Volume 15, Issue 4 Editorial

Fall 2016

Post-Truth. Conspiracy Theories. Influence Campaigns. The last few months have been incredibly interesting (and perhaps, terrifying) from an information warfare perspective because all of the issues that have been researched, written about, and published by so many authors and in so many forums are now being played out on the world stage. It is also clear that the shift from the Industrial Age to the Information Environment may not mean that the U.S. will forever remain the dominant player in the political arena.

In this issue of the Journal of Information Warfare, Miika Sartonen, Aki-Mauri Huhtinen, and Martti Lehto bring us a timely update in their paper, ‘Rhizomatic Target Audiences of the Cyber Domain’. Their research updates older influence-operations models suggested by some of the best scholars in the field—including John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt who, in 1997, combined a number of their own essays with essays from other experts in the field, including Martin Libicki, and published In Athena’s camp: preparing for conflict in the information age (RAND, Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A.). In these essays, the authors discussed how nation-states will lose power to hybrid structures within this interconnected architecture, in which access and connectivity (including bandwidth) will be the two key pillars of any new organisation. Taken together, Arquilla and Ronfeldt’s work, as well as Libicki’s, suggested that, in the future, truth and guarded openness will be the best approaches to conducting business in both the private and government sectors. They also asserted that time zones  will  be  more  important  than  borders  in  the  future.  Moreover,  these  academics predicted that the future (which is ‘now’) will be on its way to becoming an age of small groups using networks to conduct ‘swarming’ attacks that will force changes in policy. Key features of their predictions include:

  • Wide open communication links, where speed is everything;
  • Little to no censorship, where individuals will control their own information flow;
  • The emergence of truth and quality, but not initially; and,
  • The weakening of nation-states and the strengthening of networks.

The staff here at JIW welcomes your articles and research into these areas. Our greatest hopes are that this journal and its contributors and reviewers can all be agents of change and that, through collaboration and discussion, our journal can become a vehicle for truth. If not, then the cyber power that Arquilla and Ronfeldt believe can change the world (In Athena’s camp) will be used solely for political, financial, or social gain as noted in their article titled ‘The promise of noopolitik’.

In the hope that our readers will be interested in contributing to this discussion and so many others that appear within the journal’s pages, we have prepared a list of upcoming conferences that you might consider contributing to and/or attending. They are wonderful places to speak with your colleagues, and those meetings can be incredibly productive, as you know.

  • The  12th  International  Conference  on  Cyber  Warfare  and  Security  2017, Wright State University & the Center for Cyberspace Research, Air Force Institute of Technology , 2-3 March 2017, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. (For more, see www.academic-conferences.org/conferences/iccws/.)
  • The 9th International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon 2017), Tallinn, Estonia, 30 May through 2 June 2017. (The conference will focus on the fundamental aspects of cyber security with a theme of ‘Defending the Core’. For additional information, see https://ccdcoe.org/cycon/frontpage.html.)
  • The 16th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, University College Dublin, Ireland, 29-30 June 2017, Dublin, Ireland. (More information can be found at http://www.academic-conferences.org/conferences/eccws/.)
  • Also, the  Australians host their academic conferences each year in late November/early December at Edith Cowan University in Perth. (For more details, visit http://ro.ecu.edu.au/secconf/.)

Cheers, Dr. Leigh Armistead, CISSP
Chief Editor, Journal of Information Warfare
larmistead@gbpts.com


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