We discuss a Red Team-Blue Team (RT-BT) study conducted to examine the formation and efficacy of social networks in self-organizing, ad hoc, or crowd-sourced intelligence and counter-intelligence operations in grassroots, improvised communities. Student volunteers were sorted into two teams: one team (Blue) was asked to find puzzle pieces using clues provided by the organizers, with the goal of reconstructing a message contained therein, while the opposing team (Red) was tasked with disrupting this process. While the Blue Team quickly organized into an efficient, centrally-governed structure, the Red Team instead adopted a decentralized, distributed operational network to hinder puzzle completion, using creative and diverse infiltration and disruption methods to interfere in the more centralized, hierarchical organization of their opponents. This exercise shows how untrained, unaffiliated individuals may self-organize into different types of social organizations to accomplish common tasks when aware of potential adversarial organizations, and how these choices may affect their efficacy in accomplishing collaborative clandestine goals.
Myers, Kellen, Ashley DeNegre, Lazaros Gallos, Natalie Lemanski, Alexander Mayberry, Agnesa Redere, Samantha Schwab, Oliver Stringham, and Nina H. Fefferman. 2019. "Dynamic Ad Hoc Social Networks in Improvised Intelligence/Counter-Intelligence Exercises: A Department of Homeland Security Red-Team Blue-Team Live-Action Roleplay." Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (June). https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jhsem.ahead-of-print/jhsem-2018-0027/jhsem-2018-0027.xml