Headline July 10, 2018/ "' *HIGH TECH HIGH* "'

''' *HIGH TECH HIGH* '''

SO FAR - DEEPFAKES have mostly been used to smear celebrities or as gags, but it's easy to foresee a nation state using them for nefarious activities-

Say against the U.S., said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of the several members of the Senate intelligence committee who are expressing deep concern about deepfakes.

A foreign intelligence agency could use the technology to produce a fake video of an American politician using a racial epithet or taking a bribe, Rubio says.

They could use a fake video of US soldier massacring civilians overseas, or one of the US official supposedly admitting a secret plan to carry out a conspiracy.

Imagine a fake video of a US leader - or an official from North Korea or Iran - warning the United States of an impending disaster.

"It's a weapon that could be used - timed appropriately and placed appropriately - in the same way that fake news is used, except in a video form, which could create real chaos and instability on the eve of an election or a major decision of any sort." Rubio told the Associated Press.

Deepfake technology still has a few hitches. For instance, people's blinking in fake videos, may appear unnatural. But the technology is improving.

"Within a year or two, it's going to be really hard for a person to distinguish between a real video and a fake video," said Andrew Grotto, an international security fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University in California.

"This technology, I think, will be irresistible for nation states to use in disinformation campaign to manipulate public opinion-

Deceive populations and undermine confidence in our institutions," Grotto said. He called the government leaders and politicians to clearly say it has no place in civilized political debate.

Crude videos have been used for malicious political purposes for years, so there's no reason to believe the higher-tech ones, which are more realistic, won't become tools in future disinformation campaigns.

Rubio noted that in 2009, the US embassy in Moscow complained to the Russian Foreign Ministry about a fake sex video it said was made to damage the reputation of a US diplomat.

The video showed the married diplomat, who was a liaison to Russian religious and human rights group, making telephone calls on a dark street.

The video then showed the diplomat in his hotel room, scenes that apparently were shot within a hidden camera.

Later, the video appeared to show a man and a woman having sex in the same room with the lights off, although it was not at all clear that the man was the diplomat.

John Beyrle, who was the US ambassador in Moscow at the time, blamed the Russian government for the video, which he said was clearly fabricated.

Michael McFaul, who was American Ambassador in Russia between 2012 and 2014, said Russia was engaged in disinformation videos against various political actors for years and that he too had been a target.

He has said that Russian state propaganda inserted his face into photographs and 'spliced my speeches to make me say things I never uttered and even accused me of pedophilia."

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