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Securing your comms

We think we are a free people so we speak freely about whatever we want. With all the new legislation in place where you can be prosecuted for telling the truth if it is deemed politically incorrect we have learnt to keep our mouths shut. The few that open up and talk about how they feel do so at their peril. People have been prosecuted for revving their cars in a racial manner and the person ‘revved at’ didn’t even see it as a problem. Someone else considered it racial and so a prosecution was made and won.

We are nowhere near free now. There are so many things that are against the law that we can be prosecuted for and jailed or heavily fined that should not even be an issue. Britian is no longer Great, not even with a small g. We are one step away from a police state. Our OPSEC is important now more than ever.

To control a society like ours the state must first control our communications. The soviets worked like this with phone calls tapped and mail openned but they just didn’t have the technology. Sadly, we have, and with the ability to monitor all the phone calls, all the emails, SMS and all the Faxs we are pretty much left with using tools to protect our privacy. As expected though the state sees the use of such tools as a terrorist act and can prosecute you for using them. If you use encryption you can spend a few years behind bars for refusing to hand over the keys even though that is the only thing they have on you.

So what we need in our role as preppers is to ensure that anything that could in the slightest be misinterpreted is hidden away. Not stored on your computer or online. I keep mine on a USB drive which is stored at some business premises. I can just get my mate to get it when I want it and being the boss he can get the keys any time. The data on the drive is encrypted with PGP and although that won’t protect it from the state the spooks are not interested in breaking into it for plod and so I’m reasonably well protected outside court if they find the drive. For other things I have PGP on mail which can be detected so I use that rarely and steganography which can be used a lot and is practically undetectable.

Steganography is where you store a message inside another file such as a picture. Modern pictures are large and most messages are small so there is few issues in making them fit. Simply put each pixel of a 12M pixel photograph is made up of three components RGB each colour contains a number between 0 and 255. That is very subtle shading. So a change for each of 1 is not noticeable by the human eye but can be detected by computer. Thus your message is converted into bits, 1s and 0s, and encoded into the picture. You send the picture to your friends and the message can be removed if you know the password. Wrong password and you don’t even know there is a message in there. This can be done with music, blank sectors on a HD as well as other data files and not just pictures.

There are also programs out there on the web where you can type a small message and it gets sent to your target as spam. Looks like spam, smells like spam and makes the usual spam sense. Enter it back into the spam decoder and out comes the message. Being paranoid though I do like the concept but don’t trust the generator sites. I’ll do my own thank you.

Bearing in mind every phone call, email and fax is analysed by computer and if anything triggers a threshold it will be sent to a human to analyse and decide if it warrants further investigation. If you call someone under investigation all your calls may be analysed from then on and you connected to the person under investigation. They get raided you might be on the list as well. So you want to make sure you avoid this if you can. It is impossible to control of course because if someone under investigation calls a wrong number it could be you and if they find something in their investigation you could be their next target.

Computer phones like Skype and the others are also monitored. They all have facilities to enable recordings and monitoring so they cannot be used either. The only good thing is if you are arranging a pick up of whacky baccy the spooks are not interested and don’t even speak to plod. So that is unlikely to trigger anything interesting. However since our council uses terrorism laws to monitor dog fouling and littering as well as school placements we must consider it all under surveillance.

However, we as preppers discuss weapons, fortifying homes, hiding caches and how bad the state is. That does get them interested so we need to keep our profile low.

Don’t talk about prepping and the state too long on phones, be careful what you say in text messages of any form and either use word of mouth, talk to each other or where necessary steganography to pass messages.

Many use TOR networks to connect to sites and hide their origins. Proxy servers are not all you need for privacy from the state, maybe your employer. More on TOR when I set one up.

Be very careful. Nothing that could encourage a raid or arrest and watch who you talk to.

10 comments to Securing your comms

  • half

    One way to keep email safe is not to send it, save it as draft and if the recipiant has the password to the account you can share messages this way.

  • Northern Raider

    The most important part of SD’s text was
    “To control a society like ours the state must first control our communications.”

    This is why time after time after bloody time I keep going on about regular meets and RZ’s either on their own or as part of other organised events like the BCS in the Lakes and the WG in Wilts. We can not rely on electronic media encrypted or clear, we can not rely on forums or bullitin boards, we can not rely on paper publications, the ONLY tool we have that we can exert some control over is face to face meetings on a regular basis. And they they can be banned as anti social events or infiltrated by spooks. Face to face bi annual or quaterly meets build up trusting relationships and secure commms, anything else is simply convenient lip service.

  • Northern Raider

    BTW it is believed that all UK online traffic inc e mails, cell phones, forums etc is monitored at GCHQ using the Echelon system that scans every call, post and E mail for certain key words, if detected the system routes the message to a sig int officer to look at.

    • Luddite

      No, they don’t – the keyword thing is rubbish. They look for changes in volume of chatter and where it is emanating from. Once unusual activity is spotted, then they look for keywords – which are not necessarily the obvious ones – they will be codes and words that have been noted from fieldwork from within the groups that are being monitored.

      Preppers are not even on the radar.

  • Skean Dhude

    Half,

    That is one way that works well.

    NR,

    I agree with you. That is why I made the contact db and amd encouraging meets. Only thing is lack of funds stops me doing more.

    As far as the last comment goes that is exactly what I am talking about. Not joined up with plod yet but wouldn’t surprise me to see the links put in place pretty soon.

  • mike

    I had a sneaky suspicion we wernt realy thet ineresting to the authorities, YET. SD’s comments about practicing good opsec are timely warnings that we may not always be unimportant, so good opsec now is vital as are NR’s about face to face meetings. But as SD said funds arent always forthcoming so it may not be entirely practical.
    Halfs idea about joint email for preppers is an excellent idea.

  • mmw

    I’d advise anyone interested in data security to look at a free product called truecrypt. You can encrypt full drives, or small containers within drives. AES256 plus salt would make anything protected almost impossible to crack within a 256bit keyspace.

  • Skean Dhude

    This is a good product but Plod would make you hand over the keys or spend some time in the nick.

  • vardoman

    I tried TOR but found it slowed computer access so much as to make it almost unusable. Currently use VPN (cyber ghost) and find the paid service excellent.
    Try the following site for more information on Internet security.
    https://www.eff.org/wp/surveillance-self-defense-international.

  • Skean Dhude

    Vardoman,

    Welcome.

    Security always comes with a price. TOR is much more secure than VPN. With VPN you are still trusting a third party.

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