Letter Re: Keeping a Low Profile is Crucial for Preparedness

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008

James,
I have to disagree with some of C.D.'s measures listed in his letter (i.e. using Scroogle and Zone Alarm) and refer your readership to the best article I've yet seen on the great difficulty in online anonymity: The Ugly Truth About Online Anonymity Also note comment on the linked article 12 - even if all else could be secured, the moment you behave according to your established surfing profile, you'll be spotted. Kind Regards, - J. in Kyrgyzstan

JWR Replies: I have my own perspective about online activities: Do the best that you can to cover your cyber trail, but don't get so paranoid that you withdraw to hide under a rock. In the context of political action, the day that you go off-line for the sake of privacy or anonymity, then your political opponents have won. In the context of physical preparedness, if you go off-line for the sake of privacy or anonymity, then you have isolated yourself from any like-minded potential allies. It is impossible to build a survival network without taking some risks. And if you are adverse to taking any risks, then you are relegating yourself to a "team" with just one member. A solitary individual is ineffective and vulnerable.

One individual that I greatly admire recently castigated me in an e-mail for having posted F.L. in Southern California's letter titled: "Keeping a Low Profile is Crucial for Preparedness". I think that his criticism went a bit too far. My position is that everyone should strike a balance between maintaining privacy and blatant visibility. There is an old Japanese proverb: "The nail that sticks up get hammered down." I believe that there is value in employing what David in Israel refers to as The Gray Man approach. (Blending in with your neighbors, to be unremarkable and unmemorable.) But the other end of the spectrum is being so vocal, and so visible that you end up being the #1 on the most wanted list. Each individual should consciously set their own parameters, based on their personal circumstances, prayer life, and their comfort zone.

Regardless of where you place yourself on the continuum of visibility, never, ever, give up your guns. That is an inviolable and absolute line in the sand. Without an effective means of self defense and the common defense, a man is just another sheep for the slaughter.


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