GAO Issues Special Report on DoD Information Environment; Acknowledges IPA Contributions

The General Accounting Office on September 21, 2022 released a new report, “Information Environment: Opportunities and Threats to DOD’s National Security Mission.” GAO conducted the study to inform Congress, DoD leaders, and others on the importance of the information environment (IE), how DOD components understand the IE, threats and key challenges to the IE, dual-edge sword of emerging technology, and DOD’s plan to operate and protect its interests in the IE. The report accomplishes this through six profiles each focused on a different aspect of the IE.

The report leverages the definition of cognitive security from the Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland and acknowledges input received from interviews with leadership from the Information Professionals Association

As part of the report release, GAO published three quick videos to its blog on “How does the Information Environment Threaten National Security?” to increase awareness of of the IE “battlespace.”

GAO found that given the ubiquitous nature of the information environment, both DOD and adversaries can conduct operations and activities in the information environment from anywhere in the world. Additionally, with DOD capabilities dependent on IT and the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS), its ability to conduct operations and activities in any of the physical domains (land, maritime, air, and space) is reliant on protecting the information environment.

The full report is available here.

GAO Information Environment Threats graphic
GAO’s analysis of activities in the Information Environment identified several threats for attention.