Skip to main content

US lawmakers warn spy chief that ‘deep fakes’ are a national security threat

What once sounded like science fiction is now a reality: creating almost-perfectly faked videos of people saying things they never did.

Surprise: now they’re a reality, thanks to modern computing power and the power to instantly share it on the world’s social stage.

But US lawmakers are worried that these faked videos could be used by the enemy to harm national security.

If you’re unaware, “deep fakes” are digitally manipulated videos — which, using existing footage mixed with artificial intelligence and machine learning, can be made to look like, or close to, the real thing.

Unsurprisingly, one of the first uses of deep fake videos was for porn — by superimposing faces onto others.

But now, lawmakers think that deep fakes could be used as part of wider disinformation campaigns — known to be a tactic of adversarial nation states like Russia — in an effort to sway elections or spread false news.

“Deep fakes could become a potent tool for hostile powers seeking to spread misinformation,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, in a letter to Dan Coats, director of national intelligence.

“As deep fake technology becomes more advanced and more accessible, it could pose a threat to United States public discourse and national security, with broad and concerning implications for offensive active measures campaigns targeting the United States,” said the letter, co-signed by Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL).

The lawmakers have a point. In recent years, disinformation has risen and has a major factor in the meddling during the 2016 presidential election. Now, instead of false and misleading news, it was fake videos of politicians throwing shade at their rivals — or worse.

Take this deep fake video — created by BuzzFeed News to prove of former President Obama calling President Trump a “dipshit” — to show how easy it is.

A deep fake video created by BuzzFeed News to show how easy it is to create false and misleading videos.

What might be good fun on one hand, on the other it can have a major effect on those who are none the wiser.

Schiff, Murphy, and Curbelo want the director of national intelligence — who oversees the nation’s intelligence community — to report back on its assessment of how deep fake technology could harm national security interests, and if there are countermeasures to protect against foreign influence — and their limitations.

The DNI’s office was asked to report back to Congress by mid-December.

When reached, a spokesperson for the DNI did not immediately comment. If that changes, we’ll update.

from TechCrunch


Popular posts from this blog

Android blatantly copies the iPhone X navigation gestures

Google unveiled some of the new features in the next version of Android at its developer conference. One feature looked particularly familiar. Android P will get new navigation gestures to switch between apps. And it works just like the iPhone X.“As part of Android P, we’re introducing a new system navigation that we’ve been working on for more than a year now,” VP of Android Engineering Dave Burke said. “And the new design makes Android multitasking more approachable and easier to understand.”While Google has probably been working on a new multitasking screen for a year, it’s hard to believe that the company didn’t copy Apple. The iPhone X was unveiled in September 2017.On Android P, the traditional home, back and multitasking buttons are gone. There’s a single pill-shaped button at the center of the screen. If you swipe up from this button, you get a new multitasking view with your most recent apps. You can swipe left and right and select the app you’re looking for.If you swipe up o…

Square launches restaurant point-of-sale platform

Square, which has already made its way into retail stores and service-based businesses (think hair salons, massage therapists, etc), is officially getting into the restaurant business with the launch of Square for Restaurants. Square for Restaurants is a point-of-sale system that handles everything from menu updates, floor layouts, employee scheduling, performance tracking to tip splitting.Usually, restaurants have “some old legacy thing or something else,” Square Seller Lead Alyssa Henry told me.“Historically, we’ve not served this customer segment very well,” Henry said. “With Square for Restaurants, we’re excited to finally be able to serve this customer segment and deliver on a couple of key things that are core to Square but also highly valued by sellers of all types.”This new product is designed to be fast, self-serve, elegant and cohesive, Henry said. It also integrates seamlessly into Square’s existing ecosystem that includes Payroll, Capital and more. Given Square’s ownership…

State Farm sponsors popular Fortnite streamer DrLupo

DrLupo, one of the biggest names and most recognizable voices in Fortnite streaming, has closed a sponsorship deal with State Farm.Bejanmin “DrLupo” Lupo has nearly 3 million Twitch followers and often plays with the world’s most popular streamer, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Beloved for his talent and his personality alike, Lupo has also worked as a caster for various Fortnite tournaments and events. Last year, DrLupo held a charity stream for St. Jude’s Research Hospital and raised $1.3 million.State Farm Marketing Director Ed Gold had this to say:DrLupo is one of the world’s most followed Fortnite streamers. His philanthropic efforts and massive fanbase make him an ideal partner as we continue to amplify our esports programming and efforts with the gaming community.This marks State Farm’s first sponsorship of an esports athlete. The sponsorship will include support of the stream through branded replays, live in-stream stunts and product integration (here’s me trying to imagine integratin…