“Always use a good proxy and change your prepaid cellphone numbers regularly” said the fellow in the Guy Fawkes mask.
I love what you Anon guys do but you don’t understand the problems and challenges I face, immediately popped into my mind, but I didn’t have time to respond. Now I do.
The typical Anon lives an outwardly normal life but chooses to keep part of their online activities very secret.
If they have done their security jobs well, no one knows or even suspects they have another, Anonymous life online.
The typical whistle blower faces very different challenges. If someone worries about what they might say or do, there is a good chance ALL their activities are monitored, including having key loggers put on their PCs. If intimidation or retaliation is evident, this may well be the case.
LulzSec’s disclosure of intelligence contractor HBGary’s PowerPoint presentations proposing ways to silence Progressive voices like Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald and Chamber of Commerce critics shows such actions are commonplace. It proves what I’ve been saying for a long time: banks and big companies use intelligence contractors to silence whistle blowers and critics.
Ever wonder why we don’t hear from whistle blowers despite all the fraud in the banking and mortgage industries? Whistle blowers are silenced. I know because it is happening to me. See ReportingWrongdoing.com for details.
Two Stages of Whistle Blowing
There are two very different stages whistle blowers face. The first is the Stealth Stage where no one knows or even suspects they intend to disclose damaging information. Whistle blowers in the Stealth Stage are very much like typical Anons.
In the stealth stage, using anonymizing techniques like TOR and disposable cellphones can be very helpful.
The second is the Silenced/Suppressed/Retaliation Stage where whistle blowers are being silenced or retaliated against because of what they have revealed or might reveal.
It’s important to emphasize that people don’t have to actually blow the whistle or disclose information to have these operations run against them. If someone powerful worries about what you know or might do, you can be targeted for these retaliatory crimes.
In the Silenced/Suppressed/Retaliation Stage the retaliator’s goal is to cut the target’s communications so they can be isolated and eliminated without incident. Secret cellphones don’t help the general public contact the target, the numbers are easily compromised whenever voice mail messages are left.
If the target’s cellphone is hacked (Google cellphone spying and cellphone spying to see how easy this is) their telephone communications are effectively cut.
Similarly, sophisticated keyloggers can track ALL their online activity, recording all the target’s passwords and browsing history. Email is filtered and deleted before the target sees it.
How Anons Can Assist Whistle Blowers in the Stealth Stage:
The biggest problem most whistle blowers face is: Where can you disclose damaging information with complete safety and anonymity? WikiLeaks is not accepting new submissions. You cannot count on law enforcement or federal agencies like the DOJ or SEC to follow up and prosecute. The media is often unwilling to offend major advertisers or face a powerful board of directors.
Consider establishing a highly confidential, blog like interface that allows leakers to post information and place the responsibility on the leaker to explain what the information is and why it is significant. Using a WikiLeaks like approach, crowd source the information publicly and to the press to see if it is valid and valuable. This helps protect Anons from being set up with false data by trolls and dirty tricksters.
Stealth Whistle Blowers will need clear, easy to follow instructions written in simple language describing how to upload information, protect their anonymity and be absolutely secure. Field test the instructions carefully to make sure they can be followed by technically limited, frightened people.
Suggest they upload at different locations while traveling, wear disguises, use libraries, internet cafes (watch for security cameras) or other facilities (some YMCA’s have computer rooms.) Describe how to keep yourself safe online (the Anons Guide to Internet Security?)
The Silenced/Suppressed/Retaliation Stage:
Here the whistle blower or potential whistle blower has been targeted for intentional, covert adverse action. Crimes committed to intimidate, silence or suppress them need to be exposed. The whistle blower’s activities are probably monitored and key loggers on their PCs add tracking signals to any USB or CD that connects to their systems.
There is no privacy or anonymity in these situations. The perpetrators can be intelligence contractors like HBGary working for America’s most secret agencies. The best defense is to be very visible and verbal about what is happening. The goal is to smear, discredit and isolate the whistle blower so they can be eliminated without incident.
An estimated 60-70% of America’s $60 billion National Security budget is paid to private contractors, some of them are corrupt. (See Tim Shorrock’s excellent, well documented book, Spies For Hire.) Many of the larger intelligence contractors advise multiple federal agencies and law enforcement agencies at high levels. They are in positions to commit crimes, cover them up and get cooperation from law enforcement.
These private intelligence contractors also work for business interests and private corporations. They operate with immunity. They can act as a secret police for private interests without any oversight, review or control.
How Anons Can Assist Whistle Blowers in the Silenced/Suppressed/Retaliation Stage:
The greatest dangers for Anons assisting whistle blowers in the Silenced/Suppressed/Retaliation Stage are: 1) You may be facing some of our nation’s most sophisticated intelligence contractors with unlimited resources; 2) These people can be used as honey pots to disclose your own identity; and 3) It’s easy to get involved with crazies, trolls and dirty tricksters.
The whistle blower’s plight is already public. The best strategy for Anons is to use their public profiles and to involve appropriate resources and reliable media at the right time in a public way.
Would it be satisfying to identify and publicly reveal corrupt contractors or federal agencies that had illegally placed key loggers on activists’ PCs? It could be lucrative if they sue for damages and make you a party to the settlement.
Documenting and disclosing the hacking or deliberate disruption of telephone and email services is easily achieved and could be lucrative as well. The information could be used to pressure law enforcement to take action.
We’ll expand and explore this further in the future – see: WhistleBlowerSurvival.com Please comment!