Information warfare is an attack against computers, networks, or information systems to coerce or intimidate a government and its people. These attacks result in violence against people or property and generate fear. Attacks that disrupt nonessential services or create a costly nuisance are not considered information warfare. Cyberterrorism results in severe effects such as death, bodily injury, explosions, plane crashes, water contamination, severe economic loss, and so on.
Information warfare is easily and most effectively waged against civilians. Because of its size and reliance on technology, no nation is as vulnerable to information warfare as the United States. Information warfare can be waged anonymously, or with all the publicity in the world.
Third Echelon is a subagency of the NSA, an elite team of strategists, hackers, and field operatives who collect intelligence to anticipate and respond to crises of information warfare.
What is a Splinter Cell?
When intelligence deemed critical to national security cannot be obtained by traditional means, Third Echelon is granted clearance to conduct physical operations. Its existence denied by the U.S. government, Third Echelon deploys units known as Splinter Cells: elite intelligence-gathering forces consisting of a lone field operative supported by a remote team. Like a sliver of glass, a Splinter Cell is small, sharp, and nearly invisible.
What is Third Echelonís mission?
For the past five decades, the NSA has engaged in the passive collection of moving data, intercepting communications en route. But as communications become digital and sophisticated encryption becomes ubiquitous, passive collection is no longer sufficient. The NSA launches a top-secret initiative, Third Echelon, a return to classical methods of espionage powered by the latest technology for the aggressive collection of stored data. No longer filtering the world through satellites and antennas, Third Echelon agents physically infiltrate dangerous and sensitive enemy locations to collect the required intelligence by whatever means necessary.
Third Echelon agentsí prime directives are as follows: - To aggressively collect intelligence vital to U.S. security. - To protect critical U.S. information systems. - To keep all operations invisible to the public eye. - To work outside the boundaries of international treaties, but know that the U.S. will neither acknowledge nor support their operations.
Who is Sam Fisher?
Sam Fisher is Third Echelonís primary Splinter Cell operative.
Fisher has been on the front lines of espionage through several key decades of world history. He has not only survived but excelled in the field of espionage through hard work, insatiable curiosity, and brutal honesty. He has little time for polite niceties and even less for lies.
Though fully aware of and confident in his abilities, Fisher understands that his survival has often been a gift of chance. He knows he is human and fallible and does not want to die. He has a strange and slightly dark sense of humor.
He is quiet, instinctive, and observant, somebody who watches from the outside. Fighting, espionage, and constant training have defined his adult life; his tactical experience has become part of his instinct. Now, even outside of work he is most comfortable on the fringes of society, keenly observant but still removed.
Fisher has acquired an admirable collection of scars and has little left to prove to the world. Now older and wiser, he has no interest in glory. If he fights, it is because he believes the cause is necessary and he is capable.