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Information warfare

Battlespace use and management of information and communication technology / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Information warfare (IW) is the battlespace use and management of information and communication technology (ICT) in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent. It is different from cyberwarfare that attacks computers, software, and command control systems. Information warfare is the manipulation of information trusted by a target without the target's awareness so that the target will make decisions against their interest but in the interest of the one conducting information warfare.[1][2] As a result, it is not clear when information warfare begins, ends, and how strong or destructive it is.[3]

A collage of various elements of information warfare from the first quarter of the 21st century. Clockwise from top left: Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Russian Armed Forces military exercise (2015); a United States Army soldier during virtual training (2009); United States Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki addressing death threats against the U.S. ambassador to Japan (2015); the Brandenburg Gate with the flag of France overlaid following the November 2015 Paris attacks (2015); Anonymous hacktivists protesting Scientology (2008); pamphlets distributed at the 2011 Egyptian revolution and the Revolution of Dignity that are inexplicably identical (2011; 2014)

Information warfare may involve the collection of tactical information, assurance(s) that one's information is valid, spreading of propaganda or disinformation to demoralize or manipulate[4] the enemy and the public, undermining the quality of the opposing force's information, and denial of information-collection opportunities to opposing forces. Information warfare is closely linked to psychological warfare.[5]

The United States Armed Forces' use of the term favors technology and hence tends to extend into the realms of electronic warfare, cyberwarfare, information assurance and computer network operations, attack, and defense. Other militaries use the much broader term information operations which, although making use of technology, focuses on the more human-related aspects of information use, including (amongst many others) social network analysis, decision analysis, and the human aspects of command and control.

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