Basic Security Culture

Basic Security Culture

by Anthony J. Nocella II

Security culture is the actions an organizer and activist should adopt to be safe against infiltration, sabotage, division, and other forms of repression by the government, school, and corporations.

  1. Keep your computer, home, office, locker, phone, tablet, vehicles, etc., always locked, organized, and clean so if someone was to enter your home you would likely know.
  2. Don’t brag about your or other’s activism, especially illegal activity, if to family, friends, partners, or other people that have done time.
  3. Only do civil disobedience and other illegal activism with people you know very well including where they grew up, work, went to school, and currently live and who their friends and family are.
  4. Don’t joke or speak about illegal activities. This will aid in spot lighting more attention onto you from law enforcement.
  5. Use encrypted software and shorthand communication beyond just writing to protect what you or others are planning.
  6. Develop methods in nominations of people into a collective, group, or project to establish one’s level of safety and security.
  7. Strive to build trust based on honesty and building an open relationship.
  8. Don’t ask others about their involvement with illegal action.
  9. Don’t date people or do actions with people you are dating. This will possibly increase the complexity of risk that is taking place.
  10. Strive to never have a paper trail of your activism that is “illegal” such as not typing on a computer, e-mail, or piece of paper.
  11. Have your meetings in a secure and nonsurveilled location.
  12. Do not promote or support rumors about anything about anyone. Strive to end them or address them quickly and efficiently.
  13. Minimize on internalized social movement politics, which aids in information gathering of law enforcement, which could be used against activists.
  14. Avoid working with people you don’t like rather than publicizing your dislike of them.
  15. Know your legal/illegal limits based on job, friends, children, family, organization(s), and movement.
  16. Respect and learn each individual’s security expectations and abide by them.
  17. Leave no trace, meaning leave nothing in your home, car, on your phone, computer, or drop anything at events or locations that might aid in incarceration or information gathering of you or others.
  18. All messages with the organization including listservs, board-members, volunteers, and coordinators, directors, and social media messages should have the following note at the bottom of all messages discussing events, programs, projects, and general information about the group. All messages about the group should be private and should not be forwarded or discussed with others:

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication (including any attachments) is intended only for the use of the intended recipient and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. This communication along with all verbal, social media, and digital communication about all _______________ (the name of the organization here) business and _______________ (the name of the organization here) volunteers is private and not to be shared or discussed visually, forwarded, verbally or digitally with others such as friends, family, or members of _______________ (the name of the organization here). If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use, dissemination, forwarding, distribution, or copying of the communication is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this communication in error and delete this e-mail and all copies of this e-mail from your system. Thank you.