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More Thompson & Clark style spying under new bill

More Thompson & Clark style spying likely under new bill

'Today's revelations that Thompson and Clark Private Investigators are installing tracking devices on private vehicles - in this particular case on one belonging to an animal rights activist - demonstrates exactly why the Search and Surveillance Bill must be stopped. Thompson and Clark act as proxy police for State agencies and State Owned Enterprises - in this case the Pork Industry Board - and that will only increase with the proposed Search and Surveillance Bill. This law would extend the powers of police to over 70 agencies including the Pork Industry Board - the very agency believed to be behind this tracking device. What the police can't or won't do, these private companies will, including arguably illegal and certainly unethical invasions of privacy' said Campaign to Stop the Search and Surveillance Bill member Lee Warren.

'Thompson and Clark have a long history of breaching the privacy of individuals. This episode demonstrates that they are unrepentant serial offenders. Repeatedly this company is warned for unacceptable operational practices; instead of taking heed, they actually up the ante on their invasive surveillance. Thompson and Clark installed video cameras without authorisation on conservation land to spy on people involved in the Save Happy Valley Campaign. Thompson and Clark previously employed two secret informants to infiltrate grassroots campaigns against weapons manufacturers, state owned coalmines and animal exploitation. Last year, the boss of Thompson and Clark subsidiary Provision, John Campbell, was caught spying on and photographing an animal rights picket. When discovered, Campbell assaulted the person who exposed him. The reason Thompson and Clark aren't going to get prosecuted is because the State is paying them.’

‘The issue is that the State is employing these companies to silence by intimidation people who disagree with them. The effect this has on people's involvement in political action is that people don't want to speak out and they don't want to be involved because they don't want to be spied on, tracked, photographed, intimidated and harassed. Privatised 'security' and surveillance undertaken for the State will only increase if the draconian Search and Surveillance Bill is passed. We need to roll back these massive invasions of our fundamental freedoms by the state and its paid agents.'

ENDS

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