‘Creepy and unsettling’: Activist voices concerns over her RCMP profile by Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press, November 30, 2019, Global News
An activist concerned about mining-industry abuses found it “kind of creepy and unsettling” to recently learn the RCMP compiled a six-page profile of her shortly after she turned up at a federal leaders debate during the 2015 election campaign.
An analyst with the RCMP’s Tactical Internet Intelligence Unit combed through online sources about Rachel Small to assemble the report detailing her age, address, education, language fluency, work experience and Facebook friends in the activist community, newly released documents show.
The analyst ultimately found no indication that Small, a Toronto organizer with the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, “is involved in criminal acts.”
Small was unaware of the profile until The Canadian Press provided her a copy released in August by the RCMP through the Access to Information Act. It turns out an associate of Small’s had submitted the request for records on the mining group, but for some reason never received the response.
The RCMP release, which also includes email messages, provides a glimpse into how the police force has made the careful monitoring of social media part of its work.
“I found it kind of creepy and unsettling because of the way that they were compiling information about my life,” Small said in an interview.
“It makes me wonder, what were they hoping to do with this information? And why is the RCMP spending so much time and resources to compile information on community organizers and activists in Toronto?
“I have no way of knowing what else they’ve dug into, and it’s hard to not feel like your privacy has been invaded.”
Small said neither she nor others associated with the solidarity network posed any kind of threat.
The RCMP did not answer questions from The Canadian Press about why and how it assembled the profile.
The disclosed material indicates the force became interested in knowing more about Small when she and a Mining Injustice Solidarity Network colleague in Toronto showed up at a Sept. 28, 2015, campaign discussion of foreign policy. The event was part of the regular Munk Debates run by a foundation set up by Peter Munk, founder of Barrick Gold, and his wife.
The solidarity network is a grassroots group concerned about the harms that mining companies, many of them Canadian, can do to communities, the environment and human rights.
Despite the Munk connection, the solidarity network doubted that Canada’s mining activities abroad would come up during the debate, so members decided to protest outside to call attention to the issue, Small said.
She and her colleague went to their seats, but someone working for the venue pulled them aside and it soon became clear they would not be allowed to stay.
“But there was no reason given at any time,” Small said.
She assumed someone had connected them to the protest outside, or perhaps it was the fact a well-known fellow activist had purchased the tickets for the pair. “We asked questions, we asked if we could file a complaint.”
The RCMP release reveals that an email to the force’s internet intelligence unit the following day identified the pair by name, along with birth dates, as the two women who used tickets purchased by a third party.
“When you have time, please compile any profile you can, from open source,” the email said. “They are allegedly affiliated with MISN, Mining Injustice Solidarity Network.”
There was some uncertainty about the identity of Small’s colleague accompanying her, which may explain why only a profile of Small resulted.
The Oct. 1, 2015, report, which includes photos and other material culled from Small’s social-media accounts, was prepared by the internet intelligence unit under the auspices of the criminal intelligence program of the RCMP’s Ontario division.
It was intended to provide information about Small to the division’s V.I.P. security section, which protects domestic and foreign dignitaries, including politicians.
The report says that unless otherwise noted, all information was obtained through open sources, meaning publicly available data.
Beside Small’s home address in the report, there is an apparent reference to a criminal-intelligence database accessible only to law enforcement, despite Small’s having no criminal history.
The profile also cites a newspaper story about the solidarity network’s concern that it had once been infiltrated by undercover agents — it was unclear who they might be working for — out to gather information about the group.
Clear evidence the RCMP was watching in 2015 has made Small more wary, and she fears a general chilling effect on the solidarity network’s activities.
“It scares some people off,” she said. “We want to be a group that is open and welcoming, and that supports anyone who’s concerned about the Canadian mining industry.”
Refer also to:
Unlawful arrest near Houston of Unist’ot’en guest: “Today the RCMP have arrested the person complying with the injunction and not those breaking it.” Meanwhile, 800-900 man camp, to last 3-4 years, approved in residential area on Wet’suwet’en territory south of Houston, by Board of Regional District of Buckley-Nechako (previously denied, partly because of TC Energy’s lousy communication with the public)
Canada’s RCMP keep on violating the law, along with oil and gas companies and their enabling law-violating regulators, while Supreme Court judges lie to enable the enabling.
A Room Full of Liars & Fascism in Action in Canada: Ever get frac’d? Listen to Steve Harper? Rebel Media? Read Supreme Court of Canada rulings? Minister Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale affirms “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) use of the major crime technique.”
“Corruption … At A Gallop.” Ex-Justice Minister Peter MacKay urges: “Respect the Rule of Law” while the RCMP, Encana, AER, Alberta and Harper governments busily break it?
RCMP pushes for new law to get Canadians’ private information without a warrant. Who’s pushing the RCMP? Encana? Israel? Both?
MUST READ! Will Canadian cops become next victims of industry’s water contamination and fraud? A dangerous new police “best practice?” RCMP members “drink the water” while “trying to understand the shale gas industry” and “educate” themselves. No word on if RCMP plan to try to understand, or investigate, the dangerous and rampant fraud associated with oil and gas industry’s widespread frac contamination, or the number to call if families need RCMP “water taster” to come taste their water after it’s been frac’d, as companies, regulators, and research councils try to cover it up, while lying to the public (including the police) that now toxic and explosive water is “common, normal, and safe”
How rampant is child abuse by RCMP officers? “Worst case of abuse police have seen.” Canada’s environmental activists seen as ‘threat to national security’, Police, security agencies describe green groups’ protests, petitions as ‘forms of attack’
Did Harper and the oil and gas industry order RCMP/CSIS/Snipers to attack innocent mothers and grandmothers, and set aflame stripped police cars in New Brunswick to discredit all Canadians concerned about frac harms and lay a red carpet for Harper’s Bill C-51?
RCMP ignore “volley of gunfire” to concerned citizen’s home but warn government and industry: “Environmental extremists pose ‘clear and present criminal threat’ to Canada’s energy sector – more likely to strike at critical infrastructure than religiously inspired terrorists.” Canadian and Australian oil and gas lobby groups warn: Industry operations “impact aquifers” and “contaminate water resources” as pre-determined “bullshit” investigations, cover-ups and court rulings fix everything. No word if “religiously inspired terrorists” plan to retire because of the intense competition
Elsipogtog man says RCMP officers visited home with questions about Facebook comment
Suzanne Patless, Mi’kmaq Warrior, in Calgary, presents her experience of the “good cop-bad cop” RCMP heavily armed sniper attack
Complaint filed over alleged illegal searches of private information on Northern Gateway pipeline opponents by RCMP, CSIS and handing the information over to oil companies and Canada’s national energy regulator
Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) illegally spied on Canadians; Harper government insisted CSEC never spied on Canadians; Spy agency’s work with CSIS, RCMP fuels fears of privacy breaches
Chevron halts Romania shale work after using riot police to harm concerned citizens in Romania, RCMP use riot police against concerned Canadians, Mi’kmaq in New Brunswick refuse to back down, defy another court injunction
Mi’kmaq Warrior risks losing leg after being shot by RCMP rubber slug in Thursday’s cop attack. Internal bleeding went untended for two days due to shock
200 RCMP? Snipers descend on Mi’kmaq-led camp, children and Elders on site, Rexton, New Brunswick, Canada
Shale gas: the RCMP and CSIS on high alert; Les fractivistes rendent la GRC nerveuse, RCMP and CSIS watching citizens concerned about hydraulic fracturing very closely
A Dead Man’s Prints, RCMP request to fingerprint Wiebo Ludwig’s corpse refused
RCMP spied on B.C. natives protesting pipeline plan, documents show
The Intimidation of Ernst: Members of Harper Government’s Anti-terrorist Squad Intimidate and Harass Ernst after her Legal Papers were Served on Encana, the EUB (now AER) and Alberta Environment Sent by whom? Harper? Encana? AER? Peter Watson? Gwyn Morgan?
RCMP blows pipeline-bomb investigation and Encana workers give press the finger
RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] bombed oil site in ‘dirty tricks’ campaign
Alberta Energy Corporation, became Encana, CEO Gwyn Morgan defends company conspiring with RCMP for staged bombing of a gas well