Public and Private Sector
As a proof of concept, Fortress International LLC sought and received the permission of a volunteer to conduct a full persona analysis. Before any analysis was conducted, strict guidelines were established. Fortress International LLC researchers were only allowed to pursue information openly available online, to include public records and social media. No extra outside research sources were allowed, nor were data mining tools, web scraping software, artificial social media accounts to “befriend” the volunteer online, and no social engineering or White Hat operations. With these guidelines set, Fortress International LLC researchers were given the name and current city of the volunteer and 3 days to conduct their research and write a dossier with their findings.
The analysis Fortress International LLC was able to provide included the volunteer’s data of birth, past and present residences, four social media profiles, relatives, number of children, names and locations of past love interests, significant medical events, type and outcome of court appearances, past and current jobs, pastime favorites, music preferences, as well as past and present vehicle information. Following the presentation of results, recommendations were made to the volunteer on how to minimize the digital footprint and these changes were successfully implemented with the support of Fortress International LLC staff.
Fortress International L.L.C.’s staff was tasked with conducting research into a privately held German investment company. Due to the legal structuring of said organization, there were no company financials or reports published. Further, Germany’s federal data protection act, the Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG), as well as other federal state and area-specific regulations, limited the availability of information. Regardless, using a wide variety of open-source information, Fortress staff was able to produce a near-complete profile of the company. This profile included a detailed company history, spanning over 80 years. As well as, current board members, asset managers, the exact locations of any and all offices, an estimated value of the managed portfolio, the various areas of business said company has invested in, and detailed information regarding the ownership of the business and its subsidiaries.
Fortress International’s staff was charged with creating a detailed proposal for a 5-year contract solicitation by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The purpose of the solicitation was for the spearheading of various political and judicial reforms in a former-Soviet Bloc country. As well as, supporting the previously established efforts and initiatives by USAID and other organizations. Based on the professional experience of Fortress staff in driving change through local populations, Fortress proposed a “from-within, bottom-up” approach that focused on empowering and supporting the country’s underrepresented populations by addressing specific areas such as healthcare, equality, and anti-corruption efforts in the judicial system.
History has shown that merely throwing money at a problem does not provide sustainable results. The solutions proposed by Fortress were cost effective, utilizing less than half of the maximum available budget, and focused on self-sustainability past the contract duration by employing a 100% local staff to stand behind and champion the reforms laid out in the USAID proposal.
Fortress International LLC was tasked with completing opposition research for a state government legislative race. Our consultants efficiently researched the opponent and provided a dossier that covered the candidate’s professional and private life. For the completion of this task, only publicly available information was used. Our team utilized its open source intelligence research skills to provide an accurate picture of the candidate. Throughout, the staff took appropriate measures to preserve the integrity of the client, and ensured all research was performed in a discreet manner.
Defensive Opposition Research
One of the most important aspects of Opposition Research is Defensive Opposition Research, which involves the process of researching the “target” (the Opposition), as well as the client. This allows for providing the client with gaps and flaws in their own persona, political plans, background, and policies. With this knowledge, the client is aware of the information publicly available about them and can take appropriate steps for preventive measures
Fortress staff were able to find a wide range of information on the target, including current and past addresses; date of birth; contact information; information on relatives; number of children; type and age of business licenses; as well as education history. Two businesses were discovered that the candidate had previously opened, but were dissolved administratively and voluntarily for failure to provide annual finance reports. This discovery would allow the client to probe the business integrity of the candidate, as well as bring into question any tax legislation the candidate might propose in their campaign.
Our staff transitioned from the candidate’s personal background to reviewing the candidate’s political and policy history, which involved listening to speeches and interviews, as well as reading and reviewing policy initiatives and legislation. This allowed the team to understand fully the candidate’s political leanings, including that the candidate appeared to have never strayed from the views of their associated party. An interesting note uncovered by Fortress staff was that the candidate had traumatic personal life experiences that appear to have shaped and cemented the candidate’s legislative leanings showing a possible overly emotional approach to the candidate’s governing. This information will allow the client to understand their opponent and in turn help to formulate a successful campaign narrative.
Fortress staff also reviewed the candidates campaign funds. The team investigated hundreds of donations to ensure that there were no malicious actors donating to the campaign. The donations were then reviewed for connections to individuals who could potentially create a conflict of interest for the candidate or were attempting to sow influence with the campaign. The campaign appeared to follow all campaign finance laws and no discrepancies were found with any of the donation amounts.