OPSEC - Similar concerns?

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just_me

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Unread post12 Dec 2007, 04:43

First, I'd like to give my own "shout out" to the Chinese, Russian, French, Israeli, and other intelligence officials who I’m sure read this site more than the moderators and eagerly soak up all of the handy bits of information people drop on here just to appear to be “in the know.” The job of those officials is to learn how to best kill me and my good friends, and it is sites like this that make their job easier.

Anyways, the purpose of this post is see if any other “lurkers” out there are just as appalled at the amount of information people throw out on this site, and to hopefully rally someone to put some sort of a cap on it. I know that no one has any ill intent, but I don’t think many of you understand just how damaging some information can be…even when it’s unclassified. I’m not sure if any of you know who Alexander Zuyev is, but he blatantly admitted that the primary source of not only Russian intelligence on our capabilities but also on our technology and how to best mimic it is from open-source information. In other words, from sites like this.

How much do we really have to post on this site about our radar capabilities? Or about the radar cross-sections of our 5th generation fighters? Or about the tactics used by our pilots during intercepts or surface attack? Or about the capabilities of the AMRAAM and the AIM-9X, or even the AIM-9M for that matter? Even the latest little battle with the F-22 intercept of a Bear, whether or not it took place? There are innumerable lists…in fact, in more threads than not there’s probably at least one tidbit of information I’m sure other “less-friendly” people would benefit from hearing.

I understand that a lot of people love the F-16, love military aviation, and love their jobs…but people, we’ve got to get a lot smarter. The few pilots I know who do read this site regularly are all shocked at how much information is on it, and we all wish something would be done to limit just how much is said. It’s only our lives and our country, after all.

Yes, for the MOST part (but definitely not entirely), the information disclosed isn’t classified, but that doesn’t mean it should be openly discussed. I’m just asking people to use their heads and think about whether what they’re about to say really, REALLY should be said. Is it worth giving that little piece of the puzzle away just to make a bunch of forum readers admire your knowledge? In the end it’s your call, but I can only ask that you at least think before you hit the “post” button.
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afnsucks

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Unread post12 Dec 2007, 07:06

Thats why OSI reads this site. A buddy a mine almost got into a @$$ lot of $&*# till he finally wised up and stopped posting about real classified info. Nothing too serious just alert status but that was years ago. And yes I know that stuff is serious but not as much as what others have posted but you can go to military.com or wikipedia or any good book and you can find some of the stuff in those sources. I don't think super sensitive stuff is really being discussed. After all those warnings and briefings we get its kinda hard to forget what can be talked about and what can't. In total I understand and share your concern but also realize that 99.9% of all posters know whats up.
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akruse21

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Unread post12 Dec 2007, 07:19

This is tried every couple of weeks. Its a losing battle. Get over it.
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Raptor_One

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Unread post12 Dec 2007, 08:12

Just_me,

Have you sent a letter to Jane's Information Group (and any other public domain source for military information) stating similar concerns. I could make you a list if you want. The list includes government agencies such as NASA, the DOD, and so on. Seriously, I'll compile a list for you if you want. You'll also want to go after the makers of PC combat flight simulators while you're at it. Or is it just easier and more fulfilling for you to post rants on this forum where people will pay attention to you, respond, argue, etc? I mean... nobody at Jane's is going to give a rat's behind (anybody watch Judge Judy? hahaha) what you think of their business. Someone will likely read your email, chuckle, maybe forward it to their boss (who will also chuckle), and then it will get deleted. But here... here you can really have an impact, right? Wrong. This forum is no treasure trove of classified or unclassified information on military aircraft, combat tactics, weapons, etc. It's just not. I know because I've spent many a day and night searching for detailed data on combat aircraft performance, aerodynamics, and so on. The best data was found on US government databases (NASA, DOD, etc) or in a variety of textbooks and engineering trade journals available at the University of Michigan's engineering library. And of course Google is always useful.

I don't know whether your concerns are justified or not. What I do know is that you're barking up the wrong tree. This is a cool forum no doubt... lots of interesting discussions and tidbits of information. You'd probably object to the curriculum of some college courses based on the applicability of the concepts and theories taught to real world weapon systems. Seriously, I don't think you realize what's being taught in undergrad courses these days, let alone the research grad students are conducting.
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ATFS_Crash

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Unread post12 Dec 2007, 09:00

I think and hope. Almost everyone here has a similar concern. I hope and think that no one talks about things unless they know it is declassified and already more or less in the mainstream.

There's things that we are told are secret, however when I go home and see the information on the Discovery Channel, or the news, I then feel it is probably declassified and free to talk about. The problem with a lot of people that are in this field is that we are often told things are secret, what are often not told when it is declassified. We are also used to talking to other people that are in the need to know and have clearance, so sometimes things slip out that shouldn't. There are many of us that keep an eye on the posts and either publicly raise issue or report the post to moderator. There has been many posts that have been removed, there are often questions that are removed or dodged. Sometimes you might notice that when people ask some questions that they probably shouldn't, they get silly answers were the post disappears. I get the impression that sometimes this site is also used for misinformation as well as regular BS. ;)

Sometimes you will hear members voiced out concerns about the direction of questions or answers. Usually a person's intent is probably innocent, however you never know, and even if the person that is asking the question is innocent, some information might be useful to less innocent lurkers.

I think and hope. Almost everyone here has a similar concern. I hope and think that no one talks about things unless they know it is declassified and already more or less in the mainstream.

There's things that we are told are secret, however when I go home and see the information on the Discovery Channel, or the news, I then feel it is probably declassified and free to talk about. The problem with a lot of people that are in this field is that we are often told things are secret, what are often not told when it is declassified. We are also used to talking to other people that are in the need to know and have clearance, so sometimes things slip out that shouldn't. There are many of us that keep an eye on the posts and either publicly raise issue or report the post to moderator. There has been many posts that have been removed, there are often questions that are removed or dodged. Sometimes you might notice that when people ask some questions that they probably shouldn't, they get silly answers or the post disappears. I get the impression that sometimes this site is also used for misinformation as well as regular BS. ;)

Sometimes you will hear members voice out concerns about the direction of questions or answers. Usually a person's intent is probably innocent, however you never know, and even if the person that is asking the question is innocent, some information might be useful to less innocent lurkers.

Basically we all monitor each other, the moderators supervise, and I suspect security personnel observe and occasionally take action.

If you have a specific concern, I would suggest that you raise the issue publicly or report it to a moderator.
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wrenchbender359

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Unread post12 Dec 2007, 17:54

Intel collecting is like putting together a puzzle. Let's just say that there are alot of pieces to that puzzle her declassed or not one stop shopping for lurkers.
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akruse21

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Unread post12 Dec 2007, 18:00

To quote the great Donny Rumsfield, “ Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are "known knowns"; there are things we know we know. We also know there are "known unknowns"; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also "unknown unknowns" — the ones we don't know we don't know. ”
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sweetpete

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Unread post12 Dec 2007, 23:36

akruse21 wrote:To quote the great Donny Rumsfield, “ Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are "known knowns"; there are things we know we know. We also know there are "known unknowns"; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also "unknown unknowns" — the ones we don't know we don't know. ”


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just_me

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Unread post13 Dec 2007, 03:53

Alright...

afnsucks: I'm sure OSI reads this site, but understand that not everyone in OSI understands technical details as much as the specialists in the respective fields...such as electrical engineers for radars, pilots for tactics...etc. There are without doubt things that are "unclass" that can slip through the cracks and that would, when pieced together, make a good picture for anyone willing to do the work. I hope that makes sense...for more please ref. my response to Raptor One below.


akruse21: In no way am I trying to be inflammatory, but I honestly think that you seem to be one of the people who like to have a "looser" tongue in order to seem more "in the know," so I'm truly not surprised at your response. But your words are sufficiently noted.

Raptor One (great handle by the way): You've gotta start somewhere. I have innumerable examples of things that I would consider questionable, this website undoubtedly being one of them. It seems to me like you agree that there is a problem, but instead of saying something like I'm doing, you're just closing your eyes to the problem and instead choosing to go along with the "flow" just because it's easier and the challenge seems insurmountable. That's completely your choice and I'm not judging, I'm just please asking you to understand that I've not made that same choice and I'd like to start somewhere. I honestly chose this forum because people seem reasonable and it seems at least somewhat "doable." It's very funny and ironic that you accuse me of having no idea what's taught in college classrooms without knowing my background...I'll just leave it at that. But regardless, I hope you understand that I'm not oblivious to the other sources, but at the same time, you must admit this particular site is in a league of its own. And if you want to compile a list, I'd read it.

ATFS Crash: You seem like the kind of person I'm appealing to. I hope you understand that everything that's unclassified isn't exactly "danger-free." There are PLENTY of unclass things that, if openly discussed long enough, could do a lot of harm. I hope that more people like you are fervently reading this site and policing what's said to keep things safe.

To all: I'm not trying to start a fight, I'm not trying to bring anyone down, and I'm certainly not pointing fingers at this site and this site only. However, it must be agreed that some things on here are better left unsaid, and I'm just hoping that people will think before hitting the "post" button...regardless of what other "info" is out there. That's a problem for another day...
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asiatrails

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Unread post13 Dec 2007, 04:21

OK, so you have just joined and you launch into a juvenile "shout out" to various inflammatory entities and appear to be appointing yourself the grand emperor and high vizier of security; a position accompanied with dire words of vague concern and plentiful hand wringing. Do I smell a Christmas troll lurking in the background?
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just_me

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Unread post13 Dec 2007, 05:13

asiatrails wrote:OK, so you have just joined and you launch into a juvenile "shout out" to various inflammatory entities and appear to be appointing yourself the grand emperor and high vizier of security; a position accompanied with dire words of vague concern and plentiful hand wringing. Do I smell a Christmas troll lurking in the background?


As for the "inflammatory entities"...I believe if some of the posters knew who was reading this, they'd think twice about what they said. At least I'd hope they would. Sometimes it's easy to forget just how connected our world is. It was in no way juvenile.

As for the rest, I'll just leave well enough alone, I think my point has been made...I hope at least a few people understand what I'm saying...hopefully enough to keep the rest at bay. I am, however, no "grand emperor." Funny though...
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psychmike

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Unread post13 Dec 2007, 05:44

Just Me:

I hear what you're saying but I want to weigh in on the other side too. I think there's a danger in people becoming too afraid to talk and too suspicious of others. When you start seeing everyone like a potential threat, it becomes real easy to make enemies.

When I used to think of America, I thought about its leadership in promoting democracy, freedom, and equality. But these days, there seems like there's a great deal of fear that is eroding what is most important about your country (I'm Canadian). I'm thinking of things like rendition, Gitmo, FISA courts, etc. I'm not an idiot, nor am I naive. I know that the world is a very scary place and that there are tough calls to be made. But giving up one's values isn't the way to go. It makes America seem hypocritical and gives evidence to people who don't believe in freedom and plurality that America acts only in its own interests rather than out of a moral code. Please trust that it gives me no pleasure to say that.

It might indeed make life safer if there were more secrets but it wouldn't necessarily make life better. Look at how they tried to spin Pat Tillman's death or make Jessica Lynch into a hero when she outright denied the actions attributed to her. Governmental secrecy is antithetical to a free society. It allows the government to hide its mistakes and encourages the government over time to believe it knows better than the people it represents. Of course secrets have to be kept, but it should also be realized that they are dangerous to a democracy. We should not be so eager to give up our freedoms.

I would want to hear if our F/A-18s were crashing because of structural problems. I would want to hear if our troops in Afghanistan were getting killed because they didn't have adequate body armour. All of that information has real intelligence value but it's important that we know so that we can decide as a country whether something has to change. It's not for our government to make that decision for us (yes, I understand we're more like a republic than a democracy but my point holds).

I don't have any easy answers, I just wanted to stand up for the other side of the argument.

Mike
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AfterburnerDecalsScott

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Unread post13 Dec 2007, 05:59

just_me wrote:First, I'd like to give my own "shout out" to the Chinese, Russian, French, Israeli, and other intelligence officials who I’m sure read this site more than the moderators and eagerly soak up all of the handy bits of information people drop on here just to appear to be “in the know.” The job of those officials is to learn how to best kill me and my good friends, and it is sites like this that make their job easier.

Anyways, the purpose of this post is see if any other “lurkers” out there are just as appalled at the amount of information people throw out on this site, and to hopefully rally someone to put some sort of a cap on it. I know that no one has any ill intent, but I don’t think many of you understand just how damaging some information can be…even when it’s unclassified. I’m not sure if any of you know who Alexander Zuyev is, but he blatantly admitted that the primary source of not only Russian intelligence on our capabilities but also on our technology and how to best mimic it is from open-source information. In other words, from sites like this.

How much do we really have to post on this site about our radar capabilities? Or about the radar cross-sections of our 5th generation fighters? Or about the tactics used by our pilots during intercepts or surface attack? Or about the capabilities of the AMRAAM and the AIM-9X, or even the AIM-9M for that matter? Even the latest little battle with the F-22 intercept of a Bear, whether or not it took place? There are innumerable lists…in fact, in more threads than not there’s probably at least one tidbit of information I’m sure other “less-friendly” people would benefit from hearing.

I understand that a lot of people love the F-16, love military aviation, and love their jobs…but people, we’ve got to get a lot smarter. The few pilots I know who do read this site regularly are all shocked at how much information is on it, and we all wish something would be done to limit just how much is said. It’s only our lives and our country, after all.

Yes, for the MOST part (but definitely not entirely), the information disclosed isn’t classified, but that doesn’t mean it should be openly discussed. I’m just asking people to use their heads and think about whether what they’re about to say really, REALLY should be said. Is it worth giving that little piece of the puzzle away just to make a bunch of forum readers admire your knowledge? In the end it’s your call, but I can only ask that you at least think before you hit the “post” button.


You can, at any time, report any post that you feel is not kosher, or needs to be altered or eliminated. The site mods do a stellar job at timely removal of think that get even close to the line not to mention over it. If you are concerned and not reporting posts then you are not doing what needs to be done to satisfy your concerns. You will not be blown off, you will not be told "its open source, stuff it". They review the posts and err WAY on the side of caution all the time. This is a light a match/curse the dark thing. There are specific procedures for accomplishing your goals here that work very well.
More people have died driving with Ted Kennedy than hunting with Dick Cheney.
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just_me

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Unread post13 Dec 2007, 23:23

AfterburnerDecalsScott: That's a good point; however, the other side of that coin is that, by saying (even to a moderator), "please take that down that's classified" or even "please take that down that looks like something that shouldn't be said," I'm validating that there really is something of value in that message. Does that make sense? It's hard to come up with a good example that's not classified itself (I actually am thinking of several threads but I can't name them...by doing so I'd admit that they are classified and I'd be no better than the poster). So anyone who recognizes material that shouldn't be there is left with a tough question: do I ask them to take it down and recognize that it's sensitive, or do I leave it up and hope it's passed over as conjecture and not fact? I guarantee that anything that's taken down nearly immediately was still recorded by whatever agencies use this site as one of their open-sources, and the fact that the info was immediately removed only strengthens their idea that it was good intel. I hope that makes sense. The ONLY good solution is for people to just bite their tongues...easier said than done I know. It's still a good point though, and the idea of my post, considering I generally spend very little time reading (policing) this site.

psychmike: I completely understand. I'm in no way trying to dissuade the information that keeps the government in check; however, I think that there is some information does not serve the point you're making in keeping the government in check. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone completely happy with the state of the government now, or in the early 1900's, or in the 1800's, or even when the US declared independence. That was the whole idea of the Federalist Papers...convincing people that this way really is, to say the least, "good enough." But this is neither here nor there. Bottom line, I agree with your thoughts and hope you realize I'm not asking for complete "Big Brother" censorship, just something that strikes a happy medium between an informed society and an open vault of secrets.
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akruse21

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Unread post13 Dec 2007, 23:31

just_me wrote:akruse21: In no way am I trying to be inflammatory, but I honestly think that you seem to be one of the people who like to have a "looser" tongue in order to seem more "in the know," so I'm truly not surprised at your response. But your words are sufficiently noted.


Sorry my loose tongue and incredible need to feel important requires me to say your opinion is noted and filed. Would be better if you could back up your statement with some proof.
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