Volume 19, Issue 2

Volume 19, Issue 2 Editorial

Stilized image of Word

Spring 2020

When I wrote the editorial of the previous edition (19.1), COVID-19 was this distant item in the news that occasionally was mentioned. In the last three months, it has changed the world as we know it, with hundreds of thousands of deaths, the global economy moving to a depression, with a new existence for all involving social distancing while we wait for a vaccine to be developed. Into this environment, the use of information, for good and for bad intentions, has grown tremendously as different groups try to seize the narrative and cast blame or divert attention. In addition, academics and researchers are feeling the pain as Universities and Colleges are shutdown, with huge losses in revenue and funding.These are indeed strange times, and unfortunately, I am not sure that it will get better soon, so as a group I ask that we all continue to write and publish, rigorous and detailed papers, that demonstrate and reveal the truth to ensure that we are not blinded by lies and innuendo. 

A Social Contract for Cyberspace


A social contract is about the rights and responsibilities among the members of the society on one hand and the state and government on the other. Cyberspace, by serving as a unique global platform for the connection and communication of its billions of users, creates its own social structure and thereby forms a new regulatory ecosystem. The societal reform that is facilitated by cyberspace challenges the traditional understanding of rights and responsibilities that shape social contract theory. The disinformation campaigns, the spread of hate speech, and the emergence of systemic algorithmic discrimination are examples that illustrate the need for new rules and social agreements between all stakeholders. 

A General Theory of Influence in a DIME/PMESII/ASCOP/IRC2 Model


The leading question of this paper is “How can one conceptualise influence warfare in order to simulate it?” The authors discuss the foundational aspects of theory and model of influence warfare by building a conceptual framework. The framework forms a prism with three axes along the DIME/PMESII/ASCOP dimensions. The DIME concept groups the many instru-ments of power a nation-state can muster into four elements: Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economics. PMESII describes the operational environment in six domains: Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, and Infrastructure. ASCOPE is used in COunterINsurgency (COIN) environments to analyse the cultural and human environment (the ‘human terrain’) and encompasses Areas, Structures, Capabilities, Organization, People, and Events.

The Persuasion Game: Serious Gaming Information Warfare and Influence


In an age of hybrid, asymmetric, and non-linear conflict, the role of Information Operations has become increasingly important. This paper presents a research project examining ways of better enabling stakeholders to respond to the increasing use of influence in warfare, in hybrid conflict, in competition, and in the realms of hard and soft politics. The project consisted of an international, cross-sector research group that drew on military, government, academic, and industry expertise in order to understand the best way to employ wargame influence. The use of wargaming as a training/research tool is familiar in military and civil contexts; the project discussed presents a truly innovative approach to influence studies, and shows the benefits of an interdisciplinary, cross-domain research team.

Optimal Sensor Placement in the Network Structure from a Defence Point of View


This article presents a method for optimising sensor placement in a general network topology. Sensor placement is calculated by balancing maximised closeness to the monitored nodes with sensor location distribution for protection. The model serves cyber defence planning and critical infrastructure defence. It uses node and link weights as parameters to describe information quantity, data importance to a defender, and criticality to the network operator. General network analysis, together with a penalty factor for describing distributed defence requirements, underpins the methodology. The Sprint operator network in the USA is used as an example to demonstrate the methodology.

Information Security, Personality, and Justifications for Norm Violation


Human factors account for 27% of data breaches on the global scale. Even with clear and often strict policies in place, employees are often considered to be the weakest link in the field of Information Security (IS. This paper seeks to find one explanation for this phenomenon in military context by exploring military cadets’ personalities, as well as their reasons and justifications for using neutralisation techniques in order to deviate from organisational IS regulations. The results of this paper emphasise that a more personalised approach to IS education could be useful.

An Argument for Establishing a National Security Council Interagency Information Warfare Directorate - Part I


The following three articles examine three causal mechanisms prompting U.S. adversarial nation states to shift preference from conventional warfare (CW) to Non-Conventional Warfare (NCW): (1) the expansion of the information environment; (2) the globalisation, diffusion, and weaponisation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); and (3) their acknowledgment that NCW provides a broader menu of indirect approaches not previously afforded through traditional CW. It cautions U.S. decision makers to recognise this shift and to counter it by establishing an interagency Information Warfare Directorate in the National Security Council (NSC). The NSC IWD should draft practical policies that result in the integration of the various aspects of domestic and foreign departments and agencies to cross-coordinate NCW activities. This will require remediating national policy and authority gaps as well as addressing any shortcomings in the budget allocation process.

An Argument for Establishing a National Security Council Interagency Information Warfare Directorate - Part II


This article expands upon the previous article by examining the efficacy of Conventional Warfare (CW in a Non-Conventional Warfare (NCW environment. In particular, it attempts to characterise the relationship between globalisation and diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT, in relation to its antifragility in NCW settings. More broadly, it argues that in an information-rich environment, characterised by advanced ICTs, adversaries now have the means to circumvent CW superiority and to influence policy asymmetrically. This article concludes that ICTs may align more appropriately with an NCW paradigm rather than the ostensible CW paradigm embraced by the West.

An Argument for Establishing a National Security Council Interagency Information Warfare Directorate - Part III


This concluding article briefly returns to the key themes identified in the first two articles in relation to the three causal mechanisms that prompted U.S. adversarial nation states to shift preference from Conventional Warfare (CW) to Non-Conventional Warfare (NCW). The article argues that by attaching an overt degree of salience to the integration of ICT in CW, analysts have overlooked its potential in NCW. 

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.


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