The Shifting Nature of Cyberwarfare in Middle Eastern States

Author(s) Emily Fekete
Contact Emily Fekete, University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66044, USA. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 9, Iss. 1, 2015, pp. 32-56
Published May 10, 2015
Type Article
Abstract While some theorists make the claim that “kinetic and traditional military power are losing importance to symbolic and media power,” in reality the present military situation is complicated by the variety of tactics used by both governments and civilians in multiple and overlapping war zones. The Middle East has recently been the center of enormous military and media attention regarding the use of many forms of “new” media military operations. However, rather than arguing that online warfare has trumped physical encounters, cyber campaigns must be seen as being deployed in conjunction with on-the-ground military maneuvers. The use of online strategies disperses power and allows for an increasing role by non-state actors in both online and offline spaces of conflict. Drawing from the geographic literature on war, especially Derek Gregory’s concept of “everywhere war,” examples are offered from Syria, Iran, Gaza, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Keywords Middle East, cyberactivism, conflict, Internet studies, terrorism, cyber crime, hacking