Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Types Of Surveillance: Who's watching Who?

When I was about 11 my Sister would take me to the Sky Harbor International airport in Phoenix. I liked it because they had a video game arcade there and I liked the planes. We’d go and watch the planes take off and land. We would also watch people. Little did I know that my Sister was teaching me surveillance techniques.
There are three basic forms of surveillance.
Obviously, surveillance is almost always carried out without the person’s knowledge. To alert the target that he or she is being monitored would cause the target to change their behavior, thus derailing surveillance attempts to manage, influence, direct, or “protect” them. The ability of the operator to maintain a certain level of anonymity is a must. The operator must not only remain invisible to the target, but also to the target’s neighbors and visitors. There are also times when surveillance is done with the purpose of letting the target know they are being observed—overt surveillance—so as to induce or discourage behavior. Overt surveillance might be used on a suspect that is a high flight-risk or likely to reoffend.
Stationary surveillance is one of the most common forms of surveillance due to its relative ease. This type of surveillance can be conducted with a single operator remaining in a stationary position while observing a target or area. When an investigation calls for collecting information about a particular area or property, stationary surveillance is adequate. It also limits the likelihood of the surveillance being discovered or “made”. Stationary surveillance, when done from inside a permanent structure, offers the operator the most cover should their activities become known. All available precautions should be taken in order to preserve the anonymity of the investigation.
Mobile surveillance is one of the most difficult and dangerous forms of surveillance in which one can be involved. It is almost identical to stationary surveillance except the operator must follow the target if necessary. The target may become mobile in a vehicle, on foot, in a taxi, city bus, or be picked up by a third party. It is easy to see how this can present obstacles for the operator whose tasked with following the target while not being discovered or losing the target. As a general rule, the operator should allow the target a considerable amount of space while conducting surveillance. There are times when it is necessary for the operator to allow for very little space such as when operating on foot, in a crowd, or when a target enters an elevator. The target should be allowed to carry on his or her normal activities without becoming aware he or she is being monitored.
That’s easier said than done because we as human beings have an innate ability to feel and interpret certain energies. Have you ever stood in line at the store and had a weird feeling someone was staring at you? That’s the connection I’m trying to describe.
Electronic surveillance uses devices to obtain information. This is done via monitoring a target’s telephone communications, Internet activity, GPS coordinates, and financial transactions among other techniques. On May 15, 2012 Wired magazine released an article highlighting the sentiment of then CIA Chief David Petraeus. Wired reported that at the IN-Q-TEL summit Petraeus suggested Internet connected appliances, such as washing machines and televisions, are a wealth of information that will be exploited to gather intelligence. Wait, it gets worse! Thanks to the Wikileaks Vault 7 dump we have been made aware of a program code named “Weeping Angel,” where surveillance can be conducted through smart TVs.
In this breakdown we have taken a quick peek at what surveillance is and more importantly what it isn’t. The next time you hear someone trivializing surveillance because they “have nothing to hide” ask them this question: if you have nothing to keep private, then why do you use locks? Locks only slow down the professional criminal.
Watch what you say and what you write/post/text. If these are on digital, wireless, or a device connected to the internet, they are usually not very secure.

Semper Paratus
Check 6


Anonymous said...

WELL.....You can teach them, but you can't make them LEARN! Give parties doing surveillance enough information, and they can spin a circumstantial web strong enough to convict anyone of anything, regardless of their innocence, because they'll be damned if they are going to let anyone get away with ( fill in the blank with offense of the week )while they can convince a judge that there is probably guilt involved.

Burningbush8 said...

I can see you've had a bad experience with law enforcement. I respect your view. I don't necessarily agree that officers work off of circumstantial evidence. Most prosecutors want more than circumstantial. I also don't agree that law enforcement is as corrupt as you insinuate. I know lots of LEO's that would not operate without integrity. But, I also know there are some bad apples that can ruin good work of honest LEO's. To be honest, the article was written with LEO's in mind, but I have never been in LE but have used surveillance and counter-surveillance techniques many times. I wrote it with LEO's in mind but posted it with civilians in mind. Thanks for your comment