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Rob Thornton
12-31-2006, 05:05 PM
I started to post this on the Saddamís Execution thread because the use of the cell phone & the internet to reach a broad audience jumped out at me, but it seemed like it belonged in a different category.

Remember everybody preaching the "CNN Effect" at the CTCs just last year? Networked camera/video cell phones are everywhere over here. Our guys are using them, their guys are using them (although their guys are better at it then our guys). They are far cheaper and more available then back in the States. $200 here a very capable tri-band video cell phone and you get what would cost $500-$700 back home. The network for sending stuff is close (and remarkably cheap)

A little bit of movie maker savvy, or Adobe photo shop, access to you tube, or a well connected hub and your message gets out. Where it goes from there is anybody's bet.

It beats the pants off of a state sponsored media, or even profit driven media - no QA /QC, but it grabs the initial impression.

Just about everybody over here is a collector - its just a question of who they are collecting for and why they are doing it.

There is an IO fight at the low tactical levels, capture the right image and get it to a site that has allot of links, and it will get out. Very smart to post to the web first Ė it goes to the audience its really targeting in a very private manner Ė with little to no adult supervision or peer context competition. The cable TV/major mainstream media outlet must also then consider to carry it, even if its late Ė it will still get some ratings from the older crowd who get their news primarily from FOX/Al Jazeera/CNN/BBC and the like.

Not every bad guy over here carries a RPG or detonates an IED. Was that cell phone video of Saddam supposed to be covert? Maybe. Maybe he was lowering his hand so he could get a glass of chai. It could be that there are several cell phone videos out there - it would not surprise me. You bring somebody to a meeting here and an American pulls out a Sony Cybershot camera- the Iraqi will pull out a very slick Nokia - in this environment who has the better tech?

I'm attaching a proposal I sent up through the CoC. Guess what - its not something I came up with - the IA did - they just can't resource it to the degree I think would get the most out of LTIOV info (although they do share video at weekly meetings) - hence I asked for $$$ (in a pretty .ppt form). Guess what else - they say this is nothing new, the bad guys are already doing it, and are resourced better then our guys.

I also want to pass on a great read I picked up as a ref. from a T.X. Hammes article - "Linked: The New Science of Networks" by Albert'Laszlo Barabasi will teach you allot about networks and the Internet. I don't know if Kilcullen had included the Internet in his "know your turf" statement, but the enemy is using it as a psychological mobility corridor.

slapout9
12-31-2006, 07:41 PM
Rob, I will send you a PM later on some street wise TTP's for this operation. Gangs and drug dealers have been doing this kind of stuff for some time in USA. But one quick warning if any of your people have their cell phones set on auto answer and they don't answer it!! It has become an open microphone!!! and the user will not know until he tries to use his phone. The bad guy will hear everything going on within range of the phone.

In the US several cops have been set up for ambushes in this way. I have had some strange experiences with it myself. If you have any MP's near you they can go to the Calibre press Street Survival web site and pull up the articles about this. The web site is restricted to LE only but that includes MP's. However they are great folks there and if you e-mail them and explain who you are they can be very helpful. They even have special forums for human proof (police proof,we can be hell on equipment) street level technologies.

Finally TX Hammes has a great article on how to deal with evolved networks in the July issue of Military Review. July, August, or September can't remember for sure. The main point most networks are family based!! and expand from there. Later, Stay Safe!

Bill Moore
12-31-2006, 09:24 PM
Slapout I would appreciate it if you could send those TTP my way also when you send the PM.

This is one threat that most ground pounders are very familiar with, yet I haven't seen any TTP for mitigating it, or simply a threat brief to tell soldiers the obvious, and based on this threat this how you should adjust. Hammes was an excellent source for pointing out the accelerating rate of change, and how 4GW forces are better at adapting the technology to the next generation of war, than 3GW forces. (guys I know a lot of you don't like the 4GW thing, but bear with me, I see weaknesses in the definition too, but right now it suits what I'm trying to explain).

Deception is much tougher now, because everyone is a collector and a communicator, and their ability to collect digitally and transmit real time is increasing everyday. It is amazing, I remember my earlier ODA days when I would walk a terrain feature away with our Commo guy to tap out an encyrpted message, that would go to the FOB, get decyrpted, relayed to the Cdr, then he would compose a response, it would be encrypted, then back to us, then we would decrypt it. Nobody could do it better, we were riding high on the information age wave (or so we thought). Big picture, that wasn't too many years ago (seriously). Fast forward now slightly less than 20 years, and an 8 year old kid can take a picture of a convoy leaving a FOB with his cell phone, transmit it in less than a minute to a cell leader, then follow up with a voice call to explain what is happening. It isn't secure (but he can talk in code or dialect, and it isn't exactly unsecure), but it is fast and omnipresent.

I can't think of an insurgent group anywhere that doesn't use cell phone (voice and text) and internet technology to facilitate their net operations. They use simple codes for security, or the information is so quickly perishable it doesn't matter if it is detected. Who has information dominance on today's battlefield?

It is limited to the battlefield obviously. They can send IO message globally in seconds. What do we do, we have to wait for a poorly trained public affairs officer to get the proper level of command's approval on PAO guidance. We're fighting this war with our hands tied in many ways. I'm not sure there is a way around this, but we are definitely at a disadvantage.

Borrowing some thoughts from Hamme's book, if we want to exploit this, we need systems and authorities at the tactical level (maybe all the way down to Co level) that can rapidly translate the information and analyze it for operational purposes. That translates into trusting your subordinates, parking your ego on the shelf, and leading with commander's guidance. Power down, flatten our organizations, etc.....

I hope this thread generates a lot of interest Rob, I am a neophyte when it comes to this technology, so I would love to hear what the threats are to us from the experts. Slapout pointed something I heard before, but never really understood on using the cell phone as an eavesdropping device. All of our soldiers need to know this information.

SWJED
12-31-2006, 09:29 PM
Rob, I will send you a PM later on some street wise TTP's for this operation.

... will make sure it is passed along USMC channels. Thanks. For Rob and Bill - great thread - very topical and important issues here.

RTK
12-31-2006, 09:43 PM
I'd like to hop aboard this too if I could, since it's essentially a counter-reconnaissance fight

slapout9
12-31-2006, 10:34 PM
Everybody that requested info on TTP's. This for the open board part. I have already sent it to Rob but I saved so I am just going to send it to you guys but it will have Rob's name on it. These are police techniques so you will have to adapt for military use. I don't know for sure because I don't know what your final Objective is but you should be able to adapt with little problem.

I retired the end of 02 so I don't have my security clearance anymore so I cannot get the exact warning that was put out to LE on the auto answer of the cell phone however I remember it since I had this #### pulled on me it is in the PM.

MP units,CID,Naval Investigations should know or can get any details.
Caliber Press has a Street Survival series and they often issue warnings of this type. Must be LE and they check!! I can't even get on anymore and one of my adventures was used in one of their seminars. Again any MP, Provost Marshal,CID types can subscribe for free and I highly recommend somebody do this. They can find original warnings and articles on the cell phone. They are good folks and would probably let SWJED,Bill,RTK have access. But DO NOT POST on an open board and DO NOT LET THE PRESS get it!!! They do not cooperate with the press because they are usually so ####ty about security and exposing LE officers personal details.

This is a three day weekend and I have some friends that are techies in our local DA's office that specialize in this stuff. Tuesday I will see about other stuff going on, I know they already have a bunch of stuff for PDA devices that local LE is using while waiting for funding on the big ticket items.

Hope this wasn't to jumbled my wife gave me a" honey do list" for the weekend and I am popped. Later guys watch your PM's

Jedburgh
12-31-2006, 11:17 PM
Slapout is correct - because of dealing with these issues with gangs and organized crime (and these days, there's only a very fine line separating sophisticated street gangs from organized crime syndicates) certain elements within the LE community are way ahead of the military in developing awareness of the threat.

Thinking along those lines, I probably should have posted this resource on here sooner - for those who aren't already aware:

The Online Research and Intelligence Mailing List (http://lists.toddington.com/mailman/listinfo/oriml) is a list-serve that is great for posting RFIs on subjects such as the topic of this thread, and for picking up bits and pieces of other info dealing with potential threat use of 'net technologies.

The Online Research and Intelligence Mailing List is a forum for Police, Regulatory and other Law Enforcement personnel to discuss issues relating to online intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination. This list is restricted to law enforcement and other qualified personnel only.
Military types fall under other qualified personnel. This list-serve is not real heavy, traffic-wise, and won't clog up your e-mail box. I know some shy away from list-serves, or drop off'em for just that reason; i.e. INTELST and LEANALYST tend to have more junk than worthwhile traffic. ORIML is just the opposite. Very rarely have I have received a posting that is worthless.

slapout9
12-31-2006, 11:41 PM
Guess I should have posted the link. Here it is.

http://www.calibrepress.com/home/login.html?u=/newsline/index.html

Bill Moore
12-31-2006, 11:56 PM
http://www.whosarat.com/

Gentlemen,

I am no position to vouch on the accuracy of this website, but it appears to be an open source site for criminals, one that could put undercover police officers, their sources, and others at grave risk. Talk about background checks! It appears once you register, you can post any information you have, which means if you want to get someone knocked off you may be able to faslely accuse him of being a rat (both pro's and con's to this approach when you think about disrupting networks by sowing distrust).

There is no reason that AQ and other insurgent groups can't use this methodology.

Slapout what are your brothers in arms in LE saying about this site? Is it B.S.? If it isn't, why can't the government shut it down?

I found this link on U.S. News.com best websites (and worst), so it now should be fairly well known. I couldn't believe it, call me a dinasour, but I still can't believe it.

Bill

Jedburgh
01-01-2007, 12:36 AM
http://www.whosarat.com/...I am no position to vouch on the accuracy of this website, but it appears to be an open source site for criminals, one that could put undercover police officers, their sources, and others at grave risk. Talk about background checks! It appears once you register, you can post any information you have, which means if you want to get someone knocked off you may be able to falsely accuse him of being a rat (both pro's and con's to this approach when you think about disrupting networks by sowing distrust).

There is no reason that AQ and other insurgent groups can't use this methodology.

Slapout what are your brothers in arms in LE saying about this site? Is it B.S.? If it isn't, why can't the government shut it down?
The site has been around for a while - there was an official warning put out to the LE community about it back in '04:

...Don't visit the Internet website www.whosarat.com. The site consists of a published list of government IP addresses, the names and photographs of law enforcement officers, and the names of confidential informants. Visiting the site could result in the compromise of government IP addresses. Searching the site for a particular name could result in that name being cross-indexed to the IP address of the computer used to make the inquiry. Searching for the names of officers or informants could compromise those individual's identities. Any website is capable of collecting IP address and search information from visitors, but this site is remarkable because it makes visitor information public. This published information could be used by criminals and/or terrorists to hinder law enforcement efforts and endanger officers and informants. Do not visit this or similar sites from computers that use a government IP address, and do not search this or similar sites for officer or informant names...

slapout9
01-01-2007, 01:05 AM
Guys, funny you should mention that. It did not involve that site but I just had a friend go through that. He was assigned to a DEA task force and made one the largest bust made in our area. His police ID picture was put on a web sight,his home address,digital photos of what he looked like undercover,probably done with a cell phone. Final result nothing really one records clerk was fired and it ended up in federal court, the drug case is still pending. The suspect is a multi-millionaire and thats the name of that tune.

Me personally I have had a couple of articles that were written about me and some police academy's in the mid west teach my case in how to survive an ambush by a psycho stalker type. He impersonated an Alabama State trooper to get info on me and he got it! He had a large insurance policy taken out on me, yep that's right you really can do that (it was never issued). But things did not work out as he planned.

He planned to kill me and my wife and then start shooting police officers as they responded, but as I said didn't work out that way. My stalking case was known to multiple LE agencies for 6 months before the attack but, the laws were different then so other than some warnings, you just have to develop so good TTP's on fly and fight like hell when that day comes. It isn't really funny (yeah it is) but people used to come up to me and say I thought you were dead? Nope still here anyway be careful and have a happy new year.

Rob Thornton
01-01-2007, 08:25 AM
Slapout,
Thanks for the PM. I'm going to make contact with them today. CF has a couple of the capabilities (or similiar ones), but they keep it close hold (for good reason). However some of the stuff you mentioned I think will go to good use, if not immediately, then in the very near future.
I'll borrow Bill's use of 3GW & 4GW to describe some of the problem. The IA understand the AIF (anybody who works to undermine security & stability). However, they have one foot on the 3GW side of the door and one foot in the 4GW side of the door. The AIF operate on the 4GW side, the CF operate on the 3GW side (although we are getting better all the time). This has created a conflict of interests. Its hard to resource 4GW solutions when the resource holder is looking through 3GW goggles. Also when interacting with CF, many of the IA leaders must use the 3GW translation box because that is what they have come to expect from CF. I think we may be on the way to a remedy, right now I've seen bits and pieces on several threads.
The header - ref. Bluetooth is something I meant to mention before. Understanding the cultural importance of cell phones is important. It is a status symbol. The ISF & AIF understand it, the CF ledership doesn't (however, I think the Joes do - especially the young ones).
What if you wanted to get your message across in a way that was cheaper then printing; featured more content and context then combining images and the written word; was more secure in some ways then posting to a site where others could monitor it or track it; took advantage of a cultural value system that ensured trafficability; could be passed on like a viral contagen? Well, high tech cell phones with Bluetooth allow for that, its even more potent when combined with a social culture where people interact on the streets and the mosques.
I've had IA soldiers show me incredible videos that I think are unlikely to have been obtained from anywhere else besides cell phone to cellphone contact. Mostly it ammounts to belly dancing or something close to it. They also share video from contacts, or from the aftermaths of contacts - the other day one showed me a horrific scene from a SVBIED attack. I've seen some bad stuff out here, but it never occurred to me to film other then those things I wanted for evidence or tactical relevance. These kids however focused on different things - I think it has allot to do with living on and off in a war state for 26 years (for some of these guys it means they were born in it). The videos spread like an epidemic, but primarily through their target audience. Occassionally it hits a neutral, which allows for some degree of deniability when questioned about the videos prescence - looking at the contents of the cell phone is a common and well known TTP used by both sides. Ask any Iraqi who must travel through non secure areas and they will tell you.
I think we need to acknowledge the relevance of these cultural technologies and reinforce our host nation partners (resourcing, coordination and synchronization) that fits. We have a tendency toward bias based on our belief in our tech superiority; the, "How could this be better then what I have?" While our tech can give platform resoultion to those friendlies loaded in a database to include grids to 1 meter, speed, altitude, currency value, etc.; they cannot circumvent the AIF's ability to collect & dissimininate raw information at cell phone speed without tearing donw all the cell phone towers and thus disrupting all civilian communication such as emergency, etc. - chaos

BTW on our use of technology as it applies to a host nation that does not have nearly the same compatible tech

-never give a 10 digit grid to a IA patrol, just get them to the intersection, or a good 6 digit grid that makes sense. The IA like GPS if we can get them one that is easy to use, functions soley of AAs or a recharger - but don't send a 10 digit grid - I don't even like 10 digit grids

- Don't tell an IA patrol to go to a location and check out an IED or SVBIED with an exact grid and expect them to go and do that while your million $$ UAV looks for them to do so. They are not stupid and they have no ECM, nor are they EOD or have EOD capabilities except perhaps at some DIV levels. People who go and look for IEDs without ECM and EOD usually only do it once. How may times have I gotten a rado call from a CF partner that was miffed because the IA did not go to the grid while their UAV circled it. What the IA would do is go to a location where they can observe, then when theyare saisfied, they will go check it out. Oh, and remember their IA HMMWVs are 1025 rebuilds with LVL 2 armor, no FRAG 5 kits, and most patrols don't have NVGs or any of the really cool thermals we do either. They will tackle a problem IAW their capabilities.

-Don't get miffed when your IA counterparts are having a hard time doing a LU with you because you gave them a 10 digit grid and they are having a hard time finding you in the back alleys while you stare at a screen with DTED 5 or better imagery with blue icons wondering why you can find the link up point so easy and they can't.

-Don't name OBJs for combined operations after American Cultural things that offer no realtivity or significance in Arab culture - we pick our naming conventions because they work for us. Intead pick something everbody understands like colors or something. Same with routes - telling an IA patrol to meet you on RTE MCDONALDS and giving them directions from RTE WENDY'S because that is what is on your classified secret BFT screen or non-relasable except to CF pocket map is wasting time; instead learn the names of the local roads and land marks that these guys grew up with, its ususallypretty easy.

-Don't use the UAV to give an IA patrol on the ground directions when it goes through an E-5 analyst at a BDE TOC who is talking to an E-4 RTO at the BDE TOC who is talking to an E-4 RTO on BDE net at a TF TOC who is telling a NBQ'd CPT Battle CPT who is looking at a map and telling another E-4 RTO on the TF Net who is calling the MiTT team who is trying to relay directions that are now at least 60 seconds old to a guy walking the ground through the Iraqi RTO on a motorola at 0200 trying to find a guy the UAV spotted running away from X altitude from an IED attack that took place 45 minutes ago. Its a dumb idea. Instead use an interpreter and call him on his really cool :cool: cell phone.

OK - I've ranted enough, but I think its worthwhile to reinforce the point with some other examples.

Happy New Years. So far a quiet day here. We're sharing some cultural roast turkey and beef with our IA counterparts today- deep frying the turkey breasts. The IA are going to bring the sides. AFN football in the late evening (8 hours between here and the E. Coast). Here is to a New Year's that bring more security and more stability to a place where many people I believe deserve it. May God bring us all a good 2007.

regards, Rob

SWJED
01-01-2007, 09:16 AM
Happy New Years. So far a quiet day here. We're sharing some cultural roast turkey and beef with our IA counterparts today- deep frying the turkey breasts. The IA are going to bring the sides. AFN football in the late evening (8 hours between here and the E. Coast). Here is to a New Year's that bring more security and more stability to a place where many people I believe deserve it. May God bring us all a good 2007.

... have a great meal and enjoy - all in all - I wish I was there to usher in the new year where... well you know - where the really important work is being done.

Jedburgh
01-01-2007, 01:12 PM
-Don't name OBJs for combined operations after American Cultural things that offer no realtivity or significance in Arab culture - we pick our naming conventions because they work for us. Intead pick something everbody understands like colors or something. Same with routes - telling an IA patrol to meet you on RTE MCDONALDS and giving them directions from RTE WENDY'S because that is what is on your classified secret BFT screen or non-relasable except to CF pocket map is wasting time; instead learn the names of the local roads and land marks that these guys grew up with, its ususally pretty easy.
This is one simple, straightforward aspect of ops that should be a commonsense approach. It is ridiculous that you're still having problems along these lines today.

The Brits had this down from launch in '03. Working in their AO I was impressed with how they had everything mapped out and named in clear simple terms - and how effective it worked with everyone engaged in that area. At the time it was a stark contrast to how it was working up in our AO. From your comments, it seems it hasn't improved tremendously....

Rob Thornton
01-01-2007, 03:25 PM
Jedburgh - I think its a rotational thing - call it a groundhog shaped bell curve:rolleyes:

I went googling for stuff along the lines of what Slapout had discussed. 2 sites stuck out the first is about cell phone vulnerabilities (http://rf-web.tamu.edu/security/SECGUIDE/V2comint/Cellular.htm), the second is about how make them vulnerable (http://www.snapshield.com/www_problems/Inter/All_you.htm).

I also looked for some stuff on VOIP since that is a growing medium.

Reading how easy it is convinces me the bad guys are ahead of us in yet another area:mad:

marct
01-01-2007, 05:24 PM
Hi Rob,


Jedburgh - I think its a rotational thing - call it a groundhog shaped bell curve:rolleyes:

But just think about all the really cool changes that could be made to pre-deployment training! Nokia would love it -new phone fashions :eek:


Reading how easy it is convinces me the bad guys are ahead of us in yet another area:mad:

Well, to my mind this just means that it's time for the US to go back to an old tradition of giving some "criminals" the option of going to jail or joining the forces. Think about it....


Judge: Son, you've been found guilty of phone phreakin'. That's a 5 year stretch at Attica. But, since it's your first offense, I'll give you an option...

On another note, I just finished reading your proposal. It's simple, straight forward, workable and to the point. I really think it would work which is why I suspect that it would never get accepted by the military bureaucracy. If you get a run around with getting it implemented, try sending the proposal out to RadioShack.

Marc

slapout9
01-01-2007, 10:21 PM
Hi guys, well the company has left and things are starting to quite down some so I have been catching up on the posts. I had to sneak down every once in a while to see what was going on, read a bunch of posts real quick and then had to do some thinking. So here are a few items in know particular order.

1-Rob, you are dead on about cell phones being a status symbol, just look at the after market in the US with the custom covers and holders and everything else they have. But it is deeper than that, you made a comment earlier about US showing up with a digital camera and IF showing up with video cell phones. That says volumes to me. Seems like everything the US is doing is about "analyzing" information, while everything the enemy is doing is about "sharing" information! This is why identifying the network or tribe is so important. Everything they do is about the group and sharing so they have a vast and fast capability to mobilize for or against something. That is a formidable capability.

2-The easiest way to influence someone is through their emotions and one of the easiest ways to do that is with pictures. It is that worth a thousand words thing. The US is left brain obsessed get the statistics and analyze, slow and methodical. Meanwhile the enemy acts like your analogy of a video spreading like a virus. And just as deadly. It is almost like a "video operations order" that spread like a virus and leads to what appear to be random attacks but are not. The targets may be random but the guiding idea or strategy is anything but.

3-Bill, yep we are behind and have been but their are a lot folks that don't see that or agree with it. The US can be arrogant by thinking we know everything all the time and it gets us into trouble.

4-Dr. Marc, I don't know if the military does such as you mentioned but LE has been doing it for a while often in the form plea bargains. Tell us Who does What and How he does it and you walk or get a reduced sentence. There have been some fumbles but it usually works very well. Little fish traded for big fish. Later guys.

slapout9
01-02-2007, 02:01 AM
I knew about this some years ago know it is on, well go to the link.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FaIEJSYwIs

jcustis
01-02-2007, 04:51 PM
CNN has a video on its main page time now (2 Jan 07) showing how execution video is getting around Iraq, and Bluetooth equipeed cellphones were shown playing the grainy footage.

Bill Moore
01-02-2007, 07:41 PM
This cell phone video, along with the widely published digital images of Abu Ghrab, and other rapidly disseminated key photographs show the power that the average citizen, soldier, etc. has to shape world opinion, almost overnight.

I think even Churchill would have been challenged in this IO environment.

marct
01-02-2007, 07:55 PM
Hi Bill,


This cell phone video, along with the widely published digital images of Abu Ghrab, and other rapidly disseminated key photographs show the power that the average citizen, soldier, etc. has to shape world opinion, almost overnight.

Too true - too bad we aren't using it:cool:


I think even Churchill would have been challenged in this IO environment.

Nah... He would have just conscripted a bunch of teenagers to act as his IO experts :D

Marc

CPT Holzbach
01-02-2007, 11:37 PM
Great thread. Rob, your post with all the little TTPs and commonsense made me wanna re-activate myself (although the House of Acronyms is really kicking my ass and Ive only been out since August.)


-never give a 10 digit grid to a IA patrol, just get them to the intersection, or a good 6 digit grid that makes sense. The IA like GPS if we can get them one that is easy to use, functions soley of AAs or a recharger - but don't send a 10 digit grid - I don't even like 10 digit grids

Tell me about it. Ive yet to hear what we need to find in a 1 square meter box. Grids are usually for buildings. 8 digits is plenty, thanks so much.


Don't name OBJs for combined operations after American Cultural things that offer no realtivity or significance in Arab culture

I dont understand why we cant just name them after colors and cardinal directions, all the time. It's universal. Hell, one time, in training, I named my PLT's two OBJs "OBJ Left" and "OBJ Right". Worked just fine.

And here's some bitter personal ranting: The only parts of a BDE level staff that is useful (for platoons, where it counts) in COIN is the S-2. The same goes for Battalion. The fact is, in COIN, battalion level is STRATEGIC. Company is OPERATIONAL. Platoon and squad is TACTICAL. Sorry, but Brigade and higher is essentially strategic and grand strategic. People need to stop being dazzled by general's stars and start being dazzled by chevrons and butter bars (it rhymes!). Battalion commander's discretionary funding? That should be the platoon leader's $. POUND the lessons of COIN into our platoon leader's and NCOs, take the leash off, and then open up the checkbook. They'll win the war.

bismark17
01-02-2007, 11:38 PM
A Legal And Law Enforcement Guide To Telephony: Addressing Technical, Legal And Police Issues Relating To The Interface And Interaction With Communication Service Providers (Hardcover) by George Mulczan is a good tutorial on Telecommunications written in a simple enough format for non IT types. I am almost positive that it goes into VOIP technology as well as the POTS networks. The one review on amazon.com doesn't do the book enough justice for the amount of useful information it provides.

Dopers are placing GPS enabled cell phones with their "packages." They are not only getting a cheap surreptitious listening device but one that can be tracked.

Rob Thornton
01-03-2007, 04:47 AM
Bismark,
Could this mean that when the carrier of cell phone X gets pinched, his boss knows the location he is being held?? Man does that ever fit - everybody see where I'm going? The utility of cell phone trumps again. Over here its not unusual for guys to carry multiple phones, a smart guy might have one configured to specific modes. A clever guy (and there are many a clever bad guy with some minor resources- so I'm thinking its already a fact since they are out there and receiving aid from clever guys with lots of resources) could make this work pretty easy. The "to do" list with such things could be lengthy. This one is going to make my head hurt, but I'll pitch it to my smart IA Intel guys and see what they can up with - it might also explain some things that have been bothering me.
Thanks - Rob

selil
01-03-2007, 05:08 AM
A Legal And Law Enforcement Guide To Telephony: Addressing Technical, Legal And Police Issues Relating To The Interface And Interaction With Communication Service Providers (Hardcover) by George Mulczan is a good tutorial on Telecommunications written in a simple enough format for non IT types. I am almost positive that it goes into VOIP technology as well as the POTS networks. The one review on amazon.com doesn't do the book enough justice for the amount of useful information it provides.

Dopers are placing GPS enabled cell phones with their "packages." They are not only getting a cheap surreptitious listening device but one that can be tracked.


A couple years back I was doing some research on Web 2.0 redefining the communications paradigm and I pitched a book that would cover the changes in technology and how it effects the communication conduit of criminals.

Nobody gave a darn the feedback was that it didn't apply or was unworkable as a topic. The social interactivity possible between blue tooth (blue jacking), high speed networks (Edge and CDMA), ubiquity of devices (Cameras and Blackberry), and the capability of the devices themselves create an entire fifth dimension to warfare.

bismark17
01-03-2007, 06:04 AM
I think one of the main reasons why they are so intent on monitoring the packages is too make sure that they are not getting ripped by the mules or the people moving the product. There is so little interdiction of the products overall that I don't think they as concerned with that as they are of being ripped off by elements of their own organizations or the entities that they "contract" with to get the products moved. The L.E. siezures can be written off as the price of doing business but having potential rivals arising from within their own groups is a far greater threat.

In this day and age I don't think there are many single entities who are capable of handling the overall point to point distribution of any illicit products such as the former Medellin cartel did with Coke. It creates too much of a signature that attracts attention. This is pure conjecture on my part since I work in L.E. at a local level.

bismark17
01-03-2007, 06:10 AM
If you can't get a publisher maybe write a research paper. I would sure be interested!!! There is so much of an explosion in technology these days that it would take numerous papers to cover any single topic in proper depth. We have been seeing people "war driving" or attempting to locate unsecured wireless access for several years. I am sure that in many of the cases these people aren't just looking for free access but are looking to download illicit items over someone elses account. I also wonder how much covert communication is being done over on-line gaming chat channels for another example.

bismark17
01-03-2007, 06:28 AM
Another aspect with cellphones are that suspects EDITED FOR OPSEC. I do have access to some pretty high speed tech/Intel people that I can put you in touch with if you send me an email address. Take Care and Be Safe!

Rob Thornton
01-03-2007, 06:37 AM
Selil,
I think its a great premise. Up until now I've primarily thought of these adversaries as pursuing "low" tech. Instead I should be thinking "WalMart" tech - that being the proliferation of high tech services and applications into a cost affordable package which can be widely distributed and copied and has marketing appeal (too many polysyllabic words in one sentence for an 11 series;) ).
I also like Bismark's inclusion of the cartel types. I mentioned in a PM to Slapout that one of the guys our IA BN pinched was carrying 6 or 7 brand new Sim Cards for the same phone showing both an assumption of our tech capabilities and a desire to mitigate them. I might also mention here that after doing a Google search the commercial market tech capabilities available to the bad guys are both affordable and sophisticated and if they are receiving tech support from neighbors, then I'm sure they are well aware of what's available. The fact that they have it easier to monitor others (just listen for the conversations in English) only cuts down their workload. I think many of the organizations here have conducted a vulnerabilities assessment (and they did not even have to bring in a contractor to do it) and are now actively adapting - another reason to go back and re-read the T.X. Hammes article on countering bad guy networks.
What I think we have here are layers of criminal activities supporting each other - a "criminal economy" that is strong and attractive given the alternatives - and as such is virulent. I suppose such things are common wherever you put allot of people together that discover an opportunity, but since I've grown up more "Mongo Smash" then "Growing up Gotti", this is all sort of new to me. I'm getting smarter though thanks to guys like I've linked up with here at SWJ - My thanks to all.

120mm
01-03-2007, 09:54 AM
The irony of it all, is that with our current acquisition and property management cycle, the 4GW insurgents can actually buy superior items before we in the military can ever dream of fielding it.

And at a very small fraction of the cost.

slapout9
01-03-2007, 03:05 PM
Morning Guys, I am at my day job so I can not do much. But I will post later, Bismarck glad to see you join in. I think your comments are dead on. Later

slapout9
01-04-2007, 02:25 AM
OK I am at home now and I have a couple of items to add.

1-I never saw an actual answer but yes a GPS phone would give your location in the situation you talked about.

2-LE has used what was known as a throw able GPS transmitter. They are not really throw able but can be dropped into a car trunk very easily, they are or were about the size of a brick. These can be found on the INTERNET and anybody with cash can get one or two or three.

3-Radios shack is a dreamland. macrt mentioned them earlier. They will call their engineering department and get an answer on how to do something and do it cheap. This is not just technical information they have actual engineers they will contact. They will usually tell you there is already an off the shelf item that will do what you want or with slight modification. Usually they have the stuff in the store or can get it easily.

Rob, I have some more but I will use a PM for that.

selil
01-04-2007, 03:47 AM
The irony of it all, is that with our current acquisition and property management cycle, the 4GW insurgents can actually buy superior items before we in the military can ever dream of fielding it.

And at a very small fraction of the cost.


Some interesting things about communications

You can create a fully encrypted (256+ bit encryption) communication conduit that is not traceable by any current known means for less than $250 a unit using off the shelf parts. Using readily available wi-fi/cell phones (http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/06/12/pc_less_voip_wifi_phone/) that operate on VOIP networks you can configure some of them to use anonymizers (http://www.torrify.com/) to hide the location of the account holder completely. Thankfully the performance of the different anonymizers is so poor as to make them hard to use. Still high grade encryption and ubiquity of anonymous access points make them highly effective and access to the POTS is not required.

Of course when you start dealing with encrypted cell phones (http://www.navastream.com/Press_Releases_02182005.shtml) there are a variety of products available. In some respects these types of phones arenít very expensive coming in at a few thousand dollars for the good versions. Also finding an operative on a cell tower is nearing instantaneous depending on the search method. Whether encryption is used or not simple triangulation allows for finding the cell phone based on the ESN as the billing entity needs that information.

A common method used by criminals (and dead beat dads but that is another story), is to buy several disposable cell phones using either illicit IDís or at less than reputable dealers (can you say swap meet?). They will use the cell phones a few times and toss them. At $40 or $50 each it is an effective anti-tracing technique. Whether the NSA or other signals agencies have some super secret live voice analysis (you never know who does what on this web forum) of picking a drug dealer out of a million callers or not it is likely most domestic agencies do not.

Pervasive ubiquity and advanced encryption create an environment that on the surface would seem hopeless. These methods of communications could be used by drug dealers, terrorists, white collar criminals, and the average citizen worried about privacy. For law enforcement and intelligence gathering organizations it has to be realized early that the ubiquity of the data networks means the subject may have a faster, more secure, and robust network than a first responder may possess. Solutions donít abound as most tracing technologies and interception technologies are dependent on end points and in most cases restricted by rule of law.

RTK
01-08-2007, 10:45 AM
From this week's Newsweek (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16497895/site/newsweek/) by Scott Johnson

Rob Thornton
01-08-2007, 12:10 PM
I'd have to agree with everything I read there. I've pitched the idea that the ISF should start standing up their own webpages - maybe you have a ISF Mosul, or a IA or IP Mosul where videos shot of ISF victories are posted. You could even address rumors by putting out the latest info - you'd have to be slick though, and you'd have to hire the right guys. Why, because the guy going up against your site could be anyone, anywhere in the world.

CF types are not real keen on it though, and even if they are, they are not sure how to do it. This is something where we could take a page out of the badguy's book. We take the video, email it to the team(s) back in FT Livingroom and they turn and maintain a product that gets our message out - another team also stationed at FT Livingroom could be attacking the badguy sites - or manipulating their message. Hell, you coud even set up decoy sites, copy cat sites where you post messages as them (Marc mentioned something like this in another post or in an email). There are an infiniite number of ways to inject doubt into the badguy's message while getting ours out. With the power of state sponsored apparatuses, we can certianly focus mass more easily for cyber attacks - look at China's training program. Its really just a question of resoucing it. Yea, I know, some buggerer from the ACLU woud start screaming, but how about if we did it from Canada (Marc, any thoughts??:D )

I am serious though about getting smart on Information Warfare, its not just about collecting info, its about information dominance that includes you getting your message out and attacking his - the politicians should have no problem with this one.

SWJED
01-08-2007, 12:14 PM
This is something where we could take a page out of the badguy's book. We take the video, email it to the team(s) back in FT Livingroom and they turn and maintain a product that gets our message out - another team also stationed at FT Livingroom could be attacking the badguy sites - or manipulating their message. Yea, I know, some buggerer from the ACLU woud start screaming, but how about if we did it from Canada (Marc, any thoughts??:D )

I am serious though about getting smart on Information Warfare, its not just about collecting info, its about information dominance that includes you getting your message out and attacking his - the politicians should have no problem with this one.

Food for thought and maybe some type of action we can take from the SWJ / SWC livingroom - any ideas out there on how to make this happen - if indeed we should?

marct
01-08-2007, 01:07 PM
Hi Guys,


I'd have to agree with everything I read there. I've pitched the idea that the ISF should start standing up their own webpages - maybe you have a ISF Mosul, or a IA or IP Mosul where videos shot of ISF victories are posted. You could even address rumors by putting out the latest info - you'd have to be slick though, and you'd have to hire the right guys. Why, because the guy going up against your site could be anyone, anywhere in the world.

Personally, think that that would be an excellent idea. When I was reading Kilcullen's email that was posted in another thread, (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=1649&page=8) one thing he said really popped for me:


I sometimes feel as if a new paradigm is on the tip of my tongue, and I have a strong feeling that the solution (if there is one) is about a strategic form of armed propaganda that goes well beyond our current concept of IO into a type of semi-kinetic "influence operations".

What really resonated for me was that what he seems to be seeing is what I am trying to see with all the stuff I'm talking about with symbolic warfare. In some ways it goes back to "what are we selling?". Well, certainly in Iraq at the moment, we are trying to sell a fairly simple idea - security is better than chaos. But, as anyone in marketing will tell you, you've got to get the message out to the potential customers (darn, maybe I've been doing to much market research consulting :D ).

Putting up local pages is a fantastic way to get this across. There's a few other things that can also work <evil grin>.


CF types are not real keen on it though, and even if they are, they are not sure how to do it. This is something where we could take a page out of the badguy's book. We take the video, email it to the team(s) back in FT Livingroom and they turn and maintain a product that gets our message out - another team also stationed at FT Livingroom could be attacking the badguy sites - or manipulating their message. Hell, you coud even set up decoy sites, copy cat sites where you post messages as them (Marc mentioned something like this in another post or in an email). There are an infiniite number of ways to inject doubt into the badguy's message while getting ours out. With the power of state sponsored apparatuses, we can certianly focus mass more easily for cyber attacks - look at China's training program. Its really just a question of resoucing it. Yea, I know, some buggerer from the ACLU woud start screaming, but how about if we did it from Canada (Marc, any thoughts??:D )

:D Well, I'm not sure how useful the "state sponsored apparatuses" would be. Personally, I think that they would just be co-opted by the politics of the moment. As far as the ACLU is concerned, I actually think that they would be a great ally in this type of campaign <truly evil grin>. Look at it this way, globally, one of the core cultural values that we are selling is the idea of civilized disagreement - i.e. that it is just wrong to snuff everyone who disagrees with you. This is one of the ACLU's core values as well, so there is a potential alliance here.

As for running this from Canada, that's certainly a possibility <g>. There are some very interesting, below the surface trends starting to show up here. Anyway, I think it would be best to run it globally as well as locally.

On the truly nasty tactics that we could use, I'd really prefer not to make suggestions on an open board <evil grin>.


I am serious though about getting smart on Information Warfare, its not just about collecting info, its about information dominance that includes you getting your message out and attacking his - the politicians should have no problem with this one.


Food for thought and maybe some type of action we can take from the SWJ / SWC livingroom - any ideas out there on how to make this happen - if indeed we should?

I certainly think that the SWJ / SWC livingroom should be one site in it (it already bis anyway). But let's, for a second, go back to Kilcullen's ideas of a distributed global system: the key would be to get multiple sites involved using the same logic that created the 'net in the first place.

Dave/Bill, what would you think about starting a "best of" page for something like ISF Mosul?

Marc

slapout9
01-08-2007, 02:03 PM
Dave, on a police website there was a report of a "COPS" like TV show that was being done in Kirkuk. The American adviser was a Col. Petrie USA. It included live video and a call in section where citizens could call in and complain or compliment. I have never seen the show and don't know if it is still up and running but that was an interesting Idea, because the Iraq population did not know they could complain and not be shot or put in prison. The Col. said that was the hardest part when they first started was to get people to understand that they live under different rules now.

2-What happened to the combat cameraman videos that were shown during WW2. Does the military still do something like this? Might want to bring that back to show the other side of the war as in showing things that are working not just bombs and bullets.

JKM4767
01-08-2007, 02:08 PM
There are still combat cameramen. I had a few follow us around on OPS and what not. If you want to see the pro-military, pro-ISF stories, just go to the Army homepage, it's full of them.

marct
01-08-2007, 02:20 PM
There are still combat cameramen. I had a few follow us around on OPS and what not. If you want to see the pro-military, pro-ISF stories, just go to the Army homepage, it's full of them.

Hi JKM,

Sure there's lots of videos there, but they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever in the "global market". The reason is the source. Any single video shot would have much more credibility posted on a "local" site that it does on the US Army homepage. Back to Rob's idea of an ISF Mosul site - something that "they" post will automatically have more international credibility that something posted by the US Army.

Marc

jcustis
01-08-2007, 04:48 PM
CF types are not real keen on it though, and even if they are, they are not sure how to do it. This is something where we could take a page out of the badguy's book. We take the video, email it to the team(s) back in FT Livingroom and they turn and maintain a product that gets our message out - another team also stationed at FT Livingroom could be attacking the badguy sites - or manipulating their message. Hell, you coud even set up decoy sites, copy cat sites where you post messages as them (Marc mentioned something like this in another post or in an email). There are an infiniite number of ways to inject doubt into the badguy's message while getting ours out.

Heck yeah! Now you're thinking virtual psuedo-ops on a relevant scale. I loaned out my copy of Selous Scouts: Top Secret War to a guy "trying to get it". Need to track that bugger down.