Sites You Should Be Reading: A Resource List From TOWR

Reading is one of the most important things you can do as a patriot/activist/whatever you’re calling yourself. As I wrote this week on Patrick Henry Society, learning is critical. There was a discussion on social media this morning about people who announce things like, “If you believe _______ then UNFRIEND ME NOW!” Aside from being a completely puerile thing to do (the online equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and singing “la la la la la” so you don’t have to hear anything you don’t like), it completely closes us off to not only critical information that we need in order to understand the enemy, but it also closes us off to information that may—if we are intellectually honest with ourselves—may force a mindset change. All of that is aside from the basic premise that you need to read in order to enlarge your own knowledge base on everything from theory to skills. Reading isn’t a substitute for practice, but it’ll definitely give you ideas on WHAT you should be practicing.

Many of us read the big blogs: Western Rifle Shooters, Survivalblog, etc. But there are far more sites out there that you should be incorporating into your daily reading ritual (you DO have a daily reading ritual, right?). I use Feedly to collate all of the sites I read; on average I see about 450 post titles a day from a long list of sites spanning everything from politics to urban survival to intelligence to comms to whatever, and fully read up to 250 articles a day. It takes time, but that time can be found in places you probably haven’t thought of yet. Instead of spending hours scrolling your Facebook feed, jump on Feedly whenever you have a moment and skim your delivered headlines for things you might need to read. It only takes a few moments, and you can save them to Pocket for when you have more time to sit down and read them. (It should go without saying that you shouldn’t use either of these tools if you need/want to hide what you’re reading. Neither are secure, but for general reading they’re fine.)  Both Feedly and Pocket have mobile apps that allow you to do this on the go. Even for those who bemoan the fact that they’re “slow readers,” this is a good idea because guess how you get to be a faster reader? You read.

This list hopes to showcase some of the sites out there that will get you thinking, or that offer some kind of “training” whether you realize it or not. Training isn’t always sitting in a classroom or being in the woods. Training can mean simply studying various resources and learning about new ways to do things or even new ways to think about things. Contrary to popular opinion, critical thinking is a skill. Bottom line is, you need to be reading a lot more. So check out the following links and see how fast you can learn. Not every site has 100% pertinent content, but that’s another skill—being able to find the info you need in the pile.

This list will continue to be updated as well, so bookmark it now.

Stop Shouting Blog – This site is a must. You can find information on 4th generation warfare, OSINT, and much more. Knowledgeable, thorough, and just plain awesome. This one gets the award for Best of Show.
Bellingcat.com – Billed as “by and for citizen investigative journalists.” It’s a nice roundup of information from all over, much of which is pertinent depending on what you’re looking for. One specific post you might find notable is on how to find corruption using open source information.
Waiting for Barbarians – This is a relatively new blog but it’s got solid commentary and thought-provoking articles. Bonus: He does a Daily Links post that can help you get more information faster.
Virginia Freemen’s Society – Another site that offers solid commentary on issues much bigger than Hillary’s “health.” Be careful though…you may have to deal with some cognitive dissonance (yours, not his).
Mason Dixon Tactical – Solid work by a solid guy with the bona fides to back up what he’s saying.
The Liberty Zone – Blunt, sometimes profane commentary. I don’t agree with every single thing posted, but I don’t have to. And neither do you. It’s all about thinking and evaluating information.
Statement Analysis – Nationally known analyst who trains law enforcement (including feds) walks through current cases and media reports to show you how to find deception.
DIY Drones – Self-explanatory. Community for those who are either doing it or want to.
Sparks-31 and Signal-3 – The definitive comms blog.

That should get you started, and most of those sites have blogrolls with more resources to check out.

As a bonus, I’m including a few books. Some are from the reading list from Defensive Training Group–another site you should be reading—some are gleaned from other sources. You should read them all.

– A Failure of Civility, J. Lawson/M. Garand
– Total Resistance, Von Dach
– The Tiger’s Way, H. J. Poole
– The Last Hundred Yards, H. J. Poole
– Strategic Rifleman, H. J. Poole
– How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
– Ultimate Navigation Manual, Lyle Brotherton
– The Warrior Ethos, Steven Pressfield
– Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife: Counterinsurgency lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, J. Nagl
– Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills (Second Edition), Reader’s Digest
– Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats,
Sally Fallon
– A Complete Study Guide for Technician, General, Extra Class Ham Radio Exams, Joseph Lumpkin
– Communications For 3%ers and Survivalists, Sparks31
– Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, by Abigail R. Gehring

Enjoy.

The Patriot Movement is Broke: Raising Funds

No, the title is not poor grammar; we aren’t talking about how the patriot movement is broken–although depending on who you ask, that may be true on some level as well. That’s another story for another time. The topic we’re discussing is that the movement is broke; it’s poor, it has no funds. No funds means no activities. No funds means failure.

It’s a known fact that in order for a guerrilla movement to survive, it needs public support. To get that support, however, you need more than just solid people who aren’t informants, scammers or emotionally unstable and looking to fill a void in their lives (again, another issue for another time). You need money–and not just for the public support, but just to operate at all.

This is not a “please donate” article. This is a “how do we get there from here?” article. Today we’re brainstorming.

Money buys things like guns and food storage, sure. But it also buys posters and Pet milk, tools of the propaganda activist. It buys a lot of other things, too.

  • 80% lowers, given to people who can turn them into something more.
  • Little business cards with carefully thought out propaganda slogans, to be slipped into 12-packs of pop at every grocery store in the area.
  • Magazines, to be smuggled into certain states to the resistance there.
  • Training someone who can’t afford it, in a skill the group needs and doesn’t have.
  • Comms equipment. No explanation needed here.
  • Travel, to get trainers in or get people to places where they’re needed.
  • Raw materials for things like solvent collectors and reloads.
  • Extra parts for guns and radios, items that can be used to make or repair other things.
  • What else can you think of?

The movement is limited by two major things: imagination and cash flow. Okay, maybe also cognitive dissonance, but let’s stick to imagination and cash flow. To fix the imagination problem, we can study others who have come before. We can learn from their mistakes and build upon their successes, and we can learn from them whether we like and agree with them or not. We talk about that here a lot.

But what about the cash flow? How do we fund the movement? As Mike Vanderboegh pointed out to me the other day, we have no sugar daddy. We have no political capital, no real allies, no fat cats lining up to dump their pockets into our collective coffers. The empire and its henchmen, however, have all of that. How do we bring in funds? The answer is actually quite simple. We raise the money.

Fundraising: It’s Not Just for Girl Scouts

Before you conjure the horrifying visions of door-to-door candy and magazine sales from your childhood, consider the following possibilities:

  • Garage sales – Everyone has them this time of year. Make it a group sale, and use all the proceeds to fund your activities.
  • Bake sales – Offer some baked goods at your garage sale and make even more money.
  • Car washes – Favorite of high school booster clubs everywhere. I’d advise against doing it in bikinis and whatnot (no one needs to see all THAT) but there’s nothing wrong with washing some cars and advertising that the proceeds are going to the cause of “anti-bullying training,” “self defense for women” and such. Be truthful, but be creative.
  • At your next group meeting or rally, pass a jar for the cause. A couple of bucks here and there add up, ask any church.
  • What else can you think of?

All of the above ideas are perfectly normal activities that you might be involved with anyway through your community ties. What’s one more?

Services Are Currency Too

Think outside the box. Who has what skills? There is nothing that says you must use only your own group members for everything, and there’s nothing saying that anyone who you can get to do something for you needs to know what it’s for or where it’s going. Some of the World War II resistance members had no idea they were even in the resistance at all; they simply provided a service or an item to someone who asked for it at a critical time. There are plenty of folks who are sympathetic to the cause, who may not be involved in the cause. What does your group need, and who do you know that can help you get it? Someone may not be willing to pick up a gun, or go to a rally, or even have their name and involvement known to anyone, but they’re willing to slip you some cash or buy that radio or donate their frequent flyer miles or give you some magazines to smuggle. The ER doctor who lives down the street may not be interested in anything “patriot” but they’re totally cool with showing you how to do some basic triage and wound care, or even giving you some extra supplies because, hey, you’re just trying to make sure your family is safe. It’s all about how you approach it.

I’ll Give You Mine if You Give Me Yours

There’s always the barter option too. Your neighbor might be willing to give you all the coupon inserts from his Sunday paper if you give him a couple eggs every week. Those coupons mean free food and supplies, if they’re used right (couponing is definitely your friend), and that means more money freed up for other activities. Find someone in your neighborhood who knows how to sew and repair clothing/gear, and mow their lawn for them in return for them teaching you how to repair your own stuff. I’m spitballing here, but you get the idea. We all know people who span the gamut of skills and financial stability. It’s time we become more efficient at leveraging our networks and contacts. And if you don’t have networks and contacts, better get on that.

Here’s your homework:

  1. What other ways are there for us to fund our activities?
  2. What activities could we use those funds for?
  3. What services can we barter, or contacts can we leverage?

Leave your ideas in the comments so we can all benefit!

How to Make a Truly Anonymous Facebook Account Part I

There are plenty of articles about how to use social media without making your information public, or leaking it to various ad services and info-grabbing bots. That’s not what we’re doing. We’ll be setting up a Facebook account that is not linked to us in any way—even for those who know how to look. Keep in mind that this is NOT your standard alias account. This account not only hides your name and identity from others on Facebook, but it also hides your identity from people or agencies that might be tracking your activity–not by hiding your name, but by making you into someone else.

 

 

Why This Needs to Be Split Into Multiple Articles

Because people have short attention spans, and because the actual process of setting up the framework and getting this put together requires very careful adherence to the process. Before you even create the account, you need certain things set up—including your own head and mindset. This is a building block exercise. Today we are simply exploring the concept. Next we will start making the building blocks necessary to create and run that alternate identity on Facebook—and ultimately online in general.

Why Have a Fake/Anonymous Facebook Account?

  1. Because you want to join groups and communities without it being displayed on your personal page.
  2. Because you don’t want people in the groups you’re joining to know who you really are.
  3. Because you don’t want people who add you or interact with you to know who you are.
  4. Because you don’t want your information tracked or cataloged.
  5. Because you plan to use Facebook as a means to disseminate and/or collect information and propaganda that you don’t want linked to you.
  6. Because you plan to use this account to infiltrate a group.
  7. Because you plan to derail discussions or do some social engineering/rapport building/elicitation.
  8. Because you can, and you shouldn’t have to explain why to anyone.

Any one of these reasons is reason enough, and you may have other reasons not listed here. Whatever your thought process, let’s assume that you want/need an anonymous Facebook account that is not in any way traceable back to you. The nice thing is, this process is repeatable as many times as you need.

The Mindset You Need

In order for this to work, it needs to be used a certain way. Before undertaking this, think through your purpose in creating this account and what you want to do with it. Keep in mind that if you just want an alias account there are ways to do that. This isn’t a how-to for making an account where your name is listed as Bamf Fo Real, or Sheepdog Extraordinaire, or *Your Name* followed by a III.  That will not help you.

If you want an account where you have a new name and story, and you become someone else, that’s what this article is for.

DON’T try to make an anonymous account if:

  • You plan to immediately add all the same friends you already have.
  • You plan to use it to go right back to all of the same groups you’re already in.
  • You plan to talk to your friends and family or even known contacts with it.
  • You plan to list your location, hobbies, employer, or any other personal information.
  • You plan to use it in any way that mimics how you personally, currently use Facebook.
  • You cannot control your temper, need for attention, or need to be in charge of something.
  • You plan to use it to engage in any kind of drama involving people already in your life (such as spying on your significant other or sending jackass messages to your arch-nemesis).
  • You are too lazy to use it correctly (“I’m just gonna check this one thing quick while I’m here at home…”)

DO make an account if:

  • You are joining your local leftist/anti-gun/communist/liberal group and you need a new ‘identity’ to get into it.
  • You are planning to use the account for controlling discussion in various groups through tactics discussed elsewhere, such as these.
  • You plan to use it for disruption in certain groups, or releasing information that exposes people.
  • You don’t plan to really post anything but the kind of stuff your targets and/or groups are looking for and aren’t going to foster discussion on your page; you just want to be able to lurk.
  • You need to have a Facebook account to ‘back up’ the name or identity you’re giving people for your liberty activities.
  • You want to keep Uncle Sugar out of your liberty activities (if you plan to perform support functions and/or ‘gray’ activities, you need to keep Uncle Sugar out of your stuff).

Facebook is horrible. We all know that. However, there are times you may need to use it. This is for those times.

**Note: We are not advocating that you use this for illegal activity. We are not responsible if you decide to watch/buy/sell/interact illegal, immoral, or just plain disgusting stuff. Use your powers for good.

The Tools You Need

In order to pull this off, you need to have a few things in place. Setting up the account itself is rather simple, but you need to have a framework in place to make it as airtight as possible (keeping in mind that nothing is 100% perfect…this will definitely make them work for it, if they can get it at all). Here’s a basic list of things you need already set up. (We’ll go over these in more detail).

  1. Access to a VPN, ideally two. (check PrivacyTools.io for a list of solid VPNs that do not operate in the US.)
  2. An updated and current Tails OS running on a flash drive, or a virtual machine.
  3. The Tor Browser (found on Tails as well as a standalone for other uses)
  4. At least $20 in Bitcoin, already mixed, split, and sitting in an anonymous wallet (or five). Bonus points if you also have at least two other wallets in other cryptocurrencies and did some swapping back and forth there as well.
  5. A new name and basic cover (try this site if you get stuck thinking of a random name/identity).
  6. Patience.

What can we do with all of that? A lot.

In the next article we will walk through some of the steps necessary to set up your completely new identity on Facebook. In future articles we’ll go over how to flesh out that identity, give it some depth, and start using it for various activities even outside Facebook. In the meantime, get familiar with the tools and articles above, and start thinking about how to leverage them in your favor.

The Paranoid PC – Part 4 – Hardware and Firmware Updates

Greetings patriots and privacy nuts:

I was going to have this be the final article, but I’m having a little trouble with the tail end, so we’re going to break it into two.

Before we begin today’s piece, just a word about common sense and OPSEC/PERSEC.  We all have our own tolerance for personal risk.  Those of us writing for TOWR accept the risk of writing with our real names and speaking out for our guiding principles and against tyrrany.  We run classes that almost certainly have been infiltrated and work hard to protect the identities of our students.

That said, please have respect for those around you.  If you’re a member of your group and stick your head up, all of those affiliated with you are at risk when the metaphorical (or literal) bombs start to drop.  There is a place for bold, principled stands, and there is a time to break out the rifles and say, “no more”.  However, Facebook is not the place to telegraph your punches or reveal your capabilities.  Answering a survey of, “How does your patriot group keep in contact outside of Facebook?” is the height of foolishness.  Our adversaries, whoever you see them as, now have an area to focus on.  An article from Kit goes into this in more detail, but for now, “Know your role and shut your hole!”

On to the PC article after the jump.

Continue reading “The Paranoid PC – Part 4 – Hardware and Firmware Updates”

6 More of the Best Tools for OSINT Research

BLMThere are a ridiculous amount of tools out there for intelligence. Some are better than others, and if you’re just getting into OSINT research, the last thing you want to do is have to dig through all of them to find the best ones, or the ones that are easy enough for you to start using out of the box. That’s where we come in.

Here’s the TOWR Guide for 6 OSINT Research tools – a list and handy infographic you can come back and refer to over and over. Take a look at the tools below and see what you think!

SocialMention

SocialMention is a tool that does exactly what you’d think. It searches across all manner of social media for mentions of a specific search term. What makes it interesting is that it gives far more than just a list of results. Here’s a small snippet of a search for “blacklivesmatter.” Keep in mind these are partial results.

As you can see, SocialMention keeps track of everything from how often the term is mentioned to the context and feeling it’s mentioned in. This helps take a temperature, so to speak, of the social media culture on that particular topic. It also offers everything from who, specifically, is talking about it to where they’re talking. It’s a great way to get a quick pulse on a keyword or phrase.

AddictOMaticAddict

Along the same lines of SocialMention is AddictOMatic. This tool pulls information from a host of search engines and different sites on a topic and aggregates them all for you. Keeping our search on “blacklivesmatter” we see the following sources are available for search all at once.  It’s not foolproof, and it’ll miss some results, but in terms of a quick and dirty search it’ll get you started.

SocialSearcher

hashtagsAnother great social media tool is SocialSearcher. It’s more complete than AddictOMatic and offers results from a different set of sites. SocialSearcher’s real power, however, is in the time and keyword analysis features. It shows not only where people are talking about your search term, but when. In addition, it offers related search terms. We see here that when we search for “blacklivesmatter” we also get related terms listed such as “blackchristmas” and even “#Black lives matter,” so you can even catch the results from people who don’t understand hashtags. 😉 You’ll notice that some of the terms showing have nothing to do with our search term; this is also normal. It shows what the people who talk about “blacklivesmatter” also talk about.

CheckUserNames

checkCheckUserNames is a very powerful search engine. You plug in a username, and then watch as it searches across 250 different websites to see where that username has an account. If you’re ‘hunting’ someone, and they use the same username across several websites (many people do), then you can find all the places where they frequent.

Obviously this requires some work. In the example (which is a tiny snip from the results), I used the username “patriot1”. The chances of the same person being patriot1 across the internet are next to zero. If you have someone whose username is their first and last name, or something specific to them, your chances of doing a successful search go up significantly. Once you have the list, you can go to each site and glean whatever bits about themselves they’ve left in their various profiles. It’s tedious and time-consuming, but then again, a lot of OSINT research is. Good thing the results can be so worth it.

Carrot2

carrotCarrot2 is a visualization search engine. It offers search results collated into lists, foam trees, or circles (shown here).  The nice thing is that it includes links from places like PubMed, Put, and even image engines. If you’re doing an image search and want to be able to grab related topics without having to perform 50 different searches, this engine is very good. There’s also a desktop version.

One Million Tweet Map

tweetThe last tool we’ll look at today is the One Million Tweet Map. Twitter, being real-time, is a great place to find out what’s going on RIGHT NOW. This site lets you pop in a search term or hashtag, and then shows you where the tweets are coming from on that topic. Since it’s also real-time (you can change that to pull from a timeframe up to 6 hours) it lets you stay up to date on a specific event or trend. In our example, this shows the clusters of tweets using the #blacklivesmatter hashtag from only the last 2 minutes. This can give you an idea when things start trending, or if an event is starting to ramp up.

 

These are only six of the many tools available. We’ll add more in later guides. For now, try them out and perform your own searches. Use them to pull information about your own AO, or about your nearest metro area, or even about people you need to find out about.

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6 Tools for OSINT Research - TOWR Guide