ABSTRACT

Cyber warfare, what it is and what it entails, has been widely debated in recent years including the political, ethical and not least legal aspects of it. Most of this debate has though been centered around cyber attack on, protection of so-called “critical infrastructure,” and state-sponsored cyber espionage. Social network media has also been mentioned a lot in connection with recent conflicts. Most recently, as we will discuss later, in connection with The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s use of social network media to create effects regionally and internationally. But also in connection with the civil war in Syria where social network media has been used extensively throughout by all actors to create effects in the international system and within the conflict area in a very strategic way. A tendency that also has been clearly visible in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and in connection with Russian Information Warfare. The majority of the debate concerning social network media have, however, been focused on the use of these for propaganda purposes. The two debates, however, have not for real been merged and social network media have therefore not been seen as a distinct subset to cyber warfare in the debate.