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Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

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  • Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

    I was hoping to give a presentation on "How NOT to look like the Fed", but I wasn't chosen to present. I thought maybe I could still offer advice and makeovers for feds whose look is letting them down. Would there be any interest? How do I go about organizing an unofficial event?

  • #2
    Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

    Sounds like a con to get a bunch of Feds in one place.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

      Originally posted by Regedit View Post
      Sounds like a con to get a bunch of Feds in one place.
      I have to agree, but would you be willing to post these suggestions here, because there are certain things you just can't hide like, always wanting a seat looking at the exits, eyes darting around, always scanning their environment, rubber soled shoes, etc...

      Add to that 49 states allow some form of concealed carry, so the fashions have improved a bit, and while some folks aren't Feds, they may be packing the other 360 days of the year, might have some wardrobes that are interchangeable with various Federal or international intelligence communities.

      I remember back at DEF CON 6 dressing down a CT guy so he could wander around a little more freely, but old habits die hard and he was almost falling back on his SERE training not to be outed as a fed.

      So I'm curious for your advice.
      Nonnumquam cupido magnas partes Interretis vincendi me corripit

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

        As you pointed out, the downside belatedly occurred to me: any feds open-minded enough to participate are probably already blending in pretty well, and the ones who need the most help would want nothing to do with it.

        This previous thread has a good discussion of signs someone might be a fed: https://forum.defcon.org/showthread.php?t=5387
        (Thanks to TheCotMan for pointing it out to me.)

        Originally posted by erehwon View Post
        I remember back at DEF CON 6 dressing down a CT guy so he could wander around a little more freely, but old habits die hard and he was almost falling back on his SERE training not to be outed as a fed.
        That's basically what I had in mind: I was hoping to ransack a thrift shop and/or organize a clothing drive and play dress-up with feds to help them look a little more normal, and coach them a little about how to act. (There's a contest idea for next year: My Fair Fed!) I was shocked how easy I found it to spot some of the feds last year - a bystander even commented that a guy I suspected of being a fed couldn't be because he was too obvious.

        One example from last year that stands out in my mind was an older man accompanied by a younger man and a younger woman in the vendor area. The older man was wearing jeans that hadn't been in style since 1990, but they looked brand new, as if he never wore them. With this he wore a dress shirt buttoned all the way up and tucked neatly into his jeans, and dress loafers. He had a short, military-style haircut. The younger man and younger woman looked like they had just bought their outfits from the gift shop at the Rio - it was the kind of trendy stuff you'd wear to a night club. My impression is that they were trying way too hard to fit in with what they mistakenly thought was typical for the demographic. The younger man and woman followed a short distance behind the older man and scanned the crowd to each side (there's a word for this, but I can't think of what it is - flanking?).

        Anyway, here are some notes I put together (guess this precludes me from submitting this topic next year):

        Clothes Make the Man
        • If you are normally required to follow a dress code, try to get an exemption for defcon. Nothing makes you stand out more than having to follow a dress code that was intended to blend in with a completely different environment.
        • If the last time you bought jeans was when Bush Sr. was in office, it's time to get some new jeans (it helps if they already look worn - try a thrift shop). Note: making trousers out of denim does not make them jeans.
        • Invest in a pair of sneakers/hiking boots/sandals. Shiny loafers are no longer considered casual shoes. Few women wear heels at defcon, and those who do are usually going for a specific look.
        • Clothes influence your behavior more than you might realize. Wearing more relaxed clothes can help you feel and act more relaxed.
        • Wear casual clothes you’re comfortable in.
        • Dress your age, or close to it. It's easier to look older than younger.
        • Don’t overdo it – you’ll look like a poser (not everybody can pull off the spandex-and-rollerblades look).
        • For the ladies, keep it simple. Few women at defcon wear much makeup or have elaborate hairstyles, and those who do are usually going for a specific look.
        • For the men, grow your hair if you can. If you can't, get a cap - preferably a well-worn one, or try the vendors/swag booth.
        • For God's sake, lose the mustache!

        Behavior Makes the Fed
        • Relax! Avoid posture and body language that say "I'm on high alert". Go ahead, slouch a little.
        • Avoid "tactical movement". (Things you mentioned, like always wanting a seat looking at the exits, eyes darting around, always scanning their environment.)
        • Observe subtly. This is basic tradecraft: don't stare directly at your target, use reflective surfaces for indirect observation, have a plausible reason for being where you are, etc.
        • Acquaint yourself with the culture you're going into - know your meme. Try not to be the only one who doesn't get the joke.
        • Use common sense: If you're male and you follow a woman to the ladies' room, you're going to stand out as "that creepy guy". If you're also carrying a weapon, you'll be "that creepy guy who I think has a gun." (This actually happened to me.)
        Last edited by jax; June 8, 2012, 00:52.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

          erehwon,

          I have to wonder which training techniques are the ones to rely on more Evading or surviving? lol

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

            I fully support your "get all the feds in one place" plan.
            --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

              Originally posted by kallahar View Post
              I fully support your "get all the feds in one place" plan.
              /me looks at your avatar

              o_O
              |

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

                Originally posted by jax View Post
                [*]For God's sake, lose the mustache!
                That's not going to happen. My mustache is older than you.
                Thorn
                "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

                  Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                  That's not going to happen. My mustache is older than you.
                  The only thing older than you mustache is the earth itself, and there are some that would debate that.
                  DaKahuna
                  ___________________
                  Will Hack for Bandwidth

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

                    Originally posted by DaKahuna View Post
                    The only thing older than you mustache is the earth itself, and there are some that would debate that.
                    Two words...

                    carbon
                    dating
                    :)
                    Aut disce aut discede

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

                      Originally posted by AlxRogan View Post
                      Two words...

                      carbon
                      dating
                      :)
                      Yeap, No eye witnesses, and a clear lack of native population, but I know Thorn's mustache is indeed older than Jax :)
                      Love is a Mental Illness

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

                        Originally posted by blauman View Post
                        I know Thorn's mustache is indeed older than Jax :)
                        A lady never tells her age... and a gentleman never asks. ;)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

                          Originally posted by jax View Post
                          A lady never tells her age... and a gentleman never asks. ;)


                          and if you want to know something from a lady, don't try to ask. Make a conversation and if she feels comfortable, she will tell you everything without asking.
                          May the force be with you
                          --------------------------------
                          Obi-Wan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Extreme Makeover: Fed Edition

                            Originally posted by AlxRogan View Post
                            Two words...

                            carbon
                            dating
                            :)
                            Your dating life is none of our business. :-)

                            And didn't you hear? Mustaches are in this year. Add bacon bits and you're set.

                            Still, lose the fanny pack!

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