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  • Author: Sergey Boiko
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: INFORMATION and communication technologies (ICTs) provide humankind with unprecedented opportunities. Mass communication technologies, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain, big data, e-government, digital medicine, and cryptocurrencies have become part and parcel of our life. But at the same time, new ICT achievements bring new threats and challenges – primarily to international peace, security and stability, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. The first international warning about those threats came from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). It was issued in the Agreement among the Governments of the SCO Member on Cooperation in the Field of Ensuring International Information Security of June 16, 2009.1 The main threats, the agreement says, are the “development and use of information weapons” and the “preparation and waging of information war.”
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security, Communications, Cybersecurity, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, Digital Policy, Internet of Things, Information Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Cruickshank, Don Rassler, Audrey Alexander, Chelsea Daymon, Meili Criezis, Christopher Hockey, Michael Jones, Mark Dubowitz, Saeed Ghasseminejad, Nikita Malik
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: COVID-19 is arguably the biggest crisis the planet has faced since the Second World War and will likely have significant impacts on international security in ways which can and cannot be anticipated. For this special issue on COVID-19 and counterterrorism, we convened five of the best and brightest thinkers in our field for a virtual roundtable on the challenges ahead. In the words of Magnus Ranstorp, “COVID-19 and extremism are the perfect storm.” According to another of the panelists, Lieutenant General (Ret) Michael Nagata, “the time has come to acknowledge the stark fact that despite enormous expenditures of blood/treasure to ‘kill, capture, arrest’ our way to strategic counterterrorism success, there are more terrorists globally today than on 9/11, and COVID-19 will probably lead to the creation of more.” Audrey Kurth Cronin put it this way: “COVID-19 is a boost to non-status quo actors of every type. Reactions to the pandemic—or more specifically, reactions to governments’ inability to respond to it effectively—are setting off many types of political violence, including riots, hate crimes, intercommunal tensions, and the rise of criminal governance. Terrorism is just one element of the growing political instability as people find themselves suffering economically, unable to recreate their pre-COVID lives.” The roundtable identified bioterrorism as a particular concern moving forward, with Juan Zarate noting that “the severity and extreme disruption of a novel coronavirus will likely spur the imagination of the most creative and dangerous groups and individuals to reconsider bioterrorist attacks.” Ali Soufan warned that “although the barriers to entry for terrorists to get their hands on bio weapons remain high, they are gradually being lowered due to technological advances and the democratization of science.” The special issue also features five articles. Audrey Alexander examines the security threat COVID-19 poses to the northern Syria detention camps holding Islamic State members, drawing on a wide range of source materials, including recent interviews she conducted with General Mazloum Abdi, the top commander of the SDF, and former U.S. CENTCOM Commander Joseph Votel. Chelsea Daymon and Meili Criezis untangle the pandemic narratives spun by Islamic State supporters online. Christopher Hockey and Michael Jones assess al-Shabaab’s response to the spread of COVID-19 in Somalia. Mark Dubowitz and Saeed Ghasseminejad document how the Iranian regime has spread disinformation relating to the pandemic. Finally, Nikita Malik discusses the overlaps between pandemic preparedness and countering terrorism from a U.K. perspective.
  • Topic: Communications, Governance, Counter-terrorism, Media, Islamic State, Crisis Management, Al Shabaab, Pandemic, COVID-19, Disinformation
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, Iran, Middle East, Syria, Global Focus
  • Author: Muhammad Usman Saeed, Mian Hanan Ahmad, Noshina Saleem
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Political Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: In the context of modern information and communication systems, present study was designed to examine the information and communication imbalances among the developed and under developed countries in tweets of international news agencies during 2010-16. Theoretically, the study takes roots from world system theory and structural imperialism theory. Methodologically, the triangulation of method is used. Firstly, the content analysis was performed on purposively selected tweets of four international news agencies; AFP, AP, Reuters and Xinhua about the 15 sample countries for the period of 7 year from 2010-2016. Further, the social network analysis technique was used to examine the network structures of international news determinants and world countries. This study revealed that core and semi-periphery countries are shared more and framed positively, while periphery countries are shared less and portrayal negatively not only by the international news agencies but also by their followers. Further, it was also found that Reuters’ tweets agenda about core, periphery and semi-periphery countries is different from other news agencies specifically from Xinhua. Moreover, study also found that in the tweets of international news agencies the core and semi-periphery countries are covered and shared in context of foreign relations, trade, economy, entertainment, and human interest, while periphery countries are covered and shared with reference to conflicts, disasters, and human rights violations.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Communications, Media, Social Media, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Graham Ebenezer Kurtis
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: The media have played and continue to play a significant role in many ethnic conflicts and wars that ever took place in history and through its reportage humankind has become informed and aware of ethnic-conflict on the globe through various forms. Irrespective of the increase in knowledge, media has negatively impacted the ethnic conflict by several escalations that took place because of the manner information that was provided. This study investigates what these negative impacts are by examining the literature and sorting them to consider media location, outlets, and presentation impact of media. An overlapping discovery has gingered the reclassification of the impact of media in the face of dilemmas. They are Psychoanalysis propaganda and profiteering, freedom and ethics, distortion of reality, and public safety. The media tries to balance in order to choose the lesser consequential path to survive. However, they have all steered to an escalation of ethnic conflicts.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Communications, Media, Social Media
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Indonesia, Syria, Rwanda, Myanmar, Global Focus
  • Author: Manuel R. Torres Soriano
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista UNISCI/UNISCI Journal
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: El propósito de este artículo es analizar el impacto del factor individual sobre la actividad propagandística del terrorismo, tomando como objeto de estudio los grupos de inspiración yihadista. Se mantiene la tesis de que la principal variable que influye en la acción comunicativa de estas organizaciones es la personalidad y habilidades de los individuos que desempeñan estas funciones. Este sesgo personal es fruto de las limitaciones estructurales del terrorismo, entre las que destaca el reducido número de personas que componen su militancia. Se analiza como la actividad propagandística se ve constreñida igualmente por la insuficiente cualificación de los propagandistas, su desconexión con el liderazgo del grupo, y la elevada rotación originada por la insatisfacción que producen estas tareas.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Communications, Insurgency, Al Qaeda, Propaganda, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Global Focus