Thursday, November 19, 2015

Where Are the Smoke Signals? Information Is King, Street Level Knowledge Is Power...

Where Are the Smoke Signals?
Information Is King, Street Level Knowledge Is Power...
By Nick Ashton, CEO/CTO CommSmart Global Group of Companies

Man has been communicating since time began.  The sounds of drums from within the jungle, the Native American Indian sending smoke signals from one valley to the next, the Town Crier, ringing his bell and posting a notice in the town square, Pony Express riding through the valleys of Utah and beyond, the Telegraph sending short concise snippets of information, the local rag (Newspaper) being sold on street corners, and televisions at tea time bringing us the local, national and globe news.  All means of disseminating information, old information, that is far from up to the minute.

Along comes the Internet, which changed how information was accessed.  The San Jose Mercury was one of the first newspapers on the web, via AOL in the early 90’s, still old news, as it was the gathered information by reporters that had been published in their newspaper that day.  It was a start by the old fashion and stable news business.

Cable News Network (CNN) was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner and 25 other original members, who invested $20 million into the network. Upon its launch, CNN was the first station to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television network in the United States. While the news network had numerous affiliates, CNN primarily broadcasts from its headquarters at the CNN Center in Atlanta.

Turner could not have succeeded without Walter Sneed III, who owned a satellite farm in the heart of Atlanta, where signals from the world were collected and beamed everywhere.  I know Walt and understand this man’s mind, a down to earth guy that changed the whole vista of news gathering.  It is the likes of Walt, that make the difference in so much as, they understand at a different level of what is required, the street level, where it all begins.
It is about cohesive team work, not one man or entity has all the answers and never will.  Some might have brilliant foresight, but lack, all the answers. 

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was one, an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. Only a few have happened in this extremely young world.

So what has changed in 2015?

CommSmart Global Group of Companies and its division, Red Tagged have combined  to bring you an innovative information gathering solution.

The world still has wars and disagreements, people are killing people, con-artists are still plying their trade and politicians are continuing to argue who is right and who has the better political platform for the people.  Even constitutions are being compromised by so called self-righteous leaders who alter people’s rights for so called protective actions, in the name of the country.

The reason for my pre-amble is to allow you to understand that information is not as fresh as you might think.  It is as old as the fresh vegetables in the supermarket, which travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to be cooked in the kitchens of the world.  Not fresh at all!

The loaf of bread, left on the shelf and not eaten, goes stale, grows green stuff and is discarded and was no good to anyone.  That is what news is, when it is not actioned.  A total waste that could have done so much good.

The sold by date is on milk is for a reason, if do not refrigerate and use by the date on the plastic or cardboard container, it is no good to anyone.  That is true of information also.

Perfect example of old news is the doctor’s office, the magazines, never a new one, always old and never current.  While we step through life, information surrounds us, although we might be tuned in, it is being collected for us to listened or watched at a later date.  We are all so behind the times.

That has all changed!  

The collection of information by the American government has highlighted to some, the methods that government will go to, in snooping on its own citizens.  When politicians wish to be elected, they banter words around, make speeches and use the word TRUST so many times or it is in your best interest.  No it is not, as it is old information, old news and about as useful as the newspaper that the British wrap their Fish and Chips in.

It is now because of the spotlight on information gathering that we inform you of a whole different and up to the minute means to have the information from the streets at your fingertips, actionable in real time, with real results.  In fact, information so fresh, Benghazi would not have happened, the Arab Spring would not have hold of the Middle East as it does today.  Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran would be settled and stable, instead of rocking all our worlds.

The latest ISIS attacks in Paris shows how we must improve of Street Level Information Gathering, Atmospherics.  These radicals have to monitored, stopped and removed.

CommSmart Global Group of Companies and its team has been at the forefront of analytics, tracking, and Next Event Predictability and the means to bring street level information to all.  Collecting the information is the easy part, Digital Pen/Paper, Laptop, Tablet, Smart Mobile Phone, all within reach of all. 

It is all to do with a combined solution through our proven analytics, street information gathering abilities of the last twenty plus years, we bring you:

Combining our proven technologies of real time data collection, even as simple as a digital pen and paper, directly into the secure database for analytical real time manipulation. 

Now this information is sent securely via encrypted mobile solutions from anywhere in the world anonymously and without trace.  This has far reaching ramifications for security situations for events, public safety street level information flow and intelligence gathering.

From the base Atmospherics, Red Tagged, provides insight into local perspectives, indicates opinion trends, identifies emerging community influencers, measures messaging effectiveness and puts disparate intelligence reports in context.

Red Tagged would have easily and accurately predicted each of the Middle Eastern countries’ populaces’ unstoppable move to revolution. In the case of Iran, Syria and Bahrain, the government was able to react with a mixture of messaging and direct action to marginalize the atmospheric “noise” that existed at the outset. In the other examples, the government simply failed to understand the power of the population, and the messaging that did resonate globally. Direct action was met with international criticism, and the results speak for themselves.

The need for comprehensive atmospherics and information transmission in today’s rapidly changing world has never been more profound. Events in the Middle East and Africa, for example, were misread and mishandled as there was no real understanding of the peoples’ perception and the effect of a population’s inertia. Traditional government suppression methods simply do not work in the 21st century. A world economy requires worldwide acceptance of a government’s actions and reactions to its people. The proliferation of communication tools, cameras, cell phones, social media and emerging roles of new media (e.g., Al Jazeera) ensure that the world hears and sees what used to be kept quietly confined to a region. The immediacy with which the international community reacts to events has also increased. A simple event, coupled with a population’s simmering opinions, can lead to revolution overnight – and we have all seen this occur in the past 18 months with the above countries as examples.

When a protest occurs in a given country, what is the potential for revolution or regime change? Is the protest an anomaly or is there popular support for the cause, and how committed is the population toward the cause? What is the word on the street? What about religious messaging? What is the real effect of the religious messaging on the average person? These are very common questions to interested parties, commercial and government, and atmospherics can answer those questions very quickly and accurately.

RED TAGGED has been demonstrated to have significant value-add in military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq; providing contextual backgrounds for intelligence and combat operations; both with unconventional elements and conventional Army units. As new areas of interests emerged into the US policy landscape, early deployment of atmospheric teams illuminated otherwise unknown issues affecting a population, identified key emerging leaders, and provided the foundation of the “picture on the ground” that ultimately giving policy makers and battle space owners a more complete, rich picture upon which to base planning and decision making. There were profound discoveries within the atmospheric community during its infancy in the context of a wartime application that alluded to its value outside a military application:

The value proposition of RED TAGGED Atmospherics is twofold; first, the reporting methodology provides new data sets on a daily basis. For trending purposes, there is no substitute whatsoever for fresh, real time data, and atmospherics provides that. Messaging feedback is received instantly, and messaging/perception management teams can execute to address specific local needs.

Secondly, specific needs can be addressed and answered in a very timely manner. For example, if a national leader were to meet with local community influencers, current public opinion needs to be measured to ensure he meets with the “real” versus traditional players. Feedback on specific topics can be obtained from a wide range of socio-economic, political, religious and other demographics as needed.

CommSmart Global Group of Companies,  with the Red Tagged solution is committed to providing very high-quality operators, extensively trained, with the best tools to supporting atmospheric operations. 

Our typical Atmospherics Manager is a former Special Forces or SAS operator with extensive experience operating with indigenous troops in a foreign area.

Specific industry experts that are cross-trained in atmospherics can target specific industries; health care and legal are two such examples.
Thorough pre-planning and immersion training prior to deployment is a standard part of our methodology, in conjunction with cultural studies, local and national history, economics, religion and language training.
The key to success and client value is careful selection of the right people to respond to a client’s need.

The low-profile nature of this program and the fact that locals are greatly utilized to collect and aggregate the reports ensure that we analyze data that is robust and confirmed. Our teams are carefully built and managed to ensure that the program builds in strength and capabilities over time, not burn out or produce “same old” reporting.

Our management overhead is very small, ensuring that the customer receive full value for his expense. We spend our budgets on collection assets, and the proof is in the expansive and constantly refreshing data sets.

There are additional services that CommSmart Global Group of Companies, with the Red Tagged solutions can provide in addition to Atmospheric Collection; our experience and networks within the Human Intelligence community have led us to identify emerging leaders in perception management systems, social media monitoring reach-back centers, messaging experts and other best-of-breed operations that if needed, would be able to greatly leverage the existing data-sets into new products. Most of our operators are experienced platform instructors and can staff and train up a customers’ atmospheric program, tailored to meet the client’s specific needs. 

The strength of the CommSmart Global Group of Companies,  with the Red Tagged's network ensures that our Atmospheric Managers can insert quickly and leverage existing networks to build out atmospherics team very quickly.

Stacking atmospherics and additional services or programs is part of our operational requirement on every engagement; we specialize and work with other specialty organizations to fulfill our clients’ needs.

Human Terrain Systems and other population monitoring programs are not designed to provide neither daily reporting nor daily analysis. These programs have value, but they should not be confused nor utilized in place of a dynamic atmospherics program. Joined, these two programs were found to be highly effective when the data was joined at fusion cells. Atmospherics is being used today to assess the population’s perception of the Rule of Law in an area where considerable investment is being considered. The atmospherics data is being combined with a threat assessment. Stacking atmospherics with other value-add programs increases the client’s understanding of the risk and opportunity at a relatively small project cost.

Combined, CommSmart Group of Companies and Red Tagged have created the solution that has been searched for, for decades.  It is the NOW Factor and our appetite for information in real time that has driven us to develop this ability, using proven in-house technology.

RED TAGGED is so cutting edge it breaks the mold of Breaking News!

It brings our Physical & Cyber Analytics, Next Event Predictability capabilities, to the next level of information usage.  It is something we have only dreamed of, now, we have the reality and shows how data collection can be utilized for productive secure capabilities.

WE are in the NOW and
KEEP YOU; in the KNOW…

help@commsmart-global.com

Call: +1 (614) 655.1247



Copyright 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Proactivity Is The Demanded Requirement

Proactivity Is The Demanded Requirement
by Nick Ashton, CEO/CTO, CommSmart Global Group of Companies

Having a foot in both camps of both physical counter and cyber terrorism for thirty-nine (39) years, means I seen and been involved in the worst situations this world has seen.

The French attack was not unexpected and all of us in this profession knew one day it would happen.  Where or when could never have been predicted.  

Yes, information gathering in this digital age is seen by most as the ultimate defence.  It is not!

There are not enough intelligence eyes, ears and algorithms to be on top of the morons of terror.  For both physical and cyber terror it has to be a mixture of human and digital searching.  

Atmospherics, the collection of street chatter is just as important.  

Most will have never heard of Atmospherics, it has saved our rear ends in war against the Irish Republican Army, the Red Brigade (Baader Meinhof), Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world's terror spots. 

It is all about chatter, humans cannot keep their mouths shut and discuss their plans and successes in great detail.  Just like the local burglar, he would spend his ill-gotten gains at the local pub and we all know that with a few beers, the mouth runs and information flows.  That is where used Atmospherics in the old days.

It is the same for cyber hackers, they want recognition for their success and discuss on social media and in Internet cafes.  Things have not really changed in how we must gather information.

Knowing both sides of these actions, you understand that the terrorist wants to instill FEAR in all, whether physical attacks or cyber, it is all about FEAR!

It is returning to the COMFORT ZONE that is all important...

Let us take this short journey together...




copyright 2015