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SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat

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SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by Michael Everett   » Sat May 05, 2018 9:33 am

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This is a SPOILER topic.
...although I think the title may have given it away...

After re-reading Uncompromising Honor (EARC), I found myself noting that with the aid of the Treecats, Manticore had already found no less than eleven highly placed spies in its ranks, four of whom died of "natural causes" as soon as they realized that they had been uncovered while the other seven didn't actually know who they were working for.

This got me thinking, the Manticoran Navy, Intelligence Service etc are probably going to make a point of hiring Treecats to help them with their regular security checks. For low-level low-access staff, that would be maybe a brief in-and-out check every year or so. As the rank rises, so do the additional checks, even if the person in question is adopted by a Treecat (although in that case, the level of urgency will drop somewhat).

This means that Manticore is in a unique position in that it may soon have a Navy and Intelligence departments that are provably no longer infiltrated by outside forces. Given Haven's (logical yet incorrect) revelation about how one of their own government was working for the MAlign forces, I expect to see Treecats being encouraged to attend political get-togethers as well in the name of Security (thus causing the Politicos who are in the know to take a long look at themselves and why they entered politics in the first place).

I expect Haven will be setting up programs to encourage Treecat clans to emigrate from Sphinx and lend their skills to keeping the Haven Legislature honest as well. The Andermani will probably follow suit as well, although in their case it will be because of their experiences on the wrong end of Mesan Nanotech and having a Treecat Clan living in the Imperial Palace would help protect their Emperor. These actions would link up very well with the Treecats newfound desire to create colonies on new worlds now that what happened to the Black Rock Clan has demonstrated the major issue with having the entire population on one planet.

Although it would take several decades, other polities would note the advantages and disadvantages of having Treecats involved in high-level politics and some might seek to encourage the 'cats to set up colonies outside the Grand Alliance. The Renaissance Factor would probably try to secure a Colony or two in order to give the Alignment another chance at exploring the 'cats DNA again in an attempt to incorporate true telepathy into the Alpha Lines. Other polities will seek to ban Treecats out of fear of their skills helping to destabilize the kleptocratic ruling classes.

In short, now that Treecats can communicate, they are perhaps the biggest societal game-changer ever in the Honorverse...
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by Fox2!   » Sat May 05, 2018 4:26 pm

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Michael Everett wrote:The Renaissance Factor would probably try to secure a Colony or two in order to give the Alignment another chance at exploring the 'cats DNA again in an attempt to incorporate true telepathy into the Alpha Lines.


The RF would have to make sure that none of the members of the local Onion came within sensing distance of a tree cat. Or there would be pain.
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by Fireflair   » Sun May 06, 2018 11:50 pm

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This is all quite possibly correct and I'd say we will see evidence of this in the new arc, whenever His Royal Celeryness gets to it.

Keep in mind that the SLN has determined a very easy way to know if some one is an agent for the MAlign, they just ask. Granted it takes the correct trigger words, names or whatever, but at the end of the earc they've eliminated a bunch of high level players by mentioning just one person's name to them.

I'm sure the MA will figure out how to improve their nanos so they don't trigger off of just one name or some sort of similar security check. Eventually. But right now it seems that you could just run a person through a list of questions about anyone you're suspicious of or concerned about and the nanos could trigger, removing the agent and confirming a target higher up to go after.
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by Theemile   » Mon May 07, 2018 2:53 pm

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Fireflair wrote:This is all quite possibly correct and I'd say we will see evidence of this in the new arc, whenever His Royal Celeryness gets to it.

Keep in mind that the SLN has determined a very easy way to know if some one is an agent for the MAlign, they just ask. Granted it takes the correct trigger words, names or whatever, but at the end of the earc they've eliminated a bunch of high level players by mentioning just one person's name to them.

I'm sure the MA will figure out how to improve their nanos so they don't trigger off of just one name or some sort of similar security check. Eventually. But right now it seems that you could just run a person through a list of questions about anyone you're suspicious of or concerned about and the nanos could trigger, removing the agent and confirming a target higher up to go after.


There might also be a stress component to it as well. You can't just have your agent die because someone mentioned their financial agent. The handcuffs (or their like) are a decent pre-trigger.
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by kzt   » Mon May 07, 2018 3:03 pm

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There is of course the minor problem that this has some rather serious issues of proof. It amounts to someone saying “my unquestionable secret source, which I cannot disclose, has told me the following people are soviet agents.”
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon May 07, 2018 8:28 pm

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kzt wrote:There is of course the minor problem that this has some rather serious issues of proof. It amounts to someone saying “my unquestionable secret source, which I cannot disclose, has told me the following people are soviet agents.”


Ah, not so much of a problem. You don't have to disclose your source, you just have to ask questions. Do that in a situation where you have digital coverage and witnesses and that the person dies-dam quickly- from "natural causes" may not give you the information you want but confirms you were correct. Not sure you can get into a wrongfull death situation if you are conducting high level security clearance reviews and the person under review "just dies" from having been asked a question.

From the contest of what was happening on Manticore, that was what was happening there. The same thing was happening at leasts in the SLN at this point.
Sure, you would really want the person-if guilty- to divulge everything they know, but the nainite death fairly well flaggs that they were a problem and you need to look much more closely at them. Messy.
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Mon May 07, 2018 10:27 pm

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kzt wrote:There is of course the minor problem that this has some rather serious issues of proof. It amounts to someone saying “my unquestionable secret source, which I cannot disclose, has told me the following people are soviet agents.”


No--you are pretending you know who the enemy agents are. Trigger the nanotech suicide and you confirmed the person you were questioning was an enemy and you have identified another enemy agent.

Remember, in the end Kingsford was simply arresting everyone and seeing who survived. Kingsford had no infallable enemies list, he was simply fishing. The MAlign didn't think of the sidechannel information in their protocol, much like we are seeing in the computer world with Spectre and Meltdown.
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by pappilon   » Tue May 08, 2018 7:31 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
kzt wrote:There is of course the minor problem that this has some rather serious issues of proof. It amounts to someone saying “my unquestionable secret source, which I cannot disclose, has told me the following people are soviet agents.”


No--you are pretending you know who the enemy agents are. Trigger the nanotech suicide and you confirmed the person you were questioning was an enemy and you have identified another enemy agent.

Remember, in the end Kingsford was simply arresting everyone and seeing who survived. Kingsford had no infallable enemies list, he was simply fishing. The MAlign didn't think of the sidechannel information in their protocol, much like we are seeing in the computer world with Spectre and Meltdown.


Kingsford could get away with it basically because of his position in the chain of command + emergency situation of Case Zulu (or SLN equivalent). Anyone he wrongly accused could accept a sincere apology and the need to determine loyalty or file a formal complaint with ... oh wait The Mandarins are mostly in military custody.

Yes for chasing down potential non-military spies/agents, it gets a bit dicier. Unless they can use the government crisis to declare Martial Law.
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by Fox2!   » Wed May 09, 2018 1:20 am

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pappilon wrote:
Yes for chasing down potential non-military spies/agents, it gets a bit dicier. Unless they can use the government crisis to declare Martial Law.


The crisis is in the League government, and in whatever government runs the solar system. There's no immediate government crisis on the planet that would allow imposing martial law inside the atmosphere (which could be either the NASA-defined "entry interface" at 250,000 feet, or the 50 miles the military requires to wear astronaut wings).
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Re: SPOILER - Political/Security Changes via Treecat
Post by pappilon   » Wed May 09, 2018 3:17 am

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Fox2! wrote:
pappilon wrote:
Yes for chasing down potential non-military spies/agents, it gets a bit dicier. Unless they can use the government crisis to declare Martial Law.


The crisis is in the League government, and in whatever government runs the solar system. There's no immediate government crisis on the planet that would allow imposing martial law inside the atmosphere (which could be either the NASA-defined "entry interface" at 250,000 feet, or the 50 miles the military requires to wear astronaut wings).



WTF??? All the non-militry spies are on the planet, not at 250,000 feet or 50 mile territorial limit or whatever. They just arrested the league government. Of course they use that crisis. I tought my previous statement was clear enough. :oops:
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The imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.
Ursula K. LeGuinn

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