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Unread postby 'X' » December 15th, 2005, 8:28 pm


Agents are law enforcement officers disguised as activists.
Informers are non agents who provide information to a law enforcement or intelligence agency. They may be recruited from within a group or sent in by an agency, or they may be disaffected former members or supporters.

Infiltrators are agents or informers who work in a group or community under the direction of a law enforcement or intelligence agency. During the 60s the FBI had to rely on informers (who are less well trained and harder to control) because it had very few black, Hispanic or female agents, and its strict dress and grooming code left white male agents unable to look like activists. As a modern equal opportunity employer, today's FBI has fewer such limitations.

What They Do: Some informers and infiltrators quietly provide information while keeping a low profile and doing whatever is expected of group members. Others attempt to discredit a target and disrupt its work. They may spread false rumors and make unfounded accusations to provoke or exacerbate tensions and splits . They may urge divisive proposals, sabotage important activities and resources, or operate as "provocateurs" who lead zealous activists into unnecessary danger. In a demonstration or other confrontation with police, such an agent may break discipline and call for actions which would undermine unity and detract from tactical focus.

Infiltration As a Source of Distrust and Paranoia: While individual agents and informers aid the government in a variety of specific ways, the general use of infiltrators serves a very special and powerful strategic function. The fear that a group may be infiltrated often intimidates people from getting more involved. It can give rise to a paranoia which makes it difficult to build the mutual trust which political groups depend on. This use of infiltrators, enhanced by covertly initiated rumors that exaggerate the extent to which a particular movement or group has been penetrated, is recommended by the manuals used to teach counter-insurgency in the U.S. and Western Europe.

Covert Manipulation to Make A Legitimate Activist Appear to be an Agent: An actual agent will often point the finger at a genuine, non collaborating and highly valued group member, claiming that he or she is the infiltrator. The same effect, known as a "snitch jacket," has been achieved by planting forged documents which appear to be communications between an activist and the FBI, or by releasing for no other apparent reason one of a group of activists who were arrested together. Another method used under COINTELPRO was to arrange for some activists, arrested under one pretext or another, to hear over the police radio a phony broadcast which appeared to set up a secret meeting between the police and someone from their group.


l. Establish a process through which anyone who suspects an informer (or other form of covert intervention) can express his or her fears without scaring others. Experienced people assigned this responsibility can do a great deal to help a group maintain its morale and focus while, at the same time, centrally consolidating information and deciding how to use it. This plan works best when accompanied by group discussion of the danger of paranoia, so that everyone understands and follows the established procedure.

2. To reduce vulnerability to paranoia and "snitch jackets", and to minimize diversion from your main work, it generally is best if you do not attempt to expose a suspected agent or informer unless you are certain of their role. (For instance, they surface to make an arrest, testify as a government witness or in some other way admit their identity). Under most circumstances, an attempted exposure will do more harm than the infiltrator's continued presence. This is especially true if you can discreetly limit the suspect's access to funds, financial records, mailing lists, discussions of possible law violations, meetings that plan criminal defense strategy, and similar opportunities.

3. Deal openly and directly with the form and content of what anyone says and does, whether the person is a suspected agent, has emotional problems, or is simply a sincere, but naive or confused person new to the work.

4. Once an agent or informer has been definitely identified, alert other groups and communities by means of photographs, a description of their methods of operation, etc. In the 60s, some agents managed even after their exposure in one community to move on and repeat their performance in a number of others.

5. Be careful to avoid pushing a new or hesitant member to take risks beyond what that person is ready to handle, particularly in situations which could result in arrest and prosecution. People in this position have proved vulnerable to recruitment as informers.

Bogus leaflets, pamphlets, etc.: COINTELPRO documents show that the FBI routinely put out phony leaflets, posters, pamphlets, etc. to discredit its targets . In one instance, agents revised a children's coloring book which the Black Panther Party had rejected as anti white and gratuitously violent, and then distributed a cruder version to backers of the Party's program of free breakfasts for children, telling them the book was being used in the program.

False media stories: The FBI's documents expose collusion by reporters and news media that knowingly published false and distorted material prepared by Bureau agents. One such story had Jean Seberg, a noticeably pregnant white film star active in anti racist causes, carrying the child of a prominent Black leader. Seberg's white husband, the actual father, has sued the FBI as responsible for her resulting still-birth, breakdown, and suicide.

Forged correspondence: Former employees have confirmed that the FBI and CIA have the capacity to produce "state of the art" forgery. The U.S. Senate's investigation of COINTELPRO uncovered a series of letters forged in the name of an intermediary between the Black Panther Party's national office and Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, in exile in Algeria. The letters proved instrumental in inflaming intra-party rivalries that erupted into the bitter public split that shattered the Party in the winter of 1971.

Anonymous letters and telephone calls: During the 60s, activists received a steady flow of anonymous letters and phone calls which turn out to have been from government agents. Some threatened violence. Others promoted racial divisions and fears . Still others charged various leaders with collaboration, corruption, sexual affairs with other activists' mates, etc. As in the Seberg incident, inter-racial sex was a persistent theme. The husband of one white woman involved in a bi-racial civil rights group received the following anonymous letter authored by the FBI:

Look, man, I guess your old lady doesn't get enough at home or she wouldn't be shucking and jiving with our Black Men in ACTION, you dig? Like all she wants to integrate is the bedroom and us Black Sisters ain't gonna take no second best from our men. So lay it on her man or get her the hell off [name]. A Soul Sister

False rumors: Using infiltrators, journalists and other contacts, the Bureau circulated slanderous, disruptive rumors through political movements and the communities in which they worked . Other misinformation: A favorite FBI tactic uncovered by Senate investigators was to misinform people that a political meeting or event had been canceled. Another was to offer non- existent housing at phony addresses, stranding out-of-town conference attendees who naturally blamed those who had organized the event. FBI agents also arranged to transport demonstrators in the name of a bogus bus company which pulled out at the last minute. Such "dirty tricks" interfered with political events and turned activists against each other.

Fronts for the FBI: COINTELPRO documents reveal that a number of Sixties' political groups and projects were actually set up and operated by the FBI.
One, "Grupo pro-Uso Voto," was used to disrupt the fragile unity developing in l967 among groups seeking Puerto Rico's independence from the US. The genuine proponents of independence had joined together to boycott a US-administered referendum on the island's status. They argued that voting under conditions of colonial domination could serve only to legitimize US rule, and that no vote could be fair while the US controlled the island's economy, media, schools, and police. The bogus group, pretending to support independence, broke ranks and urged independistas to take advantage of the opportunity to register their opinion at the polls.

Since FBI front groups are basically a means for penetrating and disrupting political movements, it is best to deal with them on the basis of the Guidelines for Coping with Infiltration (below).

Confront what a suspect group says and does, but avoid public accusations unless you have definite proof. If you do have such proof, share it with everyone affected.


1. Don't add unnecessarily to the pool of information that government agents use to divide political groups and turn activists against each other. They thrive on gossip about personal tensions, rivalries and disagreements. The more these are aired in public, or via a telephone which can be tapped or mail which can be opened, the easier it is to exploit a groups' problems and subvert its work. (Note that the CIA has the technology to read mail without opening it, and that the telephone network can now be programmed to record any conversation in which specified political terms are used.)

2. The best way to reduce tensions and hostilities, and the urge to gossip about them, is to make time for open, honest discussion and resolution of "personal" as well as "political" issues.

3. Don't accept everything you hear or read. Check with the supposed source of the information before you act on it. Personal communication among estranged activists, however difficult or painful, could have countered many FBI operations which proved effective in the Sixties.

4. When you hear a negative, confusing or potentially harmful rumor, don't pass it on. Instead, discuss it with a trusted friend or with the people in your group who are responsible for dealing with covert intervention.

5. Verify and double check all arrangements for housing, transportation, meeting rooms, and so forth.

6. When you discover bogus materials, false media stories, etc., publicly disavow them and expose the true source, insofar as you can. [/size]
Pressure through employers, landlords, etc.: COINTELPRO documents reveal frequent overt contacts and covert manipulation (false rumors, anonymous letters and telephone calls) to generate pressure on activists from their parents, landlords, employers, college administrators, church superiors, welfare agencies, credit bureaus, licensing authorities, and the like.
Agents' reports indicate that such intervention denied Sixties' activists any number of foundation grants and public speaking engagements. It also cost underground newspapers most of their advertising revenues, when major record companies were persuaded to take their business elsewhere. It may underlie recent steps by insurance companies to cancel policies held by churches giving sanctuary to refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala.

Burglary: Former operatives have confessed to thousands of "black bag jobs" in which FBI agents broke into movement offices to steal, copy or destroy valuable papers, wreck equipment, or plant drugs.

Vandalism: FBI infiltrators have admitted countless other acts of vandalism, including the fire which destroyed the Watts Writers Workshop's multi-million dollar ghetto cultural center in 1973. Late 60s' FBI and police raids laid waste to movement offices across the country, destroying precious printing presses, typewriters, layout equipment, research files, financial records, and mailing lists.

Other direct interference: To further disrupt opposition movements, frighten activists, and get people upset with each other, the FBI tampered with organizational mail, so it came late or not at all. It also resorted to bomb threats and similar "dirty tricks".

Conspicuous surveillance: The FBI and police blatantly watch activists' homes, follow their cars, tap phones, open mail and attend political events. The object is not to collect information (which is done surreptitiously), but to harass and intimidate.

Attempted interviews: Agents have extracted damaging information from activists who don't know they have a legal right to refuse to talk, or who think they can outsmart the FBI. COINTELPRO directives recommend attempts at interviews throughout political movements to "enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles" and "get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox."

Grand juries: Unlike the FBI, the Grand Jury has legal power to make you answer its questions. Those who refuse, and are required to accept immunity from use of their testimony against them, can be jailed for contempt of court. (Such "use immunity" enables prosecutors to get around the constitutional protection against self incrimination.)

The FBI and the US Dept. of Justice have manipulated this process to turn the grand jury into an instrument of political repression. Frustrated by jurors' consistent refusal to convict activists of overtly political crimes, they convened over 100 grand juries between l970 and 1973 and subpoenaed more than 1000 activists from the Black, Puerto Rican, student, women's and anti-war movements. Supposed pursuit of fugitives and "terrorists" was the usual pretext. Many targets were so terrified that they dropped out of political activity. Others were jailed without any criminal charge or trial, in what amounts to a U.S. version of the political internment procedures employed in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

False arrest and prosecution: COINTELPRO directives cite the Philadelphia FBI's success in having local militants "arrested on every possible charge until they could no longer make bail" and "spent most of the summer in jail." Though the bulk of the activists arrested in this manner were eventually released, some were convicted of serious charges on the basis of perjured testimony by FBI agents, or by co-workers who the Bureau had threatened or bribed.

The object was not only to remove experienced organizers from their communities and to divert scarce resources into legal defense, but even more to discredit entire movements by portraying their leaders as vicious criminals. Two victims of such frame ups, Native American activist Leonard Peltier and 1960s' Black Panther official Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, have finally gained court hearings on new trial motions.

Others currently struggling to re-open COINTELPRO convictions include Richard Marshall of the American Indian Movement and jailed Black Panthers Herman Bell, Anthony Bottom, Albert Washington (the "NY3"), and Richard "Dhoruba" Moore.

Intimidation: One COINTELPRO communiqué urged that "The Negro youths and moderates must be made to understand that if they succumb to revolutionary teaching, they will be dead revolutionaries."

Others reported use of threats (anonymous and overt) to terrorize activists, driving some to abandon promising projects and others to leave the country. During raids on movement offices, the FBI and police routinely roughed up activists and threatened further violence. In August, 1970, they forced the entire staff of the Black Panther office in Philadelphia to march through the streets naked.

Instigation of violence: The FBI's infiltrators and anonymous notes and phone calls incited violent rivals to attack Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, and other targets. Bureau records also reveal maneuvers to get the Mafia to move against such activists as black comedian Dick Gregory.

A COINTELPRO memo reported that "shootings, beatings and a high degree of unrest continue to prevail in the ghetto area of southeast San is felt that a substantial amount of the unrest is directly attributable to this program."

Covert aid to right wing vigilantes: In the guise of a COINTELPRO against "white hate groups," the FBI subsidized, armed, directed and protected the klu Klux Klan and other right wing groups, including a "Secret Army Organization" of California ex-Minutemen who beat up Chicano activists, tore apart the offices of the San Diego Street Journal and the Movement for a Democratic Military, and tried to kill a prominent anti-war organizer. Puerto Rican activists suffered similar terrorist assaults from anti-Castro Cuban groups organized and funded by the CIA.

Defectors from a band of Chicago based vigilantes known as the "Legion of Justice" disclosed that the funds and arms they used to destroy book stores, film studios and other centers of opposition had secretly been supplied by members of the Army's 113th Military Intelligence Group.

Assassination: The FBI and police were implicated directly in murders of Black and Native American leaders. In Chicago, police assassinated Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, using a floor plan supplied by an FBI informer who apparently also had drugged Hampton's food to make him unconscious during the raid.

FBI records show that this accomplice received a substantial bonus for his services. Despite an elaborate cover-up, a blue ribbon commission and a U.S Court of Appeals found the deaths to be the result not of a shoot out, as claimed by police, but of a carefully orchestrated, Vietnam style "search and destroy mission".


1. Establish security procedures appropriate to your group's level of activity and discuss them thoroughly with everyone involved. Control access to keys, files, letterhead, funds, financial records, mailing lists, etc. Keep duplicates of valuable documents. Safeguard address books, and do not carry them when arrest is likely.

2. Careful records of break ins, thefts, bomb threats, raids, arrests, strange phone noises (not always taps or bugs), harassment, etc. will help you to discern patterns and to prepare reports and testimony.

3. Don't talk to the FBI. Don't let them in without a warrant. Tell others that they came. Have a lawyer demand an explanation and instruct them to leave you alone.

4. If an activist does talk, or makes some other honest error, explain the harm that could result. But do not attempt to ostracize a sincere person who slips up. Isolation only weakens a person's ability to resist. It can drive someone out of the movement and even into the arms of the police.

5. If the FBI starts to harass people in your area, alert everyone to refuse to cooperate (see box). Call the Movement Support Network's Hotline:(2l2) 614-6422. Set up community meetings with speakers who have resisted similar harassment elsewhere. Get literature, films, etc. through the organizations listed in the back of this pamphlet. Consider "Wanted" posters with photos of the agents, or guerilla theater which follows them through the city streets.

6. Make a major public issue of crude harassment, such as tampering with your mail. Contact your congressperson. Call the media. Demonstrate at your local FBI office. Turn the attack into an opportunity for explaining how covert intervention threatens fundamental human rights.

7. Many people find it easier to tell an FBI agent to contact their lawyer than to refuse to talk. Once a lawyer is involved, the Bureau generally pulls back, since it has lost its power to intimidate. If possible, make arrangements with a local lawyer and let everyone know that agents who visit them can be referred to that lawyer. If your group engages in civil disobedience or finds itself under intense police pressure, start a bail fund, train some members to deal with the legal system, and develop an ongoing relationship with a sympathetic local lawyer.

8. Organizations listed in the back of this pamphlet can also help resist grand jury harassment. Community education is important, along with legal, financial, child care, and other support for those who protect a movement by refusing to divulge information about it. If a respected activist is subpoenaed for obviously political reasons, consider trying to arrange for sanctuary in a local church or synagogue.

9. While the FBI and police are entirely capable of fabricating criminal charges, any law violations make it easier for them to set you up. The point is not to get so up-tight and paranoid that you can't function, but to make a realistic assessment based on your visibility and other pertinent circumstances.

10. Upon hearing of Fred Hampton's murder, the Black Panthers in Los Angeles fortified their offices and organized a communications network to alert the community and news media in the event of a raid. When the police did attempt an armed assault four days later, the Panthers were able to hold off the attack until a large community and media presence enabled them to leave the office without casualties. Similar preparation can help other groups that have reason to expect right wing or police assaults.

11. Make sure your group designates and prepares other members to step in if leaders are jailed or otherwise incapacitated. The more each participant is able to think for herself or himself and take responsibility, the better will be the group's capacity to cope with crises.
A BROAD BASED STRATEGY: No one existing political organization or movement is strong enough, by itself, to mobilize the public pressure required to significantly limit the ability of the FBI, CIA and police to subvert our work. Some activists oppose covert intervention because it violates fundamental constitutional rights. Others stress how it weakens and interferes with the work of a particular group or movement. Still others see covert action as part of a political and economic system which is fundamentally flawed. Our only hope is to bring these diverse forces together in a single, powerful alliance.
Such a broad coalition cannot hold together unless it operates with clearly defined principles. The coalition as a whole will have to oppose covert intervention on certain basic grounds such as the threat to democracy, civil liberties and social justice, leaving its members free to put forward other objections and analyses in their own names. Participants will need to refrain from insisting that only their views are "politically correct" and that everyone else has "sold out."

Above all, we will have to resist the government's maneuvers to divide us by moving against certain groups, while subtly suggesting that it will go easy on the others, if only they dissociate themselves from those under attack. This strategy is evident in the recent Executive Order and Guidelines, which single out for infiltration and disruption people who support liberation movements and governments that defy U.S. hegemony or who entertain the view that it may at times be necessary to break the law in order to effectuate social change.

DIVERSE TACTICS: For maximum impact, local and national coalitions will need a multi-faceted approach which effectively combines a diversity of tactics, including:

l. Investigative research to stay on top of, and document, just what the FBI, CIA and police are up to.

2. Public education through forums, rallies, radio and TV, literature, film, high school and college curricula, wall posters, guerilla theater, and whatever else proves interesting and effective.

3. Legislative lobbying against administration proposals to strengthen covert work, cut back public access to information, punish government "whistle blowers", etc. Coalitions in some cities and states have won legislative restrictions on surveillance and covert action. The value of such victories will depend our ability to mobilize continuing, vigilant public pressure for effective enforcement.

4. Support for the victims of covert intervention can reduce somewhat the harm done by the FBI, CIA and police. Organizing on behalf of grand jury resisters, political prisoners, and defendants in political trials offers a natural forum for public education about domestic covert action.

5. Lawsuits may win financial compensation for some of the people harmed by covert intervention. Class action suits, which seek a court order (injunction) limiting surveillance and covert action in a particular city or judicial district, have proved a valuable source of information and publicity. They are enormously expensive, however, in terms of time and energy as well as money. Out-of-court settlements in some of these cases have given rise to bitter disputes which split coalitions apart, and any agreement is subject to reinterpretation or modification by increasingly conservative, administration oriented federal judges.
The US Court of Appeals in Chicago has ruled that the consent decree against the FBI there affects only operations based "solely on the political views of a group or an individual," for which the Bureau can conjure no pretext of a "genuine concern for law enforcement."

6. Direct action, in the form of citizens' arrests, mock trials, picket lines, and civil disobedience, has recently greeted CIA recruiters on a number of college campuses. Although the main focus has been on the Agency's international crimes, its domestic activities have also received attention. Similar actions might be organized to protest recruitment by the FBI and police, in conjunction with teach ins and other education about domestic covert action. Demonstrations against Reagan's attempts to bolster covert intervention, or against particular FBI, CIA or police operations, could also raise public consciousness and focus activists' outrage.
PROSPECTS: Previous attempts to mobilize public opposition, especially on a local level, indicate that a broad coalition, employing a multi-faceted approach, may be able to impose some limits on the government's ability to discredit and disrupt our work. It is clear, however, that we currently lack the power to eliminate such intervention. While fighting hard to end domestic covert action, we need also to study the forms it takes and prepare ourselves to cope with it as effectively as we can.
Above all, it is essential that we resist the temptation to so preoccupy ourselves with repression that we neglect our main work. Our ability to resist the government's attacks depends ultimately on the strength of our movements. So long as we continue to advocate and organize effectively, no manner of intervention can stop us.


Organizations involved in controversial issues particularly those who encourage or assist members to commit civil disobedience should be alert to the possibility of surveillance and disruption by police or federal agencies.
During the last three decades, many individuals and organizations were spied upon, wiretapped, their personal lives disrupted in an effort to draw them away from their political work, and their organizations infiltrated. Hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence from agencies such as the FBI and CIA were obtained by Congressional inquiries headed by Senator Frank Church and Representative Otis Pike, others were obtained through use of the Freedom of Information Act and as a result of lawsuits seeking damages for First Amendment violations.

Despite the public outcry to these revelations, the apparatus remains in place, and federal agencies have been given increased powers by the Reagan Administration.

Good organizers should be acquainted with this sordid part of American history, and with the signs that may indicate their group is the target of an investigation.

HOWEVER, DO NOT LET PARANOIA immobilize you. The results of paranoia and overreaction to evidence of surveillance can be just as disruptive to an organization as an actual infiltrator or disruption campaign.

This document is a brief outline of what to look for -- and what to do if you think your group is the subject of an investigation. This is meant to suggest possible actions, and is not intended to provide legal advice

Possible evidence of government spying
Obvious surveillance
Look for:
Visits by police or federal agents to politically involved individuals, landlords, employers, family members or business associates. These visits may be to ask for information, to encourage or create possibility of eviction or termination of employment, or to create pressure for the person to stop his or her political involvement.
Uniformed or plainclothes officers taking pictures of people entering your office or participating in your activities. Just before and during demonstrations and other public events, check the area including windows and rooftops for photographers.
People who seem out of place. If they come to your office or attend your events, greet them as potential members. Try to determine if they are really interested in your issues -- or just your members!
People writing down license plate numbers of cars and other vehicles in the vicinity of your meetings and rallies.
Despite local legislation and several court orders limiting policy spying activities, these investigatory practices have been generally found to be legal unless significant "chilling" of constitutional rights can be proved.

Telephone Problems
Electronic surveillance equipment is now so sophisticated that you should not be able to tell if your telephone conversations are being monitored. Clicks, whirrs, and other noises probably indicate a problem in the telephone line or other equipment.
For example, the National Security Agency has the technology to monitor microwave communications traffic, and to isolate all calls to or from a particular line, or to listen for key words that activate a recording device. Laser beams and "spike" microphones can detect sound waves hitting walls and window panes, and then transmit those waves for recording. In these cases, there is little chance that the subject would be able to find out about the surveillance.

Among the possible signs you may find are:

Hearing a tape recording of a conversation you, or someone else in your home or office, have recently held.
Hearing people talking about your activities when you try to use the telephone.
Losing service several days before major events.
Government use of electronic surveillance is governed by two laws, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Warrants for such surveillance can be obtained if there is evidence of a federal crime, such as murder, drug trafficking, or crimes characteristic of organized crime, or for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information available within the U.S. In the latter case, an "agent of a foreign power" can be defined as a representative of a foreign government, from a faction or opposition group, or foreign based political groups.

Mail Problems
Because of traditional difficulties with the U.S. Postal Service, some problems with mail delivery will occur, such as a machine catching an end of an envelope and tearing it, or a bag getting lost and delaying delivery.

However, a pattern of problems may occur because of political intelligence gathering:

Envelopes may have been opened prior to reaching their destination; contents were removed and/or switched with other mail. Remember that the glue on envelopes doesn't work as well when volume or bulk mailings are involved.
Mail may arrive late, on a regular basis different from others in your neighborhood.
Mail may never arrive. There are currently two kinds of surveillance permitted with regards to mail: the mail cover, and opening of mail. The simplest, and lest intrusive form is the "mail cover" in which Postal employees simply list any information that can be obtained from the envelope, or opening second, third or fourth class mail. Opening of first class mail requires a warrant unless it is believed to hold drugs or "ticks." More leeway is given for opening first class international mail.

A common practice during the FBI's Counter- Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) was the use of surreptitious entries or "black bag jobs." Bureau agents were given special training in burglary, key reproduction, etc. for use in entering homes and offices. In some cases, the key could be obtained from "loyal American" landlords or building owners.
Typical indicators are:

Files, including membership and financial reports are rifled, copied or stolen.
Items of obvious financial value are left untouched.
Equipment vital to the organization may be broken or stolen, such as typewriters, printing machinery, and computers.
Signs of a political motive are left, such as putting a membership list or a poster from an important event in an obvious place. Although warrant less domestic security searches are in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and any evidence obtained this way cannot be used in criminal proceedings, the Reagan Administration and most recent Presidents (excepting Carter) have asserted the inherent authority to conduct searches against those viewed as agents of a foreign power

Informers and Infiltrators
Information about an organization or individual can also be obtained by placing an informer or infiltrator. This person may be a police officer, employee of a federal agency, someone who has been charged or convicted of criminal activity and has agreed to "help" instead of serve time, or anyone from the public.

Once someone joins an organization for the purposes of gathering information, the line between data gathering and participation blurs. Two types of infiltrators result -- someone who is under "deep cover" and adapts to the lifestyle of the people they are infiltrating. These people may maintain their cover for many years, and an organization may never know whom these people are. Agents "provocateur" are more visible, because they will deliberately attempt to disrupt or lead the group into illegal activities. They often become involved just as an event or crisis is occurring, and leave town or drop out after the organizing slows down.

An agent may:

Volunteer for tasks which provide access to important meetings and papers such as financial records, membership lists, minutes and confidential files.
Not follow through or complete tasks, or else does them poorly despite an obvious ability to do good work.
Cause problems for a group such as committing it to activities or expenses without following proper channels; urge a group to plan activities that divide group unity.
Seem to create or be in the middle of personal or political difference that slow the work of the group.
Seek the public spotlight, in the name of your group, and then make comments or present an image different from the rest of the group.
Urge the use of violence or breaking the law, and provide information and resources to enable such ventures.
Have no obvious source of income over a period of time, or have more money available than his or her job should pay.
Charge other people with being agents, (a process called snitch jackets), thereby diverting attention from him or herself, and draining the group's energy from other work.
THESE ARE NOT THE ONLY SIGNS, NOR IS A PERSON WHO FITS SEVERAL OF THESE CATEGORIES NECESSARILY AN AGENT. BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS AND DO NOT CALL ANOTHER PERSON WITHOUT HAVING SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. Courts have consistently found that an individual who provides information, even if it is incriminating, to an informer has not had his or her Constitutional rights violated. This includes the use of tape recorders or electronic transmitters as well.

Lawsuits in Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere, alleging infiltration of lawful political groups have resulted in court orders limiting the use of police informers and infiltrators. However, this does not affect activities of federal agencies.

If you find evidence of surveillance: Hold a meeting to discuss spying and harassment

Determine if any of your members have experienced any harassment or noticed any surveillance activities that appear to be directed at the organization's activities. Carefully record all the details of these and see if any patterns develop.
Review past suspicious activities or difficulties in your group. Has one or several people been involved in many of these events? List other possible "evidence" of infiltration.
Develop internal policy on how the group should respond to any possible surveillance or suspicious actions. Decide who should be the contact person(s), what information should be recorded, what process to follow during any event or demonstration if disruption tactics are used.
Consider holding a public meeting to discuss spying in your community and around the country. Schedule a speaker or film discussing political surveillance.
Make sure to protect important documents or computer disks, by keeping a second copy in a separate, secret location. Use fireproof, locked cabinets if possible.
Implement a sign-in policy for your office and/or meetings. This is helpful for your organizing, developing a mailing list, and can provide evidence that an infiltrator or informer was at your meeting. Appoint a contact for spying concerns
This contact person or committee should implement the policy developed above and should be given to authority to act, to get others to respond should any problems occur.
The contact should: Seek someone familiar with surveillance history and law, such as the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Conference of Black Lawyers or the American Friends Service Committee. Brief them about your evidence and suspicions. They will be able to make suggestions about actions to take, as well as organizing and legal contacts.
Maintain a file of all suspected or confirmed experiences of surveillance and disruption. Include: date, place, time, who was present, a complete description of everything that happened, and any comments explaining the context of the event or showing what impact the event had on the individual or organization. If this is put in deposition form and signed, it can be used as evidence in court.
Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy act, request any files on the organization from federal agencies such as the FBI, CIA, Immigration and Naturalization, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, etc. File similar requests with local and state law enforcement agencies, if your state freedom of information act applies.
Prepare for major demonstrations and events
Plan ahead; brief your legal workers on appropriate state and federal statutes on police and federal official spying. Discuss whether photographing with still or video cameras is anticipated and decide if you want to challenge it.
If you anticipate surveillance, brief reporters who are expected to cover the event, and provide them with materials about past surveillance by your city's police in the past, and/or against other activists throughout the country.
Tell the participants when surveillance is anticipated and discuss what the group's response will be. Also, decide how to handle provocateurs, police violence, etc. and incorporate this into any affinity group, marshall or other training. During the event: Carefully monitor the crowd, looking for surveillance or possible disruption tactics. Photograph any suspicious or questionable activities.
Approach police officer(s) seen engaging in questionable activities. Consider having a legal worker and/or press person monitor their actions. If you suspect someone is an infiltrator:
Try to obtain information about his or her background: where s/he attended high school and college; place of employment, and other pieces of history. Attempt to verify this information.
Check public records which include employment; this can include voter registration, mortgages or other debt filings, etc.
Check listings of police academy graduates, if available. Once you obtain evidence that someone is an infiltrator: Confront him or her in a protected setting, such as a small meeting with several other key members of your group (and an attorney if available). Present the evidence and ask for the person's response.
You should plan how to inform your members about the infiltration, gathering information about what the person did while a part of the group and determining any additional impact s/he may have had.
You should consider contacting the press with evidence of the infiltration. If you can only gather circumstantial evidence, but are concerned that the person is disrupting the group: Hold a strategy session with key leadership as to how to handle the troublesome person.
Confront the troublemaker, and lay out why the person is disrupting the organization. Set guidelines for further involvement and carefully monitor the person's activities. If the problems continue, consider asking the person to leave the organization.
If sufficient evidence is then gathered which indicates s/he is an infiltrator, confront the person with the information in front of witnesses and carefully watch reactions.
Request an investigation or make a formal complaint
Report telephone difficulties to your local and long distance carriers. Ask for a check on the lines to assure that the equipment

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Unread postby black » December 17th, 2005, 2:58 am

good shit...

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Unread postby 'X' » December 17th, 2005, 2:01 pm

johnnyblac wrote:good shit...

Yep, very informative....

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