FreeFor & Information Ops…

“Technology is a product of human ingenuity.  If one man can imagine something,

I guarantee you that another man, somewhere, can imagine a way to fuck it up.”event-1439-128x128

–SSG John Mosby, U.S. Army Special Forces, northern Afghanistan, 2002


Site Purpose

A number of FreeFor have expressed a concern that they want to be more secure online, but weren’t sure how to go about it.  We’ll attempt to close that gap.  It isn’t hard, it will just require a structured learning approach and discipline on your part.  We will present specific steps and then show you how to layer techniques for a comprehensive security plan.  As you move through levels, you will become more secure and also more technically proficient.  Digital Security is no different than Operations Security.  Crawl, Walk, Run.

In terms of classic IO (next section), this would equate to #4, Computer Network Operations.

In order to implement your online security properly, you should know the threat and all the facets of IO that are brought to bear upon you.  We will link to posts from others that have experience in PsyOps, Deception, OPSEC and EW.  We will also present technical articles and information to supplement the syllabus.

To summarize, the goals are to:

  • Create a cookbook of actions to increase online privacy and digital security
  • Discuss Opfor IO concepts so that we better understand risks we face
  • Co-opt any OpFor ideas that enhance FreeFor Information Operations
  • Highlight lessons from Patriots who are experts in other areas of IO
  • Continuously reinforce that Security is rooted in Behavior, not Technology


 What is OpFor’s Information Operations (IO)?

Classic OpFor IO is a rapidly evolving area.  Doctrinally, Information Operations circa 2008  says that IO is the protection, monitoring, disruption, or manipulation of information, channels, or actors in order to improve one’s own decision-making and/or degrade that of the enemy.

It lists 5 core IO capabilities:

  1. Psychological Operations / Military Information Support Operations (PsyOps / MISO)
  2. Military Deception
  3. Operations Security
  4. Computer Network Operations (includes Defensive, Offensive, and Exploitative)
  5. Electronic Warfare

Current OpFor Doctrine is moving away from emphasizing these 5 core IO’s, stating that it is detracting from the main purpose, which is that IO is an Integrating Function.  However the list of these core functions gives you an idea of what you are up against and how it is organized.

OpFor describes “Information Operations” as being part of an “Information Environment (IE)”.

It has qualities of “...cognitive, virtual and physical space…” (NATO IO Policy 19Jul2012) and “…conceptual dimensions of connectivity, cognitive and content…” (US Army War College, Info Ops Primer, Nov2011).

FreeFor’s Information Operations….

Understand and Shape Your Ambient Conflict Space

We are in an Information Environment.  IE has elements of cognition, behavior, virtual space and physical space.  IO isn’t external to the battlespace anymore, but an extension of it.   FreeFor fights in a polygonal, ambient battlespace.  It’s around us all day, every day.

If we think of it that way, then we start incorporating “security mindset” and layered security across everything we do.  We integrate Virtual, Physical, Behavior and Discipline.


It is probably safe to say that we are all engaged at the IO level of conflict at this point.



Why does this matter?  Courtesy of Sam Culper – 3 Laws of OPSEC:

1. If you don’t know the threat, you don’t know what information to protect.

2. If you don’t know what information to protect,  you can’t know how to protect it.

3. If you aren’t protecting it,  they’re taking it.



The Patriot’s Challenge…

…Start shaping your Ambient Conflict Space (ACS)

Information Drives Intelligence, Intelligence Drives the Fight.  Deny Information and you Disrupt the attack vectors.

Many patriots are isolated individuals or small groups.  Few have the benefit of larger local tribes.  If you don’t have the luxury of face to face, then you will be forced to operate 100% in the Information Environment, and subject to Information Operations directed at you.  Most of us are not f2f, ever.  Even if you are fortunate enough to have a group, you still operate in the ACS, whether on blogs, facebook, cell phones, GPS or the Internet of Things.

Meatspace, the physical, f2f meetings, will mostly likely be a declining opportunity as we move forward.  Even if you have tribe, coordinating with other friends will require venturing into the IE.

It is imperative that you shape your ACS and control your Information Signatures.  It not only matters just for you, but for everyone you associate with as well (Guerrillamerica SPACE Analysis).  We will focus on Protection, but there will be opportunities to discuss Projecting IO.

Patriots should take all ideas and use them for ourselves where we can.  Knowing enemy capabilities is useful defensively and offensively.

This is what all of us face right now, all day…non-kinetic information conflict.  Once you realize and accept that information is weaponized, you can identify and implement defensive options.

Not everyone will be interested in all of this, or even any of it.  But for those who are, those who want to provide a little more firewall between themselves and OpFor, those who have time to play the Hearts & Minds game on Breitbart, then you may find something here for you.

OpFor may have unlimited money, but they they have finite workers, finite time and finite talent.  Make the needle so small and the haystack so big that finding a Freefor needle is cost-prohibitive.

Here is your first lesson:

Please read Start Here and Tenets first.

They describe the current syllabus version and other essential info to guide you on this site.


Lesson L1.1…How to get an anonymous email….


4 comments on “FreeFor & Information Ops…
  1. T. E. Bowman says:

    Awesome! Reading and learning… a lot, thank you.

    • ffio says:

      T.E, thanks very much for reading and commenting. We’re very glad to hear that this is beneficial. We’re trying to keep the lessons short and simple enough so that non-techs can easily build a strong security posture and understand the risks they face. Feedback on the pace, length and difficulty is very useful so we can fine tune the delivery to our readers. Please feel free (and anyone else) to send along suggestions via comments or email and we’ll do our best to optimize the instruction.

  2. JV says:

    Good entry.

    Minimizing the needle and maximizing the haystack is great. Even better is to figure out how to get the needle into the straw of hay so that the OPFOR swallows the FREEFOR putting the individual in a position to to maximize their effect and capability from purely defensive to offensive.

    • InformOps says:

      Thanks for commenting JV. I fully agree. I actually have an outline of exactly that – the haystack principle. One of these days I’ll finish it and post it.
      Stay Safe. Stay Free. IO

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