Burnt by the Digital Sun

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How are liberal democracies balancing the right to freedom of expression with addressing false information and hostile actions in the information environment? This report begins by surveying how the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, France, and Germany are grappling with this intricate Gordian knot. Next, it offers an introductory examination of “information warfare” and how it is shaping the great power competition between Russia, China, and the United States. Granted, information warfare is a hotly contested term with many competing definitions within the field of military science, as well as across Western and Eastern cultures; however, this report refers to it as the military art of using information to deliberately mislead an adversary and influence their decision making for a strategic purpose. Lastly, to help inform effective policy against such persistent information threats, the report outlines a creative multi-pronged framework.

Zhanna L. Malekos Smith
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Aerospace Security Project, and Adjunct Fellow (Non-resident), Strategic Technologies Program