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Birth of the Underground 'Intelligence Unit': Activists Release More Sensitive Data

Dec 28th, 2009

By Peter Young

Simulposted with Voice of the Voiceless

Fur Farm Intelligence Unit releases its second communique

In what may be an emerging trend, anonymous activists have made public even more sensitive fur industry info.

Just after The Blueprint was released, an anonymous communication surfaced on the internet from 'The Fur Farm Intelligence Unit', publicizing the address of 'Cascade Farms', a previously unknown Oregon mink farm. This information did not turn up in the 5-month Fur Farm Intelligence Project (see previous post), and is a crucial addition to the fur farm address database.

This week I will be adding this new info to an updated edition of The Blueprint.

This is the second communique from the Fur Farm Intelligence Unit, and may signal the birth of a new angle for clandestine animal liberation activity: leaking or otherwise exposing damaging intelligence on animal abuse industries. While the Animal Liberation Front focuses on liberating animals from imprisonment, The Fur Farm Intelligence Unit appears to focus on the dissemination of sensitive data which will have an indirect, but ultimately no less powerful impact on animal exploitation industries.

Why is this tactic important, and what is the value of an underground 'Intelligence Unit'?

To date, the Fur Farm Intelligence Unit have issued two communiques:

The first took credit for the leaking of the complete list of attendees (most of them fur farmers) for the 2009 Canadian Mink Breeder's show in Madison WI, including the hotel they were staying at, their hotel confirmation numbers, and dates the dates they would be at the conference (and away from their farms). Also included were addresses for several of the absent fur farmers. Read the full communique here.

The most recent surfaced this week, divulging the location of the Cascade Farms mink ranch in Turner, Oregon. The message also stated the farm is confirmed to be open as of December, 2009. This farm, one hour south of Portland, was previously unknown to the animal rights movement.

While only a stepping-stone to more powerful activism, I see tremendous strategic value in the continued use of the 'Intelligence Unit' model. As was well-stated in the latest F.F.I.U. communique:

The fur industry thrives on secrecy and will go to great lengths to keep the addresses of these farms (and the infrastructure which support them) out of the sight of the public. It is our responsibility to expose the physical manifestations of institutionalized animal exploitation and bring them out of the darkness and into light.

The first F.F.I.U. communique, listing specific farmers and the nights they would be away from their farms, tread on more legally ambiguous territory, and the impact of this data was direct. Mink farmers finding their names, addresses, and the dates they would be away from home splashed across the internet had only three options: ignore it; solicit friends, family, or hired security to watch their farms; or stay home from the conference altogether. This simple leak of very privileged information almost certainly disrupted the mink breeder's conference more than any protest ever could.

It will be important for activists using the 'Intelligence Unit' design to avoid one pitfall: disseminating information that is internet-sourced, or otherwise non-privileged. When used to release actionable, damning, insider information, this tactic can be high-impact.

When used for exclusive, actionable information, I see the 'Intelligence Unit' model to have a valuable role in the future of the animal liberation movement. Until now, there has been no established outreach device to anonymously release useful information on animal abuse industries to activists.

The future may well bring a Vivisection Intelligence Unit, Slaughterhouse Intelligence Unit, and more.

An updated edition of The Blueprint, with the new Fur Farm Intelligence Unit information, will be uploaded within the week.

-Peter Youg

The full text of the latest Fur Farm Intelligence Unit communique is as follows:

'Previously Unpublished Oregon Fur Farm Address Confirmed.

Cascade Farms of Oregon
7582 Hunsaker Rd Se
Turner, Oregon
contact: Randy Lucas
Large mink farm (16+ sheds), two farm houses located just north of sheds.
Filed for renewal of Oregon Department of Agriculture (CAFO) permit fall of 2009. Confirmed open December of 2009.

This information unfortunately did not make it into the newly published document 'The Blueprint', which contains an updated list of US fur farms, fur research facilities, and fur equipment/feed suppliers.

[Download "The Blueprint" HERE]

The fur industry thrives on secrecy and will go to great lengths to keep the addresses of these farms (and the infrastructure which support them) out of the sight of the public. It is our responsibility to expose the physical manifestations of institutionalized animal exploitation and bring them out of the darkness and into light.

'Delivering the final nail'

Fur Farm Intelligence Unit ' Oregon'

Peter Young is TPC's Senior Editor of Direct Action and the creator of VoiceOfTheVoiceless.org. Young is a veteran animal liberation activist and former political prisoner convicted for his role in liberating thousands of animals from fur farms across the country. Emerging from a grand jury indictment, 7 years of being wanted by the FBI, a federal prison sentence, and nearly 15 years in the animal liberation movement; today Peter is a frequent lecturer at universities and events, writer on liberation movements, and unapologetic supporter of those who work outside the law to achieve human, earth, and animal liberation.

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