Please remember that all office phones may be monitored by the authorities.
Facebook and twitter, etc. will continue to be monitored closely by the authorities. Texts and social media posts are attainable for as long as we have technology so a text / post about anything that could be construed as illegal is not a good idea. Anyone boasting their exploits of naughtiness on facebook and twitter… please ignore – take with a shovel of salt and don’t do likewise – the badgers need you in the field, not in a cell or bailed away. The only safe way to impart information is to meet up, walk well away from any vehicles and phones and only then have a conversation. A mobile phone is still a bugging and tracking tool unless both sim and battery are removed. If it is something sensitive, please ask to meet with someone and we will oblige. If possible, sort stuff out yourself with those you know and trust.
If it is written down on an electric device, computer / laptop / text on a phone, then it had better be 100% of a legal nature to protect both sender and recipient. Private messages are not private where the authorities are involved, so don’t think that writing a PM is safe!
Please do not film or photograph other activists unless you have their permission or unless it is an emergency e.g. someone being driven at. Certainly do not post pictures of others in the cull zone on social media or tag them without permission. Let us say that Joe Bloggs is supposed to be painting the shed on a Saturday afternoon and then his wife sees a piccie of him in the zone… a minor example, but a thoughtless tagging could cause someone their livelihood or a relationship – please think basically. Block the camera of anyone who has been asked not to film by those being filmed – they are not going to be on our side. Do also be aware that others may be filming an incident – be camera aware. It is so easy to make a flippant remark in the car with a car camera recording and then lo and behold later a serious incident happens and the SD card in its entirety is seized and then played in court, gossip, jokes and all.
Sometimes you will only be told what you NEED to know, not what you WANT to know. Don’t take it personally when, for example, some people want to talk about something about you being there, although of course anyone discussing sensitive stuff in a communal area is a bit daft and should have gone elsewhere. This applies to everyone including the author/s of this note (and, yes, we can be a bit daft too!). However, you do need to know some things. Do let people know (and that includes us) if you have a problem with not having the information you need to help protect badgers and we will try and oblige. We can all get it wrong sometimes and we are aiming to be both inclusive and protect the security of activists.
We do no advise leaving your car with animal rights stickers all over it. It is probably worthwhile putting cameras up to deter any vandalism from the opposition and best in most cases to check setts without anyone knowing why you are there. Animal rights slogans emblazoned across a t-shirt are not conducive to this. If however you are known anyway it matters not, – it’s all down to the individual…