Real estate mobbing as I have known it for about two years now in this upscale enclave of northeast Seattle, blends what are likely “classic” techniques of development-related harassment that hail from the days of blockbusting, with surveillance techniques as well as the bleeding edge technologies and techniques of wireless stalking and hacking. In the property mob that affects me, historic methods of ventilation and speaker harassment are not only applied, but updated. Speaker harassment becomes the surface harassment of modern surveillance; ventilation pairs with up-to-the-minute methods of enablement including parametric (“directional”) speakers.
One night, a year ago or more during nighttime mobbing harassment, a female mobber declared, We’re in the wind. This was a taunt, a con uttered to convince me that there was nothing I could do but leave my home, that their crime would neither be detected nor prosecuted.
At the time, I took that metaphorically, as some kind of lore that the kind of people who would dare to surround the home of a legal resident and systematically monitor, stalk and harass them out of it would be flattered by. But like other statements in mobber-speak, the cocksure doubletalk of mobbers, I later considered there might be some truth in the claim that they were “in the wind,” one known only to them. For me, such statements were designed to be taunts designed to “break” me and compel me from my home, however legal, however well kept my obligations, my yard, and my tenancy.
In many ways, the mobber’s statement, We’re in the wind, can be seen as an allusion to ventilation harassment, to the rogue waves with which they infect my communications and entertainment services, and perhaps even to any drones that they might use.
Come on, you say, drones? This is the stuff of science fiction! Yes, it might be, and perhaps that’s why the property mobbers have exuded such great confidence. Who would believe that someone is being followed by a drone? Obviously, anyone who would suggest that, must be crazy.
Which is exactly that the mobbers want you and anyone to whom you report their crime, to think.
Let’s backtrack for a minute. The real estate mobbing that has afflicted me has been going now for two years. The drone registry has been in play for less than six months. Until recently, you could probably use a drone without being personally associated with any surveillance activity. Criminals using drones as a sneaky way to get away with something, were probably thrown for a loop when the FAA passed a rule demanding registration of small unmanned aircraft last year.
A few months back, I wrote a blog entry on the new rule requiring the registration of drones and voiced my support for this rule. But although the penalties for lack of registration are substantial, what’s to stop a drone owner from simply changing ownership or selling off a drone instead of registering? And, although I’m kind of tired tonight and not in feeling like sorting out the FAA rules on the possible use of transponders or flight plans for drones, who is watching where a drone goes? Even if I have seen drones in my neighborhood, and I have, how would any investigation prove that a drone follows me from time to time, for example, on my bicycle rides on the Burke-Gilman Bike Trail. This is quite possible; as I discussed in a recent blog, there are even drones now that are designed to follow cyclists and capture their activities. And if you’re going to hack, hacking from a drone is probably a better move than hacking from a house. Besides, you can follow, easily perform reconnaissance on the wireless networks you cross on the route, and store it for later use or hack it on the fly from a home location while the drone stays within range of the victim network.
Moreover, if someone is using a drone that stays hidden or can fly high enough to be obscured, how would a victim of drone surveillance, for example, even grasp that they were being stalked by a drone? As the victim of a real estate mobbing, I can tell you that it takes months and months to even begin to sort out the phenomenon of mobbing: To understand that the listening devices are not in your house, but are being used from next door; to understand that the voices of your neighbors that sound so loud are probably being projected by speaker onto your window panes or by dint of a slowly whirring fan. If it was so easy to figure things out, or if most people remained “in” the crime that is mobbing long enough to figure these things out, the real estate mobbers who are trying to do a “whodunnit” to you would find another way.
In my property mobbing, this crime that continues to victimize me, there are some specific circumstances in which the use of a drone would make a lot of sense. In an earlier blog, I talked about the increased use of drones in construction for surveying steep lots like those around me in this hillside neighborhood, and in real estate, an industry quick to adopt any marketing strategy that could yield some hefty profits. Why not then, use the same drones to “clear” and “acquire” properties held by those “reluctant sellers”?
Indeed. as well as increasing return-on-investment (ROI), the use of surveillance and harassment drones in real estate mobbing makes great sense. We’ve already heard about surveillance drones reasonably priced to include infrared to see into structures as well as outfitted with WiFi to gather information and hack wireless networks or to remotely hack networks with reduced risk of detection. And there are consumer drones now that make it easy to follow bicycles, as I have been followed concurrent with voice harassment on the Burke-Gilman, or drones that offer superior vantage points and mobility, and the harassment moves to the cars I travel in, even for long distances. I have assumed radio, but do not understand how the signal would be following me. The EFF has described micro-transmitters but these are hard to find and, frankly, don’t seem to fit with the “white-glove” approach that mobbing is. Remember, when you have clientele or associates who cannot afford to be caught, such as those in a haughty “community” watch or real estate speculators, you don’t want to leave any forensic traces behind, not even tiny micro-transmitters that are nearly impossible to find.
In the cars I drive, it has been clear that where vents are open, and when fans are on, the sound of the harassment is louder. But there have also been times when it sounds as though some fragment of harassment has caught my ear from outside the window, from some speaker at some intersection, or maybe, I’ve assumed, from some cell phone used by some driver in the next vehicle. And as of late, when I don’t feel like hearing the mobbers, I drive the car that doesn’t even have a radio with a matching face plate. But I still hear them. I assumed that even when a radio was “dead,” or otherwise broken, you might be able to transmit to its tuner. I even took out the antenna from the car and though the sound was further quieted, I could not stop it entirely.
So today, when I stuffed my swimming towel into a vent and threw it up onto the dash to cover the heating duct as I traveled to Lynnwood Recreation Center, I had another thought. What if drones enable simple ventilation harassment by easily tracking the victim or “target” of a mobbing? The drone could be “armed” with a directional speaker of some kind and be projecting the harassment using a radio technology at my vehicle. Radio technology makes sense for the projection because whenever I am in the vicinity of Seattle Police Department vehicles, the harassment pauses or is momentarily quieted. But my vehicle, even without power to the speakers or if I’ve taken the speakers out, could serve be a target for projected sound. Perhaps if the aim of the drone was good, if the drone carried a directional speaker, for example, the sound “beam” could be “aimed” and the sound would go directly through the windshield into the vent for one of the heating ducts, or into the engine compartment where it might resound and gain some volume before being sent through the vents by the onrushing wind. This means a direct channel into the passenger compartment. For transport, my forward motion supplies the wind. This kind of methodology might also work well for projecting harassment through glass roofs, like that at Lynnwood Recreation Center, or perhaps to “inject” sound into attic heating systems or other utility pipelines for conveyance through the ventilation system of the victim house. These drones of real estate are armed not with guns, but with tools to infiltrate the systems of your home that make it habitable.
Now, I have to say, it’s after midnight, and I’m not interested in looking this up right now. Jobs can be difficult for victims of harassment and I’ve a new job to keep. But considering these possibilities, I’ve had to say that in addition to being in favor of the drone registry and public access to the drone registry (which seems to be yet to come), I would strongly support transponders and flight plans for at least a certain class of unmanned aircraft.