A New Kind of Information Warfare?
Consider a case. Country A wants certain politicians in Country B to lose the forthcoming election. To achieve this goal, it uses its intelligence and military to launch a series of publications into the cyberspace of Country B. These publications falsely accuse the candidates of bribery, theft, infidelity, and other forms of alleged asocial behavior. Voters believe the stories and these candidates lose.
What’s your view?
Is the use of information and communication technology to gain an advantage over a state—known as information warfare—a security problem? Have there been cases when foreign governments (using various sources such as papers, television, social networks, or other means) tried to deliberately discredit the reputation of foreign countries’ leaders? Search and find examples from international politics. Describe them briefly. Which of the following positions do you support and why? Explain your answer.
1. A country’s character assassination attempts against another state’s leaders are part of today’s digital politics. Such attacks occur everywhere in the world, and the best defense is to ignore them.
2. Character assassination attempts are a form of aggression. They are attacks against a state’s political system and thus—like an act of physical sabotage or a terrorist act—constitute interfer- ence in its domestic affairs. Such attacks should be condemned.
3. Would you support a cyber-strategy involving character attacks on certain foreign leaders if they are known for their unfriendly, even hostile attitude and actions toward the United States and for their deliberate character attacks against US elected leaders and presidential candidates? If yes, what specific actions could this strategy involve? If not, explain why.
Suggested length: 1,200 words