“The Silk Road moderator Gary Davis, aka Libertas, is officially free on bail and awaiting an extradition hearing on February 13. The FBI flew to Ireland that night for the express purpose of taking Davis into custody and interrogating him in Ireland, with regard to his position and functions “being a moderator on a website allowing transactions to facilitate the sale of drugs online.”
So as you can see, just because Libertas was a moderator on the site, he is being charged with allowing transactions to faciliate sales of drugs. He is basically being charged as a drug dealer.
“However, Davis was found in possession of illicit substances which could result in a minimum sentence.”
He unfortunately was found with drugs on him at the time of his arrest, which made things much easier to keep him in custody. And it turns out that the alleged former owner of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht (Dread Pirate Roberts – DPR) is fully complying with law enforcement to attempt to identify senior vendors on Silk Road. According to the article, Ross communicated with the vendors frequently and likely in plain text (is my guess).
The reason I bring this up, is that we need to remind every user on here of the mistakes that were made by Ross, and the other three moderators so that we can hopefully learn from them. We need to avoid these types of mistakes, never ever EVER give anybody any personal information about yourself online. The story goes, that Ross required moderators to give him copies of their IDs in order to become moderators of Silk Road, and he likely kept a record of these on his computer. Unfortunately, these are now in the hands of the FBI and 3 moderators have been arrested as a result since. And now, according to the article, they are after senior vendors as well.
A few take homes are:
1. Always use PGP encryption in all your communications, which unfortunately in this case would not have mattered because Ross ended up giving up his private keys to the feds. But it is still another hurdle in their way to protect you from them taking away your freedom.
2. Never give out any personal information to anybody online about yourself.
3. Never put your trust in somebody else’s hands, because at the end of the day, nobody is going to go to jail for you. Ross found an opportunity to possibly reduce his sentence and he is fully taking advantage of the opportunity.
4. < This one is from us, InformOps>: Keep your other life activities squeaky clean and compartmentalize. Keep your family’s activities squeaky clean. Don’t give anyone an opportunity to capitalize on errors you are making in other areas of your life if you happen to draw attention to your liberty activities.
This exact same scenario happened with Sabu from LulzSec was threatened with 112 years in prison, he quickly turned on all his friends and worked with the feds to get them all locked up to help reduce his sentence. Sabu has 2 kids and obviously decided he would rather snitch out his friends and have a chance at being a father rather than spend the rest of his life locked up in jail. Again, nobody is going to go to jail for you.
<InformOps parting comment>: Please take note here. No agency is cracking tech as far as anyone knows. Encryption works. Tor provides anonymity. The subjects are making OPSEC errors which lead to exploits on them or their tech, but it all starts with lack of OPSEC discipline. From there, it is good ‘ole fashioned police work as they lean on the suspects to make them squeal. Cracking your wetware is infinitely easier than cracking your software.
A brief except from this PsyWar.org article demonstrates the term’s history. Credit goes to SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.).
The attempt to win the hearts and minds of friends and enemies was first called “Propaganda” (from the Catholic Church – Congregatio de propaganda fide), and later changed to “psychological warfare” (PSYWAR) about 1920.
The term was changed to “psychological operations” (PSYOP) about 1945, although it did not gain popularity until about 1960 when it became clear that many of the influence operations like asking the people to support a new national government took place during peacetime.
The Army then experimented with the term “information operations” (IO) about 2003 which started to blur the lines between PSYOP, military deception, operational security, electronic warfare and computer networks operations.
In 2010, the military decided on the term “military information support operations” (MISO). <MISO now replaces PSYOPS. MISO is part of the larger umbrella of Information Operations>
It is important to remember that no matter what we call the art of influencing the enemy, the methods used and the personnel involved really do not change.
A recent PSYOP example from the same article appears below. It comes from the “Psychological Operations” paragraph from United States Army War College research paper: “Information Operations” by Peter L. Burnett Jr.
During the initial attack against Afghanistan, the Afghan people’s views of America were negative primarily due to a lack of knowledge the people possessed regarding the attack. The Taliban government and the leadership of al-Qaida tried to convince the people of Afghanistan that America was attacking the religious faith of the Afghan nation. The Taliban government and the al-Qaida network’s goal was to gain support of the Afghan population, the political will of the people, and to promote hatred toward any American effort in Afghanistan.
Using PSYOP as a tool, America was able to reach the people through leaflets, food, broadcast coordination, use of coalition forces, and good deeds to prove America was not attacking their religious faith, but was attacking terrorist activities. The PSYOP efforts cast a brighter light regarding America’s efforts in Afghanistan regardless of America’s efforts or explanation. No country wants to be attacked, but the PSYOP efforts have paid off and proven to be an effective measure in America’s efforts against terrorism.
When an event occurs that disrupts everyday life and your trusty smart phone becomes a brick, don’t be left deaf, dumb and speechless. If you don’t think the cell phone networks are fragile then you need to think again. We have become so dependent on communication that without it, most level-headed people would lose their minds. As commo people, we need to think of ways to keep our team on the up and up. Not all of us are radio nerds so we also have to think of the “other guys”.
Check out one of our friends / contributors. Here is a great post from them on Intel. They’ve taken Sam Culper’s most important lessons and organized it into a PDF so you have a pocket course on Intel. Download it, Learn it, Live it, Love it.
All over the III/Rightful Liberty Blogs there has been a lot of talk of training. There are many areas of training that are important, but one has been a hot topic recently: Intelligence. “But I have a rifle, lots of food and 20 friends, so I am fine.” Right, and who are you and 20 friends going to defend yourselves from? Where will you focus your energy? What threats exist next-door? Down the street? Across town? In your state capital? Learning to gather and analyze information into accurate intelligence right now is a sure way to improve your ability in aiding your family, group and community.
Intelligence is not a buzz word. Intelligence is not a fad. Intelligence drives the fight regardless of whether that fight is in a SHTF/WROL situation, the next city council meeting or the next riot in your town. By learning the methods of intelligence gathering and analysis you give yourself a leg up on trends, threats and indicators in your area. You will find who the bad guys are and where they operate. You will identify politicians and public officials who are a threat or might aid you in desperate times. You identify the natural hazards, the bad neighborhoods, the routes, the power supply, and so many other things too numerous to name. You find it all and will learn what it means.
Sources are out there for learning the methods of performing IPC for your area, or setting up an ACE team for your group. Here is a booklet I put together with writings from Samuel Culper over at guerrillamerica.com. Head over to Forward Observer Magazine and get into the FO University and take the IPC class right now. My booklet is great, and it is all freely available on the net, but listening to Sam teach and having him answer your questions is worth twice what he charges.
To help you get some more experience we are putting together an ACE for the upcoming Memorial Day Bikefest in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. You can help in person or online through Unseen.
A security audit of TrueCrypt has determined that the disk encryption software does not contain any backdoors that could be used by the NSA or other surveillance agencies.
A report prepared by the NCC Group for Open Crypto Audit Project found that the encryption tool is not vulnerable to being compromised.
However, the software was found to contain a few other security vulnerabilities, including one relating to the use of the Windows API to generate random numbers for master encryption key material. Despite this, TrueCrypt was given a relatively clean bill of health with none of the detected vulnerabilities considered severe enough to lead “to a complete bypass of confidentiality in common usage scenarios”.
NCC’s report reveals a total of four vulnerabilities in TrueCrypt, with two of them being marked as severe. The most worrying — although it must be stressed that the report does not suggest that there is real cause for concern — stems from the fact that random numbers are generated based on values from a Windows API. Should this API fail for any reason, TrueCrypt may continue to generate keys with the possibility of an element of predictability — clearly not ideal for encryption software.
Moving forward, the report stresses the importance of improving error handing in the software:
Because TrueCrypt aims to be security-critical software, it is not appropriate to fail silently or attempt to continue execution in unusual program states. More than simply aborting the application, attempt to gather relevant diagnostic information and make it available for submission to developers to diagnose root-causes. This is especially important as it is difficult to fully test code on multiple operating systems and configurations.
With an increased interest in the activities of the NSA, and particularly in the suggestion that hardware and software should have backdoors built in by default, the report comes as good news overall for TrueCrypt users.
Arstechnica – TrueCrypt Audit Is Good News, So Why All The Glum Faces
At least three times in the last five months, U.S. military members have been urged to limit their social media activity in response to worries that ISIS-linked terrorists could track them down, in the U.S. or abroad.
The latest warning came this week, when a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division posted personal information of about 100 service members, which defense officials said had been collected from social media sites.
While this story is about the war on terror and the on-line antics of a small cadre of Da’esh followers, it is also a cautionary tale. The information that was leaked on-line was not in fact hacked, but instead all available through Google searches. This is an important fact in the story to clarify but also sets the stage for the second important insight, of how much of our personal data is on-line.
A simple Google ‘Dork’ can deliver a huge amount of OSINT on a target today and the use of that data to then re-post it on a page like pastebin and call for assassinations shows the power of the net. Basically, this story is the story of asymmetric warfare and how easily it can be carried out online. Now imagine that it is not in fact a terrorist organization doing this but a disgruntled employee or client of a company doing this.
Every individual should consider how much data they put online and where they are putting it. From cyber bullying to outright death threats, we make it easy to ‘dox’ ourselves with our Tweets, Facebook postings, and emails.
An interesting interview below. Here are two quick takeaways:
1) The NSA is not made of magic. They just have better funded hackers.
2) Every time you use encryption (PGP email or Tor) with nothing to hide, someone else who needs encryption to stay alive benefits, because he’s hiding in a bigger pool of encrypted data…There’s safety in numbers.
One of the biggest names in security responds to government snooping plans.
Bruce Schneier is one of the best known experts on security and encryption issues. He has written many books on security and cartography over the last two decades, and maintains a well-followed blog at http://www.schneier.com.
Crazy strong email security that is crazy easy to roll out.
Everything else either requires a pair of computer geniuses, or does not offer the same level of security.
Why this instead of regular email?
Because you have tried to get crypto working in the past and it has been an enormous pain in the ass. Because you want your communications to go dark but don’t have time for hours of training.
How crazy easy?
The tradeoff right now is either spend a few bucks (under fifty) for the hardware, or learn enough to install the software on your machine. \
Once you get it running, it is just like webmail – you go to a local website with your browser.
Who are you?
Somebody that’s been around the community a few years, trying to train people up on secure online communications.
Code is free, under ten minutes to set up once that has been downloaded.
LookingGlass is a platform we can grow: software radio mux, online reputation broker, whatever the community wants to see.
So, what is it really?
LookingGlass is high security email you control, served up simple to use
LookingGlass is an email security appliance.
LookingGlass attempts to automate the heavy lifting of forward secrecy, end-to-end authentication, online pseudonymity, with a distributed architecture.
Forward secrecy means that email is now burn-on-decrypt, and no password is ever reused between messages. No single message compromise can lead to any other. (Learn more)
Authenticated means that you can be assured that you are talking to who you think you are talking to, and that there is no one sitting in the middle of your communications. (Learn more)
Pseudonymity means that your identity is protected. If you are careful to not link your LookingGlass covername (explained later) to your real world identity, there should be no trace who wrote or read your LookingGlass emails. (Learn more)
Distributed (peer-to-peer) means that your email only ever exists in one of two places – on your LookingGlass server, or on the recipient’s server. There is no third party that stores email, encryption states, or routes messages. (Learn more)
LookingGlass is free, it is Open Source, and it was made with❤
Having basic listening and communication capability in one’s local area is a critical survivability step in anyone’s personal or community defense preparedness plans. Without information, there is no intelligence, and without intelligence, you have sub-optimal defensive capability.
If you can operate your iPhone, you can quickly become proficient in basic radio communication.
To enable a person with no specific technical knowledge to quickly acquire the ability to establish basic, local 2-way communications to aid them in personal and community preparedness and self-defense.
Get on the air FAST, with minimum cost, minimum training and maximum range.
This was recently brought to my attention by a fellow Patriot. It had been on my list to go back and read for quite a while, so his prompting was very timely.
I’ll begin pulling and reposting certain articles from it that I think need rebroadcasting. As Sparks says, “There is only the truth of the signal”.
Here is the beginning link and some wise words from the first issue of The Resister. Part of what I’d like to show is that even though most of us are part of a distributed patriot network, often never meeting f2f, we are not alone. There are many, many out there who believe what you do and are willing to fight for it.
Below is an excerpt from this link, the first issue of The Resister.
The Resister Issue 1
THE RESISTER The Official Publication of the Special Forces Underground.
A Brief Synopsis of our Philosophy
Breaking with the almost universal tradition of underground publications we are going to inform our readers precisely what we stand for, and why. Have no doubts, we are political. We are also soldiers. There is no contradiction. Every member of the armed forces takes an oath to defend the Constitution against “…all enemies, foreign and domestic.” The RESISTER does not take this oath lightly. But one of the most perfidious assaults on the integrity of the armed forces in general is the unconscionable notion that the military must remain aloof of politics and perform any mission assigned to it by its civilian chiefs without question. Take this argument to its logical conclusion and you will understand why the Founding Fathers of this nation strenuously opposed a large Federally controlled, standing army.
What We Stand For
The philosophy of The RESISTER is straightforward: strict constitutionalism, isolationism, laissez-faire capitalism, individual rights, limited government, and republicanism.
What We Oppose
The RESISTER opposes statism, liberalism, tribalism, socialism, collectivism, internationalism, democracy, altruism, pull politics, and the New World Order.
There you have it.
NO COMPROMISE: Don’t Tread on Me
by “Minuteman” 3 SFG(A)
As a soldier-historian I have been watching, with considerably more than passing interest, The very document I have sworn to defend against both foreign and domestic enemies, the Constitution of the United States, sink deeper and deeper into a socialist cesspool; a cesspool constantly fed by the sewer of compromise.
On 19 April 1775, a handful of men in Lexington Massachusetts took up arms in defense of their peers at Concord to oppose a force sent to confiscate their means to resist tyranny. This confiscatory force was not a foreign invader, nor an army of occupation; it was the army of their government. Our ancestors resisted, and won.
Modern Americans are content to grovel at the feet of their government, compromising at every turn, whimpering insipid platitudes of subservient thanks when their Constitutional rights, assured by the original ten Amendments to the Constitution, are granted to them anew as privileges.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are limitations on government — not the individual. Bear in mind that the original ten Amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, were not the product of those who wrote the Constitution, the Federalists, but to those who opposed it, the Anti- Federalists. The Anti-Federalists recognized the potential for tyranny in the Constitution and insisted on guarantees of inalienable rights that could not be abrogated by the government. They recognized that all government is, by definition, tyrannical.
Socialists believe words are fuzzy, undefinable constructs that assume whatever meaning they want under whatever whim context they invent at the time. Socialists hate the 18th century language of the Constitution because the words used actually had specific meaning in the context in which they were used. Thus the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states in full:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
In context, the term “…regulated Militia,” meant the whole citizenry, independently armed, practiced and drilled in the use of their arms, prepared to take up those arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.
In context, the phrase “…free State,” meant not only defense against foreign aggression, but more explicitly, defense against domestic tyranny.
Note the elegance and exclusivity of the closing to this keystone of the Bill of Rights, “…shall ont be infringed.” In context this means: No organization, government or non-government, by design, neglect or whim, through legislation or regulation, for reasons specific or implied, shall restrict this right in any way, form, or condition.
Socialists believe the Second Amendment refers only to State government, or even more terrifying, to the Federal Government. Their shopworn bromide that the term “…the people…” in the Second Amendment applies only to the National Guard, Reserves, standing army, and police, but not to individuals, is a base lie.
“…(T)he people…” means all individuals. Period.
The National Guard is an instrument of force of a state government. The Reserves are an instrument of force of the Federal Government. Both organizations are, in 18th century terms, a Select Militia. It was in wise opposition to a government monopoly of armed force by a Select Militia in general and a standing army in particular, that the individual’s right to keep and bear arms was guaranteed. No wonder our socialist government and their despicable altruist cheerleaders despise the Second Amendment.
Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment have affirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to individuals, not to armed gangs on federal or state payrolls. Indeed, the Supreme Court has ruled that the right of individuals to bear arms appropriate to (select) Militia use is unquestioned. This means: If the National Guard, Reserves, standing army, and innumerable armed gangs of local, state, and unconstitutional Federal police have, for example, M-16 rifles, it is not only the right of individuals to possess and openly bear the same weapons, it is contrary to the preservation of their liberty not to.
Political socialists in the U.S. Congress, as well as police state socialists in the unconstitutional Justice and Treasury Departments are using the typical stalking horses of government tyranny, public safety, and some undefined mob of irrelevancies called “the children,” to creep up on and abolish the sole guaranty of personal liberty in the Constitution, the Second Amendment.
By “public safety” the Federal government means greatly expanding the powers of their own armed gangs of badge wielding thugs. By those amorphous abstractions they call “children” they are referring to 15 – 24 year-old minority street garbage killing each other over drug and extortion turf.
Socialists are constantly calling for compromise on Second Amendment issues which they themselves fabricate. Compromise, as any intelligent person knows, is unmitigated evil. Only the inept, irrational, and intellectually corrupt ask for compromise and only they win when compromise is conceded by the able, rational, and intelligent out of some fear of being labeled “extremist.”
Socialists revile those who stand on principle, those who distinguish right from wrong, and those who can differentiate between truth and lies. Whenever socialists fling accusations of extremism you can rest assured that their opponents have the truth of their side. Simply put, in any compromise between poison and food, only death wins.
Regarding the Second Amendment, the victor in the compromise between the right to keep and bear arms equivalent to those of the Select Militia, and government legislation against them, is slavery. The men who stood armed against their government at Lexington knew that their only choice was liberty or serfdom. They did not compromise.
Two-hundred years ago Randy Weaver and David Koresh would have been heroes for resisting government whimsy. Today they are vilified for having defended their liberty by force of arms. The unconstitutional Federal police, as always, demonstrated groveling cowardice in their investigation, execution, and cover-up of these outrages. The media, as always, whined, simpered, and adopted the greasy socialist party line like the practiced second handers they are.
Adopting the bald eagle as the national symbol was a mistake. It should have been the rattlesnake. Philosophically, the only flag in our history that reflects the cause of the American Revolution, resistance to government tyranny, is the coiled rattlesnake over the words: “DONT TREAD ON ME.” No one can look upon that flag and misunderstand its meaning.
Under the Constitution the only Federal crime is treason. Subverting the Constitution can only be construed as such. Those in government, Federal state, or local, who by action or inaction would legislate away the only individual guaranty against tyrannical government, the right to keep and bear arms, and those who support such legislation, are traitors to the Constitution.
As a soldier of the standing army I am sworn to defend the Constitution against these domestic enemies of the Constitution. I will, and I am not alone.
The question we all have to ask ourselves is this: how seriously do we take the right of self-determination, and what are we willing to do in our personal lives to assert it?
Secession really begins at home, with the actions we all take in our everyday lives to distance and remove ourselves from state authority — quietly, nonviolently, inexorably.
Download audio here:
Here’s the full text. I Withdraw Consent. What about you?
Presumably everyone in this room, or virtually everyone, is here today because you have some interest in the topic of secession. You may be interested in it as an abstract concept or as a viable possibility for escaping a federal government that Americans now fear and distrust in unprecedented numbers.
The situation of having to belong to a state to which one does not wish to belong is no less onerous if it is the result of an election than if one must endure it as the consequence of a military conquest.
I’m sure this sentiment is shared by many of you. Mises understood that mass democracy was no substitute for liberal society, but rather the enemy of it. Of course he was right: nearly 100 years later, we have been conquered and occupied by the state and its phony veneer of democratic elections. The federal government is now the putative ruler of nearly every aspect of life in America.
That’s why we’re here today entertaining the audacious idea of secession — an idea Mises elevated to a defining principle of classical liberalism.
It’s tempting, and entirely human, to close our eyes tight and resist radical change — to live in America’s past.
But to borrow a line from the novelist L.P. Hartley, “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” The America we thought we knew is a mirage; a memory, a foreign country.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely why we should take secession seriously, both conceptually — as consistent with libertarianism — and as a real alternative for the future.
Does anyone really believe that a physically vast, multicultural, social democratic welfare state of 330 million people, with hugely diverse economic, social, and cultural interests, can be commanded from DC indefinitely without intense conflict and economic strife?
Does anyone really believe that we can unite under a state that endlessly divides us? Rich vs. poor, black vs. white, Hispanic vs. Anglo, men vs. women, old vs. young, secularists vs. Christians, gays vs. traditionalists, taxpayers vs. entitlement recipients, urban vs. rural, red state vs. blue state, and the political class vs. everybody?
Frankly it seems clear the federal government is hell-bent on Balkanizing America anyway. So why not seek out ways to split apart rationally and nonviolently? Why dismiss secession, the pragmatic alternative that’s staring us in the face?
Since most of us in the room are Americans, my focus today is on the political and cultural situation here at home. But the same principles of self-ownership, self-determination, and decentralization apply universally — whether we’re considering Texas independence or dozens of active breakaway movements in places like Venice, Catalonia, Scotland, and Belgium.
I truly believe secession movements represent the last best hope for reclaiming our birthright: the great classical liberal tradition and the civilization it made possible. In a world gone mad with state power, secession offers hope that truly liberal societies, organized around civil society and markets rather than central governments, can still exist.
Secession as a “Bottom-Up” Revolution
“But how could this ever really happen?” you’re probably thinking.
Wouldn’t creating a viable secession movement in the US necessarily mean convincing a majority of Americans, or at least a majority of the electorate, to join a mass political campaign much like a presidential election?
I say no. Building a libertarian secession movement need not involve mass political organizing: in fact, national political movements that pander to the Left and Right may well be hopelessly naïve and wasteful of time and resources.
Instead, our focus should be on hyper-localized resistance to the federal government in the form of a “bottom-up” revolution, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe terms it.
Hoppe counsels us to use what little daylight the state affords us defensively: just as force is justified only in self-defense, the use of democratic means is justified only when used to achieve nondemocratic, libertarian, pro-private property ends.
In other words, a bottom-up revolution employs both persuasion and democratic mechanisms to secede at the individual, family, community, and local level — in a million ways that involve turning our backs on the central government rather than attempting to bend its will.
Secession, properly understood, means withdrawing consent and walking away from DC — not trying to capture it politically and “converting the King.”
Secession is Not a Political Movement
Why is the road to secession not political, at least not at the national level? Frankly, any notion of a libertarian takeover of the political apparatus in DC is fantasy, and even if a political sea change did occur the army of 4.3 million federal employees is not simply going to disappear.
Convincing Americans to adopt a libertarian political system — even if such an oxymoron were possible — is a hopeless endeavor in our current culture.
Politics is a trailing indicator. Culture leads, politics follows. There cannot be a political sea change in America unless and until there is a philosophical, educational, and cultural sea change. Over the last 100 years progressives have overtaken education, media, fine arts, literature, and pop culture — and thus as a result they have overtaken politics. Not the other way around.
This is why our movement, the libertarian movement, must be a battle for hearts and minds. It must be an intellectual revolution of ideas, because right now bad ideas run the world. We can’t expect a libertarian political miracle to occur in an illibertarian society.
Now please don’t get me wrong. The philosophy of liberty is growing around the world, and I believe we are winning hearts and minds. This is a time for boldness, not pessimism.
Yet libertarianism will never be a mass —which is to say majority — political movement.
Some people will always support the state, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves about this. It may be due to genetic traits, environmental factors, family influences, bad schools, media influences, or simply an innate human desire to seek the illusion of security.
But we make a fatal mistake when we dilute our message to seek approval from people who seemingly are hardwired to oppose us. And we waste precious time and energy.
What’s important is not convincing those who fundamentally disagree with us, but the degree to which we can extract ourselves from their political control.
This is why secession is a tactically superior approach in my view: it is far less daunting to convince liberty-minded people to walk away from the state than to convince those with a statist mindset to change.
What About the Federales?
Now I know what you’re thinking, and so does the aforementioned Dr. Hoppe:
Wouldn’t the federales simply crush any such attempt (at localized secession)?
They surely would like to, but whether or not they can actually do so is an entirely different question … it is only necessary to recognize that the members of the governmental apparatus always represent, even under conditions of democracy, a (very small) proportion of the total population.
Hoppe envisions a growing number of “implicitly seceded territories” engaging in noncompliance with federal authority:
Without local enforcement, by compliant local authorities, the will of the central government is not much more than hot air.
It would be prudent … to avoid a direct confrontation with the central government and not openly denounce its authority …
Rather, it seems advisable to engage in a policy of passive resistance and noncooperation. One simply stops to help in the enforcement in each and every federal law …
Finally, he concludes as only Hoppe could (remember this is the 1990s):
Waco, a teeny group of freaks, is one thing. But to occupy, or to wipe out a significantly large group of normal, accomplished, upstanding citizens is quite another, and quite a more difficult thing.
Now you may disagree with Dr. Hoppe as to the degree to which the federal government would actively order military violence to tamp down any secessionist hotspots, but his larger point is unassailable: the regime is largely an illusion, and consent to its authority is almost completely due to fear, not respect. Eliminate the illusion of benevolence and omnipotence and consent quickly crumbles.
Imagine what a committed, coordinated libertarian base could achieve in America! 10 percent of the US population, or roughly thirty-two million people, would be an unstoppable force of nonviolent withdrawal from the federal leviathan.
As Hoppe posits, it is no easy matter for the state to arrest or attack large local groups of citizens. And as American history teaches, the majority of people in any conflict are likely to be “fence sitters” rather than antagonists.
Left and Right are Hypocrites Regarding Secession
One of the great ironies of our time is that both the political Left and Right complain bitterly about the other, but steadfastly refuse to consider, once again, the obvious solution staring us in the face.
Now one might think progressives would champion the Tenth Amendment and states’ rights, because it would liberate them from the Neanderthal right wingers who stand in the way of their progressive utopia. Imagine California or Massachusetts having every progressive policy firmly in place, without any preemptive federal legislation or federal courts to get in their way, and without having to share federal tax revenues with the hated red states.
Imagine an experiment where residents of the San Francisco bay area were free to live under a political and social regime of their liking, while residents of Salt Lake City were free to do the same.
Surely both communities would be much happier with this commonsense arrangement than the current one, whereby both have to defer to Washington!
But in fact progressives strongly oppose federalism and states’ rights, much less secession! The reason, of course, is that progressives believe they’re winning and they don’t intend for a minute to let anyone walk away from what they have planned for us.
Democracy is the great political orthodoxy of our times, but its supposed champions on the Left can’t abide true localized democracy — which is in fact the stated aim of secession movements.
They’re interested in democracy only when the vote actually goes their way, and then only at the most attenuated federal level, or preferably for progressives, the international level. The last thing they want is local control over anything! They are the great centralizers and consolidators of state authority.
“Live and let live” is simply not in their DNA.
Our friends on the Right are scarcely better on this issue.
Many conservatives are hopelessly wedded to the Lincoln myth and remain in thrall to the central warfare state, no matter the cost.
As an example, consider the Scottish independence referendum that took place in September of 2014.
Some conservatives, and even a few libertarians claimed that we should oppose the referendum on the grounds that it would create a new government, and thus two states would exist in the place of one. But reducing the size and scope of any single state’s dominion is healthy for liberty, because it leads us closer to the ultimate goal of self-determination at the individual level, to granting each of us sovereignty over our lives.
Again quoting Mises:
If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done. (italics added)
Furthermore, some conservatives argue that we should not support secession movements where the breakaway movement is likely to create a government that is more “liberal” than the one it replaces. This was the case in Scotland, where younger Scots who supported the independence referendum in greater numbers hoped to create strong ties with the EU parliament in Brussels and build a Scandinavian-style welfare state run from Holyrood (never mind that Tories in London were overjoyed at the prospect of jettisoning a huge number of Labour supporters!).
But if support for the principle of self-determination is to have any meaning whatsoever, it must allow for others to make decisions with which we disagree. Political competition can only benefit all of us. What neither progressives nor conservatives understand — or worse, maybe they do understand — is that secession provides a mechanism for real diversity, a world where we are not all yoked together. It provides a way for people with widely divergent views and interests to live peaceably as neighbors instead of suffering under one commanding central government that pits them against each other.
Secession Begins With You
Ultimately, the wisdom of secession starts and ends with the individual. Bad ideas run the world, but must they run your world?
The question we all have to ask ourselves is this: how seriously do we take the right of self-determination, and what are we willing to do in our personal lives to assert it?
Secession really begins at home, with the actions we all take in our everyday lives to distance and remove ourselves from state authority — quietly, nonviolently, inexorably.
The state is crumbling all around us, under the weight of its own contradictions, its own fiscal mess, and its own monetary system. We don’t need to win control of DC.
What we need to do, as people seeking more freedom and a better life for future generations, is to walk away from DC, and make sure we don’t go down with it.
How To Secede Right Now
So in closing, let me make a few humble suggestions for beginning a journey of personal secession. Not all of these may apply to your personal circumstances; no one but you can decide what’s best for you and your family. But all of us can play a role in a bottom-up revolution by doing everything in our power to withdraw our consent from the state:
Secede from intellectual isolation. Talk to like-minded friends, family, and neighbors — whether physically or virtually — to spread liberty and cultivate relationships and alliances. The state prefers to have us atomized, without a strong family structure or social network;
secede from dependency. Become as self-sufficient as possible with regard to food, water, fuel, cash, firearms, and physical security at home. Resist being reliant on government in the event of a natural disaster, bank crisis, or the like;
secede from mainstream media, which promotes the state in a million different ways. Ditch cable, ditch CNN, ditch the major newspapers, and find your own sources of information in this internet age. Take advantage of a luxury previous generations did not enjoy;
secede from state control of your children by homeschooling or unschooling them;
secede from college by rejecting mainstream academia and its student loan trap. Educate yourself using online learning platforms, obtaining technical credentials, or simply by reading as much as you can;
secede from the US dollar by owning physical precious metals, by owning assets denominated in foreign currencies, and by owning assets abroad;
secede from the federal tax and regulatory regimes by organizing your business and personal affairs to be as tax efficient and unobtrusive as possible;
secede from the legal system, by legally protecting your assets from rapacious lawsuits and probate courts as much as possible;
secede from the state healthcare racket by taking control of your health, and questioning medical orthodoxy;
secede from your state by moving to another with a better tax and regulatory environment, better homeschooling laws, better gun laws, or just one with more liberty-minded people;
secede from political uncertainly in the US by obtaining a second passport; or
secede from the US altogether by expatriating.
Most of all, secede from the mindset that government is all-powerful or too formidable an opponent to be overcome. The state is nothing more than Bastiat’s great fiction, or Murray’s gang of thieves writ large. Let’s not give it the power to make us unhappy or pessimistic.
All of us, regardless of ideological bent and regardless of whether we know it or not, are married to a very violent, abusive spendthrift. It’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to get a divorce from DC.
Many thanks to one of our readers, Btfire, who contributed this article.
We should all be familiar with the lack of privacy in digital communications by now, but for those who cling to any hope that law might thwart the efforts of the NSA or CIA get ready to be let down. The House of Representatives, by a 325-100 margin, passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (approving changes from the Senate) on 10 December 2014.
The bill had bipartisan support and the “nays” were 45 Republicans and 55 Democrats. This bill actually codifies into law the collection and retention of communications that, until now, have only been borderline legal via executive actions. In particular, it discusses the use of encryption as triggering a provision for unlimited retention time.
This bill was not always written this way and during the summer a version was passed with language to require the NSA to obtain a warrant prior to any data collection (Volz, 2014). The bill was sent to the House from the Senate and a vote was rammed through with “almost nobody in the room (Amash, 2014).”
Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) sent this to his colleagues in Congress, “Last night, the Senate passed an amended version of the intelligence reauthorization bill with a new Sec. 309—one the House never has considered. Sec. 309 authorizes “the acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of nonpublic communications, including those to and from U.S. persons. The section contemplates that those private communications of Americans, obtained without a court order, may be transferred to domestic law enforcement for criminal investigations (2014).”
But nobody really cares either inside or out of Congress. “Fully 45 percent of all Americans say the government should be able to go further than it is, saying that it should be able to monitor everyone’s online activity if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks (Cohen, 2013).” This comment is the core of our problem in FreeFor: Not enough people care.
The same poll cited by Cohen reveals trends that show partisan support is tied directly to who the Chief Executive is. “Sixty-nine percent of Democrats say terrorism investigations, not privacy, should be the government’s main concern, an 18-percentage-point jump from early January 2006, when the NSA activity under the George W. Bush administration was first reported. Compared with that time, Republicans’ focus on privacy has increased 22 points (Cohen, 2013).” Wrong is wrong regardless of which team in partisan politics commits the crime, but our society is a myopic one.
We have known about domestic spying prior to the revelations by Edward Snowden (back when it was only a conspiracy theory) and privacy organizations such as the Electronic Freedom Foundation have attempted to warn us and offer tips and tricks to keep us slightly secure.
The current spying began shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001 by executive order by President George W. Bush. Both President Bush and President Barrack H. Obama have used the first paragraph of Section 2 of the Authorization of the Use of Military Force to justify domestic collection of data.
The text reads, “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons (Government Printing Office, 2001).”
That the Fourth Amendment is never given credit is not a mistake. Many of these laws have restrictions against data collection of “U.S. persons” but with “statutory interpretation” nothing ever is removed from the table.
The current Intelligence Authorization Act adds a seemingly innocuous section under the heading of Section 309: Procedures for the Retention of Incidentally Acquired Communications. This is the section that takes executive authority under the Patriot Act, Authorization for the Use of Military Force, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and makes everything perfectly legal.
Section 309: “The term ‘covered communication’ means any nonpublic telephone or electronic communication acquired without the consent of a person who is a party to the communication, including communications in electronic storage. (Government Printing Office, 2014).”
These were the collections of metadata and other forms of communication in which we all engage. It never mattered whether you were suspected of a crime, your data was collected. However, retention was never really discussed until this bill. “A covered communication shall not be retained in excess of 5 years, unless— (Government Printing Office, 2014)” it is considered criminal in nature or related to terrorism. But what is criminal in nature? According to this bill encryption or an attempt to conceal the meaning is enough to retain the data forever.
Here at Information Operations we have stressed the importance of using encryption for all communications. Guess what, you are now a suspect. What is your crime? Mala Prohibita – Nothing, not in any rational sense of the word.
You are not trying to steal from anyone or cause physical/financial harm to people. You are not sending bombs in the mail and you are not trying to overthrow the government of the United States of America. You are not in any organization engaged in violence with the forces who are anti-freedom. You are, however, the same as a terrorist in their eyes.
Spying has and will continue. I fully support the ability to find and prosecute criminals who have caused harm. I do not, however, support the widespread collection of data on anyone without a properly formatted warrant. I have believed, quite naively I suppose, that one day we could get executive actions that were against privacy overturned, but now it is law.
My desire to maintain privacy has been trumped by the government’s desire to monitor my every action. My communications will be held for a long time because I frequently use PGP or other forms of encryption in emails, text messaging, and even voice calls.
I will not change these actions to stay off of a list, rather I will encourage more people to join me on a list. Come on, we will have a list party. Below is the full text of Section 309 and here is a link to the entire bill as it was sent to the President.
(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:(1) COVERED COMMUNICATION.—The term ‘‘covered communication’’ means any nonpublic telephone or electronic communication acquired without the consent of a person who is a party to the communication, including communications in electronic storage.(2) HEAD OF AN ELEMENT OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.—The term ‘‘head of an element of the intelligence community’’ means, as appropriate—
(A) the head of an element of the intelligence community; or
(B) the head of the department or agency containing such element.
(3) UNITED STATES PERSON
.—The term ‘‘United States person’’ has the meaning given that term in section 101 of the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801).
(b) PROCEDURES FOR COVERED COMMUNICATIONS
(1) REQUIREMENT TO ADOPT
.—Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act each head of an element of the intelligence community shall adopt procedures approved by the Attorney General for such element that ensure compli- ance with the requirements of paragraph (3).
(2) COORDINATION AND APPROVAL
required by paragraph (1) shall be—
(A) prepared in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence; and
(B) approved by the Attorney General prior to issuance.
.—The procedures required by para- graph (1) shall apply to any intelligence collection activity not otherwise authorized by court order (including an order or certification issued by a court established under subsection (a) or (b) of section 103 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1803)), subpoena, or similar legal process that is reasonably anticipated to result in the acquisition of a covered communication to or from a United States person and shall permit the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of covered communications subject to the limitation in subparagraph (B).
(B) LIMITATION ON RETENTION
.—A covered communication shall not be retained in excess of 5 years, unless—
(i) the communication has been affirmatively determined, in whole or in part, to constitute foreign intelligence or counterintelligence or is necessary to understand or assess foreign intelligence or counterintelligence;
(ii) the communication is reasonably believed to constitute evidence of a crime and is retained by a law enforcement agency;
(iii) the communication is enciphered or reasonably believed to have a secret meaning;
(iv) all parties to the communication are reasonably believed to be non-United States persons;
(v) retention is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human life, in which case both the nature of the threat and the information to be retained shall be reported to the congressional intelligence committees not later than 30 days after the date such retention is extended under this clause;
(vi) retention is necessary for technical assurance or compliance purposes, including a court order or discovery obligation, in which case access to information retained for technical assurance or compliance purposes shall be reported to the congressional intelligence committees on an annual basis; or
(vii) retention for a period in excess of 5 years is approved by the head of the element of the intelligence community responsible for such retention, based on a determination that retention is necessary to protect the national security of the United States, in which case the head of such element shall provide to the congressional intelligence committees a written certification describing—
(I) the reasons extended retention is necessary to protect the national security of the United States;
(II) the duration for which the head of the element is authorizing retention;
(III) the particular information to be retained;
(IV) the measures the element of the intel- ligence community is taking to protect the privacy interests of United States persons or persons located inside the United States.
According to Anthony Banbury, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Ebola, we should all prepare for an airborne Ebola outbreak in America, and the rest of the world for that matter. Banbury, along with CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) officials agree the virus going airborne is unlikely, but very possible, creating what Banbury referred to as ‘the nightmare scenario’ if the outbreak isn’t contained within four weeks.
Skeptics will claim Banbury’s statement was nothing more than ‘fear mongering’, while those stuck in the racial stratosphere will say Ebola was created by the white man to kill black men e.g. Louis Farrakhan. Instead of succumbing to racially charged meanderings and fear mongering, we will review the facts.
After learning the facts on your own I’m sure you’ll see my point of view, which is – it’s time to prepare for an airborne Ebola outbreak in America…
What is Ebola?
How is Ebola transmitted?
Will Ebola go Airborne?
How to prepare for an Ebola outbreak in America
Prepping for the Ebola Outbreak
Pandemic mental preparedness
Surviving the Ebola outbreak
I posted this before, but here it is again. I highly suggest you mirror your most important sites.
Given the recent uncertainties around Ebola and whether it will spread or be contained, it might be prudent if you had entire copies of your most valuable website resources available during any power interruption or if you need to relocate to an area without internet.
I haven’t had time to get everything printed off into binders, as I’m sure many of you have not. Right now I’m mirroring just about everything in the “Essentials” sidebar on the right, starting with my favorite Comms sites (Sparks31, Danmorgan76, AMRRON and Radiomaster). Looks like I need to get a good medical site listed as well.
HTTrack is an easy to use tool that allows you to “mirror”, or copy down an entire website to your local computer.
As an example, Wirecutter recently posted about a site, http://www.airnav.com, that has airport data for all airports (including all frequencies). This could be useful for any number of reasons.
Thanks to HTTrack, and about a 15 hour mirror, I now have all that data locally. The site mirror time depends on how big the site is. I’ve ranged from 10 minutes to 15 hours. It runs unattended once you kick it off, so no babysitting. Most sites don’t take more than an hour or two.
Get it here, HTTrack. Here is the description from the main page…
HTTrack is a free (GPL, libre/free software) and easy-to-use offline browser utility.
It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site’s relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the “mirrored” website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.
CIDRAP: “We Believe There Is Scientific Evidence Ebola Has The Potential To Be Airborne”
When CDC Director Tim Frieden first announced, just a week ago and very erroneously, that he was “confident we will stop Ebola in its tracks here in the United States“, he hardly anticipated facing the double humiliation of not only having the first person-to-person transmission of Ebola on US soil taking place within a week, but that said transmission would impact a supposedly protected healthcare worker. He certainly did not anticipate the violent public reaction that would result when, instead of taking blame for another epic CDC blunder, one which made many wonder if last night’s Walking Dead season premier was in fact non-fiction, he blamed health workers for “not following protocol.”
And yet, while once again casting scapegoating and blame, the CDC sternly refuses to acknowledge something others, and not just tinfoil blog sites, are increasingly contemplating as a distinct possibility: namely that Ebola is, contrary to CDC “protocol”, in fact airborne. Or as, an article posted by CIDRAP defines it, “aerosolized.”
Who is CIDRAP? “The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP; “SID-wrap”) is a global leader in addressing public health preparedness and emerging infectious disease response. Founded in 2001, CIDRAP is part of the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota.”
The full punchline from the CIDRAP report:
We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks.
Part-1 – An overview and some tools to get started
Besides being able to talk to your neighbors to the left and right, a very important part of the nationwide AmRRON/TAPRN Network is the sharing of news, information, and intelligence (not necessarily the same thing). A critical skill that you, as a patriot, should be developing and regularly practicing is SIGINT/COMINT. That is Signals Intelligence and Communications Intelligence. Simply put, you need to have the skills and equipment to monitor, intercept, collect, and report information sent over the airwaves.
This can come from news agencies, government and non-government agencies and organizations, local citizen networks, and any other source in your community and region. Collecting this information and reporting it contributes to the network’s ability to gain a clear picture of what is going on around us — Situational Awareness, as it is called.
In order for your pastors, community leaders, elected officials, and other patriotic civil groups to make informed decisions, they need INFORMATION! They (we) depend on you, the eyes and ears across the country, our states, regions, and communities to help with that information gathering process.
We don’t know what the future holds, but like many who have gone before us, we may have to use these skills as part of a larger effort to resist foreign military occupation, organized violent criminal activity, regional warlords, large-scale terrorist activity, or provide intelligence in a grid-down, major catastrophic event in North America.
We need to practice now. It’s useful, it’s practical, and what’s more, it’s FUN!
The Grugq is often is found speaking to “Freedom Fighters” of all allegiances, some of whom may be at odds with what some FreeFor would consider legitimate causes. Here is an edited bio we lifted from an interview he did:
The Grugq is an world renowned information security researcher with 15 years of industry experience. Grugq started his career at a Fortune 100 company, where he was forced to resign for publishing a Phrack article on anti-forensics. Since then the Grugq has presented on anti-forensics at dozens of international security conferences, as well as talks on numerous other security topics. He has worked as a professional penetration tester (white hat hacker), a developer, and a full time security researcher.
His unique understanding of both the technical side of things and the operational aspects of tradecraft make his perspective an incredibly valuable set of lessons for FreeFor’s Information Ops. From time to time we will reprint some of his work here because of the universal value of his lessons. His blog is a permanent link on our right-side “Essentials” list.
Briefly, I would like to highlight some important considerations for good OPSEC. Firstly, OPSEC is a mode of operating, not a tool or a collection of tools. Secondly, OPSEC comes at a cost, and a significant part of that cost is efficiency. OPSEC is slow. Finally, maintaining a strong security posture (i.e. “good OPSEC”) for long periods of time is very stressful, even for professionally trained espionage officers.
Learning good OPSEC requires internalizing the behavioural changes required to continually maintain a strong security posture. The operational activities have to become habit, because the small things matter, and every careless mistake can compromise security. The only way to develop good OPSEC habits, good security hygiene, is to practice. Make the foolish beginners mistakes during a practice session, rather than in the field. Two relevant sayings:
Amateurs practice until they get it right, professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong
The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war
After developing good security hygiene habits, the second most difficult thing about good OPSEC is learning patience. Increased OPSEC security comes at the cost of efficiency, primarily in communication time-frames. The OPSEC mechanisms that must be in place to reduce the risks during communication add latency. As a result, communication takes significantly longer and is less reliable. Obviously, this is more of an issue with time sensitive operations than those that have more generous deadlines.
The single greatest security risk is communication between operatives. Clandestine agencies, such as the CIA, MI6, DGSE, etc. will work incredibly hard to minimize the risks surrounding communication with their recruited agents. In the simplest form, this involves a 2-4 hour “surveillance detection route” (SDR) to see if they are “in the black” before they perform any operational activity. This is on top of the hours of planning for the operation itself (note: these are minimums, operations requiring high security might take weeks or months of planning, and 12 hour SDRs).
The technology that exists to facilitate information security, e.g. encryption, is important, but it is not sufficient or even the starting point for robust OPSEC.
By all means, learn to use encryption software correctly and in a properly secure fashion.
However, it is more important to compartment sensitive activities and structure your operational environment for impact containment than install or use particular software.