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US soldiers accidentally reveal confidential information

leiter

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US servicemen have apparently leaked confidential information about several matters by using publicly available memorization apps. Thoughts?

 
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DWG

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"What are the local authenticators on the Restricted Area Badge : Volkel is missing the first L"
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UpForce

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This is an extraordinary lapse in operational security. It is also an extraordinary case of open source research and I'm pleased that Bellingcat gave the relevant units and organizations time to deal with the fallout (not to mention revise and update security standards) before going public.
 

jeffb

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A lot of people don't think Bellingcat is very reliable so take anything you hear from him with a grain of salt.

Just saying.
 

TomS

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A lot of people don't think Bellingcat is very reliable so take anything you hear from him with a grain of salt.

Just saying.

Bellingcat isn't a single person. Suggesting that it is makes me doubt your understanding.

In this case, the researchers do a pretty thorough job of showing their work, including screen captures of the flash cards with the information in question. It's really hard to deny that this info was discoverable online and.that it should not have been.
 

UpForce

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A lot of people don't think Bellingcat is very reliable so take anything you hear from him with a grain of salt.

Just saying.
"A lot of people" is as vague a reference as there is. I haven't seen the veracity of Bellingcat's work being questioned from anywhere but regimes like Russia's and Syria's and their disinformation affiliates.

Bellingcat's researchers have been awarded for their journalism and open source investigations multiple times and some former members have gone on to research and teach in academia and even hired by (western) intel agencies. Time and time again their work has been borne out by subsequent official investigations as in the case of a Russian AA missile unit downing the Malaysian Airlines MH17 (Netherlands court case), the saga that got Bellingcat started.

Their subsequent work has been amazing and has, for example, uncovered a roving GRU unit going around Europe blowing up weapons depots and poisoning people. That alone is a huge public service, making governments face up to what is going on and act accordingly. The same goes here, even if using flash cards apps for this purpose is another kind of an embarrassment altogether. Better red faces than truly sorry.
 

jeffb

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A lot of people don't think Bellingcat is very reliable so take anything you hear from him with a grain of salt.

Just saying.

Bellingcat isn't a single person. Suggesting that it is makes me doubt your understanding.

In this case, the researchers do a pretty thorough job of showing their work, including screen captures of the flash cards with the information in question. It's really hard to deny that this info was discoverable online and.that it should not have been.

I'm perfectly aware that they call themselves a collective now, but before they became "a collective" it was just Eliot Higgins and he's still essentially running the show now. Bellingcat has received funding in the past from US think tanks and the UK government, so there are some questions over exactly how independent they are.

All I'm saying is, just keep that in mind when you're reading their reporting.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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It's not that 'extraordinary' work by Bellingcat. I've found non-public information in flashcards on Quizlet before. I guess the nuclear angle makes it more important though.
 

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