This is an overdue update on my Vanished TigerSwan post: While everyone is rightly celebrating the current success at Standing Rock, I have an obscure (but not irrelevant) footnote to fit in somewhere:
Late on Saturday, November 26, I published a blog post about TigerSwan, the mercenary “security” company started and run by ex-special forces “operators” that was overseeing the DAPL security efforts at Standing Rock. Two days later, the post disappeared, along with my entire blog.
The missing post filled in information about TigerSwan, its origins among veterans of the most secretive U.S. military units, with some context about these programs and their training programs in North Carolina. Among the “Solutions to Uncertainty” TigerSwan offers is the capability of spying on cell phones, apps, social media, and more.
All the information in the post was from public sources, yet it was not widely known, and the post quickly racked up many hits. In two days the hits were over a thousand (a lot for this blog), and still climbing. Then–nothing.
My blog was “disappeared” for more than five days, until the predawn hours of Saturday, December 3. In the meantime, all we could get from the host company was that a server was down and they were “working on it.”
When the blog reappeared, it was as if nothing had happened; everything seemed to be there, all 490+ posts since it was created back in 2010. That is, all of them, with one exception:
The TigerSwan post was gone. Completely. The text, the images, even the statistics record of its pre-crash hits; as if it had never been there at all.
My tech consultant told me it was probably no biggie: the host had simply skipped or missed a backup of the ailing server, and once it broke down, they fiddled with it for five days, then gave up & replaced it with an earlier backup, the one just before my last post was added.
Uh-huh. Very plausible. But perhaps not entirely convincing; at least not to me.
One of the points of the blog post, which I hope will not be lost in the euphoria after the Standing Rock victory, is that TigerSwan exemplifies a state-of-the-art approach to technological control and suppression of organized dissent which has been taking form and growing under the radar over the past fifteen years. (Some details are in the disappeared post.)
Standing Rock: a victory, but not over winter.
I believe we will see more of this approach. And it will get, I strongly expect, much more support from the new occupant of the White House than eve the current one.
Personally, I’m taking some defensive moves. The main one is having my blog “migrated” away from its former host to another, which seems to promise more security. (I say “seems” because the tech world is too complex for me, and moves too fast, for any but perhaps a few to be confident of their online security. Advice from me: backup, backup, backup!)
Fortunately, I managed to piece together and reconstitute the lost blog post, with help from some online Friends who had captured it in various social media forms. And it was reposted to at least one other blog, without the images. I’ll repost it to this blog, with the images, shortly after this post is up and out.
I also believe that what was shown in this brief lifting of the curtain on the burgeoning force that TigerSwan & its ilk, represents a valuable resource. It should be useful for the work of careful, informed strategic discernment, study & planning for the coming years, work that in my view has hardly begun.
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