Technology improvements and the rapid acceleration of computer systems and network have significantly impacted societies over the last 20 years, with countless improvements in work areas of productivity, health, connectivity, education and science (Gruyter, 2014, p. 459). Technology provides the foundation of the modern developed nation with computer systems operating and managing electrical, water, sewerage, telecommunications, transport and other utilities in vast, complex automated arrangements. Technological innovation has significantly enabled globalization by overcoming traditional territorial and national boundaries, connecting societies, organizations and people that would otherwise never would (Naseem, 1999, p. 636). These technology enhancements have created a hyperconnected world in which everyone has ‘the potential to communicate and to interact with anyone, anywhere at anytime’ (McGuire, 2014, p. 77). While there are countless benefits to hyperconnectivity, it also aids in the growth, proliferation and reach of criminal entities in scales that range from gangs to non-state terrorist groups. Paralleling the surge in dependence on technology and computer systems is the rise in threats to computer systems themselves, and threat of using computer systems to attack groups within society (Döge, 2016, p. 487). A challenge that has arisen when developing policy and legislation is clearly defining and separating cybercrime, cyberterrorism and cyberwar. This essay will contextualize the distinctiveness of cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar, and will define the circumstances that allow for cyberterrorism to be separated from cybercrime and cyberwar. (more…)
The term terrorism can be traced back to France’s ‘reign of terror’ between 1793 and 1794 (Addicott, 2004, p. 1), with the terminologies appearance in literature gradually increased from the 1940s, with peaks in the late 1970s and 1980s, before increasing significantly after the 11th of September 2001 (Google, 2016). Yet despite the increased use of the term terrorism ‘there is no global consensus on a precise definition of terrorism’ (Addicott, 2004, p. 1). Since the French reign of terror the strategy of terrorism has slowly evolved as a ‘means of bringing about political change opposed by established governments’ (Crenshaw, 1990, p. 10), with terrorism adopting new methods over time that introduce new opportunities for dissent, including hostage taking (Crenshaw, 1990). Regardless of the method of dissent, the nature and rationality of terrorism has remained unchanged with extremists seeking ‘a radical change in the status quo’ in order to creates a new advantage, or ‘the defense of privileges they perceive to be threatened’ (Crenshaw, 1990, p. 10), with extremists turning to violent terrorist methods when other non-violent methods of dissent have failed (Crenshaw, 1990). Most common definitions do not clearly articulate that terrorism ‘may be used by insurgents and incumbent regimes’ (Wardlaw, 1982), with the definition of political terrorism summarized as ‘the use, or threat of use, of violence by an individual or a group, whether acting for or in opposition to established authority, when such action is designed to create extreme anxiety and/or fear-inducing effects in a target group larger than the immediate victims with the purpose of coercing that group into acceding to the political demands of the perpetrators’ (Wardlaw, 1982, p. 16). This academic definition underpins the legal definitions across most western nations, whereby a terrorist act ‘is carried out for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause; is intended to intimidate a section of the public, or compel a government to do or abstain from doing any act; and involves serious violence against a person, property, or endangers life’ (Hardy & Williams, 2014, p. 5). In order for an act to be considered terrorism, it must meet the legal requirements of such an act. (more…)
THE EFFECT OF CONVENTIONAL RUNNING SHOES ON THE FOOT AND THE BENEFITS OF MINIMALIST FOOTWEAR
Blaming the running injury epidemic on big, bad Nike seems too easy – but that’s okay, because it’s largely their fault.
It was usually only seen within the alternative circles of society and the occasional Olympic athlete; however since the release of the award winning book ‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall, the trend and appeal of barefoot running has grown exponentially. The rise of the ‘barefoot movement’ has sparked criticism and applause amongst different groups, with mixed reviews and a burden of proof over its legitimacy.
The criticism of the barefoot movement stems from the sole idea that there is insufficient evidence to prove the benefits and that there is no research into the long-term effects of barefoot running; with the implication and attitude that the long-term effects are potentially harmful.
This essay will examine the evolution of the human foot, the history of running and the development of the modern running shoe. The implications of the running shoe will be highlighted by analysing the varying running styles, injuries and other health effects. To conclude, the essay will examine the rise of minimalist footwear and the benefits they posses.
INFORMATION OPERATIONS: TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
Maintaining public support and will is a critical component, in many cases the critical component, to successful military operations. Commanders can claim victory but it is the public who will determine if and when victory is achieved.
In the last twenty years, there have been significant developments in the nature of warfare. Since the development of the internet and the rise of asymmetric warfare, the battlespace has extended further into the information domain than most nations had anticipated. The concept and idea of Information Operations (IO) is not new; it is the umbrella term of the older paradigms of Psychological Operations (PSYOPS), Deception, Operations Security (OPSEC) and Electronic Warfare (EW) with the developing category of Computer Network Operations (CNO); there is a growing acceptance that Civil Military Operations (CIMIC), Public Affairs (PA) and Public Diplomacy (PD) fall within the IO stream.
With origins pre-dating World War I, the role and importance of Information Operations has grown with each major conflict. World War II proved the importance of PSYOPS, OPSEC and Deception and the conflict in Vietnam proved the importance that domestic perception and the media play in a government’s ability to effectively carry out military action against a foreign entity; and subsequently, how much influence the human population that surrounds the enemy has on his ability to conduct war.
This essay will analyse the future of Information Operations over the next ten years through discussing the drivers, trends and key events that have shaped IO. The essay will look at the events since the 2001 September 11 attacks against the United States, and how Information Operations has developed in twelve years of conflict, both civilian and military, throughout the world. The development of IO, implications and lessons learnt during this period are the key drivers in the future and the pathway IO will take over the next ten years.