Terrorist Use of the Internet and Related Information Technologies   [open pdf - 178KB]

"How will U.S. national security policy be affected by terrorist exploitation of the Internet and related information technologies? Information operations are nothing new; they have been used in military operations throughout the history of conflict. Arguably, however, the combination of breakneck speed of technological advances in information management systems and evolving threats the U.S. national security are redefining forever the nature of warfare. Some proponents have seen the great promise of information operations as the capability to mitigate, if not eliminate, the fog and friction of war by 'seeing all'. Consequently, current information operations doctrine seems to be focused squarely on the advantages of using leading edge technologies to obtain real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, thus creating a 'common operating picture' of a more or less traditional battlefield. However, as the recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington illustrate, we will likely continue to face significant threats from elusive, unconventional enemies operating in the shadows of a nontraditional 'battlefield'. Moreover, because of the proliferation of cheap, dual-use information technology, these enemies may possess now, or acquire in the future, the technical expertise and hardware to further their own political agendas, harass and frustrate U.S. attempts to conduct information operations (perhaps even to the extent of negating U.S. information superiority altogether), or directly attack the U.S. infrastructure or population. Information technology has thus given terrorists their own ability to 'see all' on their own traditional battlefield: the populations and civilian infrastructure of the nations they wish to influence or destroy."

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Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
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