Cyber Attacks, Smoke Screens and the Modern Propagandist

The world’s problems start with Cy- this week, from cyber-attacks to Cyprus. Big data is the fetish of the day, and the former story proved an ample smoke screen distraction from the thousands of lives left in the lurch by the latter.

We love a good story, and while we grow weary of yet another rag to add to the smouldering pile of recession-related, economic downturn articles, there’s nothing like a good tech conspiracy story to distract the masses from the troubles that be.

In years passed – I’m thinking particularly of the immediate post-war period here – the propaganda machine was well-oiled by a team of mechanics with a strong sense of nationhood or loyalty to the Crown.

As traditional structures of social cohesion break down – the kinds that would encourage individuals to willingly keep to a strict code of omertà – the State propaganda machine has had to adapt.

In light of technological advances, this machine has become more robust than ever. Controlling the truth the public are exposed to has become a sophisticated PR spin exercise: tight, rigorous structures of PR infantry are the gatekeepers to the State’s secrets ensuring our heads are turned firmly in the opposite direction to where the action is taking place.