Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The OPSEC two step shuffle

OPSEC (operational security)

Right from the outset let me just state, reiterate and confirm that what follows is not an attack on anyone or any group. This is my thoughts on this topic and is meant as an explanation and serve as a warning of sorts. Take it in whichever vein you may.

I realize that the world wide web is a tool to voice ones opinions and ideological beliefs and with that goes a lot of counter intelligence especially within groups that are on the border of being regarded as voice pieces being used against the rank and file of the ruling party.

We are all too keen to make utterances and post statements within these on line forums without clearly contemplating the ramifications of our words. We join groups in support and to show solidarity with the ideology and in some cases the rants of the members of the groups, what we sometimes do not take into account is who exactly are we ranting at and allowing to openly view our very personal and sometimes down right extremist political views? People seem to erroneously believe that joining a group where you have been added by another party assures you anonymity to a degree. What people do not grasp is that these forums are never closed, secret or non porous due to the simple fact that we do not know who the others within the group are or what their intentions are as we have zero assurances that these other members have been vetted to any degree. What we post within these groups regardless of how strict the privacy settings are is easy to leak by simply copy and pasting or clicking on copy link and then repost the comments or subject matter elsewhere. This cross pollination can lead to bad vibes within groups when one member may take offence at another for copy pasting the formers comments on another group whose intentions or membership may not be all that above board. Likewise can be said of the friends of members of groups whom may not be the type of people one may want to be sharing potentially sensitive issues and ideals with.

We all need to be aware that the internet and especially Facebook is the easiest, quickest and cheapest intelligence /counter intelligence tool out there. It can and has been used to start protest actions and in extreme cases assisted in the overthrow of regimes. This is not a fable and only a fool would think otherwise. The amount of Intel an astute agent or for lack of a better term, a spy could glean from attaching himself to a group is of great value that would have cost a fortune in revenue and man hours to do 20 years ago. The social media has become the greatest marketing tool known to man as it immediately connects you to likewise minded individuals all over the world and across your own country. In seconds an idea can be planted, in minutes responses can be secured, in hours a community of online allies can be signed up and in days action started. What took many months in the past to get to the “hours” stage the internet now does in a fraction of the time. The biggest pitfall is the members of the group and that is the Achilles heel of this particular social media.

Vetting of members is overlooked in the quest for membership hits and likes. Infiltrating groups with open “extremist” names and banners is on the agenda of many of security forces intelligence apparatus of today. When I say “extremist” we must understand that your group of choice may not be extremist to you but to the opposition it is! Think for a moment back to 1986 and lets just assume for a moment we had Facebook then and ANC supporters openly joined groups with names like UHURU AFRIKA or STIMELA eANC and they posted openly anti NP rhetoric with open or near open profiles which allowed the old security police to simply click on the photos or about button and read up all about that individual and even see where he has been tagged and lived? Things would have been a Tad different today now would it not? What we are doing is basically opening ourselves to scrutiny by the intelligence apparatus and thugs in power who when the time comes can simply look at your profile and see your latest update to see where to rock up and slot you.

The whole debacle surrounding the military veterans pay out scheme was nothing more than a quick way to sow false hope, disinformation and gather valuable information which can be disseminated to operatives for follow up. In short, those that were led by the nose (me included) voluntarily handed over all our credentials and personal information believing we would possibly stand the chance of receiving a few bucks. What was not made CRYSTAL clear is that this initiative was intended predominantly for those who were or are destitute, unemployed, disabled and belonging predominantly to the Mk cadre. It is foolish in retrospect to have thought that the SANDF would give a darn about ex SADF soldiers. I fell for this deliberate intelligence gathering scheme out of desperation as I was and still am unemployed and wanted to trust the military that their intentions were honourable. Back to OPSEC, we must start weeding out trolls, tourists and agents from the groups we join and monitor what we post so as to not open ourselves to prying eyes, if you have a serious allegation to make or potentially borderline inflammatory piece or article you wish to post first rather send it via the message service to a few members you definitely trust or ask the Admin to OK the piece and possibly allow the Admin to post on your behalf. The Admin could or at least should be relatively anonymous so that potential hate speak or war talk cannot be pinned on you by the police when they roll around to arrest you for sedition or treasonous talk or worse. .

THIS IS NOT A JOKE OR A FAR FETCHED SCENARIO, just look at the recent use of Facebook in the middle east as an effective counter intelligence and insurgency tool where entire regimes have toppled because the information was so easily spread among the rebels and their supporters. The Government forces could not move a tank without a picture being uploaded in seconds and its position “tagged” on google maps. By the same token the government forces could easily join various groups by creating profiles with pictures and wording making them seem friendly to the rebel cause, most these profiles are easy to spot as they usually seem to show that they have been on Facebook since.... ( this is where the date of a few months ago around the time the problems usually started is shown and further investigation into their time lines also shows no real on line usage and their “born” date line is only a few lines from the bottom).

The government operatives in many cases go easily into profiles of those they believed were privy and party to the rebels actions and whereabouts and then swiftly arrive at their homes and kill whomever they pleased with impunity and blame it on the rebels themselves or NATO or Santa Clause. In times of flux such as we find ourselves today it is imperative to practice OPSEC or as it was referred to during World War 2 “HAVING A BIG CUP OF SHUT THE FUCK UP!” This mantra rings true today more than ever especially with the current climate and tensions in the political arena within the ANC but also with the current spate of threats we see daily aired by the masses of have nots out there. :NOTE: We did not put these people in the situations they are in, they were left there by those they voted for.

We are all proud of our heritage and we want to openly support groups and parties of our choice and say what we feel as is guaranteed by our constitution however the truth is that the constitution is a farce and a cleverly disguised lie wrapped up as a democracy which we do not have and never will have. The ruling party are very aware of this and each time we openly voice our opinions and make statements that display the ruling party as corrupt buffoons that they rightfully are they take notes, trust me. Armed robbery that ends in murder with nothing really stolen or a “botched hi jacking” (a favourite approach), senseless murder of women in callous ways, rape etc is a terror technique. It is not simply crime, its a planned (loosely used term here) attack on the fabric of our society.

Men die in war and we accept that as a necessary evil or means to an end but attacking the civilian populace in barbaric fashion and nothing of true value is taken other than innocence our peace of mind and security clearly shows that what we are witnessing is the beginning stages of ethnic cleansing. Nowadays everyone knows someone who was brutally murdered ,robbed, beaten, raped and dispossessed. We are being showed what is coming and the hope is that we will pack up our stuff and bugger off so that they wont be seen in a bad light by the outside world as they still want to maintain a level of legitimacy and keep the foreign money rolling in. Now the ANC may not be totally in line with this policy as they know that they too will be on the “shit list” as they have ingratiated themselves to the hilt over the last 18 years suckling off the tit of excess all the while allowing their voters who elevated them to power to remain in a cultural donga. The threat is from the under educated youth whose ages are between 15-30 and they are not the sharpest tools in the shed with the majority of their numbers having been born into the ANC tenure in power thus making their misery part and parcel of the ANC`s failure to deliver the goods as agreed upon in the lead up to the 1994 elections.

The ANC as it fatly sits today are in the firing line just as much as the whites, coloured, indians, orientals are as we are all looked at as foreigners who must be gotten rid of because we perpetrated Apartheid evils. These fools are too stupid to see the forest for the trees and do not realize that whites and other minority ethnic groups who were born here and whose fore fathers before them were born here are South African just as much as they are! Simply because of the colour of our skin we are being demonized as the wicked ones. Kraal mentality is going to be our ultimate down fall.

Back to OPSEC, start scrutinising members before simply adding them and if they do not volunteer information openly they should at least supply credible information to the Admin of the group as that is what an Admin is supposed to be there for. We are living in a veritable powder keg and everyone seems to be keen as hell on all striking matches and setting the whole thing off. Having unscrupulous individuals camping out within your group sowing the seeds of deceit and confusion is as dangerous as posting openly your plans to overthrow the government and calling them names to provoke knee jerk actions. We have all seen the extent to which the security apparatus will stoop to “create” their case against men whose only crime is being a little too loose on OPSEC and scrutinising who they are dealing with.

We all harbour fantasies of running amok and causing anarchy which largely only goes as far as sitting around the braai drinking a few beers and talking hard talk but by having the police inject an operative into a group of dissenting men and then train them in the art of bomb making and then go that step too far and assist in the delivery of the device is something the security clowns within the police forgot to tell their agent not to do! His actions and by the security apparatus idiots collusion in the building and delivering of a bomb makes them (the police) guilty of murder, harbouring,aiding and abetting, illegal possession of explosives, the supply of explosives to members of the public with the express intention of committing a crime, stupidity and entrapment to mention a few charges that could possibly be brought against the police security apparatus who signed off and cleared this operation. By breaking the law and helping the supposed Boeremag men the police quite literally “shot themselves in the foot” and should be charged. This is a clear case of the wrong people are on trial.
Michael B Da Silva (I am no rebel, just a semi educated person who can see through the fog)

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