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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This Is Happening Right Now in America

U.S. flag in crosshairs

Not a week goes by without police officers or the FBI arresting someone in the U.S. for Islamist-based terror plots or that a court finds guilty an ISIS sympathizer. Indeed, the FBI says at any time there are ongoing investigations in all 50 states.

Here are two such incidents from this week:

Utah Student Brings ISIS Flag, Bomb to School

First the student at Pine View High School in Saint George, Utah replaced the American flag with an ISIS flag. Then, just two weeks later, he set fire to pieces of paper in his backpack in a bid to detonate an explosive device that would have fired shrapnel in all directions.

The teenager is suspected of possession or use of a weapon of mass destruction, threat of terrorism, graffiti and abuse of a flag.

Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Supporting ISIS

Aziz Ihab Sayyed, 23, of Huntsville, Alabama pleaded guilty this week to attempting to support ISIS. The crimes attributed to him include distributing ISIS propaganda, researching how to produce explosive materials, and meeting with an undercover agent posing as a member of ISIS to whom he offered to provide services and personnel.

If you’d like to comment on this item, please email us at info@clarionproject.org and enter US Terror in the subject line. Please let us know if you’d rather we publish your comments anonymously.

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BIBI IN AMERICA: NETANYAHU WOWS AT AIPAC, VOWS TO STOP IRAN FROM PRODUCING NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Pointing to a map where Iran’s inroads in the region were painted in black, Netanyahu said that the Islamic Republic was trying to establish a land bridge from Tehran to Tartus on the Mediterranean, and not only establish permanent military bases in Syria, but also manufacture precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon.v
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PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU WAS WELCOMED WITH A RESOUNDING OVATION TUESDAY MORNING AT AIPAC, WHERE HE GAVE A 30 MINUTE SPEECH ON THE “GOOD, BAD AND BEAUTIFUL” IN ISRAEL AND THE REGION. NETANYAHU STEERED COMPLETELY CLEAR OF HIS LEGAL WOES PILING UP AT HOME.

“Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.” Esther 8:11,12 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like Donald Trump in America, Israeli PM Netanyahu is beset by endless attacks from the media all seeking to end his run as leader. And like President Trump, Bibi has survived all such attacks so far, and not just surviving but thriving as well. In America this week, Netanyahu was the keynote speaker at AIPAC, and reminded his audience of the very real and ongoing nuclear threat from Iran. He invoked the book of Esther, and the threat from the Persian people back in 425 BC, as well as from the Persian government of Iran in 2018 AD.

The prime minister, showing no outward signs of the impact of his domestic situation, strolled away from the podium and used slides broadcast on large screens to talk about Israel’s contributions in the spheres of agriculture, water preservation and security, as well as its growing diplomatic standing in the world.

Pointing to the slide which was painted in blue representing all the countries with whom Israel has diplomatic ties, Netanyahu said to a resounding ovation, “There are those who talk about boycotting Israel, we will boycott them.”

While the good news coming out of Israel – regarding its technology and security expertise – is very good and getting better, the bad news, he said, “is that bad things are getting worse and are very bad.”

THE OVERWHELMINGLY BAD THING, HE SAID, IS IRAN.

“We have to deal with this challenge,” he said. “If I have a message today it is simple: We must stop Iran.” Netanyahu, who last spoke at AIPAC in 2015 during the visit to Washington where he spoke out against the Iranian deal in Congress, said that what he warned then is transpiring.

He recalled that he said at the time that as a result of the nuclear deal Iran would not become more moderate and peaceful, but rather more extreme and “much more dangerous, and that is exactly what is happening.”

Pointing to a map where Iran’s inroads in the region were painted in black, he said that the Islamic Republic was trying to establish a land bridge from Tehran to Tartus on the Mediterranean, and not only establish permanent military bases in Syria, but also manufacture precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon.

“I WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN, WE WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN,” HE SAID. “LAST WEEK WE READ IN THE BOOK OF ESTHER ABOUT AN EARLIER PERSIAN ATTEMPT TO DESTROY OUR PEOPLE,” HE SAID REFERRING TO PURIM. “THEY FAILED THEN, THEY WILL FAIL NOW.”

Netanyahu also spent a few minutes talking about the Palestinian Authority’s payment of $350 million a year to terrorists and their families, asking what message this sends to Palestinian children.

“I believe President Abbas should find better use for his money, “ he said. “Build roads, schools, hospitals and factories. Invest in life, invest in peace.”

The “beautiful,” in his “good, bad and beautiful” equation, was the Israeli-US relationship. source

WAR: ASSOCIATION OF MUSLIM CLERICS CALL FOR UPRISING TO PROTEST TRUMP’S DECISION TO MOVE EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM IN MAY

“We call for a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic, and popular uprising against this American aggression against the direction of the first prayer (the Al-Aqsa Mosque) and Muhammad’s place of worship,” said Qaradaghi in an official statement. He stressed that the issue of the city of Al-Quds (the Arabic name for Jerusalem -ed.) is an issue of concern to the entire Muslim nation, and renouncing it or harming it is a mark of Cain that Allah, history, and future generations will not be able to atone for.
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ALI AL-QARADAGHI, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MUSLIM SCHOLARS HEADED BY SHEIKH YUSUF AL-QARADAWI, IS CALLING FOR AN UPRISING OF PEOPLES AND GOVERNMENTS AGAINST THE AMERICAN ADMINISTRATION’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF ITS INTENTION TO MOVE THE U.S. EMBASSY FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM THIS MAY.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Many people think that because Muslims have not yet launched a military action against Israel over the US Embassy move to Jerusalem, that there is not going to be one. But nothing could be further from the truth, the uprising is certainly coming. Like everything else that is prophetically percolating now, the month of May is shaping up to be when all the action on multiple fronts should be taking place. As the prophet Jeremiah tells us…after 70 years…here it comes. 

“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” Jeremiah 20:10 (KJV)

“We call for a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic, and popular uprising against this American aggression against the direction of the first prayer (the Al-Aqsa Mosque) and Muhammad’s place of worship,” said Qaradaghi in an official statement.

He stressed that the issue of the city of Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem, is an issue of concern to the entire Muslim nation, and renouncing it or harming it is a mark of Cain that Allah, history, and future generations will not be able to atone for.

MOVING THE U.S. EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM, CONTINUED QARADAGHI, IS “A DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE MUSLIMS AND A STEP THAT WILL ESTABLISH THE ILLEGAL OCCUPATION.”

The Association of Muslim Scholars brings together clerics from around the world and is considered an influential organization in the Sunni Muslim world.

Its leader, Qaradawi, is considered the supreme religious authority of the Sunni Muslim world and the spiritual leader of both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. During the period of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Qaradawi issued a fatwa permitting suicide attacks against Israel.

Last July, Qaradawi called for an “Islamic war” over Jerusalem. source

School Shooting Survivor Cameron Kasky Likens Marco Rubio to Crazed Killer Nikolas Cruz (VIDEO)

School Shooting Survivor Cameron Kasky Likens Marco Rubio to Crazed Killer Nikolas Cruz (VIDEO)

Cameron Kasky, 17-year-old junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived the Parkland, Florida school shooting by a former student that killed 17 students and faculty last Wednesday ripped into Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at a CNN town hall Wednesday night in Sunrise, Florida, telling Rubio he sees gunman Nikolas Cruz when he looks …

The Six Levels of Countering Islamism

UK counterterror police take part in an exercise in London 2015. (Photo: BEN STANSTALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Islamism, the political ideology that seeks to impose its vision of Islam over others and implement sharia as state law, is a bad idea. It’s a bad idea in the same ballpark as other totalitarian ideas, such as communism and fascism, and if allowed to fester un-checked, seems liable to rack up a similar body count.

So how is such an ideology countered? Governments can’t just ban ideas or round up everyone who believes them (or at least, they shouldn’t). We map out the struggle on six levels, going from the macro of government policy, down to how the individual can tackle Islamism in their daily lives.

Let’s get started.

1.Military

United States soldiers. (Photo: Pixabay)

This is probably what most people think of when they talk about countering Islamism. Soldiers shooting bad guys is how jihadism is fought, both domestically and abroad. When special forces are deployed against ISIS in Syria, when drones are dispatched to eliminate al-Qaeda operatives in Waziristan, Pakistan and when soldiers are deployed to the streets to guard against possible terror attacks, this is what we are talking about.

This category also includes armed security measures such as the TSA at airports, counter-terror units within the police and SWAT teams sent to make arrests.

In democracies, despite the existence of strong military institutions, decision-making powers are concentrated in the hands of elected officials and government departments. In the United States, they ultimately are deployed at the discretion of the commander-in-chief, at this moment the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump.

The way an ordinary person can have an impact on what goes on at this level is limited to voting in elections, although protests can have an impact on occasion, if the movement is large enough.

But this level can’t do anything about non-violent expressions of Islamism. For that the government turns to …

2.Legal

The US Capitol
The US Capitol (Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS / AFP / Getty Images)

Although the state’s power rests on its monopoly on the legitimate use of force, it has many other tools at its disposal. At this level, measures such as banning face veils in places like banks or courtrooms can be imposed. Financial powers include banning funding for educational institutions from countries like Saudi Arabia which support Islamist values, freezing the bank accounts of known extremists and forbidding businesses from investing in countries that sponsor terrorism.

If laws are disobeyed, the state can enforce them using the legal system, which can result in financial penalties and/or prison sentences.

This level is what a lot of the debate surrounding Islamism in the media focuses on: What the government should or should not be doing to stop Islamism in its tracks. Laws are decided by the legislative branch of government.

At this level, an ordinary person is limited primarily to voting or grassroots actions (writing letters to or calling elected representative) or bringing law suits (either through organizations or from groups of aggrieved parties).

These methods, however, work best with the next level …

3.Education

Illustrative Picture. (Photo: Creative Commons/Johannes Thiel)
Illustrative Picture. (Photo: Creative Commons/Johannes Thiel)

Education is how the next generation is taught to think. What goes into the school curriculum is very important here. How history, religion, civics and philosophy are taught in schools has a big impact on fighting Islamism. It is at this level that the government can implement programs that focus on core Western values (i.e. freedoms guaranteed in the constitution) and engage in diversity and inclusion programs to reduce alienation among minority groups at risk of radicalization.

It is at this level that the ordinary person can have the most tangible impact. Talking to your local school about what your children are being taught and raising any objections is important. So is joining the Parent Teachers Association and getting involved with school life. Many extra-curricular activities are run by ideologically-motivated adults seeking to be mentors. Your job as a parent is to make sure that what is being taught is fighting the institutions of Islamism and not fostering it.

4.Civil Society

A rally for Asia Bibi and against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws (Photo: Reuters)

This level is very important for a functional democracy and includes a range of institutions. Some are religious institutions — mosques, churches, synagogues, etc. — while other may be lobbying groups or activist organizations that aim to influence lawmakers on specific issues. Other organizations may provide much-needed front-line services such as social care, food banks, youth clubs or group therapy.

Counter-extremism programs fit into this sphere, because even when they are run by the state, participation in them is normally voluntary, and they are usually run by semi-independent practitioners.

Anyone can become involved in civil society through such a program. Combating extremism by building resilient, integrated communities is a good preventative measure against kids turning to bad ideas as a salve for their problems. Beware Islamists also take advantage of free societies and run their own civil society organizations in order to advance their agenda.

With this in mind, people can also engage in the public conversation about Islamism …

5.Media

Clarion's Ryan Mauro on Fox
Clarion’s Ryan Mauro on Fox

Media covers the whole informational sphere, from traditional broadsheet newspapers and TV networks to newer forms such as podcasts, blogs and niche websites (such as Clarion Project). What gets talked about is important because it shapes people’s attitudes. What people think will then determine how people act and vote.

Media also reacts to other media, so it acts (at its best) as a vibrant space for public debate on issues that matter (like Islamism and how to counter it effectively). Heated exchange on Islamism at this level helps the best ideas rise to the top where they can hopefully be carried out later.

An ordinary person can become involved in media by blogging, writing letters to the editor and educating themselves about Islamism, as well as supporting organizations that work to educate others, such as Clarion Project.

If you see something false in a media piece or on TV, write in to correct them, making sure to provide your sources, and do so politely. If they are rigorous, they will issue a correction and be glad you pointed it out.

What people think also matters beyond their voting habits because it impacts the last level …

6.Interpersonal

Egyptian President Abdelfattah el-Sisi shakes hands with Pope Francis during a meeting between the two at the Vatican in 2014. (Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

This level is perhaps the most important of all. Challenging Islamism at this level means calling out extremist views when a person encounters them in real life, whether in their community, in a cafe or from friends and family. It also means calling out anti-Muslim (as well as all) bigotry and promoting positive values on a day-to-day basis.

A person can combat Islamism in their lives by setting a good example on how to live as an excellent and flourishing individual and by speaking up when they encounter poisonous beliefs.

Defeating Islamism requires engagement on all of these levels in order to effectively discredit the ideology totally and completely.

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IN GAZA HAMAS SAYS THAT US EMBASSY MOVE IN MAY ‘IS A DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD’

In Gaza, a Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, said: “Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is a declaration of war against the Arab and Muslim nation, and the US administration must reconsider its move.” Palestinian health officials said at least 20 Palestinians, most of them in Gaza, have been killed in protests against Trump’s decision since the Dec. 6 announcement.
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IN GAZA, A HAMAS OFFICIAL, SAMI ABU ZUHRI, SAID: “MOVING THE US EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM IS A DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE ARAB AND MUSLIM NATION, AND THE US ADMINISTRATION MUST RECONSIDER ITS MOVE.”

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”Zechariah 12:2,3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As of this writing, the Middle East is an absolute powder keg just waiting for final spark that will set the entire region ablaze. We said over a year ago that Donald Trump was “God’s man” for the presidency because it would bring about the ‘global shaking‘ of end times prophetic fulfillment, and guess what? Here it comes.

Palestinian health officials said at least 20 Palestinians, most of them in Gaza, have been killed in protests against Trump’s decision since the Dec. 6 announcement. Palestinians reacted on Friday with anger to reports that the United States will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem within months, saying this could destroy the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.Clashes erupted in Gaza and the West Bank earlier on Friday in a weekly protest against US President Donald Trump’s stance on Jerusalem, which has also angered Arab political and religious leaders across the region and dismayed European allies. Palestinians claim east Jerusalem — seized by Israel in 1967 and later annexed — as the capital of a future state.Saeb Erekat, senior Palestinian negotiator, said the US move showed a “determination to violate international law, destroy the two-state solution and provoke the feelings of the Palestinian people as well as of all Arabs, Muslims and Christians around the globe.”

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Erekat, who is also secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said: “Trump and his team have disqualified the US from being part of the solution between Israelis and Palestinians; rather, the world now sees that they are part of the problem.”

TRUMP ANNOUNCED IN DECEMBER THAT THE UNITED STATES WOULD RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL, SETTING IN MOTION THE EMBASSY MOVE AND CONTRAVENING DECADES OF POLICY BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

A US official told Reuters on Friday that the United States was expected to open its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May. This would be shortly after Israel’s 70th anniversary.

“This is an unacceptable step. Any unilateral move will not give legitimacy to anyone and will be an obstacle to any effort to create peace in the region,” said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas has rejected US-led Middle East peace efforts as “impossible” since Washington’s decision.

Abu Rdainah said the only way to achieve peace, security and stability was Abbas’s proposal — outlined in an address to the United Nations Security Council in New York on Tuesday — that an international conference should be held to kick-start the peace process, including a “multilateral mechanism” to oversee it. source