1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Do i have to explain this to the reader or can i leave it open to interpretation?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Ryan Elder, Aug 2, 2015.

    Hello there. Basically in my story I want the villain to set up a kidnap and ransom video that is broadcasted live and online, where he will kill the hostage, if his demands are not met.

    I want for the video to made untraceable, but then with the later video, close to the hostage's time limit, the cop's trace it and find the place in time. I want it to happen just at this right time to get all the key characters in the same place at the same time, where they need to be, for the story to continue.

    Now I was doing research and asking cops how this works. A lot of cops were reluctant to talk about it, but one who is into writing himself did. He gave me some complex tech scenarios, I can use, but basically a video can be either traceable from the beginning, or not traceable at all.

    But he cannot find a way where it is untraceable, then later the cop's finally figure it out. The villain can either have a smart set up or an amateur one, but he cannot go from smart to amateur in a realistic way, when it comes to these things.

    So I am wondering, what if I just left the explanation out as to how they finally traced it to the reader?

    What if the line of dialogue from one cop to another goes "I'll skip the technical crap, the videos are made to be untraceable". Then later when they finally do trace the last broadcast in time, one of the cops says "We figured out how to trace it, but we'll never get this opportunity again!"

    That way the villain can continue making videos after, and they cannot trace the further ones. But do I need more explanation than this, and more research is required to satisfy the reader? Cause I was told my scenario is unrealistic, and it can be either traceable, or not, realistically.

    What do you think? Thanks for the input.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think if it is presented as untraceable, but then is traced just in time there should be some explanation. Maybe they find some faint background sound that they missed the first time around?
     
  3. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Yeah they could do that. Once they find the place, the kidnapper will then have to move to another location for the remaining videos. I just need them to find the place, in order for the story to continue. Since it would be in a basement or some place without any windows to keep the hostage from escaping, would a background noise to the outside be audible enough?

    I wanted to have the villains mistake be that this particular video is a live broadcast, where as the rest were pre-recorded. I think it serves as a more plausible explanation, then finding something, that they couldn't find before just in time. It seems that it's better if the villain makes a mistake on it being live this time around.

    But I cannot find any tech explanation that would work for that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  4. S Raven
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    S Raven Member

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    I run a few websites as a bit of a hobby. I can quickly see which city / country visitors come from, but narrowing down to an exact street address takes a lot more effort. Perhaps as the police are tracing the source of this video, they gradually manage to narrow the search area down?

    edit: There's already a short film out that covers a plot very similar to your idea. I won't post a link, but if you search for 7uii0KKUzYg you should be able to find it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  5. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I could write it so that they find the area where the video is. However, I am writing a screenplay on a very low budget. I wanted to write to that only one cop character finds the hostage hideout. But he would have to search all the houses in the vicinity. So it raises two questions"

    1. Even though he has probable cause, does it still give him the legal right to quickly kick down the doors to search every house before the hostage is harmed?

    2. Can I write it convincing that only he and he alone is the one performing the whole search without back up being available?
     
  6. AgentBen
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    AgentBen Member

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    Why don't you make it untraceable through a firewall, and the tech team hack the firewall and get the location in time.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    First, is it digital or video? That matters.

    Second, are you talking about identifying the location the video was recorded, or the device that it was recorded on, or the location the signal is being sent from?

    If it's a clue in the recording, it should be pretty easy to write in a mistake the bad guy makes. I've seen them where the cops recognize a missile silo by the construction, some unique rivet or wiring.

    If you are talking about tracing the location the video is sent from, that's a different set of steps to find a location. NCIS (TV program) usually shows their equipment tracing the signal all over the world and then back to the original source. They don't explain how, they just show their computer's tracking path progress.
     
  8. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Mainly I just want them to track where the video (digital), is coming from, then send an officer there to rescue the hostage and diffuse the kidnapping. I can write it so that they hack a firewall but these ransom videos are being sent out for weeks, so when it comes to the latest one where I want the hostage to be rescued, I will probably need an explanation why they were able to break down the firewall this time, but not all the previous times, right?
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That works. I don't think a firewall is the key though, but something akin to it. Typically people sending things thru the Net that don't want the original source identified have a number of tactics, mostly they route their connection through other hubs so the source is spoofed.

    You should investigate The Dark Web.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There's no porn but there is info on accessing porn so I've put this in spoilers. If you prefer a video version:

    Clearly the people who post these sites in the first place hide the source they are sending from. What would work in a plot is some police expert hacker that knows how to hack deep web sites to find the source.

    Think 'Anonymous' hacker skills. They keep their identities hidden.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  12. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I have done some research and received other methods as to how a crook can hide being traced. But I still haven't found who the FBI would actually beat the crook at it. Does anybody know where I can find how the FBI would beat? Every site I search on it, deals with criminals who do not know how to hide it. But if I want my characters to be beating the FBI for weeks let's say, until the FBI finally nails, them how does the FBI trace an expert?
     

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