On the narcs who visited the occupation

by

Three people recently entered some radical spaces in Santa Cruz and behaved in ways that led many people who encountered them to conclude that they were police agents. What follows is a description of these individuals and a summary of the sequence of events that led people to draw these conclusions. Although it may seem at first glance that they might just be some stupid naive kids eager to impress, read the whole story first because it does look really bad. In fact, the best thing that could be said of them is that they’re dangerously stupid and would therefore also be very unsafe people for that reason. Unfortunately no pictures were obtained.

THE CHARACTERS
Identifying themselves as “anarchist travelers”, all of these people look like they’re around 18-20, white, average height and size, wear alternative/”punk”-looking but strangely very clean clothes, and are very clean overall.
– “Kao” is male, cleanshaven, shoulder-length brown hair (often in a camo headband), “conventionally attractive” features, anarchy-sign “tattoo” (?) on the side of his neck. Claims to be from Louisiana.
– “Carrie”, “Casey” or possibly “Cammie”: female, with braces, blond “fauxhawk” with sides shaves and some kind of rat tail or dread in the back, juggles a little, carries a ukulele around with her. From Laguna Beach, supposedly.
– Another male who didn’t really say anything to anyone, no one seems to have caught his name, bearded, wearing a plaid shirt and carhartts.

THE STORY
The trio arrived late in the evening to the occupied Grad Student Commons at UCSC (see http://occupycalifornia.wordpress.com). They were mistakenly let in even though the informal policy was to only let in people who were known and trusted by someone inside. They were really vague about how they wound up there, where they were coming from or how they had heard about the occupation, but were interested very specifically in checking out the space and inquiring about future plans. Kao, who has a very macho “militant” demeanor, seemed to be in charge and doing most of the talking. They immediately wanted to inspect the barricades, “to see if they could be put together better”; Kao said he had military training and wanted to know about future plans such as other buildings to occupy. Kao was talking about organizing the takeover of another building himself and asked questions like “Do you have blueprints?” After making everyone extremely uncomfortable within about 5 minutes, and after a conversation in which Kao gave a lot of really vague and weird answers about what they were doing there, they were asked politely to leave on the grounds that they weren’t known or trusted by anyone inside and people were going to sleep soon. During this conversation Kao also said that if anyone thought he was an informant, they should check out the anarchy sign tattoo on his neck.

Carrie came back the next day. Without asking anyone if it was ok, without anyone telling them they’d be allowed in the space again, she had left her phone plugged in in the main room, on and open. She asked for it back; it was returned to her (some people feel this was also a mistake). She was not allowed inside and a friend of ours had a long conversation with her. She expressed eagerness to do anything possible to support the occupation and reiterated that she and Kao were ready and willing to assume major roles in any future occupation or escalation of tactics, mentioning some buildings downtown and on campus that she thought could be taken over and/or destroyed. This is where it gets really fucked: She said that last night, after they were asked to leave, they got a ride downtown with a cop – as if in case we had followed them and watched them get into a cop car (no one actually saw where they went). She said the cop was really chill and they talked about the occupation. She said the cop told him they weren’t “scared” of the occupiers and they should do something more intense and dramatic (like occupying a store downtown or blowing up a science building on campus). It is apparent to us that anyone who gets into a police car and chats about illegal activities is as good as a snitch whether that is actually their job or not.

Kao and Carrie also showed up at Sub Rosa infoshop and Chavez co-op and were asked to leave both places because people were uncomfortable with their behavior in those spaces, and because of what people had heard about them. They told people they were headed to Portland next.

STAY SAFE, FUCK THE POLICE
in solidarity,
your friends in santa cruz

5 Responses to “On the narcs who visited the occupation”

  1. anon Says:

    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1035_22-150467.html

    The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone’s microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.

    The technique is called a “roving bug,” and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.

    Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia.

    The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the “roving bug” was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect’s cell phone.

    Kaplan’s opinion said that the eavesdropping technique “functioned whether the phone was powered on or off.” Some handsets can’t be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set.

    While the Genovese crime family prosecution appears to be the first time a remote-eavesdropping mechanism has been used in a criminal case, the technique has been discussed in security circles for years.

    The U.S. Commerce Department’s security office warns that “a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone.” An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can “remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner’s knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call.”

    Nextel and Samsung handsets and the Motorola Razr are especially vulnerable to software downloads that activate their microphones, said James Atkinson, a counter-surveillance consultant who has worked closely with government agencies. “They can be remotely accessed and made to transmit room audio all the time,” he said. “You can do that without having physical access to the phone.”

    Because modern handsets are miniature computers, downloaded software could modify the usual interface that always displays when a call is in progress. The spyware could then place a call to the FBI and activate the microphone–all without the owner knowing it happened. (The FBI declined to comment on Friday.)

    “If a phone has in fact been modified to act as a bug, the only way to counteract that is to either have a bugsweeper follow you around 24-7, which is not practical, or to peel the battery off the phone,” Atkinson said. Security-conscious corporate executives routinely remove the batteries from their cell phones, he added.

  2. Fireball Says:

    Anyone who gets into a cop car without being handcuffed should be considered a snitch. Riding around with cops is simply not cool. Also, cops, FBI, CIA, and whatnot have a long history of dressing like the people the infiltrate, but their clothes are clean and usually new. Beware of these people if you see anyone that fits their description.

  3. The New Anarchist Says:

    With this kind of shit happening, I think it would be worthwhile to bone up on your security culture and have others do the same.

    http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/atoz/security.php

  4. anon Says:

    NARC FAIL

  5. Andrew Hendricks Says:

    The technology mentioned in the article which allows a cell phone to become a “roving bug” whether it is turned on or off is NOT dependent on the phone being ‘really on’ but is a form of microwave sound extraction. The technique works by bouncing a carrier wave of high radio frequency off of a known reflector (the piezoelectric chip which forms the sound in a cell phone) and demodulating the sounds in the area of the reflector, which are AM modulated copies of the carrier wave. This is essentially the same thing as a laser microphone (laser on window bouncing back and being demodulated for sound) except microwaves can go through walls.

    To begin to become familiar with this technology, see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing_%28listening_device%29

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