“War correspondents” I mistakenly thought, were hand-picked for their skills set, fitness, mental toughness, awareness, and clean living. But no, what I found instead were individuals with many issues ranging from drug and alcohol problems to PTSD episodes to fundamental fitness concerns… the list goes on.
Dangers of being a Journalist
Politics and motives aside, I think everyone can conclude these are very dangerous days for journalists, advocates of free speech or anyone else for that matter that voices an opinion. For the security consultant who is providing services to journalists, activists or opposition politicians these clients can give you some unique challenges as the threats can include harassment and arrest by local or state police, as well as threats from opposing parties etc…
Journalists Covering The Recent Hurricanes
Over the past few days, we’ve all watched journalists behaving like irresponsible children foolishly “braving” the raw elements when a handful of very responsible ones reported from hard cover still managing to show the devastation behind them. My problem with the former…it sets a scene for the future behaviour to continue with the competitiveness of […]
Crisis Management and Social Media
Effective crisis management invariably involves social media, whether the organization is a large multi-national or a small hometown business. When a crisis erupts, the effective use of social media should be seen as a key priority to counteract the crisis.
Global Situation Report – September 2021
As the battle for control of Afghanistan unfolds following the withdrawal of foreign troops, Pakistan will aim to consolidate its influence in the country.
Pakistan has historically relied on its good relationship with the Afghan Taliban to keep TTP fighters in check. As it awaits the rise of the ultimate power bearer amid the turmoil in Afghanistan, Islamabad will focus on preventing violence in its western provinces that poses a serious threat to CPEC-related Chinese investments.
Jailed Abroad! Avoiding Crime and Corruption When Travelling
These days if you travel internationally or work in emerging markets, you are running the risk of being arrested for some reason. Criminals are not the only ones who can end up in handcuffs! It may come as a shock to some people, but many police forces are corrupt. And this is not just in the emerging markets.
Bodyguards in Mexico
The realities of working as a bodyguard in Mexico are quite different, it’s definitely a lot more dangerous and a lot less glamorous than Hollywood would have you believe.
Mexico is a very high-risk environment that most people know very little about other than what they see in the movies or what is scantily reported in the media. There is very little factual media coverage of what’s going on in Mexico as journalists that report unfavorably about the Narcos, and others tend not to live very long.
Operating in Mexico – The Uncomfortable Truth
There are many misconceptions about close protection and private security operations in Mexico. As usual, most of the myths originate from Hollywood movies and fictional T.V. dramas. The realities of working as a bodyguard in Mexico are quite different, it’s definitely a lot more dangerous and a lot less glamorous than Hollywood would have you believe.
How anonymous are your conversations, really?
Maybe you’re a close protection officer, trying to arrange a safe route through a dangerous location, or a surveillance specialist trying to communicate with others in your team.
Perhaps you just don’t trust the local government. Whatever the situation, it’ll almost certainly be easier to focus on the task at hand if you aren’t worrying about whether your messages were possibly subject to being intercepted.
Confidentiality: Personal Choice or Professional code of conduct?
Surprisingly, many people who took part in the thread commented, saying that they don’t find anything wrong with it. Some of them even named their own old clients. Others tried to justify the practice of name-dropping by saying it was a former client, or that they didn’t reveal anything personal about the client, or that they had the client’s approval to post that picture or to name the client. And finally, some said their client is already pretty well-known and paparazzi are always getting pictures of them together so why hide it? Essentially, they are good guys, and how dare we criticize people we don’t know. These were a number of the comments from individuals who either work in the security industry as operatives or own companies and hire agents to represent them.
Hiding from OSINT
It often comes as a surprise just how much is available and the nefarious uses it can be put to. OSINT can be applied towards defensive purposes, but this article will only be covering the malicious purposes (i.e. how a bad guy might get access to your client’s sensitive information and data).
One of the biggest challenges of OSINT is not merely recognising it as a threat, but encouraging the behavioural change needed to protect against it widely enough. It is not simply enough for a principal to stop posting Instagram pictures of their travels in order to hide them. Their colleagues, friends, family, and employees also need to be aware and cautious with information which could be misused.
The Death of Journalist Marie Colvin
I’m not writing this piece to get into her personal or professional life, her ambitions or any other side of her character (that’s all been done). I’m writing this piece because I see media management in general, as a huge failing for far too many media deployments gone badly in conflict areas around the world. And I’m using Marie’s death as an example of just one of those failings.
I’m still angered every time I see a write up about the sad death of this journalist, and here’s my reasons why:
I knew Marie for years, first meeting her in Jerusalem during the Second Intifada between the Israelis and Palestinians back in the early noughties.
Training for Survival
“The training is necessary because of the world we live in and the kinds of issues our students face,’’ said Wilson, who travels around the entire county to help students. “We deal with emotional, physical and psychological trauma. You’re always wondering if it’s going to be you or your school next.”
Industry News January 2020
Industry News January 2020. We cast our eye over the main stories impacting the security industry. Here’s what’s appeared on the radar since the last issue.
Global Risk RoundUp – January 2020
Global Risk RoundUp – January 2020. Our Global Risk partners, Drum Cussac, provide in-depth analysis of global risks via in-house experts, cutting edge technology and through a comprehensive global source network. Here is your summary of the incidents you need to know about from the last 30 days.
As recently as January of this year a man was jailed for a string of threating abuses against Mark Prisk, the MP for Hertford and Stortford. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the story around this attack is that Prisk was so fearful that he failed to attending a hustings. He is not the only MP who has had to change his course of action due to threats. In February last year Diane Abbott, who was suffering cyber-attacks claimed she was fearful of walking the streets of her own constituency.
My take is that in the Close Protection industry, our Armchair Quarterbacks are oftentimes doing the business on multiple levels to varying degrees of success, but instead of enjoying that success and motivating and inspiring others, they spend a noticeable degree of time criticizing every play someone else makes.
Using Social Media Analytics to Identify Client Risk
“Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop.” Michelangelo Michelangelo like most of the polymath heroes of my past has always had a unique way of stating the very complicated, in the simplest of terms. When we apply his advice and knowledge of “carving is easy, you just go down to […]
Protecting War Correspondents
Protecting War Correspondents is a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, you’re there to protect them from harm, and on the other, you’re paid to guide them into the most dangerous places on earth – often single-handedly.
Journalists Behaving Irresponsibly
What is it with hurricanes and journalists behaving irresponsibly in such extreme conditions? As a security advisor to media teams, I can hardly believe my eyes. Understandably, a lot of pressure comes from TV bosses, sat in warm, safe studios who want to compete with other network providers by having their employees take needless risks, but it’s time for individuals to take responsibility for their own safety and set an example to younger ‘green’ journalists entering the profession.