BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 4 (UPI) -- U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. defended its security practices Wednesday, saying it had a duty to monitor threats.
"Like most major corporations, it is our corporate responsibility to have systems in place, including software systems, to monitor threats to our network, intellectual property and our people," spokeswoman Sarah Clark said in a written statement to United Press International.
Clark's statement followed a Wall Street Journal report that said a Wal-Mart worker fired last month for intercepting a reporter's phone calls said he was part of a larger, sophisticated surveillance operation that snooped on employees, critics, stockholders and the consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
Clark would not comment on the allegations as told by Bruce Gabbard to the Journal.
She reiterated Wal-Mart's March 5 announcement that it fired Gabbard for recording calls to and from a New York Times reporter and for intercepting text messages without authorization.
Gabbard told the Journal he recorded the calls on his own because he felt pressured to stop embarrassing leaks but, he said, most of his spying activities were sanctioned by superiors.
Clark said Wal-Mart changed the way it monitors threats, strengthening "practices and protocols" after the Gabbard incident.