Here in the UK undercover cops infiltrating activist movements has become big news. We’re not alone. In response to increased repression in Australia, Holly, over at Plan To Win has pulled together a very comprehensive list of security-related resources in her latest post: Spy vs Activist. Some snippets from a very thorough and full post:
How can activist groups respond? One option is to ‘call the bluff’ on repression. If one of the intentions behind surveillance is to intimidate activists into taking less action – respond with more!
Another response is to plan and prepare to protect the security of your group and its members. Depending on how public your group is, and the kind of activities it engages in, will determine how much of a priority you make security.
Remember, paranoia is never a useful response!
“Unfounded paranoia is not helpful to anyone but your enemies. Indeed, paranoia is not part of the security process; it is an unhelpful state of mind often built on emotion. Your fears need to be grounded in facts and rational consideration to be part of your security in a useful way.
Fortunately, the problem of insiders working against us is not as big as we might suppose, and those who sponsor them spread disinformation about the extent of it. It suits their purpose to keep people guessing. It is always good to remember there has been and remains a long history of successful campaigns and actions despite the informers operating inside our groups.” Infiltrators, Informers and Grasses: how, why and what to do if your group is targeted, page 2, download from ActivistSecurity.org
There’s a whole related conversation to be had about overt and covert direct actions, and which is actually more secure; open and closed groups and movements, and which are more effective. But another time! If you have thoughts on that feel, free to start the ball rolling by leaving a comment.