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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 4 January 2002 Issue


Animals Rights Activists Mislabeled Terrorist


I think this is one of the most significant stories of the year - not that any in the media will touch it, let alone understand it.

Those of you (and there were a fair number) who were hit by that worm in previous weeks should take a look at the links below.  Even if you were unaffected, simply knowing somebody who was affected could potentially cause you legal problems - especially if you're a critic of corporate or government practices.  Also be sure to change all your passwords (if you caught the Bad Trans worm).

For activists who need secure communications, the new FBI angle in these matters is frightening, especially when you consider:

1) that people in our movement are often labeled as "terrorists" or "terrorist sympathizers" and

2) the draconian attack on privacy the Bush administration has launched under the guise of "homeland security" and

3) how anybody merely "suspected" of having contact with "terrorist" groups can be arbitrarily wiretapped and their email monitored. 

So get yourselves the best encryption software you can if you communicate with people who are maligned as "terrorists", such as the ADL or ALFSG.

Keep in mind that the RICO laws, meant to crack down on organized crime have been used to harass non-profits whose point of view clashes with government policy.

This is especially significant, as a small number of congressman have singled out environmental and animal groups to "renounce terrorism".

Meanwhile, other special interest groups like right to life groups, white-power groups, the NRA, militia enthusiasts, etc., were NOT officially singled out and blacklisted in such a way.  The more mud and hyperbole has been slung at an interest group, the more likely it will come under official scrutiny, regardless of whether or not that mud was slung by vested interests at odds with the interest group.

The threat here is the *presumption* of guilt or even conspiracy based merely on what a person's interests are.  Or merely by associating with people that oppose some government policies or corporate practices.

The current political environment is one where any person who has sympathies that don't fit with contemporary mainstream views, may potentially be observed by the FBI and other "spook" agencies because their point of view is conveniently classified as automatically inclining them to commit "terrorist" acts.

History reminds us that boycotts and simple sit-ins have many times been called "terrorist" by those in power.  For whatever reasons, those in power with the most biases or vested interests have always been the ones most likely to use their positions to persecute or prosecute the groups they disagree with.  This is why militant anti-abortion groups get so little official denunciation while the environmental and animal movements (or any progressive movements) are most often targeted, despite the fact that anti-abortion activities have been far more violent than anything in the ecology or animal rights movement.  Murder has never been committed by an animal rights group, but dozens of murders have been committed by anti-abortion activists, gun-rights activists, white power groups and militia groups, to name but a few.  Still, it's the progressive groups that are McCartyisticlly blacklisted.

Now that you understand the situation, take a look at how the FBI is planning on using their new power to spy on US citizens:

From the link above: "Coincidentally, just four days before the breakout of Badtrans it was revealed that the FBI was developing their own keystroke-logging virus, called Magic Lantern".

"Last week the FBI contacted the owner of MonkeyBrains, Rudy Rucker, Jr., and requested a cloned copy of the password database and keylogged data.  The database includes only information stolen from the victims of the virus, not information about the perpetrator.  The FBI wants indiscriminant access to the illegally extracted passwords and keystrokes of over two million people without so much as a warrant.  Even with a warrant they would have to specify exactly what information they are after, on whom, and what they expect to find. Instead, they want it all and for no justifiable reason."

General MS Security & Terrorism

Return to Animals in Print 4 Jan 2002 Issue

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