Volume 19, Issue 4 Editorial

Stilized image of Word Editorial

Fall 2020

Strange times, indeed. Circumstances are dire across the globe. Here in the United States, we see news reports or broadcasts identifying COVID-19 as a combination of the worst pandemic in 100 years, the worst recession since the ’30s, and the worst riots since the ’60s … all rolled into one. On top of the fallout from the pandemic, we are aware that there are a number of Information Warfare (IW) campaigns being conducted around the world, in both positive and negative manners, that can significantly affect the conduct of present and future international policy. The papers in this edition of the JIW reflect the challenges of these times and circumstances.

We lead this issue off with a timely article written by guest author Dr. Dale Stephens, Professor at the University of Adelaide, Director of the Adelaide Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics, Head of the SA/NT Navy Legal Panel, Chair of the South Australian Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Advisory Committee, board member of the Australian Yearbook of International Law, and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Professor Stephens’ article analyzes international Information Operations (IO) in the context of international standards that seek to govern and restrict such operations. Ultimately, Stephens identifies the types of responses (protected by the ‘Freedom of Expression’ right in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) targeted states may legally employ to “contest and counter foreign IO activities that seek to cause harm”.

Ridge Atrews, from the University of Louisville, follows with similar research focused on cyberwarfare, while Timothy Hammond and Anthony Isennor, from Defence Research and Development Canada, explore the uncertainty in military communications. In the fourth article, Karine Pontbriand asks an essential question with regard to modern transnational cybersecurity, namely, ‘Is Cooperation with China Possible?’ Next, J Petri Vähäkainu Martti Lehto, and Antti Kariluoto, all from the University of Jyväskylä, consider the impact of adversarial attacks on Machine Learning Models and offer ways to investigate, detect, and prevent such attacks in the cyber-physical context.

The research in the last three papers are also related to Professor Stephens’ article because they all focus on some iteration of Information Operations (Information Influence, Information War, and Influence Operations). Erja Mustonen-Ollila, Martti Lehto, and Jukka Heikkonen consider ‘Information Influence in Society’s Information Environment’; Salim Hussaini and Travis Morris write about the use of frames in the Information War being waged by the Taliban; and Arild Bergh’s article, ‘Understanding Influence Operations in Social Media: A Cyber Kill Chain Approach’, rounds out the issue.

Together, these articles (and the research they reflect) reveal the breadth and depth of both the capabilities and effects of the discipline that is the focus of this journal: Information Warfare. Here’s hoping they all contribute to our understanding of that discipline and our responses to the strange times in which we find ourselves.

Dr. Leigh Armistead, CISSP
Chief Editor, Journal of Information Warfare


Peregrine Technical Solutions, LLC Yorktown, VA

Dr. Leigh Armistead is the President of Peregrine Technical Solutions, a certified 8(a) small business that specializes in cyber security, and the Chief Editor of the Journal  of  Information Warfare. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (1984), earned  a  master’s  degree  in Military History from Old Dominion University (1993), and a doctorate in Computer and Information Science from Edith Cowan University (2009). His major field of study is cyber power. He has published three books—all of which focus on the full spectrum of information warfare. He founded the International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, and the Vice-Chair Working Group 9.10–ICT Uses in Peace and War. He is a retired Naval officer.


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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