Air Force in Information Warfare-Intelligent Warfare and CAC Guidelines to Protect Minors in Cyberspace
Issue 31, 16 May 2021
My colleague Manoj Kewalramani and I have recently launched a project "Tracking PLA Members in CPC Central Committee" on our website.
The Project documents the current distribution of PLA officers in the 19th Central Committee (19th CC). It seeks to analyze the changes that are likely in terms of the PLA’s representation in the 20th Central Committee.
This is a dynamic project, which will be developed in parts over the course of the year leading up to the 20th Party Congress. In the first part, we have plotted the distribution of PLA members in the 19th CC. Further analyses about potential retirements and promotions will follow in subsequent parts.
It has interesting and interactive infographics, so I hope you have fun exploring the project page. Comments, feedback, brickbats, and suggestions on the project are welcome!
Check out the full project at Tracking PLA Members in CPC Central Committee.
I. Military and Warfare
Air Force in Information Warfare and Intelligent Warfare
After last week's focus on control over land, this week's focus in PLA Daily is on controlling airspace. An article written by Chai Shan (affiliation unknown) outlines the characteristics of airpower in the age of intelligent and informationized warfare. A key takeaway is that air supremacy still occupies an important position in information warfare and future intelligent warfare.
The role of air dominance is transformed from auxiliary cooperation to control and dominance.
Air dominance and control space expanding from a tangible single domain to multi-dimensional and multi-domain: In the information age, the airspace battlefield no longer just includes aircraft and aviation forces, Electromagnetic warfare and Cognitive warfare have also come to dominate air power. The author says, "only when the airspace, the electromagnetic domain, and the cognitive domain are firmly controlled at the same time can it be regarded as a real air dominance." (因此，如今制空权的夺控，仅夺取空域的制权是远远不够的，只有同时牢牢控制了空域、电磁域和认知域，才算是真正夺取了制空权。)
Electronic Warfare in airspace: Various informationized equipment and electromagnetic confrontation force have joined the competition for superiority in the air. Electronic warfare has also become an important part of a strategy to dominate the airspace.
Cognitive Warfare in airspace: As per the author, the addition of cognitive confrontation forces has expanded the space for the struggle for air supremacy. He says, "from the decision-making dilemma of distributed air combat manufacturing to the greatly shortened "OODA" kill chain of fighters equipped with artificial intelligence-assisted decision-making systems, these are all attempts to seize air supremacy in the cognitive domain." Hence, in the future, the battle for airpower will also include operations in the cognitive domain.
Shifting scope of air dominance - From overall height to local layered refinement: Earlier, establishing air dominance meant emphasizing complete air dominance without distinction between altitudes. However, the author points out that with the addition of a large number of new air combat forces and the development of ground air defense equipment technology, the airspace altitudes have begun to be gradually refined in layers, and each altitude has begun to become an area of competition. Hence, the author asserts that the "competition for air supremacy in the information-based and intelligent warfare cannot be hoped to be achieved through a single battle. It is necessary to focus on the air defense characteristics of each layer and domain, through systematic design, phased implementation, and targeted realization layer by layer." (所以，信息化智能化战争中的制空权的争夺不能希冀通过毕其功于一役的方式获得，必须着眼各个层域的用空和防空特点，通过体系化设计，分阶段实施，有针对性地实现逐层压制、争夺，才能真正获取制空权。)
The hierarchy of air dominance has changed from absolute air domination to relative air domination: Earlier, the concept of sir dominance meant overall dominance of airpower. However, it gradually evolved into achieving supremacy on key battlefields and key stages of the war. In an era of information-based and intelligent warfare, the diversification of air combat forces and the multi-functionalization of ground air defense systems have made the competition for air supremacy more intense and difficult. Therefore, the expression of air supremacy is divided into three levels
The means of seizing air supremacy develop from single-domain air combat to multi-dimensional joint warfare: The author says that since entering the information age, long-range precision strike systems, space-based weapon systems, network-based weapon systems, unmanned combat systems, and cognitive domain weapons and equipment have successively been put into the fight for air supremacy. From single domain operations focused on destroying aircraft, the air domain operations now include combat operations such as network disconnection, navigation warfare, electromagnetic suppression, network attack, unmanned "swarm" strike, and cognitive confrontation.
CAC Guidelines to Protect Minors in Cyberspace
Last week, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) jointly with the Central Civilization Office (Ministry of Culture and Tourism) floated guidelines to protect minors from 'online tipping' and live streaming in cyberspace. CAC has taken this step to protect the physical and mental health of minors. Guidelines are primarily based on "Internet Security Law of the People's Republic of China" and "The Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Minors."
A summary of guidelines is given below:
Minors are not allowed to participate in live broadcast rewards (禁止未成年人参与直播打赏).
Platforms have to implement a real-name registration system. This means that platforms have to verify the real names of the accounts being created.
Platforms have to prohibit the use of the provision of various reward services such as cash recharge, "gift" purchases, and online payment for minors.
Strictly control minors from engaging in streaming (严控未成年人从事主播).
Teens under 16 years of age cannot do live streaming.
Teens between 16 to 18 years of age will have to obtain the consent of their guardians to do streaming.
The use of "internet celebrity children" (“网红儿童”) to make money should be supervised.
Platforms will be held responsible for illegal accounts and their actions.
Optimize and upgrade "Teen Mode" (优化升级“青少年模式”).
Big tech should optimize and improve their "Teen Mode" (also called youth mode)
Platforms are prohibited from providing "star chasing" (“追星”) services in any form.
Platforms should have a strict content review and control process and should have a special review team proportional to the scale of the platform.
Establish a dedicated service team ( 建立专门服务团队).
Platforms should establish an exclusive customer service team for minors to handle complaints and disputes.
Standardize the application of key functions (规范重点功能应用).
Design and functionality to give gifts and increase youth engagement should be standardized.
'Reward amount' should not be the only criteria for launching new functionalities and applications.
Strengthen the management of peak hours (加强高峰时段管理).
Platforms are required to shut down "Teem Mode" user activities after 10 pm. This is required so that youth can get enough rest.
During the daily peak hours of the website platform, the number of "Lianmai PK" (“连麦PK”) in the live broadcast room of a single account shall not exceed 2 times and there should be no "PK Penalty" (“连麦PK”).
Strengthen network literacy education (加强网络素养教育).
Behind the Scenes
Qinglang (清朗): These regulations are part of the Chinese government's "Qinglang" (清朗) series of efforts to clean the internet and reduce chaos in cyberspace. CAC launched Qinglang series of regulations and guidelines to regulate 'fandom' (饭圈 Fàn quān) culture and similar 'idol' culture in cyberspace. The goal of the Qinglang campaign, which means 'clear and bright, is to make the internet a clean environment for a young audience. In August 2021, CAC released a detailed version of the guidelines to curb fandom culture.
Teen Mode/ Youth Mode (青少年模式 Qīngshàonián móshì): This is part of the Chinese government's effort to regulate the online behavior of teenagers and youth in China. This 'anti-addiction' model was introduced by the State Internet Information Office in March 2019. After CAC released guidelines, more than 50 major online social platforms implemented the "Teen Mode" in their applications. Read more about this here.
Why Regulations and Guidelines?
Internet 'idol' culture and the popularity of live streaming have worried China's government and party leaders. Many of these are related to the entertainment industry in China. The toxic 'fandom' culture has become a den of harmful and sometimes illegal activities. Trolling, cyberbullying, cyber sleuthing, slander, excessive or harmful 'gift-giving addiction, etc. have become commonplace. Such popular culture has also contributed to toxic cyberspace and virtual social divisions in cyberspace.
'Idols' or internet celebrities also have a lot of influence. In May 2021, a viral trend in China was heavily criticized for wasting milk. Youth With You 3, a popular talent show in China advertised that fans can support their favorites from the show by buying milk and scanning the QR code inside the bottle caps. This led to the viral trend of people buying milk and scanning QR codes and then dumping milk in drains.
Similarly, fandom culture has grown into an economic impact sector. Many brands use this power of fandoms to drive sales of their products. As reported by Brookings, iResearch Consulting Group estimated the market value of the fan economy in China at close to $620 billion in 2019. According to iResearch Consulting Group, China's ‘fan economy’ would grow a further 50 percent by 2023.
Lastly, fandoms have become an effective organizing force. For example, a fandom alliance known as '666 Alliance' arranged medical supplies worth millions of yuan after the Wuhan COIVD-19 outbreak was made official.
Megha Pardhi is a Research Analyst at The Takshashila Institution. She tweets at @pardhimegha21.