The defense intelligence agency makes reports on threat levels of Russia in using information warfare and it included a cyber-enabled psychological warfare operation. Russia has many known government backed trolls to spread the pro-Moscow information all around the world and no one knows if that number of trolls is increasing or declining although I would say that they are increasing with the amount of misinformation spreading around these days. The DIA director says that the Russian military threat will likely increase. They say in the future the Russians may be able to create information blockades and achieve information dominance. The Russians have been in the information warfare sector probably since the very beginning and there is no chance that they will ever back down.
The Russians aim to shape and manipulate the perception of foreign people. They have been doing it for a long time now because of the speed of the spread of information over the internet it seems Russia is on top of that game. Russia wants to sway the peoples view into thinking that Russia is superior to any other nation state in information dissemination. This kind of persuasion or spreading of propaganda is proven very effective in spreading division in other countries. If you think about it if you can divide a country to an extent that everyone hates each other for opposing views than maybe that country would be much more susceptible to an invasion with physical force. I don’t know if that will ever happen but with how politics works in the united states there is plenty of division so maybe the people of the united states already are trained for these kind of divisive tactics which means that they are pretty much useless.
There is also mention of automated bots being used by Russia in information warfare, which is a real threat. Programming bots to spread information dividing the public opinion even further can be effective because bots work at a level that is not achievable by man. Bots work so fast that one message could be spread a million times in a second if the bot is programmed to do so. The use of bots can only increase in the realm of information warfare especially with the up and coming artificial intelligence capabilities. Bots are a real threat to be looked at very carefully if we are ever going to get the edge in the information warfare sector.
Author: John Rowan
I am a Computer Science major at West Chester University and I love everything to do with computers. My specialty is Android programming but I actually love to code in any language specifically learning new things.