A recent article about a woman jailed for letting her kids play outside got me thinking about OPSEC. In this story, a Texas mother was jailed for letting her kids play outside supervised. Hmm, I thought. Were they on a busy main street or in a bad section of town? Were the kids four or five years old? Was she inside drunk or stoned on some crazy new drug? Turns out it wasn’t any of those things. They live on a street with a cul-de-sac, the kids were six and nine years old, and and the mom was there on there watching them play.
The neighbor called the cops and reported they were outside playing on motorized scooters unsupervised.The cops showed up and put her behind bars overnight. Wow. You don’t need to worry about big brother when you have nosy neighbors. All it took was one phone call from a neighbor and off to jail she went. If that isn’t scary I don’t know what is.
The main points I’m trying to make here (despite the ridiculousness of this situation) are that
1.) People are watching you even when you think they aren’t.
2.) They are making judgments about your activities.
3.) Right or wrong they have the ability to blow your careful plans out of the water with one phone call to the authorities.
Imagine what your neighbors would think if you suddenly showed up with a truckload of groceries, a bunch of guns and ammo, and other gear a “common” prepper (if there is such a creature) might have in their house, and started lugging it all down into the cellar, or up to their apartment, or whatever.
Now, my neighbors are pretty good people. Everybody has guns. All of them have lots of food on hand. Not because they prep, but because they live on farms or simply because we live a little way off the beaten path and it makes sense to have a little food on hand in case the pow. But awhile back I had some wood pellets delivered for my stove and I was sure not a single neighbor noticed the truck pull into my yard and drop the pellets into my pickup truck as it was very early on a Saturday. er goes out.
However, over the next couple of days as I came across the folks in the neighborhood (all seven of them) they asked questions like, “What are you building?” or “Getting ready for winter?” and other comments like that. Every one of them noticed that truck come in and came up with their own idea of what I was doing. And these aren’t what I would consider nosey folks, either. They just happened to see the truck and were curious about what I was doing.
Anyway, it’s stories like these that make me re-think the fact that nobody is watching. Everybody is watching. I can get on Google Maps and look at my house, see the deck and camper, and everything in my yard. It’s cool, but it’s also freaky at the same time. Now, we all know how to practice good OPSEC, but do we? Do you practice good OPSEC?