between their factory in Mexico and the one in Flagstaff.”
It is true that Stellar Dynamics has a factory in Mexico. It is also true that Mexico is currently involved in a drug war. One must mean the other, right?
Wrong. While I’m sure everyone has seen the video showing an active coke bust on a big-rig while crossing the border (if you haven’t, it can be found here), the validity of this video came back as undetermined.
If it was true, why would Stellar Dynamics CEO Ken Kason announce:
“While we are aware of the conflict in Mexico, we have not, nor will ever, transport illegal substances into the United States. We will work with both US officials and Mexican officials to make sure this matter is resolved once and for all.”
However, we all know how secretive they are about their technology, especially after their recent announcement. So we’ll mark this as inconclusive for now.
Claim #2: Stellar Dynamics is knowingly violating the Freedom of Information act.
Another statement by Ms. Ryan: “Stellar Dynamics does not follow the rules made by the people, by the Constitution of the United States. They need to share information about what they are doing, as per the Freedom of Information Act, now!”
We all know how secretive Stellar Dynamics is. However, they actively sign non-disclosure agreements with everyone they interact with (and from what I’ve heard, the penalties are severe … not one whistle-blower so far), and have contracts with the US Government, which allow them a certain amount of secrecy.
Every investigation into their ‘antics’ has concluded they are doing nothing illegal, and reserve their right to withhold information which they deem vital to the company. So the answer is false, as in, they are NOT violating the Freedom of Information act.
They place a dangerous game with their secrecy. The same aspect which gets some people interested drives others away. But as far as this editor goes, I’m interested.