Cipher Security- Part 2, by East Sierra Sage

I’m talking about cipher security. In review, I am a Retired Marine Infantry Staff Non-Commissioned Officer who has served multiple combat tours in Iraq, as well as most of the “skirmishes” the U.S. got involved in leading up to the global war on terror. I have taught “Survival in the Mountains” and have trained combat staff members in command post operations. I have taught Navy SEALS, Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, and Air Force Para-rescue operators, as well as many numerous foreign military personnel. During my career I was “voluntold” to write ground-up Intelligence reporting to higher headquarters. These tasks …




Cipher Security- Part 1, by East Sierra Sage

[Editor’s Note: This is good information, but readers should note that simple transposition ciphers of any type can be easily broken. Only One Time Pads and book codes offer any reasonable level of cipher security.] My Nom de Plume is “East Sierra Sage”, and I’m writing about cipher security. I am a Retired Marine Infantry Staff Non-Commissioned Officer. I served multiple combat tours in Iraq, as well as most of the “skirmishes” the U.S. got involved in leading up to the global war on terror. Two tours were served as an instructor of Mountain Warfare training for the Marine Corps. …




OPSEC Tax Preparation, by X. Liberal CPA

Many people ask me during tax season why there’s this entry or that box on their tax form. My answer? The IRS has more information on every citizen, even drilling down into data history on their family trees, than any other arm of the Federal, State, and Local governments combined. Why? Because you volunteer the information willingly! Massive Tax Code The tax code is estimated at 59,000 pages (forms + instructional booklets + adhoc tables), about 4,000,000 lines, and approximately 350,000,000 characters. Why did this massive bureaucratic enigma code not go away with the passing of the recent Bill into …




Letter: An Amazon OPSEC Reminder

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers, You have a profile and Amazon has been getting more aggressive of late. I noted an old pic from before they linked every social media organization and gave facebook-level creepy info so I deleted everything and reduced my name to something unrelatable. Use the Amazon Link from SurvivalBlog, but make sure your profile isn’t leaking too much info. (please do review with a stripped profile since it helps everyone to know which products work) – T.Z.




Internet Censorship is Now Rampant — It is High Time to Bookmark Your Alternatives

The New Censorship With every passing week, we are seeing growing censorship of the Internet. The key  mass media phrase of 2016 and 2017  has been “Fake News.” But much of what  is being called fake news isn’t, while much of what the mainstream media is pushing is indeed what is “fake.” Meanwhile, The Powers That Be are enforcing their view of “Community Standards” to quash free speech. I won’t re-hash this with a huge laundry list of particular incidents, because they are too numerous and have been well-documented. Rather, I will suffice with just a few summaries: The Google …




Letter Re: Search Engine Privacy and Security

Good day, Hugh, I recently switched over to TOR as my web browser. I am now using Proton mail as my email address, and I now use Signals as my SMS text messenger. My bases are covered. These are also recommended actions by Snowden himself: TOR sends your search through a relay of servers, making it extremely difficult to find your true IP Address. Proton mail is an encrypted server that prevent your messages from being intercepted. Signals is an app that prevents text messages to other persons, other than the person you sent the message to, from being read.




A Response to Going Analog, by M.G.

Selectric Typewriter Security Issues Back in the 1970s IBM was required by at least one of its customers to make some options available for Selectric typewriters because they discovered the Selectric design was susceptible to electronic eavesdropping that could determine what the typewriter was printing. As it turns out, mid-’70s electronics were capable of detecting not only the unique electronic signature of individual typewriter motors but also measuring the load incurred by that motor during character selection from the main power feed outside the building. So, it’s possible that even using a mechanical electric typewriter for written communications may not …




Letter Re: Search Engine Privacy and Security

Good day Sir, I want to reference to a topic which could prove of great importance. A situation where the loss of personal liberty and freedom occurs. There are some that believe that we are in that situation currently. I browse the Internet for news and factual information, much like earlier times when a person would pick up a newspaper. I have in the past used “Google” as my primary “Search Engine”. To my understanding and experience, my search results are cataloged and referenced. When I do searches through “Google”, I am bombarded by advertisements that seemingly reference my previous …




A Quiet Life: How to Lower Your Profile or Go Fully Off the Grid

Part of my work life in most weeks involves consulting phone calls.  The majority of my clients are in the U.S. and Canada.  Not surprisingly, many of my clients have questions for me about privacy.  These questions are generally along three lines:  1.) Buying guns privately, 2.) buying land privately, and 3.) how to avoid paper trails on storage food purchases.  In this essay,  I will try to address all three of those topics, as well as a few related points. One of the key concepts herein is Going Analog.  But first, I’ll mention completely dropping off the grid. Going …




Letter Re: Taking Out the Trash: Secure Deletion

HJL, Technically, short of physically destroying flash media, there is no way to insure that something is securely erased. This applies to USB drives, SD cards of all sizes, and even SSD disk drives. It applies less so to magnetic hard drives. Hard drives can drift so there can be a thin shadow of old data, but that is something only someone with very deep pockets can recover, and it would be hit and miss. With flash drives, data is eventually erased, but what normally happens is the prior place the data was stored is mapped as “obsolete, erase when …




Letter Re: Cell Phone Masking and Denial of Geolocation Data

Hello James, I was stunned when out of the blue Google Maps sent me an e-mail detailing several hundred locations I have been to over the past several months. I immediately attempted to change settings to prevent this, but I feel Internet/cell phone data is an insidious invasion of privacy with the next logical step for government to bypass the usual requirements to access locations, phone numbers, data, et cetera, the 4th Amendment be damned. There are various RFID-blocking cell phone wallets/sleeves for sale online with varying degree of price and effectiveness as per reviews. Can you recommend a product …




Building An 80% Firearm- Part 1, by Tupreco

Learn the Why and How The election of Donald Trump is beginning to show concrete steps toward dialing back the Obama administration’s numerous efforts to undermine our Second Amendment rights. How that will continue to play out remains to be seen. Surprisingly though, even on Obama’s watch there were several pro-2nd Amendment (2A) court and legislative victories, including expansion of concealed carry in many states. Another thing that occurred while Obama was in office was an unexpected but welcome surprise from the ATF. Several years ago, a well-known AR-15 parts manufacturer requested and received the ATF’s formal approval to manufacture …




Letter Re: License Plate Readers & OPSEC

Sir: Two of SurvivalBlog’s recent posts referenced altering or covering license plates to avoid identification by license plate readers. Coincidentally, the last two episodes of the reality show Hunted involved people being tracked by this technology. Altering your plate is clearly illegal. Apparently plastic covers are also illegal, at least in some jurisdictions. Electronic surveillance devices seem to be virtually everywhere these days. Do you have any advice for those of us who still believe in personal privacy but don’t want to break the law? About all I can think of is a good coat of mud or a trailer-hitch …




Letter Re: Drones and Airspace

Hugh, I believe that the article posted on December 22 may present inaccurate guidance to the readers of SurvivalBlog. In June, 2016 the FAA announced the forthcoming release of Part 107 of their regulations. The likely final regulations are here. The regulations detail the Operating Rules for drone pilots, including things such as See-And-Avoid and Visibility Requirements, Containment and Loss of Positive Control, Careless and Reckless Operation, and more. For drone pilots, note that the Section on Careless and Reckless Operation is a FAA “catch all” that will be used to legally go after drone pilots who operate in an …




Attack of the Drones: Defending the Air Above Your Property, by RD, Prepper Law

Introduction One night you suddenly see a drone hovering next to a window of your home. Outraged, you shoot it down. Somebody calls the police because they heard a firearm discharged, and ten minutes later you hear a knock on your door. Or, say a military plane swoops across your backyard, barely skimming the tops of your pine trees, and you hear a massive crash. You look out your window and see a fully intact missile stuck head first in the ground. Apparently the military accidentally dropped a bomb on your land. Can you do more than shake your fist? …