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"On-line gaming environments are completely different things... Essentially it's massive global role-playing."
- Peter Watts

Infowar Operation  
  Making use of various means to disrupt the enemy's military and civilian information networks.  

Apparently, there has been a lot of planning on this front relating to possible confrontations with Iraq. In the recent past, U.S. authorities have asked patriotic hackers to avoid going after the information networks of other countries (in this case, China).

In the novel, infowar is a standard component of any military operation: the people who do the work are prepared to make these services available domestically as well.

"Look, this is just a standard infowar operation, the stuff we used to do overseas all the time. Fly in, disrupt vital systems, low or zero casualties, achieve the mission objective. Then we just finish, all gone, forget about it. Turn the page."

"Right," said Fontenot. "Just like Second Panama."

"Hey," the officer said proudly. "I was in Second Panama. That was classic netwar! We took down the local regime just by screwing with their bitstreams. No fatalities! Never a shot fired!"

From Distraction, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Bantam Spectra in 1998
Additional resources -

I found a very good glossary of information warfare terms in the event you are unclear about terms. The following definition of C2W (Command-and-Control Warfare) summarizes the tactics of an information war:

The integrated use of operations security, military deception, psychological operations, electronic warfare, and physical destruction, mutually supported by intelligence, to deny information to, influence, degrade, or destroy adversary command and control capabilities, while protecting friendly command and control capabilities against such actions. Command systems, rather than commanders, are the chief target, as in Persian Gulf War.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Distraction
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Distraction
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Infowar Operation-related news articles:
  - Cyber-Warfare Waged on Estonia By Russia?
  - CyberWar May Require Military Response

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