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Animal Protection > Activist Index > Security, Protection, and Self Defense

Secure Affinity Group Meeting and Communication Practices

1) Never discuss illegal activity or action plans on the phone or via e-mail. Always meet and talk in person.

Although this is often very inconvenient, it is also quite secure. The only thing you may discuss on the phone is where to meet with someone: "Hi, Joe, would you like to go out for some coffee at the corner diner tonight? Great, see you a 8PM."

2) If you can, always meet outside and keep moving, if you can't meet outside, take steps to make sure your indoor meeting place is secure.

If your group is small enough, always meet outside. Take a walk around town and discuss your action plan. If you are constantly moving, it makes surveillance more difficult. If you cannot meet outside, either meet in a public place and change locations frequently, or meet in a place that all group members are comfortable with.

Make sure all phones and electronic appliances are disconnected/unplugged in the room.

3) NO CELL PHONES AT SECURE MEETINGS!

Do not bring cell phones to secure meetings. It is widely believed that cell phones can be used as tracking devices and bugs by the police. If you must bring your cell phone to a meeting, turn it off and remove the batteries before the meeting begins.

4) Your next meeting place and time should be the first item on the agenda.

This makes scheduling future meetings more convenient, and helps prevent possible security breaches by eliminating the need to inform every group member about the next meeting separately.

5) Self-Check: Your Commitment to the group

If you have other responsibilities that prevent you from attending meetings or require you to leave meetings early, then you should drop out of the group until your schedule permits you to devote the time required. This is for the good of the group. EVERYONE must be prepared to devote an equal amount of time and energy to your group's activities. If you are always leaving meetings early, you are causing a potential security breach by requiring someone from the group to fill you in on what you missed.

6) Self-Check: Paranoia or Security Culture

Paranoia is the antithesis of security culture. True security culture requires a clear head, a rational mind, and personal self-control. Make a sincere effort to learn the difference, don't learn the hard way by blowing an action or going to jail.

7) It only takes one weak link to break the chain...

Everyone in your group must agree to adhere to the same set of security practices AND they must be held accountable when they mess up.
 

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