Since the battlefront for the control and organization of information has largely shifted away from a competition between great powers toward an effort by the world’s major states to reign in an influx of small groups intent on destroying or disrupting those states for ideological and religious reasons information terrorism can be defined as the attempt to negatively impact major states through the use of information-related deceit, disorder, and disruption by these small groups.
Arquilla and Ronfeldt (1997) claimed — prior to the rise of terrorist activities in the current century which have only served to emphasize the point — that “In the new epoch, decisive duels for the control of information flows will take the place of drawn-out battles of attribution or annihilation; the requirement to destroy will recede as the ability to disrupt is enhanced” (p. 2). Because information is diffused over a worldwide network that, by its very nature and by certain design flaws and inattention has remained susceptible to terrorist intervention, terrorists intent on misleading and instilling fear to achieve their aims have found ready access to public and government forums that they have used as means to achieve their ends. Without careful attention being paid to both policy and social developments implemented to define and control these groups and their ill-intended use of information on the internet and related information forums, the health of both states and societies going forward will remain subject those terrorists’ destructive interventions.
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