Infiltration: Dumb as a Door Nail
Still being fed by Mockingbirds
Publication date: 2022-04-22
Update 2022-04-25: An editorial style update is appended to the article.
The Church Committee investigations by the USA Senate exposed many illegal operations by USA intelligence organisations and operatives. Amongst the core of those were influence applied to media organisations and inflitration of political organisations. Apart from the Iran-Contra “Affair” few have been prosecuted for this law breaking. Even “contra” prosecutions were few. High profile persons were pardoned by the next President.
Nothing is new under the sun, says the wisdom of hindsight.
This small article provides yet more words to the litany of known infiltration by executive branch organizations to influence political outcomes. Do not be surprised, or alarmed. This is known practice for decades by USA (and other) governments.
This documentation of a political operative inside the IRC #tor channel is expected. The IRC name, "Skywave", is completely irrelevant as it will change. That which is interesting is the myopia and stupidity of the operative. Is Tor a training ground for operatives?
The larger background is my article series on the Tor community and network.
Catching a Dupe
I am the "dupe" here, being "captured" by the information operative. It takes some time for the operative to expose themself. Until then I play directly into their hands at "face value".
Sorry for the imagery of "chat", but that is all I have to document the interaction. I see the use of a "hackerspace" as a clever piece of bait by the operative. This is now a known method of the information operatives.
Happily my interlocutor has independently provided their own evidence of our interaction for you to use in verification of our interaction. You can correlate or dispute my imagery with their text record.
Still "caught" I offer real advice on the starting a of a local "hackerspace" and the problems likely to emerge in doing so.
Our interaction frequency drops to almost nothing, and much more importantly, the style of interaction is not live "in the moment" but "planned". Timing is key.
These two changes in interaction frequency and the type of text offered demonstrate a shift in engagement and its purpose.
Please observe the blathering statements by our information operative. Above, I have provided four numbered points, to which none are referred.
The first warning flag is the delay in response. Why so long? My request for time to think, acknowledged by the interlocutor, amounts to 5 minutes. They use 12:41 to 13:29 (about 50 minutes) to compose their non-specific responses. 9 “extended” response are delivered in less that 3 minutes. One cannot type and think at this speed; they are prepared responses.
Dumb and Dumber
Skywave makes two poor strategic choices.
The first is creating a "personal message" space with me which means that I retain a view of all of our messages (from which the images provided are taken). The second is that in that space, after I have offered considered advice about constructing a "hackerspace" he/she offers:
Skywave: i can point-by-point reference what i was addressing in your points if you'd want.
To which I respond:
Smedley_Butler: yes please.
“Smedley_Butler” is my IRC channel name.
This is the breakdown. From here no responses for hours are made with reference to my numbered points, ever. Skywave is now trapped in a fixed narrative, and they know it. They erred in offering this concession.
In two hours of Skywave being continuously on-line they do not once respond to any of my four numbered points made. Never. They are still on-line as indicated by the top level picture of who is on line and which accounts are not.
Skywave, Slywave, Skynet or whichever name is not the point.
The infiltration is real and the mechanism of engagement is that which exposes the operative. Remember, they are trained by a central authority and thus display consistent behaviour. Their behaviour is their weakness.
One can call what one sees:
Meanwhile I experienced real joy exchanging information with people who are trying to learn. Same day, same IRC channel interacting with a different person. The IRC name of the individual is obscured because this is the culture of the channel:
Another team of Skywaves will soon emerge, and perhaps they will have been slapped by their leaders for poor operational performance. Nonetheless, herein is a textbook example of how they can be identified.
Its about timing and more importantly, a reluctance to respond to advice which would help a real community organizer.
Your id has been burned, Skyware.
The cause? Your your robotic behaviour.
With humility, I offer this article update.
I regret publishing this article, not because I believe my analysis was poor, or that my evidence was thin, but because I have demeaned myself.
Attack pieces are very easy to write. They do not, however, create a better world. They contribute towards a culture of cynicism, aggression and ultimately violence. This may well be the world in which we live, and that means that different directions and efforts are required to create bridges out of it.
I will neither take down nor edit this article.
After considering one's audience and developing an understanding of the relationship which one is building between oneself and the audience, the next task is considering one's purpose. Whatever that is, it rests on integrity and whatever trust one can build with an audience. This requires honesty and admitting errors when one makes them.
This is my second major moment of reflection and regret in publishing. The first was my very "pro-Russian" position around the Ukraine issue. War erupted against the predictions of most analysts. War is horror. I was forced to re-assess my position and recognize that, no matter how small my audience, my words do matter. I later publish this attack piece, which I would like to delete. I will not. It is a banner of error. I hope its continued presence will help me to be wiser.
I apologize for boring you with this reflection. As I said to a trusted friend, I do feel the weight of my actions.
On a lighter note, several much more constructive articles are under development.
Screenshots by the author.
Skywave has provided the following complete account of our interactions. This validates all (bare the last) of the above screenshots.
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Copyright and Licensing
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