Headline, March 15 2022/ ''' '' FAKES -TRUTH- FARES '' '''

''' '' FAKES -TRUTH-

 FARES '' '''

SAHIBZADA AHSEN ROHAIL KHAN - From amongst the Global Founder Framers of !WOW! - is, by any measure, one sterling lad. One Great family, schooling and education : Head Start, LUMS and now at super McKinsey.

It is a great moment and privilege to nominate him as the : ''Global Head of Students Safety and Security on The World Students Society'' right through the Global Elections.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY AND PROPAGANDA : WHAT THEN IS TRUTH? Proving a photo has been faked is one thing. Proving it hasn't is quite another.

THAT TRUTH is the first casualty of war is an old aphorism. One recent instance is the proliferation of images and videos of things that did not happen, in wars such as those currently going on in Ukraine and Syria.

Some of these are outright fakes. Others are manipulated versions of honestly recorded materials. Last year a doctored video appeared of Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, apparently telling Ukrainian soldiers to surrender.

The proliferation of such fakes has, though, led to a second more subtle approach to lying with images. This is to use their ubiquity to cast doubt on the veracity of inconvenient pictures that are real.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine last year, for example, the Associated Press released a video of doctors failing to revive a young girl who had been hit in the shelling of Mariupol. The footage soon appeared on Russian television with the word  ' fake ' stamped on it.

SINCE it is hard to prove a negative [ie, that material has not been doctored]. such evidence may thus be challenged, possibly even in court, and allegations of crimes based on that evidence may, as a result, not stick.

Ways to establish the authenticity of digital imagery would therefore be valuable. And one is now available.

''Glass-to-glass'' warning systems create special software ''ecosystems'' within which pictures and video can be taken, stored and transmitted in a way that alerts viewers to alterations, no matter when and where those changes are introduced in an image's journey from lens to screen.

A Plate Of Hash

One such system has been developed by eyeWitness to Atrocities, a charity based in London. The app at its core does two things: 

First, when a photo or video is taken by a phone fitted with that app, it records the time and location of the event, as reported by hard-to-deny electronic witnesses such as GPS satellites and nearby mobile-phone towers and Wi-Fi networks.

This is known as the controlled capture of metadata, and is more secure than collecting such metadata from the phone itself, because a phone's time and location settings can be changed.

Second, the app reads the image's entire digital sequence [ the zeroes and the ones which represent it ] and uses a standard mathematical formula to calculate an alphanumeric value, known as hash, unique to that picture.

All this done, it then puts the metadata and the hash into a file called a proof bundle and that is separate from the image and sends an encrypted copy of the image and its proof bundle to a special server.

Wendy Betts, director of eyeWitness to Atrocities, describes this service server as a digital evidence locker. If an image's authenticity needs to be verified, it suffices to rescan its digital sequence, recalculate its hash, and then ask the repository whether or not it contains an identical hash.

If even a single pixel of the image has been altered, the recalculated hash will not match the original. If it does match, then the image has not been retouched.

As an additional service, roughly 80 lawyers, each working for the charity WITHOUT PAY for a few hours a week, review the incoming images. 

They package those which seem to record abuses into dossiers that are sent to prosecuting authorities including Europol [a law enforcement agency of the European Union], the international criminal court and Ukraine's Office of the Prosecutor General.

Andriy Kostin, the prosecutor-general himself, is a fan of the eyeWitness system - and not just because it provides the security of authenticity that courts require. He also likes the fact that it helps overcome a second obstacle to his efforts : witnesses' fear of being found out.

Making Connections

In areas of Ukraine that are occupied by Russia, this is a serious risk. Were soldiers manning a checkpoint, for example, to discover someone's phone video evidence collected by that person of war crimes, the consequences could be severe.

To make this less likely to happen, the app's icon does not reveal its purpose. Moreover, if it is then tapped by a probing official and an incorrect passcode entered, that opens the phone's normal photo gallery.

Maryna Slobodianiuk, lead investigator at Truth Hounds, a human-rights group in Kyiv, says of the evidence of attacks she has collected using eyeWitness : ''Even if I will be captured...... no one will reach it.'' 

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Science & Technology : Fakes, Filters, and Truth, continues to Part 2. The World  Students Society thanks The Economist.

With most respectful dedication to The Global Founder Framers of !E-WOW!, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all consider and prepare for Great Global Elections on !WOW! - the exclusive ownership of every student : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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