The United States has been dealing with this constant evolving platform of war since around 2003. The National Security Agency being on the frontline of technological defense, and hi-tech SIGINT interception has received the most responsibility in defending the country and preserving national security against this electronic threat. Communications became more sophisticated in application digital encryption also became more widespread. No longer was passive collection of signals efficient enough to preserve national security. So in response to this new form of warfare the NSA responded with Third Echelon, an internal clandestine unit of the NSA itself. Third Echelon returned to classical methods of physical espionage, backed by cutting-edge military technology, for the purpose of conducting covert SIGINT operations.
Covert War on InformationEdit
In 2004, Third Echelon created the "Splinter Cell" program, which was designed to specialize in crisis of Information Warfare. Highly-trained, elite-special reconnaissance unconventional soldiers known as "Splinter Cells" are deployed onto the battlefield to combat this modern era of war. The battlefield is everywhere, mobile trains, airport terminals, defense ministiries, political embassies, conventional battlefields, drug camps, television stations, submarines, police stations, even CIA headquarters, as well as many others. This is a war, that literally is being fought wherever electronic-based attacks is the source of the threat.
Third Echelon has conducted numerous operations in the War on Information. Resulting in numerous outcomes that demand skills in numerous tactics. Such outcomes have ranged from political assassination, to capturing and securing specific personnel, counter surveillance, deliberate action, special reconnaissance, sabotage, and even kidnapping. Being able to physically obtain intelligence outside the reach of remote hacking, Splinter Cells need to have a basic understanding in the field of cryptography in order to gain access to secure file structures vital to the success of the operation that may be at stake.
In 2007, Third Echelon had to truly prove their worth by coordinating two Splinter Cell operations during the Three-Block War of the East Asian Crisis. This conventional conflict proved that Information Warfare was seriously a threat and that Splinter Cells truly had to be capable of performing their duties under the extreme stress of open warfare. On the other spectrum, typical operations take place without the environment even becoming aware of the intruders presence. Such an operation took place during the authorized assassination of Hugo Lacerda on board the Maria Narcissa. Due to the fast evolving pace of Information Warfare objectives frequently change and Splinter Cells must be able to adapt at a moments notice without hesitation in order to remain extremely efficient in this silent slow paced war.