Thursday, October 04, 2007

Paper on Cyber PSYOPS Published

The Foreign Military Studies Office in Ft. Leavenworth has published a paper by Retired LTC Tim Thomas on the use of psychological operations employing online technologies to influence the attitudes and behaviors of both solders and civilian populations - referred to as CYOP (Cyber Psychological Operations).

These technologies include the use of mobile phones for "citizen journalism", the Internet (webpages, text messaging, digital newspapers, email, blogs, etc.) and other more esoteric ideas such as technologies that would affect the thoughts/brains of targets.

Another interesting component of CYOP is the use of deception. While it has always been used in traditional psychological operations, the immediacy of digital communication adds a new dimension. LTC Thomas states:
"Gray or fake news can be inserted quite easily in the cyber age. For example, mobile phones can be the medium through which to send regular messages—in the form of news updates— to discredit leaders or offer a different point of view on the fighting. Some mobile phone messages in Lebanon were headlined with the title “news.” But recipients did not find customary news: instead they found news from the Israeli viewpoint. In addition, the Israelis resurrected a Voice of Lebanon radio station on frequency 103.7 Mhz. While not mentioned in the article, Voice of Lebanon’s reporting could easily be inserted into mobile phone messages, if the former is ever blocked."
The author uses the recent Hezballah/Israeli conflict as a case study of these techniques and their effectiveness.

The full paper can be downloaded:

Hezballah, Israel, and Cyber PSYOP

No comments: