Professor Huhtineni presentation "The Double Edge of Information Sword" | University of Tartu Centre of Ethics

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Professor Huhtineni presentation "The Double Edge of Information Sword"

On Friday, 13th of February (14:15, @Jaobi 2 - 336) professor Aki-Mauri Huhtinen will give a presentation "The Double Edge of Information Sword". In his presentation he addresses the history political control of information networks; the rhizomatic theory of information communication; and the new way of weaponizing ofinformation. Following these phenomenological
description I asks how we should organize our social activities in thisnew “hybrid”information environment in order to take consider the both side of society, namely the private freedom and the public control.

The Double Edge of Information Sword

Aki-Mauri Huhtinen

Military Professor, Department of Leadership and Military Pedagogy, Finnish National Defence University, Helsinki, Finland.

email: aki.huhtinen [ät] mil.fi

 

Abstract

In 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its clandestine propaganda machine, the West became ever more confident that globalization supported by an information technology network, the Internet, would increase openness, liberalism, and democracy; the core values of the “free world.” The western leaders knew then, just like they know now, a quarter of a century later that the power of the Internet will grow as the technology that controls its use develops.

And developed it has. However, no development is all good and the Internet is no exception. It seems that the technology that has enabled us to create a “global village” where people are able to communicate in a way that is open, free and that bypasses the encumbrances of class and ethnicity has also brought with it a very dark underworld, an uncontrolled rhizome or meshwork, where propaganda, trolling and hate speeches thrive. (see Coyne 2014)

 

However, this concern of negativity goes far beyond just a few questionable messages posted online. According to Munro (2005), media, business, politics and military organizations are increasingly reliant upon information technology, which means that technology has become a valuable resource and a deadly weapon in its own right. This naturally means that all information whether political or economic has become militarized and weaponized. (Chong 2013, 604) Cyber warfare, and everything it includes, from corrupting the adversaries networks to spreading false information, is thus slowly becoming the most dangerous form of war there is. For example, the Kremlin’s weaponizing of information, culture, and money is an integral part of its vision for the 21st-century “hybrid” or “non-linear” war: “In the 21st century, we have seen a tendency toward blurring the lines between the states of war and peace.” (Gerasimov 2013).

My aim is to describe this extremely modern and trendy process of weaponizing information. First, I will familiarize the audience with the theoretical concept of rhizome (Deleuce & Guttari 1983). Then, I aim to describe the weaponizing process of information by using Iain Munro’s (2005) description of the information warfare. I will also integrate some quotes that reflect well the Kremlin’s new strategic communication policy. These quotes will facilitate the reader’s understanding of the rhizome process. Lastly, I will discuss the possible consequences of the phenomenon of hybrid information environment.

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