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Understanding & Influencing

in Cyberspace
[ George Brander - TL Influence
Cyber & Influence S & T Centre

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

Scope of Presentation
Influence and the importance of people in military operations One model of how influence works Who do we want to influence? Cyberspace as a domain [ What do we need to understand the requirement Research framework

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

Definitions
Influence Activities [1] affect the character or behaviour of an individual, group or organisation: they realise cognitive effects. Whilst activities in the physical domain will undoubtedly have such effects.the focus of Information Activities is in [ the information domain.
[1]

Joint Doctrine Note 1/07

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

The importance of the human factor .

Fighting battles is not about territory, it is about people, attitudes and perceptions. The battleground is there.

In a counter-insurgency the terrain is the people, rather than bridges and hills and forests. You have to understand tribes, leaders & the economic forces at work.
General Stanley McChrystal (Speigel Jan 2010)

General Sir Michael Jackson (Feb 2000)

How activities have an effect on behaviour

enables new

Technology itself

A C T I V I T Y

T E achieves a C H N creates a O L O G causes a Y

Physical Effect
can create

S can constrain

cognitive domain

Perceptual Effect
can create

Y N C H R O N can influence I S E D

Psychological Effect

E F F can change E C T

B E H A V I O U R

Some examples of effects


Physical Effect
PHYSICAL EFFECT Destruction Denial Disruption Delivered Aid Dropped Leaflets Dominated Air Space

Psych Effect
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT Shock & Surprise Fear and Panic Stress and Trauma Feelings of Hopelessness Feelings of Helplessness Determination / Resolve Alienation Habituation Denial Loss of Face Social Interaction Group Participation

Perceptual Effect
PERCEPTION Risk of action outweighs benefit Ive been spotted My covers been blown Conflict is escalating They mean business Im not in control Self-doubt / Realisation Loss of normality Difficulties in achieving goal (impediments) Im not safe Im being watched Im being punished Im being victimised Something has / has not happened

Who do we want to influence?


Individual
Personality

Key leaders & decision-makers with whom direct interaction is possible. Opinion formers whose activities may help or hinder us. Hostile or potentially hostile groups with whom direct interaction may not be possible. Examples include insurgent teams, military units, etc. Uncommitted groups (segments) within the population whose attitudes, opinions and behaviours impact on our future success.

Team
Group

Group

Wider Audience

Culture

in context: Information Environment


Information available Trusted Sources
Personality

Social comms
Group

Telecomms Media Mass or New Preferred Content

Culture

Information Environment

and within the wider situation


Information available Geopolitics Trusted Sources
Personality

Neighbours / Allies Social comms Access to Resources Telecomms Local power brokers Media Mass or New Preferred Content

Group

Culture

World events
impacting perceptions and

Information Information Environment Environment

Wider Context

Hostile Influencers

Definitions & emerging requirements


Influence Activities [1] affect the character or behaviour of an individual, group or organisation: they realise cognitive effects. Cyberspace, as part of the information dimension, [2] is as much a part of the contemporary operating environment as the land, sea or air. Moreover, as identified by the National Security Strategy (NSS), it is the most important new domain in national security of recent years. [3] Its existence is undeniable, and has been for a period of decades, yet it remains a poorly understood domain which is all-too-often seen as the preserve of computer specialists.

Whilst activities in the physical domain will undoubtedly have such effects.the focus of Information Activities is in the [2] JDP 0-01, British Defence Doctrine information domain. (3rd Edition), (UK: MoD, 2008), para.240. [3] National Security Strategy: Annual [1] Joint Doctrine Note 1/07 Update 2009, (UK: Cabinet Office), Jun 09, para.46.

Need to understand different things


Less concern with - What, Where and When More interest in - Who, Why and How Increasing recognition of the need to understand culture Growing appreciation of the importance of perceptions A recognition that the cyber domain is important

[The focus here is on people & technology, rather than on


statistics and the evolution of cyberspace and its associated technologies.

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

Cyberspace:
people & technology or technology enabled applications?
Second Life Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

World of Warcraft

APP store

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

Technology is important to us! you can take it with you.

Paper technology has become part of the things that the Chinese diaspora burns during funeral practices. Along with more traditional things like paper money to ensure a good [ life in the next world, some people now also burn paper cell phones so that their ancestors can talk to each other.
from People and Practices Research Group at INTEL Genevieve Bell, Anthropologist
Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

The kitten killer of Hangzhou


Chinese human-flesh search engines
On-line vigilante justice on Chinese internet forums where netizens collectively hunt down and punish those who have angered them.

Does collective action in this form resonate with Chinese culture? Is this a culturally specific phenomenon? [ Why is it surprising to us? Could we forecast where other types of collective activity might emerge?

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

Richard Bartle meets


MUDs and Achievers regard points-gathering and rising in levels as their main goal, and all is ultimately subserviant to this Socialisers interested in people, and what they have to say. Game merely backdrop, common ground where things happen to players Killers get their kicks from imposing themselves on others Explorers delight in having the game expose its internal machinations to them

David McClelland
Motivational Needs Achievement seeks attainment of goals and advancement. Need for feed-back, accomplishment & progress Affiliation need for friendships, interaction and to be liked Power authority motivated, needs to influence & make an impact. Need to lead & increase status and prestige Scientists / Nerds ???

and is addressed by Nick Yee


Nick Yee (Palo Alto) in 2006: extends Bartles taxonomy of players and empirically introduces other categories such as those who socialise in order to engage in teamwork. Cyber Psychology and Behaviour, Volume 9, No 6. 2006 [
Achievement Advancement Mechanics Competition Social Socialising Relationship Teamwork Immersion Discovery Role-playing Customisation Escapism

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

Cyber activity
NEW MEDIA OLD MEDIA

Cyberspace enables new forms of social activity

Social activity

Cyber activity may lead to new forms of social activity

Human & Social Behaviour (that we wish to understand, and influence its behaviour)

The framework: what is needed (wide range)


FOCUS AREAS
UNDERPINNING HUMAN & SOCIAL SCIENCE

INDIVIDUAL

TEAM / GROUP

WIDER AUDIENCE

What is the relationship between online and off-line human and social behaviour?

How do we observe and analyse online human and social behaviour?

INFORMATION GATHERING & ANALYSIS

How do we engage with, shape or influence human and social behaviour in cyberspace?

ENGAGEMENT, PERSUASION, INFLUENCE

The framework: what is needed (social science)


FOCUS AREAS
UNDERPINNING HUMAN & SOCIAL SCIENCE INDIVIDUAL TEAM / GROUP WIDER AUDIENCE
What is the relationship between online and off-line human and social behaviour?

INFORMATION GATHERING & ANALYSIS

ENGAGEMENT, PERSUASION, INFLUENCE

Ps yc ho log So y cia lP sy ch ol og An y thr op o lo gy Me di a& Ma rke t in g So cio log y


How do we observe and analyse online human and social behaviour?

How do we engage with, shape or influence human and social behaviour in cyberspace?

The framework: what is needed (examples)


FOCUS AREAS INDIVIDUAL TEAM / GROUP WIDER AUDIENCE
What is the relationship between online and off-line human and social behaviour?

UNDERPINNING HUMAN & SOCIAL SCIENCE

Are online personae real or authentic? In what way? How much does the online self reveal about the personality of the real self?

Do group & social norms evolve on-line in the same way as in the real world? Can the loose ties of connected individuals online transition into tightly bonded groups?

How does social identity and social influence operate online? Are protest or neighbourhood watch groups different on-line? Will people participate more online and why?

How do we observe and analyse online human and social behaviour? How to study online groups? Can we use existing social media / games or will we need to develop our own? Is online group activity sufficient or does it necessarily lead to off-line activity? How can we use new media to better assess public opinion and attitudes? What defines key voices or opinion formers on-line? What analyses might support this identification?

INFORMATION GATHERING & ANALYSIS

How can we verify the identity & credibility of individuals that have only virtual presence? Do linguistic analysis techniques apply on-line, i.e. in Texts, on Twitter?

How do we engage with, shape or influence human and social behaviour in cyberspace? What causes online groups to lose coherence, change goals, fragment? How does a newcomer establish credibility / rapport with a virtual group? How can social marketing go wrong? Can we learn from others mistakes? How can we use immersive games as a channel for our messages?

ENGAGEMENT, How does communications PERSUASION, synchronicity impact on the development of online INFLUENCE Copyright, Dstl Crown
How is trust created / lost?

interpersonal relationships? 23 November, 2009

For the proposals..

I discourage
Purely technical research on establishing identity Building new virtual worlds for experimentation Too much concentration on training Development of new O/S [ mining & analysis engines Too much focus on CSCW Too much focus on Web Science

I encourage
Theory based approaches drawing on social science Experimental and multidisciplinary research Underpinning science that addresses so what? question Methods and approaches that have demonstrable utility Novel ideas and concepts that will be game changing.

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

Some random ideas & thought experiments


Will thin-slicing work in cyberspace? What would an on-line polygraph look like? Will people learn to better maintain distinct identities? Can individual & group motivations & attitudes be assessed in cyberspace? How can we better understand the culture of cyberspace as it continues to evolve? Will cyberspace demand new forms of information collection & [ analysis?

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009

The Call
What we are looking for

Proposals by CDE process Likely duration of 12 months Full or partial MOD funding Larger number of lower value (20-50K) proposals Call has phase 1 funding for circa 500K in FY2010/11

When are we doing it

22nd April CDE Seminar 7th June Call Closes 21st June Decision Conference 5th July Target for Contract Placement

Crown Copyright, Dstl 23 November, 2009