Saturday, April 22, 2017

Some theoretical ponderings regarding data acquisition

Suppose that you found yourself living next to some bad neighbors; really bad neighbors.

Suppose that most of your "bad" neighbors were passive, they had been cowed and intimidated by a relatively small number of heinous villains.

Finally, suppose that getting "actionable information" or cozying up to the bad neighbors had proven impossible.

To make this concrete, consider Israel and the Gaza Strip.  There are people in the Gaza Strip who randomly lob missiles into Israel with no apparent provocation.

How would you collect "actionable information"?
First, consider that virtually everybody on the street has access to the information that you need.

Also consider that people are "rational".  That is, they act in ways that maximize their own interests.

How would "people on the street" act in the event of a threatened air-strike?
The air-raid sirens go off.  What assumptions could you make about the building in the lower, right corner of the photo based on how the pedestrians scattered??
It is a certainty that most people would vigorously avoid those buildings where munitions were stored based on the possibility that the Israeli air-strike had solid intelligence on high value targets.  The speed with which the leave the neighborhood is directly proportional to the value of the "target".

Some villains  would drag human shields, innocent women and young children, into the juiciest targets.  This is also something that could be determined from drone footage.

If the Israeli feigned a strike, analysts could use the reactions of the populace to identify high value targets.  The ones that pedestrians avoided could be hit immediately.  The ones with human shields could be hit fast-and-hard (no feign) a few days later.

What if
What if all the blaring in the media is the equivalent of air-raid sirens?  The reactions of North Korea, Russia and China have information embedded within them if we are canny enough to decipher it.

Cat footprints in freshly poured concrete.
Here at home
Is the deep-state and big-data looking for patterns domestically?  Are they figuring out how to trace the arrows back to high level assets?  Alt-right likes to make George Soros the bogeyman, but that could flip in a heartbeat.  The deep-state has a plan to neutralize EVERYBODY should circumstances warrant it.  I have little doubt that the deep state can identify every lieutenant who charted a bus, bought a can of mace or reserved a hotel room.

Like Paul said almost two thousand years ago:  "Avoid even the appearance of doing evil."  That is still good advice.

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