Volume 22, Issue 3

Volume 22, Issue 3 Editorial

Styled image of the word Editorial

Summer 2023

Welcome to the latest edition of the Journal of Information Warfare. Enclosed are nine double-blind peer-reviewed academic papers that encompass a wide variety of topics and issues:

Cyber Threat Intelligence: A Component of Emergency Management Intelligence


Cybertechnology is critical for operational and other aspects of public/private emergency/disaster management (EM). Any adverse impacts of incidents to the public could be cyber-oriented and/or attacks may be directed at EM entities themselves. The application of cyber threat intelligence (CTINT) to EM needs to be implemented as part of an overall paradigm change to both the EM’s Incident Command System (ICS) structure and the Intelligence Community’s modus operandi. This change must be incorporated into a new concept of Emergency Management Intelligence (EMINT) and widely promulgated through both EM and the IC. EMINT’s need for cyber threat intelligence—whether via tradecraft from the IC or not—must be centrally curated and disseminated throughout EM’s ICS for collaborative incident response and recovery.

Evaluating the Ambiguous Cognitive Terrain: A Framework to Clarify Disinformation


Defense and civilian planners have struggled to place disinformation as a discrete weapon in the cognitive domain. This is so because disinformation is inadequately and ambiguously defined for military and civilian components. When comparing the cognitive terrain to other forms of geography, it becomes evident why it is contested and relevant to national security. This paper analyzes the reasons for the ambiguity and explains why national security professionals must develop a framework to identify disinformation. Because disinformation is an element of cognitive warfare, it can be defined using a set of three criteria. The criteria fix disinformation in the cognitive domain enabling the warfighter and homeland defenders to counter and use it effectively.

Get Real Integrated Information Warfare Training, Get Better Naval Lethality at Sea


Information warfare will no doubt be at the forefront of any major conflict between the global powers at sea. An integrated training environment that includes all elements of information warfare is necessary to ensure a battle-ready information force fully capable of supporting a commander's intent and decision cycle starting in the training cycle and carrying through a deployment. Commanders must have complete understanding of the operational battlespace to include information warfare in order to win at sea; an integrated training environment is a critical component not to be overlooked.

Sovereign Citizen Rhetoric as Narrative Warfare


Sovereign Citizen rhetoric is a security issue in Australia, linked to the incitement of violent extremism. Amplifiers of Sovereign Citizen rhetoric argue that government institutions are illegitimate, and individuals are not subject to the law. This article seeks to frame a question for further research in relation to the Sovereign Citizen security threat: can Sovereign Citizen rhetoric be understood as weaponised strategic narrative? If Sovereign Citizen rhetoric is weaponised strategic narrative, should governments of liberal democracies, such as Australia, frame policy responses on a narrative warfare platform? It is argued that anthropological analysis can be applied to address these questions.

Combatting Privacy Information Warfare: A New Incident Response Framework


When nation-state actors weaponize information to harm individuals, communities, and societies, they erode civilian confidence in legitimate authorities, institutions, and defences to impact national security. This paper proposes new conceptual models and a methodology, the Privacy Incident Response Plan (PIRP). The methodology’s design prepares and mitigates privacy-related harms, tactics, techniques, and mitigation strategies to counter sophisticated threat actors. Using this methodology, contingency planners and incident responders can develop strategies to defend against the privacy harms of information warfare.

Covert Action as Hybrid Warfare—Clarifying the Semantics


In the era of labels, distinguishing between constructs is becoming increasingly difficult. Covert action and hybrid warfare are two constructs suffering from this predicament. The question is whether covert action is hybrid warfare, vis-a-versa, or whether one construct eclipsed the other. In an era where covert action has become problematic from an international relations perspective, is this predicament being resolved by labelling covert action as hybrid warfare? This article explores the semantics and nuances of these two constructs to clarify their relative utility. The paper argues that covert action is subordinate to hybrid warfare. Covert action forms part of a synchronized line of effort within a broader hybrid warfare campaign, when planned effectively against a target and target audience(s).

Mirroring a Progressive Muslim Proselytizer: Considering How Whaley’s Unexpected Players Can Influence Influencers in Islamic Boarding School Communities


The late American deception scholar Barton Whaley completed an unpublished manuscript in 1980 that explored the influence of unexpected players in deception and information warfare. This relatively unknown Whaley typology of misperception provides a conceptual framework for considering how the introduction of unexpected players into difficult cultural environments, such as Islamic boarding school communities, can make friendly influencers appear more authentic. This ethnography of communication case study suggests that pairing an Other with a native influencer, however counterintuitive, influences audiences to form more authentic impressions of native influencers because the Other is so different.

Commanding the Trend—A Policy Analysis


This article seeks to define what an Internet Referral Unit (‘IRU’) is by examining different IRUs in various jurisdictions and discerning their functions. It also makes a policy argument with respect to the implementation of an IRU in an Australian domestic setting. It does so by analysing Anglo-Saxon norms with respect to censorship and determining the best means of implementing an IRU that would give effect to rational public policy. It does so to highlight, through a legal history perspective and policy success perspective, that cybersecurity often brings with it new challenges to age-old questions. The paper posits that the establishment of an IRU would be consistent with Anglo-Saxon practice, leading to the issue of what legal frameworks would need to be established.

Commanding the Trend—A Legal Analysis


* This paper was first presented at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland by the first author and has benefited from the comments and questions posed by members of the conference.

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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