Getting a li’l bit of intel.

In my ongoing transition from hunter to gatherer I have been focusing my attention on intelligence operations. I am lucky enough to have a good comms background so my time has been spent trying non-radio intel resources.

One site that I have found to be very convenient to use is Broadcastify. I like that I can listen to LE/EM services in my AO while I am off site. I also like that it is free and can allow starting S2 shops with little to no budget to  add an additional resource.

I found Broadcastify while I was looking up the freqs for my local LE/EM which I have spent listening for an hour or two a few nights a week. My intention is to get a base line for the amount and kinds of traffic transmitted during a specific time slice. From my day-to-day perspective everything looked normal, peaceful, but what became immediately clear to me was that I was totally unaware at the level of crime occurring in my AO. Most of it appears to be theft related; trespassing, shoplifting, breaking and entering.

Sam Culper at Forward Observer advocates a 60/30/10 (local/regional/global) division to intel focus since local issues tend to have the most immediate and direct impact. When looking at the major threats to me and mine, the local threats are currently at the top of the list. So I decided to see if I could add a little HUMINT to my local intelligence information. I contacted a local friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while since he is ‘closer to the ground’ than I am. He said essentially that in his neighborhood ‘drugs and thugs’ have become a more serious issue and would be moving out soon. This seems to corroborate some OSINT I have picked up.

The bottom line is that I have a lot to do in regards to collecting useful intel information and it is an ongoing learning process which I will try to relate in the blog.


Firefox 44 Deletes Fine-Grained Cookie Management

I have used FF since it was Netscape Navigator and just recently noticed something odd. Well, I noticed that something was missing; I was not getting prompted to Accept or Deny cookies. I have seen this before after an update, so I went into the config and saw that the option was gone. A little bit of cookie infested googling and I found this from Slashdot. Which led to this:

Marco Bonardo [::mak] 2016-02-01 03:09:48 PST

The functionality was unmaintained, bogus and not really nice to use on today’s Web. Yes, it would be better if implemented in an add-on, so someone could take care of it properly and interested users in the community could drive its future better. Honestly today we have better replacements to protect privacy, you can control third-party cookies and tracking protection can be enabled through privacy.trackingprotection.enabled (in newer versions directly from Options / Privacy), plus there’s a bunch of nicely made add-ons that can block any kind of contents on AMO. Sticking to a dialog that pops up every other second and can easily break website functionality, is just not being realistic, Mozilla is still fighting for users privacy (tracking protection is a clear sign of that), but the tools used to do that should be on par with the current Web and should have the due quality, imo.

Horse shit. Something doesn’t smell right here, especially coming from a company who used to preach privacy and security. This has always been a non-default feature that you had to enable. Those who did enable it had the knowledge to handle any “website functionality” issue. So I am now trying the  CookieController addon and I’ll make another post about it once I have given it a good shake down.

FF needs to be carefully watched from now on.

Update: I am also trying the Pale Moon browser, which is a FF fork.

Adventures of a Comm Monkey

In my prior life I was the RTO for an element attached to a state wide group of well regulated irregulars. As a licensed HAM (General Class), I had acquired a good bit of ‘high’ priced  Japanese gear. I know how to use it and not abuse it. I thought I had all the skills necessary to be a good RTO.

What I found was that I was wholly unprepared for the chaos of the not so regulated comms. Woxun, baofeng, midland, and some no name radios were now in my domain with operators who only basically knew how to use them. While standardization if always the goal, it is rarely the starting state.

HAMs tend to be elitists and look down on the increasingly prevalent Chinese radios. While there are some good reasons for this, however, when confronted  with the reality of a self funded group of individuals you have to adapt. People buy what they can afford, usually while uninformed, and are unable to fund another radio after the fact. Fortunately, you don’t have to purchase one of every radio used by your team mates; virtually all user manuals are available for free online. My suggestion, even if your group members all have the same radios, as a good RTO is to acquire the various manuals now while you are free to do so.


You training for something?

I do 30+- km  ruck hikes on a well used state park trail and I often get asked if I was training for something specific. My stock answer used to be that I was preparing for a two week AT (Appalachian Trail) hike, but one of my civilian* friends alerted me to GORuck.

noun: civilian; plural noun: civilians
  1. 1.
    a person who has no idea how fsck’d up our country is; one who suffers from normalcy bias.

I highly suggest those who are able to do so, get involved, or at least familiar, with GORuck. Add this to your Appleseed training and you have a nice low profile training option with nice ‘optics’.

Lessons Learned

One of the thing that I want to do here it to relate my own experiences operating with a group of mostly well regulated individuals. My hope is to shed some light on our failures and successes so that other like minded persons may learn something of value.

Something that was both a plus and minus, was that we operated as a group in the public space. I know some believe that OPSEC precludes any public face or interaction, but there is a place and a need for this type of organization. Yes there are some dangers in dealing with the public, the greatest of which is infiltration by provocateurs, but we had a long standing ‘riot act’ that was restated to every new recruit. The statement was essentially: “We have a zero tolerance policy for illegal activity. If you suggest a blatantly illegal act, you will be removed from site and the county Sheriff will be immediately notified. If you suggest an act that is either in a legally grey area, or one that may be legal on its own but illegal with ‘intent’, you will be reprimanded and given a single warning.”

It is very hard to differentiate between the naive,  the stupid, and the provocateur. We normally treated them one in the same since they are pretty much equally dangerous.

The bottom line is to operate completely out in the open if you are in any way a public facing organization. Dot your ‘i’s and cross your ‘t’s, don’t be the ‘low hanging fruit’, and you will be fine.