HomePosts Tagged "Surveillance"

Each day it seems we are greeted by another plan for government surveillance, under the guise of national security of course, in order to access our private information. Government, we are told must be able to see everything at any time on anyone and nothing seems to be off-limits anymore. It got me thinking; could we be faced with a potential future where the meaning of the word “privacy” will be understood as differently as the word “Gay” used to be? In its original context, Gay used to mean happy, merry, in good spirits and lively. Actually it still does, but nobody uses the word gay in the context of happy anymore. Over the years, that word’s meaning in the social context has changed and now Gay is inextricably tied to a different meaning entirely.  Privacy, it seems is headed for a similar fate and I wonder how long will it be before the meaning of privacy in our common understanding is completely different from what it is now. When do we reach the point where the word is so far from its original intent that we don’t recognize it anymore?

Governments used to have restrictions placed on what they could do. Actually, the Constitution was the defining document for our country that was created to do precisely that. There was such a thing as probable cause which would lead to a warrant for information. You had some level of privacy, meaning that you could keep your affairs to yourself to a large degree. What you did with your life, in your house was your own business. If the authorities felt you had committed a crime, they would have to prove justification and provide evidence to a judge who might issue a warrant. Even if you were arrested, laws prevented you from being dealt with in a manner that was inconsistent with the constitution. You had to have your rights read to you and the police couldn’t search your property without a warrant. They couldn’t detain you for a very long time without pressing charges and what you did in your own life was generally off limits unless a very clear path of information and procedure was followed.

But, that was the old meaning of privacy. The new privacy means something else entirely. The new meaning of privacy might as well mean happy and light-hearted because there is no real vestige of the original meaning left. We could start find ourselves saying  “Hey, did you go to Joan’s pool party last weekend? It was so fun and privacy.”

Privacy means freedom from observation but with each day that is more and more impossible to achieve. The latest example shows how the government will be scouring your Twitter and Facebook accounts when they audit you. The IRS, not content to take money at gunpoint away from us now want to make sure we don’t complain about this on social media?



You could make the case that perhaps you shouldn’t be on sites like Facebook and Twitter if you don’t want the government watching you. This goes against all of the concepts of good OPSEC, I completely agree. However, I think this is different. This is government once again saying. We don’t really give a crap what you don’t want us to know.

So, effectively all privacy is dead with respect to the government. You may be able to keep parts of your life secret from your neighbor, but Big Sis is going to know. You aren’t safe from the government knowing what you are doing unless you are living on a remote deserted island in a hut with no running water or electricity with zero outside contacts to the rest of the world. Oh, I forgot, they will just fly a drone over your head to watch you if that is the case. If you are really sketchy, boom! Nice knowing you.

If we have truly come to the point, where we can no longer have any privacy, what does that mean? What follows logically from a scenario where the government knows every single piece of information about you under the auspices of National Security? Logic would state that they would use that information to begin to control behavior. We see strains of this with the If you see something, do something campaign. Using propaganda, they will make everyone afraid and distrusting of their neighbors.  After they have behavior modification started (and it already has, let’s face it) they can use this behemoth they have created to crack down on dissent. The “threats” will be found through their affiliations and what they say and how they vote, and what beer they buy and what books they read. Knowing all of this, what is a liberty minded person to do?

Should we unplug from the internet, throw our laptops and smart phones in the trash and hide? Should we cower in fear hoping that the day never comes when they knock on the door? Should we stifle any voice of resistance we have out of the fear that Big Brother will know? I don’t think so, besides they already do know everything about you. Privacy is dead, get used to it. They want us to separate, to hide. They want us unorganized and fearful of being caught speaking our mind. They want us to question everything before we do it.

My philosophy now is that they are going to do what they want and we are just about powerless at this time to stop them with current political and legal methods. A momentum has been building and we are on a path to an inevitable collision it seems. Is this by design? That is for another post but I have my opinions. I don’t know what it will look like or how it will happen, but I do know that we won’t ever turn from the path we are headed down without some massive event. I am preparing for an unknown future not knowing what to expect. The only thing I know is that I don’t plan on going out without a fight.

Each day it seems we are greeted by another plan for government surveillance, under the guise of national security of course, in order to access our private information. Government, we

Whenever I read through posts and articles on the Internet, I am surprised to see that many people don’t seem to realize or understand that the paradigm of civilian OPSEC is dead…

So what do I mean by that?

Example One:

Let’s examine a family that is acquiring a bunker, for instance, which they intend to have buried in a semi-remote location. Let’s assume they have acquired a small piece of land off the grid somewhere and that location is where the bunker will be buried in the ground.

The logistics of building the bunker involve money changing hands (credit cards, checks, etc.) so there are many records that document the delivery and ownership of the bunker. Then you have the delivery crew and the men who install the bunker, all of whom have personal knowledge of the bunker’s location. Of course, as the massive bunker is traveling down some road on its way to its final resting place, people and neighbors located along that road will see it pass-by, and assuming it’s going to a remote location, a sight such as that will be sensational to the few inhabitants of any remote area. All of these people communicate with other people, and word will spread, whether you like it or not. Most people today have cell phones with cameras, and they take all kinds of pictures with those cameras…maybe even a picture of your bunker (or some other sensitive intel). All of those pictures are easily accessed by many Gov. agencies, and on top of that, because most cell phones have GPS tracking integrated, the exact geographical location of where each photo was taken is associated to the photo.

Who else might be watching or listening? Who knows, could be anyone these days…how about this!

And I could go on, and on…with numerous more examples.

In areas where there are zoning ordinances, you must apply for permits before you can bury anything in the ground. Inspectors from the local regulatory agencies will show up to take a look, and even if everything is legit, they talk and have friends who may also hear about your plans. You can’t get all of these ancillary observers to the event (transportation and installation of the bunker) to sign a non-disclosure agreement. And even people, who sign these agreements, sometimes spill the beans. In the event of any serious disaster, one or two of these people might even be in a position to make it to your bunker?

Example Two:

Let’s assume that you are building your own backyard bunker, and using the ‘Great Escape’ method for hiding and relocating the dirt that you are removing from your backyard so that the neighbors and zoning guys won’t realize what you’re up to. And maybe in this example your kids accidentally slip-up and mention the bunker or the dirt issues, etc? OSPEC deteriorates over time and people (especially children) can and do slip-up and sometimes unintentionally mention something that arouses the curiosity of the neighbors or their children and then it’s not long before the Cat is out of the bag. Of course the neighbors have friends and it’s not long before they are in the informational loop as well. And of course everyone uses the telephones and Internet to communicate everything from business information and transactions to idle gossip…. ‘yea our neighbors are building a shelter in the backyard’.

Example Three:

John and Mike are on the telephone (cell phones) talking about their preps, and of course, their exact geographic locations are known. Maybe they mention the guns they have (‘gun’ is a keyword), or the fact that one of them has a bunker (‘bunker’ is a keyword) and so forth. Of course the entire conversation is being monitored and analyzed using keyword algorithms on a super-computer in real-time, and the data is then complied and allocated into the files on John and Mike (in real-time), adding to all the other information in those files. Sounds like Sci-Fi?  It’s not!

Sadly the real terrorists are winning… they now have us (American’s) looking are each other…. like a witch-hunt!

Certainly there is value in obtaining intel that precludes any terrorist attack. And if we loose some portion of our privacy to prevent such attacks, that trade-off may be worth it, but that’s a separate debate, and not the point of this article. The point is however, you really have little of no OPSEC, modern technology is reducing that tactic into obsolescence. (Note; I am not suggesting that OSPEC tactics are ineffective against everyone; the tactic may have some value against low-tech threats, such as local burglars, etc.)

But that’s not even the full extent of surveillance on private citizens… NSA also has it’s own super-computer that‘s on steroids!

Here’s the funny part that makes me laugh when I hear Preppers talking ‘OPSEC’ … here we have the world’s most secretive hi-tech agency, the NSA, engaged in the classified, top-secret operation of building, installation and operation of it’s ‘top-secret’ (OPSEC) super-computer facility… and even WIRED MAGAZINE knows all about it!!!

So how much more secretive are your operations over those of NSA? If you’re actually better than they are at OPSEC, maybe you should consider a $100K/yr. job with them?

Of course then we have manned-aircraft, Drones and Satellites overhead that have a multitude of surveillance technologies onboard enabling them to hear what you say and read the 12 point typed text on a piece of paper in your hand.

Numerous non-Governmental agencies have similar less sophisticated technologies that are nonetheless, more than up to the task of hearing and seeing almost everything you say and do inside your home, in your car, in your backyard, in the mountains, on the phone and on the Internet. The movie the ‘Minority Report’ is no longer just Sci-Fi either… a similar technology is already being used today:


For instance, if you bury a bunker, it can be seen using IR thermography technology that is now ubiquitous overhead in our skies.

Applying logic and thinking in terms of simply being an informed American Citizen who just wants to stay alive in the event of some natural or man-caused disaster, what is a reasonable approach in light of the realities today?

In my opinion, the bottom-line is this:

There are really just two choices:


For those people/Preppers who are unwilling to plan ahead to relocate away from harm (risks and post-event conflict) prior-to or just after a disaster, and who instead intend to remain sheltered in-place, those people must promote prepping to ‘everyone’ around them. In a serious disaster, the people who are not properly prepared and who become desperate post-event survivors (the ‘Un-Prepped’, as I call them) will pose the greatest problems and risks for any remaining authorities (crime, looting, etc) as well as to those people who have prepared and cannot realistically be expected to feed and/or care for dozens, let alone thousands of desperate people, who are likely to be violent.

If the Government would get-behind Preppers in advising people to maintain reasonable amounts of Preps (more than FEMA’s ridiculous ‘3 days of food and water’), then the numbers of Un-Prepped people in any post-disaster scenario will be significantly reduced, thus reducing the risks for average Americans who are just trying to survive. This would also minimize the problems for authorities who are faced with the monumental tasks and risks of dealing with millions of desperate Un-Prepped people, post-disaster.

Just look at Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina and it all becomes so evident… FEMA’s recommendations for Americans to maintain of “3-days of food and water” per-person is just wrong, and that recommendation must be immediately modified to reflect the needs as seen in real-life situations!  Four-weeks worth of food and water per-person is in my opinion the absolute minimum!

Preppers need to support each other and support the efforts of anyone (including TV shows) trying to normalize the Prepping trend. Preppers must reach-out to their representatives and local agencies using all forms of communications and make this argument, now, while there is still a chance to make a difference!

Preppers are ordinary everyday Americans, looking to protect themselves, their families and their American lifestyles. They are not ‘domestic terrorists’ simply because they have done the math, and see that FEMA’s guidelines are just obtuse.

Short of this happening (a general conversion of Americans to a ‘Prepared’ mode), given the current risks posed to everyone (Government included) by The ‘Un-Prepped’ (desperate post-disaster survivors), the only other effective option for survival is Plan B;

Plan B:

Plan ahead and adopt a survival paradigm that will relocate you, your family and friends (if possible) to a safe location, far beyond the reach of the ‘Un-Prepped’.

My book, ‘The Nautical Prepper’ (Ulysses Press) details one such paradigm, which has been proven.

In the end, the odds of your survival in any disaster and during any long-term post-disaster scenario are in your own hands. Making an informed decision now, can make the difference between life and death.

Fair Winds & Seas!

Whenever I read through posts and articles on the Internet, I am surprised to see that many people don’t seem to realize or understand that the paradigm of civilian OPSEC