Started by Frosty, September 18, 2012, 08:12:01 pm

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Governments do it now, as does the military and the media.  If the SHTF, would you? 

Being on the receiving end of radio disinformation if the SHTF seems likely.  Some individuals will do it to further their own interests, others maybe just out of spite.  Some may be tricked into relaying/spreading disinformation without even knowing it.  Not much you can do on the receiving end, except to divide the info into degrees of credibility and weight it accordingly I suppose.

But to knowingly spread it over the airwaves?  I can imagine a few scenarios where I'd be very tempted, to try to divert the golden horde mostly.  Not very nice I know, but talking about TEOTWAWKI situation.


Very interesting subject. I am sure it would happen. Personally, I would take anything with a big grain of salt. Being a radio operator would probably mean being the "news guy" for your neighborhood, or even your town. I would not forward anything until it is duly verified from different sources, if possible. Disinformation could have dire consequences on a community, and so could not acting on the news of a threat, if it was real. I would make sure to discuss any news with some level headed individuals before spreading it, on the air or around town..

As to creating it... I would say it could be a benefit in some situations to create radio chatter with disinformation to keep away roaming gangs who could be listening.. As long as it doesn't harm anyone. It is a double-edge sword though...


Jonas Parker

Depends on the source. If it's a ham I've talked to regularly, I'd probably believe him/her. If it's from a ham who's callsign isn't already in my log, probably not so much.


I'm thinking more how it would/could be used in information warfare during a real SHTF situation.  Direct, first hand, information passed being two parties could be coded to provide valid info for them, and disinformation that eavesdroppers might act on it at the same time.  Simulated traffic like Gil mentioned is another idea.  Requesting indirect/third-party messages to be relayed through another station ("Can you QSO Kokomo?  Please send...") might spread disinfo further, and work off the relaying station's desire to assist.  Spreading the message through different bands (ham repeater, CB, HF) might make the message appear to be 'verified' from different sources.   

"The Palo Verde reactor is venting a lot of steam, it's heading East/Northeast at about 15 mph.  Nothing official yet, but traffic on Interstate 10 South out of Phoenix is at a standstill from Eloy down to Marana.".  For someone bugged out in Tonto National Forest, might not be a bad idea.

Or, "CQ, CQ all points South of Springfield.  The Sheriff has a roadblock setup on highway 27 North at the county line and is turning everybody back that can't prove they're a resident.  Hearing on CB 19 that some locals have set up 'toll booths' on alternate routes in and out of the county too, one guy is saying he saw two men shot and their truck stolen when they wouldn't pay".  Might divert some traffic away of Springfield, and others in the area hearing it might gladly help spread it, even if they knew it was false.

Not necessarily suggesting this as a plan, but just a discussion of how anyone (group, agency, organization) with an interest might try to use it to their advantage.


1.  What is it that you're trying to accomplish/what problem are you trying to solve.

2.  Does the disinformation have high enough likelihood of causing more good than harm?

3.  If I put a community of thousands into a paniced evacuation of a safe area, because they heard on the radio that they are int he path of a plume, this will likely result in the death of more than a few of them.  I would be morally responsible for murder if I sent this transmission, knowing that it was false information.

4.  Seems better to use our radio for sentries, patrols, FOB's and etc. for detection and reporting of actual threats back to base and for coordination of movement and fire power.

5.  There is also the factor of whether looters are running any sort of radio intercept and analysis operations... (re: #2)

6.  How about using your own intercept/DF teams to exploit what you hear from possible radio comms of organized looters?  If they're tech savvy enough to be running communications intercept operations , then you can bet that they have some higher grade than usual comms procedures, which by itself, would make them stand-out, unless they're running spread spectrum or other difficult to intercept modes - but that usually means keys & time synch for use and the logistics chain to keep it all operating:  possible, but not probable, in other than blister pack radios like the XMS freq hopper radios for very close range handi-talkie work.

I've seen ugly things in 'reconnaisance by fire', so like any other weapon, make certain that you're not killing friendlies and neutrals with information warfare, before you 'pull that trigger'. 

>RadioRay ..._ ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


Hey Ray, playing devil's advocate here.  If Gil lets me hang around, think that might be a common role for me.  Hope you had/have a great weekend though!

1) Depends on the situation.  Some situations may require a fast action/response, so being prepared beforehand might be necessary.

2) Right, judgement call there.  But what is an acceptable percentage of outside casualties?  Is it the same as your groups acceptable casualty percentage?

3) Whether the disinformation is accidental or intentional, it will still be out there.  Nuke power reactors release steam during normal operations.  "Plume" is a word that might start a panic, but wasn't the word I used. When trying to shutdown a reactor there would be more steam released.  Someone broadcasting that information could cause a scare downwind unnecessarily for sure.  But then again, the authorities may decide that reporting a real radiation release may cause more deaths from a paniced evacuation than deaths from cancer 10 years down the road.  Acceptable losses, greatest good, trust us, whatever.  Fukashima comes to mind.  If you were in the know on a likely upwind radiation release, would you broadcast it before or after you bugged out?  How many deaths might result by someone withholding/delaying that information?

4) Those are my primary goals, reliable/secure comms and accurate intelligence between local friendlies, and to frustrate the non-friendlies efforts for the same whenever possible.   I'd like to see a discussion of psych warfare and jamming equipment along these same lines.

5/6) That would be a very organized and dangerous group of looters.   We don't have the manpower, or the skill/gear, to hunt them down .  If I were to consider a life of crime in TEOTW however, first on my target list would be those likely to have both a large cache of supplies and radio equipment to further my later objectives.  High worth/high value targets.  I might be able to gain significant supplies, and take out a potential future adversary in one strike.  If only there was a list of where they lived...


September 25, 2012, 02:34:20 pm #6 Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 05:33:44 pm by RadioRay
Hey Frosty,

Good talking with you. Using mass media to effect mass psychology proves that false flag & disinformation can be a powerful weapon.  Just watch our media at work - - -

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


It is particularly easy to fool people when you are telling them what they want to hear, so that is also something to keep in mind.

White Tiger

Not only would hams be valued, but truthful, consistently honest hams would be in demand...

...but for the untruthful, dishonest ham, the inverse is true as well. Seems like the consequences for spreading disinformation would be pretty high, too...and I don't just mean the loss of reputation...

Either way - you're going to be living on the razors edge!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.