Cut-outs & Disinformation as a Search Strategy

We often use cut-outs to gather information in smaller communities as government clerks occasionally talk too much. Sometimes they deliberately tell the subject, or even local news media, that a search is underway. We never tell our agents why our client needs the information. We frequently request unrelated documents from the same government office to conceal why we are using the agent’s services. This disinformation also proves useful should our agent become too talkative while doing his job.

We often find it prudent to get an agent in another province to requisition federal government documents under the Access to Information Act as we are sometimes seen as adversarial towards government or bureaucratic interests. While we have never had a request denied, we have certainly been delayed because the department involved has guessed for whom we act.