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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 organisation'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 person, 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 organising, 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 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 Liberty Victoria, or a community legal centre. Brief them about your evidence and suspicions. They will be able to make suggestions about actions to take, as well as organising 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 organisation. If this is put in a Statutory Declaration and signed, it can be used as evidence in court.
  • Under the Freedom of Information Actand the Privacy Act, request any files on the organisation from Commonwealth agencies and departments. File similar requests with state police, if your state Freedom of Information Act applies.