Paranoia + Precaution = The Dead Man’s Switch

April 30, 2010

My wife has often accused me of being rather naive. I tend to think the world and all its people are fundamentally good, that evil is simply an aberration, that bad people are just waiting, willing, and eager to be reasoned back to their true goodness. In these respects I admit I am probably an idiot. My wife has joked on more than one occasion that the part of my brain which should be more suspicious of people was used to store an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek.

That having been said, I can sometimes find or summon my paranoia and take necessary precautions. Such has been the case with my efforts to share the information I have. But some recent events have made me concerned.

I think it now important that I disclose one additional element of protection I put in place, because only through it being known do I derive the prophylactic benefit I’d hoped I would not need.

Before publishing my stories I put a dead man’s switch script on several anonymous, prepaid servers. If I should fail to contact any of those servers for longer than 30 days, the script will decrypt and send an archive of information out to several dozen former colleagues, several news organizations, as well as several public and private entities likely to be interested and supportive to this cause. The archive contains my personal information, scans of relevant credentials, and scans of critical pages from my notes/journals documenting the topics I am disclosing. The mechanism for extending the delay of the dead man’s switch cannot be reproduced without me and I cannot be coerced into extending it. As anyone who knows me is aware I perform extremely poorly under stress, and the specific mental task required for me to postpone the information delivery has been chosen by me because it is one I cannot perform under stress. (In response to an inquiry about this last item, I have now published Mutable Thought-Memory Method describing some of how this works.).