An Uncertain Future

The impending retirement of Twitter API v1 is going to have a significant impact on Covert Contact. Although alternative methods of compiling and streaming updates are being explored this may in fact be a fatal blow.

Due to the unpredictability of service, and an uncertain future, access is now limited to current subscribers and they will not be billed for access. Covert Contact will be free, while it lasts, or until an alternative route can be identified and implemented.

Thank you for your business, your support, and your feedback.

Hugo Chavez Dead – Venezuela Live Streams Launched

Covert Contact - Live Streaming Social Media Intelligence - Venezuela Monitor

Vice President Nicolas Maduro made the announcement:

Venezuela’s government announced the death of President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday, ending 14 years of charismatic rule by the firebrand socialist but leaving his party firmly in control of the nation.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro’s voice broke several times and tears ran down his face as he appeared on national television to announce that Chavez died at 3:55 p.m EST “after battling tough with an illness over nearly two years.”

He did not say what exactly killed Chavez, although the government had announced the previous night that a new, severe respiratory infection had severely weakened him.

A Venezuela Monitor has been added to subscriber’s “Locations” menu. It tracks developments in Venezuela’s government, military, policy, and security along with dicussions about social unrest and violence. Covert Contact will monitor the situation closely and provide additional monitors or updates as required.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.

Monitoring the Black Bloc’s Role in Egypt’s Protests

Covert Contact - Social Media Situational Awareness - Black Bloc Monitor

The increasingly large (and violent) protests in Egypt are being tracked by several Covert Contact monitors – Egypt, Egypt Widescreen, Muslim Brotherhood, Riots, and the Mohammed Morsi monitor are all picking up on the activity. However, there’s a lot of unexpected action in the Black Bloc Monitor thanks to their growing presence in the protests:

An unpredictable new element has entered Egypt’s wave of political unrest: a mysterious group of masked young men called the Black Bloc who present themselves as the defenders of protesters opposed to the Islamist president’s rule.

They boast that they’re willing to use force to fight back against Islamists who have attacked protesters in the past — or against police who crack down on demonstrations. The youths with faces hidden under black masks have appeared among stone-throwing protesters in clashes with police around Egypt the past five days in the wave of political violence that has shaken the country.

During protests in Cairo on Monday, masked youths celebrated around a police armored vehicle in flames in the middle of Tahrir Square, waving their hands in V-for-victory signs.

The Black Bloc Monitor can be found in the “Movements” section of subscriber’s main menu.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.

Menu and Monitor Upgrades

Covert Contact - Social Media Situational Awareness - Main Menu

The main menu has undergone a substantial redesign which should make finding the topic you are interested in easier. Several new sections have been added to facilitate this. The current list includes:

  • Locations
  • Terrorism – Violence
  • Counterterrorism
  • Intelligence
  • Military
  • Economy
  • Misc. Topic
  • Movements
  • People
  • Events
  • Widescreen
  • Weapons – WMD
  • Information Security
  • Envrionment

As part of this ongoing consolidation many of the monitors themselves have been re-written and some have been consolidated. The overall signal to noise ratio has been significantly improved. You can see the current list of topics here.

More upgrades are underway so stay tuned for updates.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.

Now Monitoring – Secretary of State Nominee John Kerry

Covert Contact - Social Media Situational Awareness - John Kerry Monitor

This monitor is configured to track mentions of the State Department or John Kerry. It also tracks statements made by John Kerry. That stream is particularly active this moment as Kerry breezes through his confirmation hearing.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.

Algeria Monitor: Tracking the BP Hostage Crisis

Covert Contact - Live Streaming Social Media Intelligence - Algeria

Estimate differ but even at the lower end a number of lives are at risk:

The man behind the group claiming responsibility for the attack and kidnappings is a veteran jihadist known for seizing hostages.

Moktar Belmoktar, an Algerian who lost an eye while fighting in Afghanistan in his teens, has long been a target of French counter-terrorism forces. Libyan sources said he spent several months in Libya in 2011, exploring cooperation with local jihadist groups and securing weapons.

The attackers put the number of hostages at “more than 40,” including seven Americans, two French, two British and other Europeans. Another Islamist group told the Mauritanian News Agency there were 41 “Westerners.”

However, the Algerian Press Service reported that “a little more than 20 foreign nationals are held hostage.”

The Algeria Monitor has been been tracking this story well. It’s tracking any mention of the country, discussions about Islamists in the country, and the US Embassy there.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.

Now Monitoring: CIA Director Nominee John Brennan

Covert Contact - Live Streaming Social Media Intelligence - CIA Director Nominee John Brennan

This monitor tracks mentions of John Brennan and to the position that he’s likely to hold. Subscribers can find the monitor under “People” on the main menu.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.

Central African Republic Live Streams Added

Covert Contact - Live Streaming Social Media Intelligence - Central African Republic Monitor

This monitor looks at mentions of the country, its capital city Bangui, the Seleka rebels, and involvement by Economic Community of Central African States in the conflict.

Subscribers can find the CAR Monitor listed on the “Locations” menu.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.

Anonymous vs. Westboro Baptist Church

Covert Contact - Live Streaming Social Media Intelligence - Anonymous vs. Westboro Baptist Church

Anonymous, and hackers such as @th3j35t3r, have been busy making life miserable for the Westboro Baptist Church since that group celebrated the recent Sandy Hook school shooting. This monitor is tracking mentions of the “church”, their involvement in protests (and specifically protests at funerals), and the Anonymous operation aimed at making their lives difficult.

Subscribers can find the monitor under “Events”.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.

Occupy Movement Monitor Updated

Covert Contact - Live Streaming Social Media Intelligence - Occupy Movement Monitor

Each feed has been optimized and the third column has been updated to focus on the relationship between the Occupy Movement and law enforcement.

Subscriptions to Covert Contact’s array of hundreds of global security live streams are available for only $10 per month.