New article in openDemocracy – iWar: pirates, states and the internet

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I have introduced the term “iWar” (in an piece in NATO Review [Winter 2007], as well as this longer openDemocracy article) to denote attacks carried out over the internet that target the consumer internet infrastructure, such as the websites that provide access to online banking services. In this understanding, iWar is distinct from what the United States calls “cyberwar” or from what China calls “informationalised war”. Each of these refers to controlling communications, access to imagery intelligence, electronic espionage, and battlefield command and control; China’s defence white paper of December 2006, for example, emphasises the importance of gaining supremacy in space to control information assets such as satellites. iWar is different because it exploits the ubiquitous, low-security infrastructure. As a result, while nation-states alone can engage in “cyber” and “informationalised” warfare, iWar can be waged by individuals, corporations, and communities.

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