Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Iran's Shipping Shell Game Shenanigans - Somewhere On That Ocean, I Know She's Got To Be

The Iranian regime seems to be quite good at hide and seek, and you thought they only knew how to play (linear 2-dimensional) chess? Well, we live in a 3D World and now Iran is hiding its assets, oil and weapons shipments and nuclear weapons tech underground and on the high-seas, and attempting to avoid detection. Interestingly enough, they've gotten pretty skilled at doing so. Okay so, let's talk shall we?

The Wall Street Journal had an article titled; "How Iran Steams Past International Sanctions" by Claudia Rosett, and although it wasn't any real revelation, as it's been well documented by authors like Bill Gertz just how the Iranians cloak their international trade shipments, it just goes to show you that everything is in play all the time, and it's like a giant game of musical chairs or hide the stone under the nutshell. The article stated;

"By reflagging and renaming its ships, Tehran keeps one-step ahead of the law," in reference to their newest scheme of using a small pacific island nation state, an obscure one, as its latest pretend port of call.

Perhaps one way to solve this challenge is to create a new identification system, something akin to a DNA, Iris Scan, Fingerprint, or Ship-Book online profile using FbRT (Facebook recognition technologies).

There are a number of ways we could do this such as combining the pollution signature, the sonar signature, the shape of the vessel including the side profile and satellite photo. Since we know most of the vessels are legitimate, it would be easy to find those vessels which came up as a new entry, or flying a false flag. By having some sort of other recognition besides the name of the ship, and the flag it flew, it wouldn't really matter what name was on the side of the ship was, or which flag it was flying on which day. The vessel would be known by its number, code, and distinct group of signatures.

Could such a system be fooled? Perhaps it could, but it may be quite difficult and require quite a bit of reengineering, something that could also easily be detected you see that point? Look you don't have to be a Clive Cussler to figure this out. Of course, it's not an easy task to find a ship upon an ocean today, or in the past.

It wasn't easy to find the Bismarck, but they eventually found her and sank her. Indeed, we are going to need better intelligence gathering and a new type of vessel recognition signature system for the future, so let's get working on it okay? Please consider all this and think on it.