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UK government launches information warfare network

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The UK Government has launched a new approach, through a network of technical experts, to find ways to conduct information warfare.

Concepts such as false information, fake news, or information warfare are not novel, but technology and innovation have created an expressway for its dissemination. An information warfare network, called @HutEighteen, has been launched in partnership with the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom for those operating in the field to collaborate and act as a force multiplier.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) describes information warfare as “controlling one’s own information space, protecting access to one’s own information, while acquiring and using the opponent’s information, destroying their information systems and disrupting the information flow.”

Experts have said that information warfare touches so many aspects of society, and @HutEighteen seeks to bring together technical and non-technical practitioners. The network also aims to uncover new and innovative ways of conducting hybrid or information warfare by leveraging diverse talents and aptitudes. 

Colonel Caroline Woodbridge-Lewin, head of the Information Warfare Group at the Defence Academy, said: “Big data, autonomy, machine learning, social sciences, social media, and global connectivity all play an increasingly important role in our lives. And if used against us, form the basis of information warfare.

“How well we perform in information warfare is less likely to be related to our specific equipment, but more towards attitude, approach, and collaboration. This is exactly what @HutEighteen strives to build: the network and the relationships of those working in the diverse field to counter these disruptive techniques.”

The Defence Academy explained that as a community of interest, @HutEighteen will bring together practitioners, policymakers, and thinkers within the Ministry of Defence, as well as other government departments, academia, industry, and the international community. 

The network’s mission is to connect, inform, support, collaborate, and exploit cyber, information advantage, and information outreach through education, events, and experimentation.

“Information Warfare is a fast-moving discipline, requiring a constantly innovative and agile approach. In order to continue to outperform our adversaries, professional military education must include the study of information warfare concepts and techniques,” said Major General Andrew Roe, the chief executive of the Defence Academy and Commandant Joint Services Command and Staff College.

He added: “By innovating and collaborating across sectors and institutions, @HutEighteen has the potential to drive forward our capabilities in information warfare.”


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