The RCMP have been scouring Internet Web sites featuring information about plans to protest the G8 summit in Alberta this June.
Newly obtained computer logs also show the Mounties, the Foreign Affairs Department and the U.S. military visited various online pages concerning the demonstration tactics of anti-globalization groups. The logs, provided to the Citizen, confirm that the Internet has become a focus for authorities determined to keep on top of potential disruptions to international meetings.
The leaders of the G8 countries plan to gather June 26 to 28 in Kananaskis, Alta. Many believe the government chose the remote venue, accessible by just one main road, to discourage protesters and avoid the violence seen at summits in Seattle, Prague and Quebec City.
One Web site that has piqued the curiosity of authorities includes a "white paper" on potential protest tactics, including blockading the road in early June, sponsoring a "festival of resistance" and setting up outposts in the wooded area. "Anarcho-hippies can climb trees; they know how to use ropes; they love it out in the mountains, and even enjoy eating fungus," notes the somewhat tongue-in-cheek manifesto. "For a good laugh, watch the cops try to get protesters out of the tree tops."
The RCMP plugged the words "anarchist" and "Alberta" into a search engine on Jan. 15 to arrive at the site, hosted by Tao.ca, a Web-based clearinghouse for activist groups. Mountie computers have since made frequent visits to a linked site that lists protest planning sessions.
It is difficult to know the actual purpose of such electronic surfing, though the computer logs contain some clues. In one case, the Foreign Affairs Department called up a site hosted by Tao.ca on Jan. 14 in response to a search for the name of a chief anti-G8 organizer.
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