Beyond Fake News – Fake Video Could Make You Question Everything You See

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By Elliot Friedland/Clarion Project March 15, 2018

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“The idea that someone could put another person’s face on an individual’s body, that would be like a homerun for anyone who wants to interfere in a political process. This is now going to be the new reality, surely by 2020, but potentially even as early as this year.” — Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)

 

New technology with the ability to create hyper-realistic fake videos has the potential to wreak havoc on the political landscape, lawmakers and technology experts say.

 

The tech allows people’s faces to be superimposed onto different bodies in other videos. Different technology can also allow allow facial expressions to be altered. Adobe even has a program to create new audio from text.

 

Currently, fake video technology requires manipulation of existing video footage of a person, and cannot create fake video from scratch with just a picture.

 

Right now, the technology is not that widespread and can still be detected by experts. But it is improving rapidly.

 

Such videos have already caused controversy. Fake pornographic videos have been made by face-swapping celebrities into pornographic movies. In February 2018, the popular content sharing website Reddit banned the r/deepfakes subreddit, which had been used to share fake pornographic content featuring celebrities. 

 

Reddit updated its rules prohibiting sharing pornographic content of someone without that person’s consent to include faked images. 

 

The combination of the different emerging technologies means it is highly likely we will soon see videos of public figures saying and doing things which never happened, that are all but indistinguishable from the real thing.

 

In July 2017, a team of researchers created a fake video of former president Barack Obama giving a speech he never gave, as an experiment.

 

 

The national security implications for terrorist groups using this technology are very worrying.

 

They will be able to create images of politicians announcing strikes that never happened, announcing anti-Muslim policies that don’t exist, making racist and bigoted remarks they never said or even footage of war crimes that never took place.

 

 

As Lawfare blog writes “The spread of deep fakes will threaten to erode the trust necessary for democracy to function effectively, for two reasons. 

 

First, and most obviously, the marketplace of ideas will be injected with a particularly-dangerous form of falsehood. Second, and more subtly, the public may become more willing to disbelieve true but uncomfortable facts.”

 

The deepfakes trend takes existing problems with fake news to the next level. As fake news spreads, the public will be less and less inclined to believe what they see, hear and read, and more inclined to rely on tribal in-groups and partisan sources they trust to support their specific narratives and interests.

 

Terrorists can and probably will manipulate these passions in three main ways:

 

Faking anti-Muslim hate crime and anti-Muslim bigotry in order to sow distrust between communities. It achieves this goal by making Muslims more afraid of non-Muslims, and by making non-Muslims less likely to trust stories of anti-Muslim bigotry.

 

Faking terrorist attacks and making sophisticated threats to spread fear and reduce our ability to respond appropriately to genuine danger.

 

Faking news reports or other information about genuine terrorist attacks, in order to increase confusion and put more lives at risk (ie falsely giving information that a suspect has been subdued when in fact there are more gunmen at large).

 

Deep fake videos are “like a weapon of mass destruction in the world of fake news and extremist propaganda, especially for hostile intelligence agencies engaging in political influence operations,” Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro said.

 

Yet despite the risks, the technology is ploughing ahead with no signs of slowing. The website deepfakes.club offers tutorials to anyone with an internet connection on how to create fake videos.

 

Nor are government attempts to develop reliable ways of authenticating content likely to be effective.

 

“We all will need some form of authenticating our identity through biometrics. This way people will know whether the voice or image is real or from an impersonator,” Congressman Ro Hanna (D-CA) told The Hill.

 

He called on the military’s research and development wing, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to create secure authentication techniques.

 

Yet the lighting-quick development of digital technologies suggests any such process would become liable to manipulation. It even opens up the possibility of a fake video being stamped with a real mark of authentication.

 

“Any technology that will allow you to fingerprint, the adversary is going to figure out how to take it out, manipulate the content, and then put that fingerprint back in,” Dr. Hany Farid, a computer science professor at Dartmouth College, who specialises in digital forensics told ABC News. “That is almost guaranteed.”

 

Cybersecurity experts are working on possible solutions to the coming threat, but so far have not agreed on a viable path forward.

 

Originally published at Clarion Project – reposted with permission.

 

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To Combat Islamism: Think Global, Act Local

Illustrative picture. (Photo: Creative Commons/Travis Wise)
Illustrative picture. (Photo: Creative Commons/Travis Wise)

At Clarion, we always stress that Islamism is an international problem. It is a toxic political ideology (separate from the religion of Islam as a whole) that seeks to dominate the world and impose its vision of theocratic rule first onto Muslims and then everyone else on earth.

At the same time, far-right ideology has a codependent and destructive relationship with Islamism. It paints a picture of a global clash of civilizations between Christendom and Islam and makes every Muslim into a possible threat.

These two global movements each provide their own recruiting propaganda. They similarly establish networks between key activists in different countries, communicate effectively to each other using modern technology, and coordinate messages and propaganda strategies across continents and oceans with ease.

Therefore any real attempt to stop them has to be able to organize internationally. The counter-Islamist movement has to build effective transnational partnerships, coordinate strategy across multiple time zones and be clear and concise in its message to the world: no to theocracy — not in its Islamic form and not in any form.

Maintaining that global consciousness is vital to success. But individuals don’t operate on a global level. We operate in our own countries and in our own communities.

That means considering one’s local context and community when assessing the most urgent needs in the battle to combat Islamism. In a place like Iraq, for example, the biggest problem may be jihadi groups running rampant murdering people. These Islamists need to be stopped militarily. Afterwards, the causal factors need to be taken into account and action taken to halt the runaway corruption which is undermining public faith in the legitimacy of the state and giving power to the Islamists.

In the United Kingdom and France, the problem has more to do with integration. Urban ghettos have developed. They are full of disenfranchised young men with a chip on their shoulder who are preyed on by recruiters. Figuring out how to improve integration efforts and equip disaffected young Muslims with a sense of purpose would be a good first step in the fight against Islamism in these countries.

In the United States, jihadism is less of a threat (although still a possibility that must be guarded against). Here the problem is more soft Islamism, which seeks to divide communities with a narrative that Islam is threatened by America and promote Islamist ideas. The other problem in America is the deep partisan divide between Republicans and Democrats, which prevents a nuanced and accurate conversation on the issue.

Any effort to combat Islamism, if it wants to be successful, should therefore consider the local context before acting.

Once we are having an impact locally, then we can turn our attention to the international arena and forge global partnerships with other activists, organizations and leaders who are building change on the ground in their own countries and communities.

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CNN Lets Students Attack Dana Loesch as a Bad Mother at Town Hall on Guns

Two students from Marjorie Stonemason Douglas High School attacked National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch as a bad mother during the CNN Town Hall on gun policy on Wednesday night.

The students had survived last week’s shooting, which left 17 dead and over a dozen wounded.

One student, Cameron Kasky, said onstage while questioning Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “I wish I could have asked the NRA lady [Loesch] a question … I would ask her how she can look in the mirror, considering the fact that she has children, but, you know, maybe she avoids those.”

“What was that, I’m sorry?” Tapper said, without admonishing Kasky or the cheering crowd.

Cameron Kasky, who survived the school shooting at CNN Town Hall: “Sen. Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?”
Rubio: “People buy into my agenda, and I do support the Second Amendment”

Another student, Emma Gonzalez — whom CNN has highlighted frequently in the past several days — also attacked Loesch as a mother: “I want you to know that we will support your two children in a way that you will not.”

Only @jaketapper & @cnn would think it’s a good idea to have the angel that is Emma Gonzalez ask a question to a real psycho

Tapper did not comment.

In addition, as NewsBusters notes, the crowd repeatedly heckled Loesch as a “murderer.” Tapper did admonish them — as did Gonzalez — to be quiet so that they could hear her answers to questions.

“Let’s have some respect. She’s here to answer the questions. Let’s let her answer the questions,” Tapper said.

The crowd also booed Loesch when she referred to a rape survivor who supports gun rights.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

The corporate-controlled media has been weaponized against America… “disinfo dictatorship” seeks to replace all FACTS with FICTIONS – NaturalNews.com

Image: The corporate-controlled media has been weaponized against America… “disinfo dictatorship” seeks to replace all FACTS with FICTIONS

 

Source: The corporate-controlled media has been weaponized against America… “disinfo dictatorship” seeks to replace all FACTS with FICTIONS – NaturalNews.com

MUELLER INDICTS 13 RUSSIANS ACCUSED OF ELECTION MEDDLING, BUT FINDS NO CONNECTION TO TRUMP CAMPAIGN

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” Rosenstein said, adding there “there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.” Trump addressed the indictments on Twitter later Friday, pointing to the assertion that the charged conduct in the indictment did not affect the election results. he reiterated his claim that there was “no collusion” and that the “Trump campaign did nothing wrong.”
mueller-indicts-13-russians-no-evidence-connecting-trump-campaign

SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER CHARGED 13 RUSSIANS AND THREE RUSSIAN ORGANIZATIONS FOR ALLEGEDLY INTERFERING IN THE U.S. 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WITH THE INTENTION OF PROMOTING PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S CANDIDACY BY POSTING AS AMERICAN ACTIVISTS, CREATING FACEBOOK GROUPS AND ORGANIZING FAKE RALLIES.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In a stunning development this afternoon, the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election has found evidence to indict 13 Russians. What they did not find, however, was even one single shred of evidence of any kind connecting Donald Trump or any of this staff in any way. And the Trump Train continues to roll on…

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a press conference Friday that the Russians “allegedly conducted what they called ‘information warfare’ against the United States,” with the goal of “spreading distrust against candidates and the political system in general.”

Charges listed in the 37-page indictment include conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, and they are the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!

Rosenstein said his team has not had communication with Russia about the indictments and would go through normal channels for the extradition of those indicted. However, the U.S. government has no extradition treaty with Russia. In the past, Russia has not cooperated with these requests.

Some of the defendants communicated with “unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.”

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” Rosenstein said, adding there “there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

Trump addressed the indictments on Twitter later Friday, pointing to the assertion that the charged conduct in the indictment did not affect the election results. he reiterated his claim that there was “no collusion” and that the “Trump campaign did nothing wrong.”

FAKE NEWS MEDIA BLAMES TRUMP FOR FLORIDA SHOOTING IN MASSIVE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN BLITZ

The accusation that a bill designed to remove restrictions and allow the mentally ill to purchase guns was passed by the GOP and signed by President Trump had long been debunked. As the National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke wrote over a year ago, what got removed was “in layman’s terms: The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a ‘mental defective.’”
fake-news-media-blames-trump-parkland-florida-school-shooting-now-end-begins

FRESH OFF THEIR DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE PARKLAND, FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING IN WHICH THEY FALSELY CLAIMED THERE HAD BEEN 18 SCHOOL SHOOTINGS THIS YEAR, THE THREE MAJOR NETWORK NEWS OUTLETS (ABC, CBS, AND NBC) MOVED ON TO ANOTHER FAKE NEWS TOPIC THEY WANTED TO PUSH ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE GOP MADE IT EASIER FOR MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE TO BUY GUNS.

EDITOR’S NOTE: When they decided to make alcohol illegal during Prohibition, two major things occurred. First, anyone who wanted to drink was still able to get a drink. Second, Prohibition created the booze black market, made thousands of people like the Kennedy family crazy wealthy, and provided all the revenue that allowed the Mafia to become such a powerful force during the middle and end of the 20th century. You want to bans guns? Sure, go ahead. Chicago has the strictest anti-gun laws in the country, and the highest number of people shot and killed by guns. The Parkland shooter had already been flagged by the FBI and local law enforcement, and was allowed to slip through the cracks instead of being taken off the street. Meth is illegal, does that stop all the thousands of meth labs from being set up across the country? Heroin and cocaine are illegal as well…

The accusation that a bill designed to remove restrictions and allow the mentally ill to purchase guns was passed by the GOP and signed by President Trump had long been debunked. As the National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke wrote over a year ago, what got removed was “in layman’s terms: The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a ‘mental defective.’”

And the bill wasn’t even supported by the NRA. But it was supported by the liberal ACLU and the American Association of People with Disabilities. Yet that didn’t stop the networks from pushing lies and being appalled that the President wasn’t exploiting the situation to push gun control as their previous president did.

The President’s efforts to comfort the nation tonight striking for what he didn’t say,” chided White House Correspondent Peter Alexander during NBC Nightly News. “President Trump in a nearly seven-minute statement not once mentioning the word ‘Guns.’ Instead, again signaling his focus is on the mental health of shooters, not the weapons they use.” He then spewed a torrent of fake news:

DESPITE EMPHASIZING MENTAL HEALTH, THE WHITE HOUSE’S NEWLY UNVEILED BUDGET WOULD SLASH FUNDING FOR MEDICAID THAT COVERS A QUARTER OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN THE U.S. AND PRESIDENT TRUMP LAST YEAR REVOKED A HOTLY CONTESTED OBAMA-ERA REGULATION THAT WOULD HAVE MADE IT HARDER FOR SOME PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS TO BUY GUNS.

That lamenting for the lack of a gun control push was echoed on CBS Evening News when anchor Jeff Glor bemoaned that “President Trump did not mention gun laws when he addressed the nation today about the shooting.”

Well, Jeff, the President didn’t have a lot to say today about what he actually plans to do about school shootings,” CBS’s Chip Reid whined to Glor. “But just last year, the President signed legislation reversing an Obama-era regulation that would have made it more difficult for some people with mental illness to buy guns,” Reid continued.

The report by ABC’s Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega during World News Tonight was particularly vindictive. “Calling the shooter mentally disturbed, his message was clear … But shortly after taking office, President Trump blocked an Obama-era rule that made it tougher for the mentally ill to obtain guns,” she claimed.

But Vega’s lie appeared to be inadvertently exposed when Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas was describing how the shooter obtained his rifle. “Federal law bans anyone deemed by authorities as mentally ill from buying guns, but it’s unclear whether any court or commission designated Cruz as mentally unfit. So, it appears he fell through the cracks,” he explained. So, is it easy for the mentally ill to buy guns or are they banned? ABC doesn’t seem to know, judging by their own reporting.

It should be noted that all three of the networks backed off and didn’t repeat the bogus claim about there being 18 school shootings since the start of the year. BUT, all of them left it out there and didn’t correct their reporting from the previous night. source

DOJ INSPECTOR GENERAL HOROWITZ SET TO REOPEN INVESTIGATION INTO FBI HANDLING OF CLINTON ILLEGAL EMAIL SERVER

IG Horowitz’s reputation will be put to the test when he releases the findings of the Clinton investigation. No matter what he concludes, it’s likely to create a political firestorm, coming at a time when both Republicans and the White House are charging that political bias is rampant at the Justice Department and at the FBI.
inspector-general-michael-horowitz-reopens-investigation-fbi-handling-clinton-illegal-email-server-doj

FEW PEOPLE HAVE HEARD OF MICHAEL HOROWITZ, BUT THAT’S ABOUT TO CHANGE. HOROWITZ, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) INSPECTOR GENERAL, IS AN INCREASINGLY CRITICAL PLAYER IN THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING THE FBI, PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidate Donald Trump famously said to Hillary Clinton in a debate that if “he were president” that she would be “locked up”. Now it looks like that promise just might be kept after all. At the very least, the collusion between Crooked Hillary and the FBI must be exposed and dealt with. 

With little fanfare, he has been conducting a sprawling probe of the FBI’s handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. His full report, which could set off shockwaves, is expected by the early spring.

A political appointee in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Horowitz’s yearlong investigation already reportedly contributed to the early resignation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. And his work has been felt in other ways.

Horowitz also uncovered a series of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that led special counsel Robert Mueller to remove Strzok from his team. Those texts have fueled accusations among GOP lawmakers that Mueller’s probe is tainted by partisanship.

Those who know Horowitz portray him as an independent voice.

“He is really one of the smartest and fairest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” said Bill Hamel, who served as assistant inspector general for investigations at the Department of Education. “He’s a straight shooter and a fair guy. He’s an honest broker.”

But Horowitz’s reputation will be put to the test when he releases the findings of the Clinton investigation. No matter what he concludes, it’s likely to create a political firestorm, coming at a time when both Republicans and the White House are charging that political bias is rampant at the Justice Department and at the FBI.

Horowitz attracted public attention early in his career as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York for prosecuting corrupt police officers in the infamous “Dirty 30” case in the mid-1990s.

He later moved to the Justice Department’s criminal division in Washington, where he served as chief of staff for a period spanning the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Bush later appointed Horowitz to a six-year term as a commissioner of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an agency within the judicial branch that writes sentencing guidelines for federal courts. He was then selected by President Obama to serve as the Justice Department’s top watchdog in 2011.

HIS JOB IS DEMANDING. HOROWITZ OVERSEES A DEPARTMENT OF NEARLY 500 EMPLOYEES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR INVESTIGATING WASTE, FRAUD, ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT WITHIN THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.

“You’re there to help the agency succeed in doing its job,” said Hamel, who has known Horowitz since his days working in New York. “They have to be independent to do that job. They can’t be swayed by political issues.”

He is best remembered in his current role for coming down hard on regional officials at Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the infamous “Fast and Furious” operation in which officials allowed the illegal sale of firearms in a botched effort to track Mexican drug cartels.

Just six months into the job, Horowitz issued a report eviscerating law enforcement officials in Arizona for a “significant lack of oversight” and disregard for “the safety of individuals in the United States and Mexico.”

While the investigation absolved Attorney General Eric Holder of blame, Horowitz recommended that the Justice Department consider potential disciplinary action for 14 officials involved.

“It was just a remarkably intense first six months on the job. I know I wouldn’t have chosen to walk into the job that way. Looking back on it, it was sort of trial by fire,” Horowitz told The Washington Post in 2014. “You sink or you swim pretty quickly, and fortunately I didn’t sink. People can use their own judgment about how well I swam.”

Horowitz also clashed with the Obama administration over Justice and the FBI bucking requests for documents from the inspector general’s office.

Horowitz’s work has earned him respect among his peers. He has been twice elected to lead the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, the independent panel of inspectors general across the federal government.

“He is a man of the utmost integrity who is willing to call the shots as he sees them,” said Stanley Twardy, a Stamford, Conn.-based lawyer who has known Horowitz professionally since his days as a U.S. attorney.

Horowitz formally announced last January that he would investigate allegations of wrongdoing by Justice Department and FBI officials leading up the 2016 election, in response to demands from both Democrats and Republicans.

IT’S POSSIBLE THAT BOTH PARTIES WILL GET POLITICAL AMMUNITION FROM HOROWITZ’S REPORT.

The inspector general is examining whether then-FBI Director James Comey broke FBI procedure with his public disclosures about the Clinton case, including the letter that he sent to Congress a few weeks before the election. Before Trump fired Comey, Democrats were outspoken in their criticism of those decisions, saying they violated procedure and cost Clinton the election.

But Horowitz is also looking into allegations that McCabe should have been recused from the investigation. Republicans, including Trump, have seized on reports that McCabe’s wife accepted campaign contributions from Clinton ally and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe when she ran for state office in Virginia, calling it a clear conflict of interest.

Finally, Horowitz is also looking into unauthorized disclosures of information.

Lawmakers have pressed Horowitz to expand the scope of the probe to include Comey’s firing or Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal from the separate investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Horowitz has not committed to looking into Comey’s firing, signaling that doing so could present a conflict with Mueller’s investigation.

Horowitz’s probe has become all the more relevant in light of McCabe’s decision to step down last week. According to The New York Times, Christopher Wray, whom Trump installed as FBI director last year after Comey’s ouster, had raised concerns about details of the forthcoming inspector general report that led him to propose that McCabe be demoted.

The Washington Post subsequently reported that Horowitz is examining why McCabe seemingly did not move forward for several weeks on a request to examine new emails in the Clinton investigation that were found on former congressman Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) computer.

“There are a lot of legitimate questions that I hope would be answered by this inspector and that probably aren’t going to paint the DOJ or the FBI in a particularly good light,” said Ron Hosko, a former official in the FBI’s criminal investigative division.

THE FINDINGS COULD FURTHER PLAY INTO GOP CHARGES OF POLITICAL BIAS AT THE FBI, WHICH CRITICS VIEW AS PART OF A BROADER EFFORT TO INHIBIT MUELLER’S INVESTIGATION.

The text exchanges between Strzok and Page came to public light when the Justice Department delivered them to GOP-led panels in Congress in December and also reportedly allowed journalists to view them.

“These text messages prove what we all suspected: high-ranking FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation were personally invested in the outcome of the election and clearly let their strong political opinions cloud their professional judgment,” House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a hearing in December.

The Justice Department came under fire from Republicans in January when lawmakers discovered a five-month gap in the text messages; Horowitz has subsequently said he recovered the missing exchanges and would provide copies to the department, which could decide to release them to Capitol Hill.

Horowitz told lawmakers last November that his investigators had reviewed roughly 1.25 million records and conducted dozens of interviews in connection with the ongoing investigation.

At the time, he said he expected the report to be issued by March or April. Otherwise, the inspector general has remained tight-lipped on the status of the investigation, including the potential widening of its scope.

His statement last January contained an important caveat. “If circumstances warrant,” it said, “the [inspector general] will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review.”  source