What is buro Jansen & Janssen

Next Five Minutes Conference, January 1996

Buro Jansen & Janssen is a spin off from the strong squatter movement of Amsterdam in the eighties. Activists back then had to deal with the police and secret service a lot and the bureau started collecting strategies and contra-expertise. Jansen & Janssen started in 1985 and soon grew into an archive on police tactics with particular interest in analysing how the force deals with critical powers that be. The buro published its research on how the secret service tried to infiltrate the activist movement, and on how they blackmailed asylumseekers to work for them. Main goal back then was to fight paranoia by presenting facts & details of homegrown research.

Jansen & Janssen kept up with the changes of times and in 1994 revealed how private detectives collect information about lobby groups and sell it to the multinationals involved.
Other areas which the Janssens have been interested in for many years are the change in police tactics in fighting organized crime, the influence of foreign agencies on seizing drug traffic and the shift towards more intelligence gathering.
The connecting of databases to help build the wall around (Western) Europe to keep refugees out, and the fight against this has been a major topic as well.
Through the years the buro has supported people who got in touch with the law because of their ideas and activities, in all possible ways. Initiating investigations and persisting research, instead of following news covers is an important trademark. Jansen & Janssen also -mostly anonymously- encouraged others to disclose secret reports or specific research on criminal investigation.

Modern times lured J&J onto Internet. A major scope was the breaking of the State Publishers' monopoly on the Hansards of Parliament. Freedom of speech optima forma. The Hansards are free of copyright, but only given to the State Publishers who claim rights on the layout. After a parliamentairy research into corruption in the investigation methods of the police with startling disclosures, it was time to act. The State Publishers asked 700,- guilders for the printed version of this Van Traa report and another 700,- for the CDrom. Jansen hacked the official CD-rom and put the entire report (5000 pages) on the Net. That was fun.

At present securing autonomous zones of tactical research by independent investigators is a major issue of concern. To value this work higher than career and big money requests ingenious strategies in order to be able to survive and keep up the good mood.