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The Cyberterrorism Threat: Findings from an Academic Survey

r10 also commented, ‘of course [states can engage in cyberterrorism], but they are likely to have their participation hidden’.: the road to media jihad: the propaganda actions of al qaeda in the islamic maghreb terrorism and political violence 23 (1) 2010 pp.: winning hearts and minds in the ‘war on terrorism’ small wars & insurgencies 14 (1) 2003 pp. similarly, r90 stated: ‘if states sponsor non-state groups to do cyberattacks, then that could easily be described as states (indirectly) engaging in cyberterrorism’. although (as we might expect) no single, universally accepted typology of state terrorism exists (primoratz 2002), these discussions do remind us that the terrorism of states can take myriad forms, and use myriad techniques and technologies. the second is a concerted hostility toward contemporary counter-terrorism practices associated with the post-9/11 ‘war on terrorism’ and its violent excesses. further significant finding from our survey is that a number of respondents drew on empirical reasoning similar to that discussed in the above literature review to argue that there exists a greater threat of state cyberterrorism than non-state cyberterrorism. first, is a relatively straightforward empirical argument which justifies increased attention to state terrorism due to the higher human costs that result from state based violences. his work has been published in journals including millennium: journal of international studies, security dialogue and political studies, and recent books include security: a critical introduction (with jack holland, palgrave: 2015) and anti-terrorism, citizenship and security (with michael lister, manchester university press, 2015). 69% of those who said that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism believed that no cyberterrorist attack has ever occurred – compared to 44% of those who said that states can engage in cyberterrorism. if the perpetrator is a state actor, then the conduct is cyberwarfare[25] or cyber espionage[26], not cyberterrorism. this figure was considerably lower for those who said that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism, at 47%. the second driver is the rise of recent scholarly research on the nature of ‘state terrorism’ more broadly. but whilst the majority of our respondents suggested that states can commit acts of cyberterrorism, there were also dissenting voices.: the neo-nazi menace in germany studies in conflict & terrorism 18 (1) pp. meanwhile, there were other respondents that were willing to accept the concept of state cyberterrorism in principle, but who nonetheless answered no to the survey question on the basis that it is preferable to use a different label[29]. minimally, the aim is to extend the study of terrorism beyond its traditional, narrow, parameters in order to facilitate the analysis of certain state violences under this rubric (for example gunning 2007). in this article we report on findings relating specifically to the question of whether or not states can engage in cyberterrorism. these are then connected to researcher views on the threat posed by cyberterrorism, and accounts of whether or not cyberterrorism has ever taken place that were given within the same survey. first, however this article outlines the methodology used to collect the empirical data on ‘expert’ opinion on cyberterrorism. in this article we report on findings relating specifically to the question of whether or not states can engage in cyberterrorism. for the same reason, the alternative argument – that terrorism is a form of violence which has nothing to do with its practitioner – is, for these respondents at least, equally problematic. the argument presupposes that definitions of terrorism are not actor-specific.

The Cyberterrorism Threat: A Survey of Researchers | Lee Jarvis

(2010) how resisting democracies can defeat substate terrorism: formulating a theoretical framework for strategic coercion against nationalistic sub-state terrorist organizations [thesis] university of st. (2003) a war of words, from lod to twin towers: defining terrorism in arab and israeli newspapers 1972-1996 (2001), a study in propaganda, semantics and pragmatics [thesis] uppsala, sweden: uppsala universitet. but whilst a number of our respondents explicitly rejected any attempt to distinguish between state and non-state actors, there were others who insisted on the importance of this distinction, claiming that terrorism is by definition a non-state activity. or should we employ a different label, and reserve the term cyberterrorism for non-state actors? similar pattern is evident in chart 3, which shows the answers of the same three groups of respondents to question 11 of our survey: ‘do you consider that a cyberterrorism attack has ever taken place? another, drawing on similarly behaviouralist reasoning, stated: ‘by definition all forms of terrorism are a tactic open to all and therefore no individual or entity is exempt from the option of using this tactic’[5]. the first is the recent ‘critical turn’ in terrorism studies (see, for example, gunning 2007; jackson 2007; egerton 2009; jackson et al 2009; jackson et al 2011) and its attempt to deconstruct this field’s established theoretical and methodological assumptions.: terrorism and language: a text-based analysis of the german case terrorism 9 (4) 1987 pp. state terrorism in the social sciences: theories, methods and concepts., just as an individual’s view on whether cyberterrorism should be conceived in narrow terms (as a terrorist attack which has computers as its means and/or target) or broad terms (as any form of online terrorist activity) affects that individual’s assessment of the cyberterrorism threat (jarvis et al 2014), so too does an individual’s view of whether states can engage in cyberterrorism. the ground thus prepared for greater engagement with state terrorism, the research agenda of this literature to date has focused on attempting to define and typologise this form of violence (jarvis and lister 2014).: the propaganda war on terrorism: an analysis of the united states' "shared values" public-diplomacy campaign after september 11, 2001 journal of mass media ethics 20 (4) 2005 pp. hence one respondent answered: ‘yes [states can engage in cyberterrorism], although the standard definition of terrorism rules out state action (so hiroshima isn’t formally an act of terrorism)’[11].: responding to terrorism using ethical means: the propaganda index communication research reports 22 (1) 2005 pp. as chart 1 demonstrates, a total of 83% of respondents agreed that states can potentially engage in cyberterrorism. state terrorism is characterized by such actions as the kidnapping and assassination of political opponents of the government by the police or the secret service or the army; imprisonment without trial; torture; massacres of racial or religious minorities or of certain social classes; incarceration of citizens in concentration camps; and generally speaking government by fear (teichman 1989: 509). the fourth was via two mailing lists maintained by british academic associations: the terrorism and political violence association[2], and the british international studies association critical terrorism studies working group[3]. similar pattern is evident in chart 3, which shows the answers of the same three groups of respondents to question 11 of our survey: ‘do you consider that a cyberterrorism attack has ever taken place? exploring whether researchers believe states can commit cyberterrorism might, we suggest, tell us something important about the distinctiveness of this phenomenon. similarly, only 15% of those who said that states can engage in cyberterrorism opined that cyberterrorism is not a significant threat, compared to 41% of those who said that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism. she is currently completing her phd which investigates the construction of cyberterrorism as an issue of national security within us political discourse.[1] the complete list is as follows: acm digital library; anthropoligical index online; applied social sciences index and abstracts; bibliography of british & irish history; biomed central journals; british humanities index (csa); british periodicals (xml); business source complete (ebsco); cinahl plus (ebsco); cochrane database of systematic reviews (wiley); education resources information centre; emerald; heinonline; hmic (ovid); ieee xplore; inspec (ovid); international bibliography of the social sciences; iop journals z39; jisc journals archives; jstor; kluwer law journals; lecture notes in computer science (springer link); lexis library; mathscinet (ams); medline (ebsco); mla international bibliography; oxford journals; periodicals archive online; philosopher’s index (ovid); project muse; proquest business collection; psycarticles (ovid); psycinfo (ovid); pubmed; royal society journals; sage journals online; scopus (elsevier); social care online (scie); springer link (metapress); taylor & francis online; web of knowledge (cross search); web of knowledge (isi); web of science (cross search); web of science (isi); westlaw; wiley interscience; and, zetoc.: understanding the media/terrorism relationship: an analysis of ideology and the news in time magazine political communication 7 (4) 1990 pp.

Literature on Terrorism, Media, Propaganda & Cyber-Terrorism | Price

of state terrorism seek to differentiate the various forms that this phenomenon can take.: response to media coverage of terrorism political communication conflict resolution 44 (4, august) 2000 pp. (2003) a war of words, from lod to twin towers: defining terrorism in arab and israeli newspapers 1972-1996 (2001), a study in propaganda, semantics and pragmatics [thesis] uppsala, sweden: uppsala universitet. were other respondents who answered affirmatively to this survey question, yet qualified their answer by querying whether cyberterrorism is the most appropriate label for cyber-attacks perpetrated by state actors.: the propaganda war on terrorism: an analysis of the united states' "shared values" public-diplomacy campaign after september 11, 2001 journal of mass media ethics 20 (4) 2005 pp. in the opinion of a number of these respondents, the concept of state cyberterrorism is simply a misnomer. in fact, even some of those that said that states can commit acts of cyberterrorism qualified their answers by suggesting that another label might be more apt. the first is the recent ‘critical turn’ in terrorism studies (see, for example, gunning 2007; jackson 2007; egerton 2009; jackson et al 2009; jackson et al 2011) and its attempt to deconstruct this field’s established theoretical and methodological assumptions. in short, there is, for some, a tremendous disconnect between research priorities and empirical realities within scholarship on terrorism.’ – for three groups: all respondents; those respondents for whom states can engage in cyberterrorism; and, those respondents who argued that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism. the article concludes by pointing to the importance of these findings for the state terrorism debate, and more specifically for a (re)thinking of the rationale behind the state/non-state actor divide in terrorism studies. these arguments, this article suggests constitute a powerful attempt to broaden the agenda of terrorism studies. the argument presupposes that definitions of terrorism are not actor-specific. the real face of terrorism in india new delhi : pharos media & pub. what is important to note, however, is that – for these authors – the liberal democracies of the ‘global north’ have been as culpable as the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth-century to which we might instinctively turn upon hearing the phrase ‘state terrorism’ (see, for example, blakeley 2007; blakeley 2009; primoratz 2004; gareau 2004). of state terrorism seek to differentiate the various forms that this phenomenon can take. the second is a concerted hostility toward contemporary counter-terrorism practices associated with the post-9/11 ‘war on terrorism’ and its violent excesses. here, we identify two arguments for taking the notion of state terrorism more seriously than is sometimes the case. similarly, another answered: ‘yes, just like states can engage in terrorism, however the standard definition of terrorism does focus on non-state armed groups only, leaving terrorist behaviour of states out of the equation’[12]. lastly, one respondent argued that it is mistaken to talk of state cyberterrorism because cyberterrorism itself is a misnomer, despite the fact that, ‘cyberattacks and espionage which originate from states certainly do exist’[28]. (2010) how resisting democracies can defeat substate terrorism: formulating a theoretical framework for strategic coercion against nationalistic sub-state terrorist organizations [thesis] university of st. article begins with a review of relevant academic literature on state terrorism. like some of the respondents mentioned in the previous paragraph, some of these individuals drew an analogy with traditional forms of terrorism.

The Application of Qualitative Method in Developing a Cyber

state terrorism is characterized by such actions as the kidnapping and assassination of political opponents of the government by the police or the secret service or the army; imprisonment without trial; torture; massacres of racial or religious minorities or of certain social classes; incarceration of citizens in concentration camps; and generally speaking government by fear (teichman 1989: 509).[8] in response to the survey question, r111 wrote ‘most terrorism, including cyberterrorism, is conducted by states’, whilst r102 simply wrote ‘they already do’. explaining their view that states can engage in cyberterrorism, several respondents explicitly rejected any attempt to distinguish between state and non-state actors. (2007) five deadly arrows of terrorism: radiological dispersion devices, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, cyber terrorism : a manual of information and practice new york: nova science pub.: spain as an object of jihadist propaganda studies in conflict & terrorism 32 (11) 2009 pp.: responding to terrorism using ethical means: the propaganda index communication research reports 22 (1) 2005 pp.: spain as an object of jihadist propaganda studies in conflict & terrorism 32 (11) 2009  pp. (2007) five deadly arrows of terrorism: radiological dispersion devices, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, cyber terrorism : a manual of information and practice new york: nova science pub.: weapons of mass instruction: terrorism, propaganda films, politics, and us: new media, new meanings studies in popular culture 27 (3, april) 2005 pp. (2010) britain's national security challenges: extremism, cyber terrorism, sectarianism and takfiri jihadism london: afghan academy international. what is terrorism, why is it wrong, and could it ever be morally permissible? although there was, of course, overlap in the individuals identified in our four strategies, these latter two methods engendered far fewer responses than did our initial literature review searches. summary, the diversity of opinions offered by our respondents demonstrates that there is nothing inherent in the concept of terrorism that requires a particular answer to the question of whether states can commit terrorist acts. first, is it possible to speak of state cyberterrorism, or is the term oxymoronic? in chomsky’s description of what he terms the ‘literal’ approach to the study of terrorism, for example, “…we begin by determining what constitutes terrorism. in the first instance, there are arguments for greater consistency in the application of existing definitions of terrorism (see, for example, chomsky 1991; jaggar 2005; blakeley 2007)., just as an individual’s view on whether cyberterrorism should be conceived in narrow terms (as a terrorist attack which has computers as its means and/or target) or broad terms (as any form of online terrorist activity) affects that individual’s assessment of the cyberterrorism threat (jarvis et al 2014), so too does an individual’s view of whether states can engage in cyberterrorism. first, however this article outlines the methodology used to collect the empirical data on ‘expert’ opinion on cyberterrorism. second set of arguments that we outlined previously for engaging with the concept of state terrorism were analytical in nature. (2002) a history of racism and terrorism, rebellion and overcoming: the faith, power, and struggle of a people philadelphia: xlibris. our findings suggest that, as noted above, the argument that existing definitions of terrorism should be applied with greater consistency is of limited utility. what is terrorism, why is it wrong, and could it ever be morally permissible? our findings do suggest, however, that the dominant view within the research community at present is that states can commit acts of cyberterrorism.

Assessing the Risks of Cyber Terrorism, Cyber War and Other Cyber

: understanding the media/terrorism relationship: an analysis of ideology and the news in time magazine political communication 7 (4) 1990 pp. chart 2 shows the answers to question 10 of our survey – ‘in your view, does cyberterrorism constitute a significant threat? goodin, similarly, in a discussion of ‘revolutionary terrorism’, argues that, “…state terrorism is an enormously important subject; it is incontestable, for example that state terrorism has claimed many more victims than has terrorism as i define it here” (goodin 2006: 2027).: propaganda and justice administration in northern ireland terrorism and political violence 3 (2) 1991 pp. pirates and emperors, old and new: international terrorism in the real world. the ‘terrorism’ industry: the experts and institutions that shape our view of terrorism. it is their usage in practice – by policymakers and ‘terrorologists’ alike – that limits discussion of state violences within the language of terrorism. the first of these was a targeted literature review search to identify researchers who have published on cyberterrorism within peer-reviewed journals, monographs, edited books, or other literature. hence, for jackson et al, for example:To suggest when state agents engage in the very same strategies as non-state terrorists, such as when they blow up civilian airliners (the lockerbie bombing) or a protest ship (the rainbow warrior bombing) or plant a series of bombs in public places (the lavon affair), it ceases to be terrorism is effectively the abandonment of scholarly research principles (jackson et al 2010: 3). the ‘terrorism’ industry: the experts and institutions that shape our view of terrorism. second set of arguments for taking state terrorism more seriously are more strictly analytical.: cyberterrorism, computer crime, and reality information management & computer security 12 (2) 2004 pp. others still drew analogy with alternative forms of terrorism, arguing that since states can engage in offline terrorism there is no reason why states cannot also engage in cyberterrorism[6]. reserving the term [cyberterrorism] for non-state actors (even if sponsored by states) affords a certain degree of analytical clarity’[30]. she also, moreover, distinguishes “limited state terrorism” which is targeted at a specific, narrow audience, from “generalised” state terrorism, which works to target entire populations (blakeley 2009: 44)..: format and symbols in tv coverage of terrorism in the united states and great britain international studies quarterly 31 (2, june) 1987 pp. his research has been published in journals including cornell journal of law and public policy, studies in conflict and terrorism, terrorism and political violence, criminal law and philosophy and sydney law review. chart 2 shows the answers to question 10 of our survey – ‘in your view, does cyberterrorism constitute a significant threat? as chart 1 demonstrates, a total of 83% of respondents agreed that states can potentially engage in cyberterrorism. prefer instead to define ‘terrorism’ more inclusively before applying this understanding to the actions of states as appropriate. state terrorism and the united states: from counterinsurgency to the war on terrorism.: politics and propaganda of the provisional ira terrorism 5 (1-2) 1981 pp.: conceptualizing the effects of massacre mediated terrorism political communication 4 (3) 1987 pp.

Reviewing Cyber Terrorism Literature by Anam Muzamill

here, we identify two arguments for taking the notion of state terrorism more seriously than is sometimes the case. engagements with definitional issues often lead to reflection on the core characteristics of state terrorism, with the following themes particularly dominant therein: the involvement of state representatives in the commission or practice of violence; instrumental or purposive behaviour where acts of violence and their victims function as means to future ends; an identifiably communicative or symbolic function; and, the experience of terror in a broader population (compare blakeley 2010 and raphael 2010). second set of arguments that we outlined previously for engaging with the concept of state terrorism were analytical in nature.’ – for three groups: all respondents; those respondents for whom states can engage in cyberterrorism; and, those respondents who argued that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism. if the perpetrator is a state actor, then the conduct is cyberwarfare[25] or cyber espionage[26], not cyberterrorism. in fact, several respondents claimed that states already engage in cyberterrorism[18], with a number of examples being offered in support of this assertion. as one respondent remarked, states engage in cyberterrorism ‘because of the ease with which a state operator can mask itself online’[17]. others pointed out that cyberterrorism is likely to prove attractive to states because of the difficulties of attribution and concomitant potential for anonymity. we take them together, these arguments constitute a powerful (if still nascent) attempt to broaden the agenda of terrorism studies (jarvis 2009).: politics and propaganda of the provisional ira terrorism 5 (1-2) 1981 pp. similarly, r90 stated: ‘if states sponsor non-state groups to do cyberattacks, then that could easily be described as states (indirectly) engaging in cyberterrorism’. years have witnessed a fairly dramatic growth of interest in the concept of state terrorism. establishing – or enquiring into – who can commit cyberterrorism here offers potential for taking stock of the state of current opinion on an important generative characteristic of this term. and, second, if it is possible to speak of state cyberterrorism, should we do so? others still drew analogy with alternative forms of terrorism, arguing that since states can engage in offline terrorism there is no reason why states cannot also engage in cyberterrorism[6]. should they be understood as instances of cyberterrorism perpetrated by state actors?: winning the battle of ideas: propaganda, ideology, and terror studies in conflict & terrorism 32 (2) 2009 pp. attempt to contribute to these ongoing discussions around the phenomenon of state terrorism draws from a recent empirical research project on cyberterrorism. in their opinion, a cyber-attack would only constitute cyberterrorism if state actors played no more than a supporting or facilitative role. these are then connected to researcher views on the threat posed by cyberterrorism, and accounts of whether or not cyberterrorism has ever taken place that were given within the same survey. the following, for instance, is the definition employed in gareau’s account of us involvement in state terrorism:Terrorism consists of deliberate acts of a physical and/or psychological nature perpetrated on select groups of victims.: response to media coverage of terrorism political communication conflict resolution 44 (4, august) 2000 pp., it is important to note that respondents’ views on the state cyberterrorism question had a discernible impact on their answers to other important questions, particularly surrounding the significance of the cyberterrorist threat.

State Cyberterrorism: A Contradiction in Terms?

article explores findings from a global survey of the terrorism research community to explore whether states may be deemed capable of conducting cyberterrorism. second, is an analytical argument which insists that greater attention should be paid to state violence in order to achieve greater consistency in the application of existing definitions of terrorism.[1] the complete list is as follows: acm digital library; anthropoligical index online; applied social sciences index and abstracts; bibliography of british & irish history; biomed central journals; british humanities index (csa); british periodicals (xml); business source complete (ebsco); cinahl plus (ebsco); cochrane database of systematic reviews (wiley); education resources information centre; emerald; heinonline; hmic (ovid); ieee xplore; inspec (ovid); international bibliography of the social sciences; iop journals z39; jisc journals archives; jstor; kluwer law journals; lecture notes in computer science (springer link); lexis library; mathscinet (ams); medline (ebsco); mla international bibliography; oxford journals; periodicals archive online; philosopher’s index (ovid); project muse; proquest business collection; psycarticles (ovid); psycinfo (ovid); pubmed; royal society journals; sage journals online; scopus (elsevier); social care online (scie); springer link (metapress); taylor & francis online; web of knowledge (cross search); web of knowledge (isi); web of science (cross search); web of science (isi); westlaw; wiley interscience; and, zetoc.: winning hearts and minds in the ‘war on terrorism’ small wars & insurgencies 14 (1) 2003 pp.[8] in response to the survey question, r111 wrote ‘most terrorism, including cyberterrorism, is conducted by states’, whilst r102 simply wrote ‘they already do’. similarly, another answered: ‘yes, just like states can engage in terrorism, however the standard definition of terrorism does focus on non-state armed groups only, leaving terrorist behaviour of states out of the equation’[12].: media and religion in the arab/islamic world the review of faith & international affairs 7 (2) 2009 pp. introduction: terrorism, the state and the study of political terror. since undertaking her doctorate she has had work published on a range of topics that reflect her research interests including: terrorism, cyberterrorism and online radicalisation. were other respondents who answered affirmatively to this survey question, yet qualified their answer by querying whether cyberterrorism is the most appropriate label for cyber-attacks perpetrated by state actors. such reflection leads some to define state terrorism as a distinctive form of violence, for example:…the intentional use or threat of violence by state agents or their proxies against individuals or groups who are victimised for the purpose of intimidating or frightening a broader audience (jackson et al 2010: 3). 69% of those who said that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism believed that no cyberterrorist attack has ever occurred – compared to 44% of those who said that states can engage in cyberterrorism.: spain as an object of jihadist propaganda studies in conflict & terrorism 32 (11) 2009 pp. similarly, only 15% of those who said that states can engage in cyberterrorism opined that cyberterrorism is not a significant threat, compared to 41% of those who said that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism. old myths, new fantasies, and the enduring realities of terrorism. with this in mind, we proceed now to our discussion of whether states can commit cyberterrorism and what responses to this may mean for the literature discussed in this section. article begins with a review of relevant academic literature on state terrorism. by contrast, there were other respondents who – whilst agreeing that states can engage in cyberterrorism – described states’ potential involvement in more limited terms..: terrorism and the politics of fear cultural studies critical methodologies 6 (4, november) 2006 pp. the first of these was a targeted literature review search to identify researchers who have published on cyberterrorism within peer-reviewed journals, monographs, edited books, or other literature. the most common reason was that terrorism is, by its very nature, a non-state activity[24]. (2009) media framing of terrorism post 7/7 bombings [thesis] university of oxford. state terrorism and the united states: from counterinsurgency to the war on terrorism.

Cyberterrorism Definition Patterns and Mitigation Strategies: A

60% of researchers who said that states can engage in cyberterrorism also believed that cyberterrorism poses a significant threat. one respondent, for example, argued that: ‘any social actor with sufficient knowledge, means and intent can utilise any particular tactic, be it cyberterrorism or anything else, be they states or any other social entity’[4]. chart 1 showed, there were a total of 17 respondents (15%) who said that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism. for the same reason, the alternative argument – that terrorism is a form of violence which has nothing to do with its practitioner – is, for these respondents at least, equally problematic. moreover, as with any epistemic community – indeed, perhaps more than many – the field of terrorism research is, by its nature, fluid and porous. since undertaking her doctorate she has had work published on a range of topics that reflect her research interests including: terrorism, cyberterrorism and online radicalisation. the ground thus prepared for greater engagement with state terrorism, the research agenda of this literature to date has focused on attempting to define and typologise this form of violence (jarvis and lister 2014). she also, moreover, distinguishes “limited state terrorism” which is targeted at a specific, narrow audience, from “generalised” state terrorism, which works to target entire populations (blakeley 2009: 44).: here be dragons, here be savages, here be bad plumbing australian media representations of sport and terrorism sport in society 9 (1) 2006 pp. this weighting toward anglophonic countries is unfortunate, but unsurprising, given the traditional anglocentricism of terrorism research (stump and dixit 2013). although (as we might expect) no single, universally accepted typology of state terrorism exists (primoratz 2002), these discussions do remind us that the terrorism of states can take myriad forms, and use myriad techniques and technologies. further significant finding from our survey is that a number of respondents drew on empirical reasoning similar to that discussed in the above literature review to argue that there exists a greater threat of state cyberterrorism than non-state cyberterrorism. in their opinion, a cyber-attack would only constitute cyberterrorism if state actors played no more than a supporting or facilitative role.: the road to media jihad: the propaganda actions of al qaeda in the islamic maghreb terrorism and political violence 23 (1) 2010 pp. r10 also commented, ‘of course [states can engage in cyberterrorism], but they are likely to have their participation hidden’. in fact, one respondent went so far as to suggest that, without state involvement, the technological complexities render cyberterrorism impossible[7].: here be dragons, here be savages, here be bad plumbing australian media representations of sport and terrorism sport in society 9 (1) 2006 pp. what is important to note, however, is that – for these authors – the liberal democracies of the ‘global north’ have been as culpable as the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth-century to which we might instinctively turn upon hearing the phrase ‘state terrorism’ (see, for example, blakeley 2007; blakeley 2009; primoratz 2004; gareau 2004). this has been driven, in part, by a series of explicit and powerful critiques of the historical disengagement with the state within terrorism studies; a field of research which, for many, has too long prioritised the violences of non-state actors (see, for example, blakeley 2007; jackson et al 2010).: spain as an object of jihadist propaganda studies in conflict & terrorism 32 (11) 2009  pp..: terrorism and the media: strategy, coverage, and responses political communications 4 (2) 1987 pp. in fact, even some of those that said that states can commit acts of cyberterrorism qualified their answers by suggesting that another label might be more apt. establishing – or enquiring into – who can commit cyberterrorism here offers potential for taking stock of the state of current opinion on an important generative characteristic of this term.

Defining the threat: what cyber terrorism means today and what it

in terms of disciplinary background, finally, our sample described themselves in the following way, with several researchers self-identifying with more than one academic discipline: political science/international relations: 69 (50%); psychology/anthropology: 20 (15%); engineering/computer science/cyber 17(12%); law/criminology: 15 (11%); literature/arts/history: 9 (7%); independent researchers/analysts: 5 (4%); and, economics/business: 2 (1%). one commented: ‘in effect [states can engage in cyberterrorism], even if it should be more carefully labelled as espionage/sabotage’[13], whilst another observed that: ‘states can engage in the act of terrorism, including cyberterrorism (though we still call them states, not terrorists)’[14]. minimally, the aim is to extend the study of terrorism beyond its traditional, narrow, parameters in order to facilitate the analysis of certain state violences under this rubric (for example gunning 2007). members of the editorial boards of these journals (as of august 1st 2012) were also added, given their similarly prominent standing within terrorism research. the first is the continuing contestability of the term ‘cyberterrorism’ within academic, legal and other debate (jarvis and macdonald 2014). prefer instead to define ‘terrorism’ more inclusively before applying this understanding to the actions of states as appropriate. by contrast, there were other respondents who – whilst agreeing that states can engage in cyberterrorism – described states’ potential involvement in more limited terms.: terrorist financing and the internet studies in conflict & terrorism 33 (4) 2010 pp. others pointed out that cyberterrorism is likely to prove attractive to states because of the difficulties of attribution and concomitant potential for anonymity. it is their usage in practice – by policymakers and ‘terrorologists’ alike – that limits discussion of state violences within the language of terrorism. the article concludes by pointing to the importance of these findings for the state terrorism debate, and more specifically for a (re)thinking of the rationale behind the state/non-state actor divide in terrorism studies. pirates and emperors, old and new: international terrorism in the real world. with this in mind, we proceed now to our discussion of whether states can commit cyberterrorism and what responses to this may mean for the literature discussed in this section. second, that whether states are deemed capable of cyberterrorism has implications for subsidiary debates, including around the threat that cyberterrorism poses. order to do this, the article introduces original empirical data drawn from a survey of the global research community on cyberterrorism. in the following section, this article turns to the findings of the survey in relation to the concept of state cyberterrorism and the impact this has on responses to questions on the significance and existence of the cyberterrorism threat. the second driver is the rise of recent scholarly research on the nature of ‘state terrorism’ more broadly. goodin, similarly, in a discussion of ‘revolutionary terrorism’, argues that, “…state terrorism is an enormously important subject; it is incontestable, for example that state terrorism has claimed many more victims than has terrorism as i define it here” (goodin 2006: 2027).: propaganda and justice administration in northern ireland terrorism and political violence 3 (2) 1991 pp. we take them together, these arguments constitute a powerful (if still nascent) attempt to broaden the agenda of terrorism studies (jarvis 2009). members of the editorial boards of these journals (as of august 1st 2012) were also added, given their similarly prominent standing within terrorism research.: the neo-nazi menace in germany studies in conflict & terrorism 18 (1) pp. in the following section, this article turns to the findings of the survey in relation to the concept of state cyberterrorism and the impact this has on responses to questions on the significance and existence of the cyberterrorism threat.

this weighting toward anglophonic countries is unfortunate, but unsurprising, given the traditional anglocentricism of terrorism research (stump and dixit 2013). in fact, one respondent went so far as to suggest that, without state involvement, the technological complexities render cyberterrorism impossible[7].: terrorism, the media, and the northern ireland conflict studies in conflict & terrorism 18 (3) 1995 pp. the cyber realm thus presents a challenge to the traditional view that emphasises the distinction between state and non-state actors and lends weight to the growing interest in the concept of state terrorism. (2002) a history of racism and terrorism, rebellion and overcoming: the faith, power, and struggle of a people philadelphia: xlibris. although this momentum within state terrorism research is, therefore, comparatively recent, such work builds on a small number of important earlier attempts to re-centre the study of terrorism around the violences of states (see, for example, george 1991; claridge 1996; chomsky 2001; chomsky 2002). another, drawing on similarly behaviouralist reasoning, stated: ‘by definition all forms of terrorism are a tactic open to all and therefore no individual or entity is exempt from the option of using this tactic’[5]. have to acknowledge that governments often do things, both to their own people, and against enemies in peace and war, which share the features of the worst types of revolutionary terrorism. ‘irish republicanism and the internet: support for new wave dissidents’, perspectives on terrorism, vol. second strand was to target active researchers within the terrorism research community more widely. the argument’s value is more limited, however, where actor-specific clauses are built into particular definitions of terrorism such as that employed by the us state department in which terrorism is approached as, “…premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetuated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience” (cited in whittaker 2003: 3; see also stohl 2006). moreover, as with any epistemic community – indeed, perhaps more than many – the field of terrorism research is, by its nature, fluid and porous. these focused on the following: demographic information; definitional issues around terrorism and cyberterrorism; the cyberterrorism threat; countering cyberterrorism; and, views of current research on this phenomenon, including the major challenges facing contemporary scholars. explaining their view that states can engage in cyberterrorism, several respondents explicitly rejected any attempt to distinguish between state and non-state actors.: terrorism and the media terrorism: an international journal 2 (1-2) 1979 pp. first question of relevance from our survey – numbered question 13 – asked respondents, ‘in your view, can states engage in cyberterrorism?: defensive propaganda and ira political control in republican communities studies in conflict & terrorism 30 (12) 2007 pp.) (2002) incitement and propaganda against israel and zionism in the educational system of the palestinian authority and the alternative islamic educational system identified with hamas tel aviv: intelligence and terrorism information center at the center for special studies. security through collaborative researchperspectives on terrorism is  a journal of the terrorism research initiative and the center for terrorism and security studiesissn  2334-3745 (online)disclaimer, terms and conditions. in terms of disciplinary background, finally, our sample described themselves in the following way, with several researchers self-identifying with more than one academic discipline: political science/international relations: 69 (50%); psychology/anthropology: 20 (15%); engineering/computer science/cyber 17(12%); law/criminology: 15 (11%); literature/arts/history: 9 (7%); independent researchers/analysts: 5 (4%); and, economics/business: 2 (1%). in so doing, it aims to connect these debates to the recent upsurge of interest in the concept of ‘state terrorism’ in order to ask whether or not states may be deemed capable of committing cyberterrorism, and what might be gained (and indeed lost) in such judgements. order to do this, the article introduces original empirical data drawn from a survey of the global research community on cyberterrorism. state terrorism in the social sciences: theories, methods and concepts.

exploring whether researchers believe states can commit cyberterrorism might, we suggest, tell us something important about the distinctiveness of this phenomenon. years have witnessed a fairly dramatic growth of interest in the concept of state terrorism. meanwhile, there were other respondents that were willing to accept the concept of state cyberterrorism in principle, but who nonetheless answered no to the survey question on the basis that it is preferable to use a different label[29]., critical terrorism studies: a new research agenda abingdon: routledge, pp. his research has been published in journals including cornell journal of law and public policy, studies in conflict and terrorism, terrorism and political violence, criminal law and philosophy and sydney law review. whilst it involves sacrificing any strict claim to statistical representativeness, this may be defended given the nature of the population in whom we were interested: the terrorism research community. hence, for jackson et al, for example:To suggest when state agents engage in the very same strategies as non-state terrorists, such as when they blow up civilian airliners (the lockerbie bombing) or a protest ship (the rainbow warrior bombing) or plant a series of bombs in public places (the lavon affair), it ceases to be terrorism is effectively the abandonment of scholarly research principles (jackson et al 2010: 3). these focused on the following: demographic information; definitional issues around terrorism and cyberterrorism; the cyberterrorism threat; countering cyberterrorism; and, views of current research on this phenomenon, including the major challenges facing contemporary scholars. like some of the respondents mentioned in the previous paragraph, some of these individuals drew an analogy with traditional forms of terrorism. blakeley, more recently, separates state perpetration and state sponsorship of terrorism (blakeley 2009). and, second, if it is possible to speak of state cyberterrorism, should we do so? our findings suggest that, as noted above, the argument that existing definitions of terrorism should be applied with greater consistency is of limited utility. one respondent, for example, argued that: ‘any social actor with sufficient knowledge, means and intent can utilise any particular tactic, be it cyberterrorism or anything else, be they states or any other social entity’[4]., it is important to note that respondents’ views on the state cyberterrorism question had a discernible impact on their answers to other important questions, particularly surrounding the significance of the cyberterrorist threat.: constructing terrorists: propaganda about animal rights critical studies on terrorism  2 (2, august) 2009 pp. the real face of terrorism in india new delhi : pharos media & pub.: analysis and evolution of the global jihadist movement propaganda terrorism and political violence 18 (3) 2006 pp.: cyberterrorism, computer crime, and reality information management & computer security 12 (2) 2004 pp.: constructing terrorists: propaganda about animal rights critical studies on terrorism  2 (2, august) 2009 pp. as one respondent remarked, states engage in cyberterrorism ‘because of the ease with which a state operator can mask itself online’[17]. have to acknowledge that governments often do things, both to their own people, and against enemies in peace and war, which share the features of the worst types of revolutionary terrorism. this respondent went on to suggest that state cyberterrorism should instead be labelled as a crime against humanity.: terrorism and the state: a case study of the discourses of television media, culture and society 5 (2) 1983 pp.

Cyber terrorism literature review

for example, due to the powerful connotations of the ‘terrorism’ label, its retention as a descriptor of certain forms of state violence could be an important means of advancing a progressive political project aimed at protecting marginalized and vulnerable populations from indiscriminate and oppressive forms of state violence, whether they occur under the rubric of war or counter-terrorism (jackson et al 2010: 5).: embedded expertise and the new terrorism journal for crime, conflict and the media 1 (4) 2005 pp. the most common reason was that terrorism is, by its very nature, a non-state activity[24]. ‘irish republicanism and the internet: support for new wave dissidents’, perspectives on terrorism, vol. whilst it involves sacrificing any strict claim to statistical representativeness, this may be defended given the nature of the population in whom we were interested: the terrorism research community. first question of relevance from our survey – numbered question 13 – asked respondents, ‘in your view, can states engage in cyberterrorism?: the terror experts and the mainstream media: the expert nexus and its dominance in the news media critical studies on terrorism 2 (3) 2009 pp.: media and religion in the arab/islamic world the review of faith & international affairs 7 (2) 2009 pp. engagements with definitional issues often lead to reflection on the core characteristics of state terrorism, with the following themes particularly dominant therein: the involvement of state representatives in the commission or practice of violence; instrumental or purposive behaviour where acts of violence and their victims function as means to future ends; an identifiably communicative or symbolic function; and, the experience of terror in a broader population (compare blakeley 2010 and raphael 2010). (2010) britain's national security challenges: extremism, cyber terrorism, sectarianism and takfiri jihadism london: afghan academy international. ‘civil society, the internet and terrorism: case studies from northern ireland’. in short, there is, for some, a tremendous disconnect between research priorities and empirical realities within scholarship on terrorism. in chomsky’s description of what he terms the ‘literal’ approach to the study of terrorism, for example, “…we begin by determining what constitutes terrorism. second, is an analytical argument which insists that greater attention should be paid to state violence in order to achieve greater consistency in the application of existing definitions of terrorism. for example, due to the powerful connotations of the ‘terrorism’ label, its retention as a descriptor of certain forms of state violence could be an important means of advancing a progressive political project aimed at protecting marginalized and vulnerable populations from indiscriminate and oppressive forms of state violence, whether they occur under the rubric of war or counter-terrorism (jackson et al 2010: 5). chart 1 showed, there were a total of 17 respondents (15%) who said that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism. but whilst the majority of our respondents suggested that states can commit acts of cyberterrorism, there were also dissenting voices. in response to actor-specific understandings of terrorism such as these, an alternative argument is often made on behaviouralist grounds: one that suggests that terrorism is a form of violence which is separable from its practitioner. in so doing, it aims to connect these debates to the recent upsurge of interest in the concept of ‘state terrorism’ in order to ask whether or not states may be deemed capable of committing cyberterrorism, and what might be gained (and indeed lost) in such judgements. such reflection leads some to define state terrorism as a distinctive form of violence, for example:…the intentional use or threat of violence by state agents or their proxies against individuals or groups who are victimised for the purpose of intimidating or frightening a broader audience (jackson et al 2010: 3). in fact, several respondents claimed that states already engage in cyberterrorism[18], with a number of examples being offered in support of this assertion.: virtual disputes: the use of the internet for terrorist debates studies in conflict and terrorism 29 (7, october-november) 2006 pp.: terrorism and the state: a case study of the discourses of television media, culture and society 5 (2) 1983 pp.

summary, the diversity of opinions offered by our respondents demonstrates that there is nothing inherent in the concept of terrorism that requires a particular answer to the question of whether states can commit terrorist acts. he is co-editor of cyberterrorism: understanding, assessment and response (new york: springer, 2014) (with lee jarvis and thomas chen) and terrorism online: politics, law and technology (abingdon: routledge, 2015) (with lee jarvis and thomas chen).: terrorism, the media, and the northern ireland conflict studies in conflict & terrorism 18 (3) 1995 pp. first, is a relatively straightforward empirical argument which justifies increased attention to state terrorism due to the higher human costs that result from state based violences. thus, for jackson et al, for example:…there are important ethical-normative reasons for retaining the term ‘state terrorism’. second strand was to target active researchers within the terrorism research community more widely. our findings do suggest, however, that the dominant view within the research community at present is that states can commit acts of cyberterrorism., critical terrorism studies: a new research agenda abingdon: routledge, pp. this figure was considerably lower for those who said that states cannot engage in cyberterrorism, at 47%. should they be understood as instances of cyberterrorism perpetrated by state actors? thus, individuals that had published in any of the following four journals since january 1st 2009 were added to the sample: studies in conflict and terrorism, terrorism and political violence, critical studies on terrorism, and, perspectives on terrorism.: conceptualizing the effects of massacre mediated terrorism political communication 4 (3) 1987 pp. on Terrorism, Media, Propaganda & Cyber-TerrorismReading: state cyberterrorism: a contradiction in terms?: embedded expertise and the new terrorism journal for crime, conflict and the media 1 (4) 2005 pp.: terrorism and language: a text-based analysis of the german case terrorism 9 (4) 1987 pp.: propaganda and the subversion of objectivity: media coverage of the war on terrorism in iraq critical studies on terrorism 2 (1) 2009 pp.: weapons of mass instruction: terrorism, propaganda films, politics, and us: new media, new meanings studies in popular culture 27 (3, april) 2005 pp. one commented: ‘in effect [states can engage in cyberterrorism], even if it should be more carefully labelled as espionage/sabotage’[13], whilst another observed that: ‘states can engage in the act of terrorism, including cyberterrorism (though we still call them states, not terrorists)’[14]. this has been driven, in part, by a series of explicit and powerful critiques of the historical disengagement with the state within terrorism studies; a field of research which, for many, has too long prioritised the violences of non-state actors (see, for example, blakeley 2007; jackson et al 2010). explained previously, perhaps the most common justification for employing the term state terrorism in discussions of offline violences is the empirical claim that historically states have inflicted more harm than non-state actors. introduction: terrorism, the state and the study of political terror. these arguments, this article suggests constitute a powerful attempt to broaden the agenda of terrorism studies..: format and symbols in tv coverage of terrorism in the united states and great britain international studies quarterly 31 (2, june) 1987 pp.

this article contributes to contemporary debate on a particular category of violence in cyberspace – ‘cyberterrorism’ – asking about the significance of actor and non-actor based definitions of this phenomenon. but whilst a number of our respondents explicitly rejected any attempt to distinguish between state and non-state actors, there were others who insisted on the importance of this distinction, claiming that terrorism is by definition a non-state activity. the cyber realm thus presents a challenge to the traditional view that emphasises the distinction between state and non-state actors and lends weight to the growing interest in the concept of state terrorism.: terrorism and the media terrorism: an international journal 2 (1-2) 1979 pp. thus, individuals that had published in any of the following four journals since january 1st 2009 were added to the sample: studies in conflict and terrorism, terrorism and political violence, critical studies on terrorism, and, perspectives on terrorism. although there was, of course, overlap in the individuals identified in our four strategies, these latter two methods engendered far fewer responses than did our initial literature review searches. his work has been published in journals including millennium: journal of international studies, security dialogue and political studies, and recent books include security: a critical introduction (with jack holland, palgrave: 2015) and anti-terrorism, citizenship and security (with michael lister, manchester university press, 2015). in the opinion of a number of these respondents, the concept of state cyberterrorism is simply a misnomer. state or ‘wholesale’ terrorism, in this line of argument, has brought far greater harm to humanity than have the activities of non-state groups; a trend widely acknowledged, if not necessarily prioritised, within scholarship on terrorism (for comparison, see blakeley 2008; horgan and boyle 2008). (2009) media framing of terrorism post 7/7 bombings [thesis] university of oxford. reserving the term [cyberterrorism] for non-state actors (even if sponsored by states) affords a certain degree of analytical clarity’[30]. he is co-editor of cyberterrorism: understanding, assessment and response (new york: springer, 2014) (with lee jarvis and thomas chen) and terrorism online: politics, law and technology (abingdon: routledge, 2015) (with lee jarvis and thomas chen).: analysis and evolution of the global jihadist movement propaganda terrorism and political violence 18 (3) 2006 pp.: propaganda and the subversion of objectivity: media coverage of the war on terrorism in iraq critical studies on terrorism 2 (1) 2009 pp..: terrorism and the media: strategy, coverage, and responses political communications 4 (2) 1987 pp. this article contributes to contemporary debate on a particular category of violence in cyberspace – ‘cyberterrorism’ – asking about the significance of actor and non-actor based definitions of this phenomenon.) (2002) incitement and propaganda against israel and zionism in the educational system of the palestinian authority and the alternative islamic educational system identified with hamas tel aviv: intelligence and terrorism information center at the center for special studies. second set of arguments for taking state terrorism more seriously are more strictly analytical. whilst these individuals may not have published on cyberterrorism specifically, their knowledge of the major debates around terrorism meant they would be well-positioned to contribute to this research.: terrorist financing and the internet studies in conflict & terrorism 33 (4) 2010 pp.: the terror experts and the mainstream media: the expert nexus and its dominance in the news media critical studies on terrorism 2 (3) 2009 pp. or should we employ a different label, and reserve the term cyberterrorism for non-state actors? hence one respondent answered: ‘yes [states can engage in cyberterrorism], although the standard definition of terrorism rules out state action (so hiroshima isn’t formally an act of terrorism)’[11].
the first is the continuing contestability of the term ‘cyberterrorism’ within academic, legal and other debate (jarvis and macdonald 2014). first, is it possible to speak of state cyberterrorism, or is the term oxymoronic? the argument’s value is more limited, however, where actor-specific clauses are built into particular definitions of terrorism such as that employed by the us state department in which terrorism is approached as, “…premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetuated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience” (cited in whittaker 2003: 3; see also stohl 2006). ‘civil society, the internet and terrorism: case studies from northern ireland’. the fourth was via two mailing lists maintained by british academic associations: the terrorism and political violence association[2], and the british international studies association critical terrorism studies working group[3]. this respondent went on to suggest that state cyberterrorism should instead be labelled as a crime against humanity.: virtual disputes: the use of the internet for terrorist debates studies in conflict and terrorism 29 (7, october-november) 2006 pp. in the first instance, there are arguments for greater consistency in the application of existing definitions of terrorism (see, for example, chomsky 1991; jaggar 2005; blakeley 2007). first, that there exists considerable ‘expert’ support for the validity of the proposition that states can indeed engage in cyberterrorism. thus, for jackson et al, for example:…there are important ethical-normative reasons for retaining the term ‘state terrorism’. the following, for instance, is the definition employed in gareau’s account of us involvement in state terrorism:Terrorism consists of deliberate acts of a physical and/or psychological nature perpetrated on select groups of victims.: winning the battle of ideas: propaganda, ideology, and terror studies in conflict & terrorism 32 (2) 2009 pp. lastly, one respondent argued that it is mistaken to talk of state cyberterrorism because cyberterrorism itself is a misnomer, despite the fact that, ‘cyberattacks and espionage which originate from states certainly do exist’[28]. 60% of researchers who said that states can engage in cyberterrorism also believed that cyberterrorism poses a significant threat. whilst these individuals may not have published on cyberterrorism specifically, their knowledge of the major debates around terrorism meant they would be well-positioned to contribute to this research. attempt to contribute to these ongoing discussions around the phenomenon of state terrorism draws from a recent empirical research project on cyberterrorism. although this momentum within state terrorism research is, therefore, comparatively recent, such work builds on a small number of important earlier attempts to re-centre the study of terrorism around the violences of states (see, for example, george 1991; claridge 1996; chomsky 2001; chomsky 2002). blakeley, more recently, separates state perpetration and state sponsorship of terrorism (blakeley 2009). in response to actor-specific understandings of terrorism such as these, an alternative argument is often made on behaviouralist grounds: one that suggests that terrorism is a form of violence which is separable from its practitioner. she is currently completing her phd which investigates the construction of cyberterrorism as an issue of national security within us political discourse. explained previously, perhaps the most common justification for employing the term state terrorism in discussions of offline violences is the empirical claim that historically states have inflicted more harm than non-state actors. old myths, new fantasies, and the enduring realities of terrorism. state or ‘wholesale’ terrorism, in this line of argument, has brought far greater harm to humanity than have the activities of non-state groups; a trend widely acknowledged, if not necessarily prioritised, within scholarship on terrorism (for comparison, see blakeley 2008; horgan and boyle 2008).

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