Burn Notice Season 5 Episode 13 Spy Tips – Michael Weston Advice

Spy Tips on Diversions, Micro RFID Tags, Passive Security Systems, and more…

For a spy, the worst thing that can happen is to become someone else’s asset. You do anything you can to avoid it, making sure there’s nothing people can grab onto and use as leverage. You move through life unattached, keeping the world at a distance. It’s a hard way to live, but there’s a cold logic to it. Love nothing and nothing you love can be used against you. Once you violate that rule and make that connection with someone, you’ve handed your enemies the key to destroying you.

When operating without official cover in remote locations, you don’t have resources or backup if things go wrong. So it’s usually best to move fast and stay exposed for as little time as possible. It’s just a matter of figuring out what you’re up against, crossing your fingers, and getting in and out as quickly as you can.

Creating a good diversion isn’t just about making noise and firing guns. It’s about giving the enemy the impression that he’s being attacked in a way that demands the immediate attention of all his forces. Ideally, something big and very, very loud.

Information stored in a dram chip was long considered impossible to steal. It’s automatically erased when the chip’s removed. The one way to preserve the information in a dram chip is by freezing it immediately after you take it out of the computer. A quick application of compressed air from your local drug store will keep the memory intact long enough to get what you need. It’s possible but far from easy. And if you don’t want to get caught, it takes practice.  

When you need to buy time for an operation, the key is staying relaxed. No matter how high the stakes are, you have to act like everything’s fine. The key is staying natural, giving your team as much room to operate as you can without letting on to what you’re doing. When you know that time is running out, you have to signal your team at the first opportunity and hope for the best.

In a situation where you’re trying to keep someone from being captured, your best leverage is often the life of the very person you’re trying to protect. The trick is convincing the bad guys that you’re wiling to kill their prize before you let them have it.

When you’re surprised by an enemy that has you outgunned, you’re first instinct is naturally going to be to try to run. This can be a serious tactical mistake. Sometimes it’s less important to get away immediately, that it is to make sure your enemies can’t follow.

Active security systems are built to keep people out. Passive systems, on the other hand, don’t prevent security breaches, they help you catch the bad guy after he leaves. They’re often cheaper and more effective. Plus, they let you know who your enemies are.

Micro-RFID tags work like anti-theft tags in departments stores, only they’re a lot smaller and stick to clothes, shoes, and even hair. Once activated, they transmit a response to a coded signal. From there, it’s easy for a surveillance satellite to lock on and follow a high-value target. And the best part is, the target never even knew it happened.

The age of satellite surveillance has made some operations easier for spies and a lot harder for others. If you need to secretly meet someone who’s being tracked by a satellite, your options are pretty limited. The only move is to make sure you’re someplace the surveillance satellites can’t see you. That usually means a cave, a tunnel, or in a pinch, a freeway overpass.

One of the nice things about sending a full-scale Homeland Security response after your enemies is the fact that you can get the resources of every branch of law enforcement, which means they generally catch whoever they’re after.

For a spy, loyalty is a strange thing. Your job is to deceive, to live among your enemies, to perform dark deeds for a noble purpose. And it’s that purpose that guides you through the darkness. When you lose sight of that, the darkness is all there is.

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