Thesis: Defining Information Terrorism

Sample Thesis Paper

Responding against terrorist threats can only be successful if one can identify what terrorism is. But how does one truly identify terrorism in information? Information Terrorism, the key term in the proposed study, includes two separate concepts that require initial definition:

1) The concept of what constitutes information.

2) The concept of what constitutes terrorism.

Although no overarching and universally accepted definition exists for either notion, the first requirement of any consideration of information terrorism is to provide a working definition of the two ideas.  Therefore, they will be defined as below.

Information will be defined according to a broad definition following Arquilla and Ronfeldt, as “the related technological, organizational, and ideational structures of a society” (p. 5).  This definition includes both governmental and societal structures and content, as well as the institutions that handle such structures and content. Arquilla and Ronfeldt provide a further generalization of information that includes the definition as containing notions “about who knows what, when, where, and why, and about how secure a society, military, or other actor feels about its knowledge of itself and its adversaries” (p. 5).  This generalized approach to defining information is necessary in order to fully address the effect that terrorists have on the spread and control of information in public forums for their negative ends.

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