Cyber Terrorism: A Clear and Present Danger, the Sum of All Fears, Breaking Point or Patriot Games

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Full Title of Reference

Cyber Terrorism: A Clear and Present Danger, the Sum of All Fears, Breaking Point or Patriot Games?

Full Citation

Michael Stohl, Cyber Terrorism: A Clear and Present Danger, the Sum of All Fears, Breaking Point or Patriot Games? (2006), Journal of Crime, Law and Social Change, Vol. 46, No. 4.

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Categorization

Issues: Media Perceptions

Key Words

Digital Pearl Harbor

Synopsis

Over the past two decades there has developed a voluminous literature on the problem of cyber terrorism. The themes developed by those writing on cyber terrorism appear to spring from the titles of Tom Clancy’s fiction, such as Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears and Breaking Point, or somewhat more cynically, Patriot Games. This essay examines both the gap between the presumed threat and the known cyber terror behaviors and the continuing literature which suggests an attack is imminent. It suggests that at least part of the explanation lies both in the continuing failure to distinguish between what Denning (Activism, hacktivism, and cyber terrorism: The internet as a tool for influencing foreign policy, 1999) referred to as hactivism and cyberterrorism and also the failure to distinguish between the use of digital means for organizational purposes (information, communication, command and control) and the use of digital communications to actually commit acts of terror.


Additional Notes and Highlights

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