Reading Response 1

Faking the News

13 Sep 2018

This weeks readings consider new technologies such as deep fake sex videos and the influence it has in politics.

Deep Fakes: A Looming Crisis for National Security, Democracy and Privacy?

Robert Chesney and Danielle Citron write in Lawfare about the the potential that the technology used in deep fake sex videos can be utilized to spawn fake news. They refer to face swapping celebrity images on to live pornographic actors. Indeed this category of porn is both non-consensual and violatory, it also raises concern about how digital manipulation can also aid in deception in non-sexual areas.

The authors consider the possibilities that blackmailers may use fake videos to extract money and information. They are concerned with the individual impact that using faking technologies can have. They further write about broader scale harm including threatening national security and democracy.

In the past trolls have created panic over fake environmental disasters and hackers have injected fake stories on a Qatari news website. Manipulators can further create fake encounters which erode the trust in the democracy. At the minimum the public will have difficulty discerning the real and fiction.

While foreign intelligence agencies can utilize fake news for their own goals, it is not just limited to governments. Academic researchers and private companies are also developing these technologies.

President Trump interview with TIME

President Trump wpoke with TIME Washing Bureau Chief Michael Scherer.

President Trump discusses the pedantry of news organizations in headlines. Particularly he took offense with the use of wiretap. He describes the word as alarming and suggests that The New York Times was manipulative in their headlines and changing it often.

Also discussed is the use of disputed news is effective in spreading messages further.

“Hey look, in the mean time, I guess, I can’t

be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know.” - Donald Trump, 45th U.S. President