Advertisement

Disinformation and Resistance in the Surveillance of Indigenous Protesters

  • Jenna HarbEmail author
  • Kathryn Henne
Chapter
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

The U.S. and Canadian governments have long engaged in the surveillance of Indigenous peoples. Such practices have garnered public attention in light of recent events. This chapter reflects on two examples: protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that crossed over the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the United States and the release of details regarding Project SITKA—a Canadian Royal Mounted Police “dataveillance” operation identifying and tracking Indigenous activists. It examines them to illuminate the strategic use of information, particularly disinformation and misinformation, by government actors, media, private security personnel, and protesters. In particular, the analysis highlights how settler colonialism informs the asymmetrical power dynamics at work, illustrating connections between Project SITKA and the Standing Rock protests.

References

  1. AJ+. 2016. #NoDAPL Drones Monitor North Dakota Police. Video. Published December 2, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXWw0y44xaM.
  2. Aradau, Claudia. 2010. Security That Matters: Critical Infrastructure and Objects of Protection. Security Dialogue 41 (5): 491–514.Google Scholar
  3. Behrens, Matthew. 2016. Trudeau’s Trumpishness Bulldozes Indigenous Rights. Rabble.ca, November 23. Accessed December 30, 2018. http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/11/trudeaus-trumpishness-bulldozes-indigenous-rights.
  4. Black, Conrad. 2015. Conrad Black: Canada’s Treatment of Aboriginals Was Shameful, But It Was Not Genocide. National Post, June 7. https://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-canadas-treatment-of-aboriginals-was-shameful-but-it-was-not-genocide.
  5. Boyle, Philip J., and Shannon T. Speed. 2018. From Protection to Coordinated Preparedness: A Genealogy of Critical Infrastructure in Canada. Security Dialogue 49 (3): 217–231.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, Alleen. 2018. Five Spills, Six Months in Operation: Dakota Access Track Record Highlights Unavoidable Reality—Pipelines Leak. The Intercept, January 9. https://theintercept.com/2018/01/09/dakota-access-pipeline-leak-energy-transfer-partners/.
  7. Brown, Alleen, Will Parrish, and Alice Speri. 2017a. The Battle of Treaty Camp. The Intercept, October 27. https://theintercept.com/2017/10/27/law-enforcement-descended-on-standing-rock-a-year-ago-and-changed-the-dapl-fight-forever/.
  8. ———. 2017b. Police Used Private Security Aircraft for Surveillance in Standing Rock No-Fly Zone. The Intercept, September 29. https://theintercept.com/2017/09/29/standing-rock-dakota-access-pipeline-dapl-no-fly-zone-drones-tigerswan/.
  9. ———. 2017c. TigerSwan Responded to Pipeline Vandalism by Launching Multistate Dragnet. The Intercept, August 26. https://theintercept.com/2017/08/26/dapl-security-firm-tigerswan-responded-to-pipeline-vandalism-by-launching-multistate-dragnet/.
  10. ———. 2017d. Standing Rock Documents Expose Inner Workings of ‘Surveillance-Industrial Complex’. The Intercept, June 3. https://theintercept.com/2017/06/03/standing-rock-documents-expose-inner-workings-of-surveillance-industrial-complex/.
  11. ———. 2017e. Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies. The Intercept, May 27. https://theintercept.com/2017/05/27/leaked-documents-reveal-security-firms-counterterrorism-tactics-at-standing-rock-to-defeat-pipeline-insurgencies/.
  12. Button, Mark, Tim John, and Nigel Brearley. 2002. New Challenges in Public Order Policing: The Professionalisation of Environmental Protest and the Emergence of the Militant Environmental Activist. International Journal of the Sociology of Law 30 (1): 17–32.Google Scholar
  13. Craig, Sean. 2016. RCMP Tracked 89 Indigenous Activists Considered ‘Threats’ for Participating in Protests. National Post, November 13. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/rcmp-tracked-89-indigenous-activists-considered-threats-for-participating-in-protests.
  14. Crosby, Andrew, and Jeffrey Monaghan. 2018. Policing Indigenous Movements: Dissent and the Security State. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.Google Scholar
  15. d’Errico, Peter. 2017. The U.S. Claim of Domination Over Standing Rock Violates the Treaty of 1851. Indian Country Today, February 7. https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/archive/the-u-s-claim-of-domination-over-standing-rock-violates-the-treaty-of-1851-mbhIlIuFEkOp_y9S9P4Xag/.
  16. Dafnos, Democrati. 2014. Negotiating Colonial Encounters: (Un)Mapping the Policing of Indigenous Peoples’ Protests in Canada. PhD Dissertation, York University.Google Scholar
  17. Dakota Access Pipeline Facts. 2017. The Dakota Access Pipeline Is the Best Way to Move Bakken Crude Oil to Market. Accessed December 30, 2018. https://daplpipelinefacts.com/.
  18. Estes, Nick. 2019. Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  19. Foster, Peter. 2010. Peter Foster: Ethical Oil. Financial Post, September 21, 2010. https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/peter-foster-ethical-oil.
  20. Foucault, Michel. 1980. Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977. Rome: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2003. Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège De France, 1975–76. New York: Picador.Google Scholar
  22. Fullenwieder, Lara, and Adam Molnar. 2018. Settler Governance and Privacy: Canada’s Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement and the Mediation of State-Based Violence. International Journal of Communication 12: 1332–1349.Google Scholar
  23. Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. 2002. Fatal Couplings of Power and Difference: Notes on Racism and Geography. The Professional Geographer 54 (1): 15–24.Google Scholar
  24. Gilmore, Scott. 2015. Canada’s Race Problem? It’s Even Worse than America’s. Maclean’s, January 22. https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/out-of-sight-out-of-mind-2/.
  25. Government of Canada. 2017. Levels of Security. Accessed August 25, 2017. https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/esc-src/protection-safeguarding/niveaux-levels-eng.html.
  26. Hagen, C.S. 2017. TigerSwan and Government Twist Narrative Over Dakota Access Pipeline. High Plains Reader, June 6. http://hpr1.com/index.php/feature/news/tigerswan-and-government-twist-narrative-over-dakota-access-pipeline/.
  27. ———. 2018. Infiltrated: No-DAPL Activist Hoodwinked by Paid FBI Informant, Defense Says. High Plains Reader, January 11. http://hpr1.com/index.php/feature/news/infiltrated-no-dapl-activist-hoodwinked-by-paid-fbi-informant-defense-says/.
  28. Haggart, Blayne. 2017. Incorporating the Study of Knowledge into the IPE Mainstream, or, When Does a Trade Agreement Stop Being a Trade Agreement? Journal of Information Policy 7: 176–203.Google Scholar
  29. Henne, Kathryn, and Emily Troshynski. 2013. Suspect Subjects: Affects of Bodily Regulation. International Journal of Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 2 (2): 100–112.Google Scholar
  30. Horn, Steve, and Curtis Waltman. 2017. Emails Show Iraq War PR Alumni Guided Government Response to Standing Rock Protests. MuckRock, July 20. Accessed December 30, 2018. https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/jul/20/DAPL-pr-iraq-war/.
  31. Kaufmann, Chaim. 2004. Threat Inflation and the Failure of the Marketplace of Ideas. International Security 29 (1): 5–48.Google Scholar
  32. King, Sara B. 2011. Military Social Influence in the Global Information Environment: A Civilian Primer. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy 11 (1): 1–26.Google Scholar
  33. Klein, Ezra. 2018. Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Logic of Alternative Facts. Vox, February 9. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/9/16991410/trump-fox-nunes-fbi-warner-texts.
  34. Kull, Steven, Clay Ramsay, and Evan Lewis. 2003/2004. Misperceptions, the Media, and the Iraq War. Political Science Quarterly 118 (4): 569–598.Google Scholar
  35. Larsen, Mike, and Kevin Walby. 2012. Introduction: On the Politics of Access to Information. In Brokering Access: Power, Politics and Freedom of Information Process in Canada, ed. Mike Larsen and Kevin Walby, 1–32. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
  36. Levin, Sam. 2018. ‘He’s a Political Prisoner’: Standing Rock Activists Face Years in Jail. The Guardian, June 22. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/22/standing-rock-jailed-activists-water-protectors.
  37. Lewandowsky, Stephan, Werner G.K. Stritzke, Alexandra M. Freund, Klaus Oberauer, and Joachim I. Krueger. 2013. Misinformation, Disinformation, and Violent Conflict: From Iraq and the ‘War on Terror’ to Future Threats to Peace. American Psychologist 68 (7): 487–501.Google Scholar
  38. Livesey, Bruce. 2017a. Spies in Our Midst: RCMP and CSIS Snoop on Green Activists. National Observer, May 5. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/05/news/spies-our-midst-rcmp-and-csis-snoop-green-activists.
  39. ———. 2017b. Canada’s Spies Collude with the Energy Sector. National Observer, May 18. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/18/news/canadas-spies-collude-energy-sector.
  40. Lubbers, Eveline. 2015. Undercover Research: Corporate and Police Spying on Activists. An Introduction to Activist Intelligence as a New Field of Study. Surveillance & Society 13 (3/4): 338–353.Google Scholar
  41. Massie, Victoria M. 2016. What the Viral Facebook Check-In at Standing Rock Says About Activist Surveillance. Vox, November 1. https://www.vox.com/identities/2016/11/1/13486242/facebook-standing-rock.
  42. Maurutto, Paula, and Kelly Hannah-Moffat. 2006. Assembling Risk and the Restructuring of Penal Control. British Journal of Criminology 46 (3): 438–454.Google Scholar
  43. McKenzie, Michael. 2018. Common Enemies: Crime, Policy, and Politics in Australia-Indonesia Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Moffat, Kelly, Paula Maurutto, and Sarah Turnbull. 2009. Negotiated Risk: Actuarial Illusions and Discretion in Probation. Canadian Journal of Law and Society 24 (3): 391–409.Google Scholar
  45. Monaghan, Jeffrey, and Kevin Walby. 2017. Surveillance of Environmental Movements in Canada: Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Petro-Security Apparatus. Contemporary Justice Review 20 (1): 51–70.Google Scholar
  46. Newcomb, Steven. 2011. ‘Canada’ and the ‘United States’ Are in Turtle Island. Indian Country Today, September 30. Accessed December 30, 2018. https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/archive/canada-and-the-united-states-are-in-turtle-island-BuMvxVSitEG766jBQ2WplA/.
  47. Ohlheiser, Abby. 2016. Why Facebook Users Are ‘Checking In’ at Standing Rock. The Washington Post, October 31. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/10/31/why-facebook-users-are-checking-in-at-standing-rock/?utm_term=.1abd60807620.
  48. Palmater, Pam. 2018. Indigenous Rights Are Not Conditional on Public Opinion. Macleans, June 8. https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/indigenous-rights-are-not-conditional-on-public-opinion/.
  49. Parrish, Will. 2017. An Activist Stands Accused of Firing a Gun at Standing Rock. It Belonged to Her Lover—An FBI Informant. The Intercept, December 11. https://theintercept.com/2017/12/11/standing-rock-dakota-access-pipeline-fbi-informant-red-fawn-fallis/.
  50. ———. 2018. A Native American Activist Followed Her Mother’s Footsteps to Standing Rock. Now She Faces Years in Prison. The Intercept, January 30. https://theintercept.com/2018/01/30/standing-rock-red-fawn-fallis-plea-deal/.
  51. Pasternak, Shiri, and Tia Dafnos. 2017. How Does a Settler State Secure the Circuitry of Capital? Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 36 (4): 739–757.Google Scholar
  52. Project SITKA. 2015. Project SITKA: Serious Criminality Associated to Large Public Order Events with National Implications [Report]. National Intelligence Coordination Centre, March 16.Google Scholar
  53. Rowe, Aimee Carrillo, and Eve Tuck. 2017. Settler Colonialism and Cultural Studies: Ongoing Settlement, Cultural Production, and Resistance. Cultural Studies: Critical Methodologies 17 (1): 3–13.Google Scholar
  54. Simpson, Audra. 2016. The State Is a Man: Theresa Spence, Loretta Saunders and the Gender of Settler Sovereignty. Theory & Event 19 (4): 1–16. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/633280.Google Scholar
  55. ———. 2017. The Ruse of Consent and the Anatomy of ‘Refusal’: Cases from Indigenous North America and Australia. Postcolonial Studies 20 (1): 18–33.Google Scholar
  56. Sium, Aman, and Eric Ritskes. 2013. Speaking Truth to Power: Indigenous Storytelling as an Act of Living Resistance. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 2 (1): i–x.Google Scholar
  57. Strange, Susan. 1994. States and Markets. 2nd ed. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.Google Scholar
  58. Stupples, David. 2015. What Is Information Warfare? World Economic Forum, December 3. Accessed December 30, 2018. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/what-is-information-warfare/.
  59. Torchin, Leshu. 2016. What Can the Mass ‘Check-In’ at Standing Rock Tell Us About Online Advocacy? The Conversation, November 4. https://theconversation.com/what-can-the-mass-check-in-at-standing-rock-tell-us-about-online-advocacy-68276.
  60. Voices-Voix. 2017. Criminalization of Indigenous Communities. Voices-Voix, August 1. Accessed December 30, 2018. http://voices-voix.ca/en/facts/profile/criminalization-indigenous-communities.
  61. Waltzman, Rand. 2017. The Weaponization of Information: The Need for Cognitive Security. Testimony Before the United States Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, April 27. The RAND Corporation. Accessed December 30, 2018. https://www.rand.org/pubs/testimonies/CT473.html.
  62. Whyte, Kyle. 2017. The Dakota Access Pipeline, Environmental Injustice, and U.S. Colonialism. Red Ink: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, & Humanities 19 (1): 154–169.Google Scholar
  63. Woodworth, Mike, and Stephen Porter. 1999. Historical Foundations and Current Applications of Criminal Profiling in Violent Crime Investigations. Expert Evidence 7 (4): 241–264.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International AffairsWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations