Guide To The Intelligence Duty Post
Written by Brayden Jorey
Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4
2.0 Types of Intelligence
There are many different sources and types of intelligence gathering to consider when deciding what kind of officer you want your character to be. It is also important to note them all because, chances are, you will likely be alone or one of few intelligence officers on your ship. That means that you may have to perform any number of different forms of intel gathering. More attention has been given to HUMINT and SIGINT as they will most likely be the more common forms you will have to portray.
2.1 HUMINT - Human Intelligence
HUMINT is gathered from a person on the ground. Sources may be neutral, friendly, or hostile, and may or may not be witting of their involvement in the collection of information. "Witting" is a term of intelligence art that indicates that one is not only aware of a fact or piece of information, but is also aware of its connection to intelligence activities. Possible sources include diplomats, military officials, NGO’s, routine patrolling (military, police, vigilante groups), prisoners, refugees, travelers, special reconnaissance patrolling, and espionage.
When dealing with friendly or neutral sources classic debriefing will be all that is required to have your subject share information. Debriefing involves getting cooperating human sources to satisfy intelligence requirements and in the most effective and efficient way possible. In cases, where you are dealing with more hostile sources traditional interviews will likely be ineffective. In these cases, interrogation techniques will likely have to be employed.
|SIM TIP: Due to the secretive nature of intelligence it can easily become a one man story. Debriefing sims can be a great way to bring other players into your world. Perhaps you source is coming from a traumatic experience, feels unsafe and needs protection, requires special medical attention, or is using a technical jargon out of your vocabulary. These are all great ways to include other duty posts into a sim.
2.1.1 Interrogation Techniques
There will be times when you need information from a hostile target and will likely have to use interrogation techniques to get the information. The following list is not meant to be exhaustive, but simply provide you with some basic approaches to interrogation. It should also be noted that most often a combination of different techniques will be more effective than just taking a single approach.
- Suggestibility: A person's suggestibility is how willing they are to accept and act on suggestions by others. Interrogators seek to increase a subject's suggestibility. Methods used to increase suggestibility may include moderate sleep deprivation, exposure to constant white noise, periods of isolation, sensory deprivation and using drugs that increase suggestibility. However, some of these techniques may greatly inhibit a detainee's ability to provide truthful and accurate information.
- Deception: Quite simply, this technique makes use of false statements, half-truths, and misleading information to manipulate the subject into revealing information.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Good cop/bad cop is an interrogation technique in which the officers take different sides. The 'bad cop' takes a negative stance on the subject. This allows for the 'good cop' to sympathize with and defend the subject. The idea is to get the subject to trust the 'good cop' and provide him with the information they are looking for.
- Pride-and-Ego Down: This interrogation method involves attacking the subject’s sense of personal worth. In an attempt to redeem his pride, the source will usually involuntarily provide pertinent information in attempting to vindicate himself.
- Torture: This method involves coercing the subject to divulge information by deliberately inflicting severe physical and/or psychological pain and possibly injury to the subject. The use of torture is explicitly prohibited by Federation law and interstellar governments that have signed the Seldonis IV Convention.
|SIM TIP: Interrogation can be a tricky thing to portray under the restriction of keeping things PG-13. If you have any doubts about the content of your sim, talk to your Captain about it before posting.
2.1.2 Clandestine HUMINT
Clandestine HUMINT includes a wide range of espionage sources. This includes the classic spy who collects intelligence, but also couriers and other personnel, who handle their secure communications.
- Special Reconnaissance Patrolling: Special reconnaissance is most often done by Starfleet Security or Marines who observe enemy activity deep beyond the front line of one's own side. Since these are highly trained specialists, they will usually communicate clandestinely with Starfleet, and will be systematically prepared for debriefing. Their mission is not to engage in direct combat. It may be to observe and report, or it may include directing air, space or artillery attacks on enemy positions. If the latter is the case, the patrol still tries to stay covert; the idea is that the enemy obviously knows they are being attacked, but not who is directing fire.
- Espionage: Espionage involves a human being obtaining (i.e., using human intelligence (HUMINT) methods) information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage usually involves accessing the place where the desired information is stored, or accessing the people who know the information and will divulge it through some kind of subterfuge. While espionage can be performed by a Starfleet Intelligence Officer (by going undercover as a spy) it is more likely that you will be working with recruited agents.
|OOC TIP: Most often than not, your character will be required to be on the ship. This might make writing the ‘spy stories’ you had hoped to write more difficult. However, creating PNPC ‘recruits’ are great way to be able to write the ‘spy stories’ while keeping your primary on the ship.
2.1.3 Recruited Agents:
There are typically four ways to recruit an agent.
- Money: These agents make a low salary, are just greedy, need money for a family or personal crisis or they are in debt. Whatever the reason some agents can be bought.
- Compromise: These agents are vulnerable to blackmail, coercion, or maybe they have a strong emotional relationship with an access agent.
- Ideology: These agents hate their current system, often because they are part of the lower classes, persecuted, or disenfranchised. Occasionally, the reasons are more noble.
- Ego: These agents are lonely and looking for a friend. They are not appreciated by their peers or superiors. They are seeking praise and recognition. Or perhaps looking to fulfil a egotistical dream.
Types of Agents:
- Mole: A mole refers to someone working within a target organization and they know things about the target’s intelligence operation, technology, military plans, etc.
- Defector: These individuals want to leave their organization at one, perhaps from disgust or risk of been discovered or exposed as a criminal. Defectors bring knowledge and maybe be able to bring documents or other materials with them.
- Double Agent or Defector In Place: This method involves directly recruit an intelligence officer (or terrorist member) from within the ranks of the adversary service (terrorist group) and having that officer (terrorist) maintain their normal duties while spying on their parent service (organization); this is also referred to as recruiting an “Double Agent” or defector in place.
- False Flag Penetrator: A special case of a defector in place where they are lead to believe they are being recruited by a different organization (such as the Klingon Empire or Tal Shiar). If they are found out, Starfleet Intelligence would not be implicated. This method is also useful when belonging to a different organization will allow you to recruit the agent.
- Unwitting Double Agent: An unwitting double agent thinks that he is still working for his own organization, but you have somehow managed what, in communications security, is called a man-in-the-middle attack. The agent’s original service still believes it is in contact with its own agent, and the agent believes he is communicating with his true organization. However, both the agent and his agency are communication with you. This is extremely difficult to continue for more than a very brief period of time.
- Access Agent: An access agent is someone who is well-connected in the target culture, who may simply arrange introductions or actually run the operations of subagents. An access agent may arrange introductions without being completely witting that the purpose of meeting the target is to find people who will participate in espionage.
2.2 SIGINT - Signals Intelligence
Signals intelligence involves intercepting signals, whether between people ("communications intelligence"—COMINT) or from electronic signals not directly used in communication ("electronic intelligence"—ELINT), or a combination of the two. As sensitive information is often encrypted, signals intelligence often involves the use of crypto-analysis. Also, traffic analysis—the study of who is signaling whom and in what quantity—can often produce valuable information, even when the messages themselves cannot be decrypted.
|SIM TIP: Signals Intelligence will offer you something ‘intelligencey’ to do during bridge scenes and be a great way to add flavour to scenes. Listening in on signals could tell you about big events happening on nearby planets, potential friendly and enemy ship movements, underground/rebel activities, a mass of signals could signal a large fleet.
2.2.1 SIGINT Techniques
- Targeting: In SIGINT targeting refers to developing ‘collection requirements’ so the collection system knows what signals to look for.
- Signal Detection: This is the step of actually finding a signal.
- Direction Finding: This refers to the techniques used to pinpoint where a signal has come from. Three examples follow: Triangulation, Pseudo-doppler, and Correlative Interferometer.
- Triangulation: Triangulation is the process of determining the location of an unknown point by measuring angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline. The unknown point can then be fixed as the third point of a triangle with one known side and two known angles.
- Pseudo-doppler Technique: The pseudo-doppler technique is a phase based DF method that produces a bearing estimate on the received signal by measuring the doppler shift induced on the signal by sampling around the elements of a circular array.
- Correlative Interferometer: This technique measures the phase differences of the signal and compares it with the phase differences of known reference data sets. Essentially, this is the cross-correlation of two signals.
- Traffic Analysis: When locations are known, usage patterns may emerge, from which inferences may be drawn. Traffic analysis is the discipline of drawing patterns from information flow among a set of senders and receivers, whether those senders and receivers are designated by location.
2.2.2 COMINT - Communications Intelligence
COMINT is a sub-category of signals intelligence that engages in dealing with messages or voice information derived from the interception of foreign communications. This includes subspace, interplanetary, intra-planetary, comm links, and other forms of communications.
- Voice Interpretation: The intelligence officer will likely have to break encryption codes in order to understand the data and possibly a translator. While modern electronic encryption does away with the need for armies to use obscure languages, it is certainly possible that guerrilla groups might use rare dialects that few outside their ethnic group would understand.
- Monitoring Friendly Communications: More a part of communications security than true intelligence collection, Intelligence Officers still may have the responsibility of monitoring one's own communications or other electronic emissions, to avoid providing intelligence to the enemy.
2.2.3 ELINT - Electronic Signals Intelligence
Electronic signals intelligence (ELINT) refers to intelligence-gathering by use of electronic sensors. Its primary focus lies on non-communications signals intelligence. Signal identification is performed by analyzing the collected parameters of a specific signal, and either matching it to known criteria, or recording it as a possible new emitter. The data gathered are typically pertinent to the electronics of an opponent's defense network, especially the electronic parts. ELINT can be used to detect ships, installations, probes, stations and anything else that emits a signal.
|SIM TIP: While you might be reading all these different types of intelligence gathering and imagining your character sitting at his station on the bridge, don’t forget that these techniques are just as useful with a tricorder on an away mission.
2.3 MASINT - Measurement and Signature Intelligence
Measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) is a technical branch of intelligence gathering, which serves to detect, track, identify or describe the signatures (distinctive characteristics) of fixed or dynamic target sources. These sources include emitted energy (thermal, electromagnetic); reflected energy (light and sound), motion (flight, vibration or movement), chemical and biological features, and material composition.
2.4 S&TI - Scientific & Technical Intelligence
Scientific and technical intelligence is the product resulting from the collection, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of foreign scientific and technical information that covers: foreign developments in basic and applied research; medical research, procedures, and treatments; applied engineering designs and techniques; scientific and technical characteristics, capabilities, and limitations of all foreign military systems, weapons, weapon systems, and materiel; the research and development related thereto; and the production methods employed for their manufacture.
|SIM TIP: S&TI is another form of intelligence gathering that lends itself well to including other players and duty posts into your sims and into the intel lab.
2.5 OSINT - Open Source Intelligence
OSINT is intelligence collected from publicly available sources such as memory alpha, public databases, media, social user-generated content, government reports, professional or academic publishing, maps, blueprints, navigation data, and so on. OSINT is distinguished from research in that it applies the process of intelligence to create tailored knowledge supportive of a specific decision by a specific individual or group