Analysis: The changing landscape of communications intelligence

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS and IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen have authored a new scholarly paper on communications intelligence, focusing specifically on the use of telephony intelligence in the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict. The paper, entitled Cell Wars: The Changing Landscape of Communications Intelligence, is available (.pdf) on the website of the Research Institute on European and American Studies. We argue that the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict featured a series of innovative approaches to communications intelligence, which included utilizing civilian telephone networks to achieve tactical and psychological objectives. The “cell war” between the IDF and Hamas is indicative of an ongoing global struggle between asymmetrical insurgents and state actors to control large-scale telecommunications structures. “Cell wars” have been taking place for quite some time in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, and several other nations, including the United States. Weapons in this hi-tech conflict include surveillance satellites, voice scramblers, encryption software and mobile phone cameras, among other technologies. Essentially, this war is being fought over the control over national and international telecommunications grids, and centers increasingly on telecommunications service providers -companies such as Jawwal in Palestine, Roshan in Afghanistan, or Mobilink in Pakistan. These companies are rapidly becoming combat zones in a battle to control the channels of digital communications in 21st-century asymmetrical warfare.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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