The New Weapons: Propaganda, Misinformation and Fake News

National Security College | Professional course
Image: Voice of America


A host of global actors, state and non-state, are increasingly leveraging technology to harness the power of information – and using it as a weapon. How do they seek to undermine Australia’s security, the competitiveness of Australian businesses, and confidence in our democratic institutions? What are the implications for global and national security? And is Australia prepared?

Course date: 
30 May 2018
#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

A fee of $1,300 (GST ex) applies to this course for Commonwealth participating agencies and NSC Partners. The open rate is $1,600 (GST ex).

Course overview

The 2016 US election was a watershed moment revealing the use of state-directed propaganda and misinformation targeted at the democratic institutions of a major western power. At the community level, extremist narratives are proving difficult to combat, demanding more of both government and society. A host of actors across the landscape of global technology are finding new ways to exploit the value of information – and using it as a weapon. This breaks down the distinctions between what is personal and what is political, using new avenues to seek advantages, and new ways to cause harm. This course will consider whether Australia is sufficiently prepared for and resilient against weapons of propaganda and misinformation trained on our institutions, and our communities.

Scope and content

This course explores the rise of propaganda and misinformation as weapons and considers the implications for Australia’s national security and the wider region by:

  • providing a strategic overview of the risk environment, incorporating hostile state actors, organised criminal syndicates, rogue businesses, terrorist organisations and other malicious network actors

  • evaluating the type and nature of harm that each of these actors poses to business,
    government and society, and

  • identifying ways to enhance resilience: whether this is protecting critical
    systems, combating disinformation or safeguarding information holdings.

Who should attend?

This course will benefit staff working across government, including in strategic policy, social policy, communications, intelligence, assessment, cyber security and those responsible for data holdings.

Course details

  • One day, non-residential, fully-catered program

  • An ANU parking permit will be supplied.

  • Course date: TBC

  • Course timings 8:30am - 5:00pm


Places on this course are limited. To secure your place, or obtain further information, please contact us at

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Updated:  21 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator