OPSEC and you.

By BePrepared

So by now Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out and hopefully you have watched it. It is not only great escapism for a couple of hours it has at it’s core a very significant message. How much protection is too much protection and more importantly, who exactly is providing that protection?

The main premise of the movie is about Project Insight: three Helicarriers linked to spy satellites, designed to preemptively eliminate threats. Dr. Arnim Zola masterminded S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “Project Insight” as a means to identify and target potential threats to Hydra’s interests. Zola reveals that ever since S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded after World War II, HYDRA has secretly operated within its ranks, sowing global chaos with the goal that humanity would willingly surrender its freedom in exchange for security. (Some could say the CIA has been doing just that.)

From the film: “Zola’s Algorithm is a program for choosing Insight’s targets. -What targets? Anyone who’s a threat to HYDRA. Now or in the future. The 21st century is a digital book. Zola taught HYDRA how to read it. Your bank records, medical histories, voting patterns, emails, phone calls, your SAT scores! Zola’s Algorithm evaluates people’s past to predict their future.”

“For once we are way ahead of the curve. -By holding a gun to the head of everyone on Earth and calling it protection.”

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OK enough MARVEL universe, you get the idea.

We have all been warned about the OPSEC of social media. I personally stay as far away from the twitterbookgramcloud as I can and I am VERY conscience about what I look up and watch on my android smart phone. All smart phones should be treated with the attitude of everyone, everywhere is looking at what you do.

So what does Captain America have to do with your real world OPSEC in the digital age?

A while ago I found an article in some alternative media:

Researchers at the University of Virginia funded by the U.S. Army recently demonstrated that they can not only gather information from your personal Twitter account just like the NSA, but also aggregate and analyze that information with advanced predictive algorithms designed to determine what you’re going to do next. In this case, the researches focused specifically on predicting crime by individuals, as well as in crime “hot spots” around the country.


Here’s the kicker. The algorithms being used don’t just look for obvious keyword phrases associated with criminal activity like “I’m going to kill you” or “meet me later and we’ll give him a beat down,” but focus in on routine activities, Geo-location, and aggregate historical information to calculate the chance of a particular individual being involved in a crime at some point in the future.

With the definitions for domestic terrorism being expanded to include everyone from people making gun-like gestures with their hands to Americans joining a large protest against government over-reach, it’s only a matter of time before just about every American with a gripe or opposing view is flagged, investigated and incarcerated for a “crime” that they “may” commit in the future.

Sounds a bit like “precrime” from the movie Minority Report does it not? Or a real live Zola’s Algorithm? Go ahead and read the links. Do your own research, don’t take my world for it. Captain America was right after all. As I watched the characters onscreen talk about safety vs. freedom, I felt uneasy. Same feeling I got watching the “Occupy Movement” part of The Dark Knight Rises. Be careful what you wish for. Instead of helicarriers with guns you could have Global Hawks linked to MQ-9 Reapers.

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“No way!” you say, “Oh yes” I say. Once you are labeled a “terroristic threat” your conversations/emails/online posts becomes what the mass media describes as “terrorist chatter”. As in “terrorist chatter ramped up to the latest attack.”

“They can’t possibly monitor EVERYTHING all the time!” you say. “They” don’t have too. Edward Snowden showed how they collect it. “They”store it until they need it at large data centers. Don’t think “they” aren’t building more such sites.

OPSEC is not something you should have with just your preps. You should really observe OPSEC in everything you do.


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10 Comments

  1. The people in Utah tried to use access to the water being consumed by the new data center, but it was out of the news as fast as it entered, and nothing changed.

  2. First, under no circumstances will I ever be a person that wants to overthrow the government, kill the cops, or secede from the union. There was nothing in your article that hints that you are one of those people either. That said, all I want is to just live in “peace”, not simply peace, but “private peace” where my business stays my business and yours is yours. The problem is everyone is on everything telling their innermost secrets to anyone bored and unGodly enough to listen or read it. None of this makes any sense at all to me. I live totally without a cell phone and life is better w/o it than with it. What is facebook, twitter, clouds, and so forth? I honestly don’t know. Yesterday there was an article by a College Professor that stated 99% of Americans would rather inflict pain upon themselve than spend 30 minutes in a room alone. Are we truly that weak of a society. If so, that is indeed pitiful. For the love of Christ, can you fathom being in teotwawki with hordes of people with this mentality, if it can be called a mentality. People have willingly, eagerly assimilated themselves into a seemingly inescapable empire of cyber glued together nothingness. Is anyone out there doing any critical thinking at all? God help us for we are a nation of fools. Please read the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 17:21 and you will find it fits you, your family, neighbors, and friends, hand in glove! Again, Acts 17:21 “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing”. That is evidently what the people of this nation are, a hideously weak group of fools incapable of living their own lives and driving out all things Godly with their insatiable desire to hear or see some new thing. Good luck during teotwawki. Maybe that is why He said, “In your affliction you shall seek me early”. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen

  3. I take towtruck’s point, but honestly if you don’t even know what Facebook is, you’re not doing yourself any favors. 1 out of every 6 humans reportedly communicate through Facebook on at least a monthly basis. If you’re in this extreme, you’ve gone too far. I have a copy of Walden on my bookshelf in the office, but most of the books I buy today are on a Kindle and I can take an entire library everywhere I go (yeah, it won’t survive the EMP, but in real life I use it all the time). It’s like condemning drinking alcohol and not even drinking a single beer when you happen to be in Germany during Oktoberfest – you’ve missed the forest for the trees. You should be smart about your online social media consumption, perhaps not using it at all in some cases, but not even knowing what it is or how it works seems extreme.

    I was a participant in a very recent exercise with a broad group of participants from various backgrounds where OPSEC and cover identities were continuously being compromised, and then our cell phones and emails were compromised. My group survived the exercise by communicating on a private forum set up in Facebook and using cover twitter accounts with specific tags to indicate various types of communications.

    Also, the stat that 99% of Americans would rather inflict pain on themselves is INCORRECT – it was a joint UVA and Harvard study and easily Googlable (I made that word up, but if you knew what Facebook was you’d have been able to use Google to get the correct information). When left alone 2/3rds of the males in the study gave themselves at least 1 “mild” shock and a quarter of the females did the same – whether it was out of curiosity or boredom, etc. is unknown, but it wasn’t presented as an option versus sitting alone for 30 minutes. Perhaps most concerning is that 1 study participant shocked himself 190 times during 15 minutes – that guy has a problem. This is not surprising to me – people want input, even if its mildly uncomfortable. However, people do not want input from a SERE school instructor, they’d rather sit in the dark for days than have that kind of pain delivered.

  4. 1.) Towtruck’s evaluation is on a perfect utopia and the use of verses from the Bible are not biblical. Using a verse completely out of text only to make a point. Is not Canonical. Furthermore, Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. THAT is the biblical charge given to us to share. Not to stick “religion” in peoples faces. I apologize in advance, but I must rebuke you for use of “drive by scripture” using biblical scripture. Only that your zeal would be better used with wisdom to truly accomplish what your trying to do.

    Timothy 2:14-17
    Dealing With False Teachers

    14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene.

    2.)Perhaps he/she/media matters troll? missed all the millions of actual physical evidence in videos of police,(not all cops)illegal detaining people or worse just because they “thought” something wrong had been done. In layman’s terms towtruck, the whole “if your aren’t doing anything wrong. Then you don’t have anything to worry about” doesn’t fly anymore. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t do anything wrong in the current administration’s view. If your are threat to them,(don’t agree with their views,vote like they tell you, do what they say, submit, aka, Hydra)then your a threat and they are coming for you. I.E see the previous article as a call to us who refuse to sit down and just shut up.

    3.) The Internet is just another medium for communicating. Your false, purely speculative implications, according to your cyber glued together nothingness. That statement implies when people used actual mail or land line phones to communicate with others. Were also glued together nothingness. So, in other words, based upon your diagnosis we should all be hermits and not discuss our concerns as a community. Not going to happen. Your isolation theory may work for you of that’s the case, but not for everyone else.

    4.) Overall, your statement intended or not. That we should shut up, sit down, Borg – you will be assimilated, your are sheep..baaaah, just move along. NOT going to happen either! America and the world learned that when Hilter rose to power. Sadly, those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    P.S. Sitting here sipping a fresh nice hot cup of coffee in complete peace. Knowing, I’m prepared. Physically and spiritually.

  5. I do not post on facebook, twitter, or any other social media of that ilk and I own a old fashion flip type cell phone and generally use a 1968 bell dial phone.

  6. Say what you want, Americans and the Athenians of Paul’s day are identical twins, and make no mistake if Paul were here he would back me up on that. Yesterday I had some visitors, three to be exact, the woman set in my drive way for the better part of an hour scrolling through something she called “Pinterest”, I think, something else I’ve never heard of, and when asked what she was doing she said pinterest was her cocaine, she was totally addicted to it. Later the two guys that came over could not even carry on an intelligent conversation because their cell phones were continually ringing or clicking an arriving text. Is this life, or insanity? To me it is insanity, I couldn’t live like that. Damn, no wonder the birth rate is falling. Futhermore if we didn’t put all that info out in cyber world then the nsa or whoever wouldn’t be storing it for use against us at a later date. One of you accuses me of cherry picking scripture, which isn’t true. Another mentions written letters and snail mail, well what’s wrong with that. I’ll admit there is nothing wrong with having a phone, but dang let’s draw the line somewhere. I only have a landline at home, but today before noon there were exactly one dozen telemarketer calls trying to sell everything from stocks in an oil well in liberia to going on an Alaskan cruise. Gimme a break. As soon as my last daughter graduates from college next May the landline and the computer are history. Gone, and gone for good. Geez people look from where you have fallen. Thanks

  7. Capt. Michaels, I am not a false teacher. That entire diatribe you use is totally useless and meaningless. Come down to earth and let’s have a conversation!

  8. Tow, taking a scripture, out of text, just to make a point…IS false teaching. Being Thank you for validating my point. Also, maybe you don’t or maybe you do remember relatives talking on the phone for long periods of time. Same difference. No one said either snail mail or today’s technology is bad. Your narrowing in on just today’s use of technology shows a short sightedness. Moreover, it simply boils down to your writing. It may not be intentional and may be your passionate conviction. It’s coming across as really angry and everyone else is stupid for not seeing what you see or do what you say. Everyone can’t be a right ear, and everyone can’t be a foot. Common sense dictates we must work together in some capacity. Being loquacious(writing)to impress or show “I’m superior” shows pride and arrogance instead of humility is a sin.

    Interestingly enough, I think a lot of preppers feel the same way. The fact the people in general, just keep acting like sheep, going of like a bug going in a bug zapper slowly. While the rest of us scream stop. Makes no sense to most of us as we see what’s happening. The things going around us aren’t just “conspiracy theories” either. The evil people in office are blatantly breaking the law. I.E> see Eric Holder the racist stating on a Tuesday he would be stepping down, after the day before the Federal Court refused to bar documents showing Holder’s involvement with the fast and furious. People like, what!?! you still can’t see or even care about what’s about to happen?

    However, this person or any of us that allow ourselves to go over the edge like tow. Then we have done just that, allowed the eminent danger coming upon us. To push over the edge. Some times we have to back away for a moment and take life break to keep the focus on why we prepare. So we can still enjoy life and/or family. Don’t forget to live life and create memories before it hits the fan. You have invested more into your family/self that will allow you to move forward during those trouble times. After all, the whole goal is make it through and get back to a….you guessed it,…life.

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