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Information Warfare on Mass Media

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Information Warfare on Mass Media

Susan Blakley


Our society and critical infrastructures have become largely dependent on computer networks and information technology solutions. Cyber-attacks have become much more of a problem as our technology has increased. Information media can be divided into two forms of forms of communication which are social and traditional media. Social and traditional media platforms continue to become increasingly popular across countries around the world, making information dissemination very accessible. (Zhang et al, 2013) Information in all its manifestations has been central to institutional power since dawn of humankind. (van Vureen, 2018)

 Countries have continuously employed tactics that have benefited the military and political agendas, such as nudging voters and causing cultural conflict using “information warfare”. These cyber-attacks have manipulated opponents’ opinions and decision causing conflicts and controversies amongst the public. Some of the things that have been orchestrated includes target breaches followed by leaking of data to employ troll armies to push disinformation.  Private organizations have also been targeted over the years using cyber operations. Attacks that occur usually occurs happens to further economic issues that benefits a cause and advances agendas.

Information-warfare applied to economic agendas will likely create conflicts that would generate public relations and legal controversies to harm companies with investors or create political backlashes. Adversaries always try to breach companies, social media accounts and news media to spread fake news or embellished news stories.  On many levels, cyber warfare brings the battle closer to home, by affected its construing the public’s opinion on incomplete truths. (Grobler et al, 2013) Legions of secrets cyber criminals can stoke consumer backlash by amplifying minor controversies and disseminating fabricated stories at a large scale.

Mass media reach not only people’s homes, but also their minds, shaping their thoughts and sometimes behavior. Many of the events that have occurred over the twentieth century were produced or intensified over the airwaves: radios were used to propagate Nazi ideology in Germany and spur genocide in Rwanda, Somali warlords use it to incite violence and it has been instrumental with television, fomenting ethnic animosity in other countries around the world. (Meltz, n.d)

Information is increasingly linked to power. As individuals it is important to ensure that data is protected because networks that are breach can be far-reaching. In an age where information is increasingly becoming a security, liability is a reality for the world at large. (van Vureen, 2018) Protest movements have been gathering forces in the cyberspace for viral propaganda and debilitating IT infrastructure attacks. In certain countries around the world, the information that is being shared usually portrays the state of one’s nation as stabilized and that the quality of life is outstanding. But nowadays, there are new methods of social control: informational control, in which people’s behavior is programmed by the information conveyed to them or hidden from them. (Morev, 2017)

Russia participation in hybrid warfare which is a military strategy that combines itself with conventional war, small war, and information war in a single whole. With that being said information warfare is an integral part of hybrid warfare and the media are one of its main weapons. (Morev, 2017) Once the Soviet Union occurred, Russia capitalized on the opportunity to mold and shape its country and citizens in ways that benefited the way government would have control. During the years when the Soviet was in power the standard of living was a lot worse that it is now by far but the spiritual and moral foundations of Russian Society was stronger than it is today. (Morev, 2017)

Africa a continent filled a vast amount of resources and power has long history of political and civil uproars that has kept countries unstable for decades. In Africa information warfare poses a significant national risk. The level of potential hostility in Africa ensures that all methods of promoting interests in a fairly hostile environment are used. (van Vureen, 2018) The people that hold power manipulate and force the rest of the population into submission with whatever means at their disposal by using information warfare.

        Conflicts and riots across African countries have become some problematic other the years that has caused Western countries to turn a blind eye to what is going on. Cameroon one of the richest agricultural countries in the world and has had the same president for over 30 years. It is a country divided by several tribes with 2 primary languages being French and English. The French regions dominates the English regions has suppressed the English speakers. The recently authorized used of jamming technology in the English speaking regions and cutting of their wages shows the dominance the elite political figures have on their people. This event has even caused the English speaker region wanting to annex from the country and create its own nation. Aggressive pro-French troll campaigns have manipulated the public debate and silenced citizens.

As trolling, hacking and other oppression techniques will only get worse in the future, governments need to find ways to defend individual from information attacks. (Aro, 2016) Information provides knowledge and a sense of understanding of events happening around the world. When the information is presented in a way that leaves the audience to have speculation on issues and topics presented, it creates confusion. Confusion is not acceptable and unwanted by the general mass population. The way that government uses it power progressively controls how effectively countries may be influencing politics and national security against one another.

The technological development and the instant communication not only advance economic and social developments but also evolving threats from those who exploit the vulnerabilities with the system. (Ducaru, 2016). Therefore, national security goes on the assumption that only the state can make the decision to share certain classes of information, because only high- ranking officials who enforce existing policy can determine the danger that disclosure can create. (Fenster, 2017) Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are individuals who are considered enemies to the United States of America for releasing classified information to the general public. In instances as such, these two people wanted the America public to know the truth of what is really not being told to the general population.


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