Happy May Day Comrade, We've been spied on - Open Source Surveillance by the G20ISU-JIG

May 2, 2012

Happy May Day Comrade, We've been spied on - Open Source Surveillance by the G20ISU-JIG

Open Source in intelligence circles refers to things that are volunteered on the Internet. This includes blog posts such as this one, news stories like what has been featured on the Media Coop website, things posted on ainfos, Twitter, Facebook and anything else that can be found on the internet. The Open Source surveillance can then be used by the JIG to pick their targets. For example, the Open Source work done on the Victoria Anarchist Bookfair caused myself and other vendors from Vancouver and Victoria to be singled out and targeted. The same thing appears to be true with the G8 and G20 activists.

The request I made ended up netting me a vast amount of PDF data. The majority of the data consists of various postings from websites, but there is one extremely large 1000 page file that shows header files and summaries of every site that they visited. What's interesting to note is that the intelligence gathering didn't stop after the G20 but went after and covered other activities of the targeted groups. The groups that I requested information on included the following:

  • Toronto Community Mobilization Network
  • Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance
  • No One Is Illegal
  • Common Cause Ontario
  • Media Coop
  • Convergence des Luttes Anticapitalistes (CLAC)
  • Hamilton Anarchist Bookfair (run by Common Cause)
  • Upping the Anti (because apparently copies of it are used as weapons)

I remember getting the call from Normand Sirois of the RCMP ATIP office when he told me that I accidentally requested the whole G8/G20ISU-JIG database, and I wasn't expecting to get anything back, however it seems like I got a lot more than I thought I'd get. What I do notice is once again they're using Facebook to gather the intelligence, but unfortunately the Facebook UI from 2010 doesn't expose their username. However, I can see that this isn't a dummy account and that the analyst who is gathering the info is getting game requests for Zoo World and Wily's Sweet Shop, which tells me this is someone's personal account, unlike "Freedom Song" of the V2010ISU-JIG. So, if you feel like doing some investigating, you can probably find the Facebook users who viewed these events.

The targeting of legal defence is rather interesting, since this indicates that the RCMP view prisoner support to be something to be stomped out as well as legal preparations prior to the G20.

The wide range of Open Source Intelligence is insane, and one of the earliest pieces of intel they pull is an old article from old no2010.com, which discussed APEC. There's also evidence that the RCMP targeted the Exile Infoshop in Ottawa, which would be of no surprise given how V2010ISU targeted both Spartacus and Camas. (Side note: It would be an interesting exercise for infoshops to seek legal counsel in Canada, similar to how Long Haul sued the FBI when their equipment was seized and not returned. I would be down with helping with such a venture, since this chill does mess with a store's survival.)

At any rate, these files aren't exactly high quality material, but there's enough leads from them that I can send in more requests of who was spied on and why, similar to what I've been doing with the V2010ISU-JIG. The main difference is that I don't know what to request for the G20 because I live in BC and not Ontario or Quebec and wasn't at the G20. Here is the archive of the whole file package. There's a tarball and a zip below: