Three Letters Re: "I Can See You" -- A Digital View of Your Survival Preparations

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011

Mr. Rawles:

As always, thank you for your excellent blog which is required daily reading for anyone who wants to stand a chance, post-TEOTWAWKI.

A quick note about Tuesday’s essay, “"I Can See You" -- A Digital View of Your Survival Preparations,” by Dave X.

Though the points Dave makes, regarding database files on every aspect of our lives, are valid, it is important to remember the PSYOPs of the secret police in communist East Germany, the Stasi. They tried to intimidate the citizenry into submission by implying that they had a dossier on every citizen. After the collapse of European communism it was found that they only had dossiers on the most influential 10% of the population. This essay could unwittingly be fueling that type of PSYOP, with the subtext being, “Don’t even try to defend yourself. We know everything about you so put down your weapons and kit and hand over your survival rations”.

The points I would like to make are:
1. The people who would control you need to make you think that you are overwhelmed by force and their knowledge about you. It may be true but it just may be bluff.
2. Post-TEOTWAWKI, and by that I mean nuked cities, its not likely that there will be any authorities to speak of that will methodically go from rural retreat to rural retreat to take your possessions.
3. Retreats are not designed for defense against the authorities in the normal operations of the nation; they are designed to protect against the Golden Horde, opportunistic predators, perhaps nuclear fallout and as a retreat from the carnage of post-apocalyptic cities.

Keep preparing fellow preppers. There won't be a government database, or perhaps even a government, post-TEOTWAWKI.

With Kind Regards, - Woodstove in Oz


I believe that Dave X.'s "I Can See You" article is worthy of rebuttal and I am uniquely qualified to respond because until recently I was one of those supervising bureaucrats that used the analytical tools mentioned in this article.  I only worked at the county level, but my friend of thirty years and best man at my wedding still serves in a similar position at the state level. 

I concede that there are those who are on watch lists based upon purchases made, information posted on the Internet, and licensees such as ham radio and concealed carry.  It does not take government resources to find these people.  I often hear someone bragging in a discussion group and email them a link to their property tax file and a satellite photo of their retreat in hopes they will get serious about OPSEC.
We do not compile this information at the state or local levels for purposes outside taxation and emergency response.  We do not have zoning outside of municipalities.  We do provide information to fusion centers created under a joint project between the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice which compiles data from public and private sources.  It is reasonable to expect that at least some of the people described above will be considered assets WTSHTF and be collected by the feds in the interest of national security - if they can be found. 

The key to not being found is to not be at the address our credit card statement goes (mine goes to a P.O. Box linked to a former home), the location where UPS delivered our case of high power ammo, or where concealed carry or ham radio licenses say we live.  In addition, we should not carry our cell phone to the retreat site nor anything else that can be used to track us there.

While the technology exists to theoretically do everything the author states in his article, in reality we can do very little at the state and local level because we simply do not have the manpower.  Yes, we can see your secluded acreage from the eye in the sky, but cannot see through through the trees well enough to add the cabin you built without obtaining a building permit to your property taxes.  We cannot see well enough to catch people poaching deer which they do here like it's their job.  We haven't even been able to assign homes without mailboxes an address for 911emergency call response.  In almost every case we find out about these things because your neighbors rat you out.  Nearly everyone in my retreat local hunts, and heats with wood, and has a garden, and cans so these activities will not single anyone out. 

Certainly there are a lot more resources at the Federal level and as the author pointed out, the majority of these resources have been around for thirty years.  We used them to unsuccessfully track Eric Robert Rudolf, the Olympic Park Bomber, for over five years while over a hundred Federal investigators plus local law enforcement combed the area where they knew he was living.  We use it today to unsuccessfully stop the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs across our border with Mexico.  The Federal government simply does not have the manpower to do what the author proposes and we are barely keeping our heads above water at the state and local levels.  The other night we had to call an off-duty deputy and get him out of bed to respond to a shooting because there was not a single deputy on duty.  We so rarely stumble upon the plethora of pot plantations in our county that when we do it makes front page news.  Does anyone really believe that we are going to become more efficient after TEOTWAWKI when we are dealing with escalating violent crime and riots in the streets?

The powers that be will go after the low-hanging fruit.  The key to survival is to not be that fruit.  Let them be occupied collecting those who are home when they sweep for the Feds watch list, Ham radio or concealed carry licensees, or those foolish enough to put their retreat properties in their own name.  It is the nail that sticks up that gets hammered down.            

Dear JWR,
Cool article by Dave X., but doesn't this cut both ways? There's a ton of public information out there that discloses the resources of government and the locations of those resources, including locations of public officials. All that information can be viewed, and if it can be viewed, it can be saved, just in case it's needed after TSHTF. I don't need multiple databases and advanced algorithms to divine the actions and motivations of the people who may target innocents after a cataclysmic event. They are out there in full view now. All I have to do is notice, and click save!

Keep up the good work. - Q. in Virginia

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