98 Foreign Aff. 147 (2019)
Deepfakes and the New Disinformation War: The Coming Age of Post-Truth Geopolitics

handle is hein.journals/fora98 and id is 149 raw text is: 




Deepfakes and the New

Disinformation War


The Coming Age of Post-Truth Geopolitics

Robert Chesney and Danielle Citron


   Apicture may be worth a thousand   words, but there is nothing
        that persuades quite like an audio or video recording of an
        event. At a time when partisans can barely agree on facts,
such persuasiveness might seem as if it could bring a welcome clarity.
Audio and video recordings allow people to become firsthand witnesses
of an event, sparing them the need to decide whether to trust someone
eise's account of it. And thanks to smartphones, which make it easy to
capture audio and video content, and social media platforms, which
allow that content to be shared and consumed, people today can rely
on their own eyes and ears to an unprecedented degree.
  Therein  lies a great danger. Imagine a video depicting the Israeli
prime minister in private conversation with a colleague, seemingly
revealing a plan to carry out a series of political assassinations in Tehran.
Or an audio clip of Iranian officials planning a covert operation to kill
Sunni leaders in a particular province of Iraq. Or a video showing an
American general in Afghanistan burning a Koran. In a world already
primed for violence, such recordings would have a powerful potential
for incitement. Now imagine that these recordings could be faked using
tools available to almost anyone with a laptop and access to the Internet-
and that the resulting fakes are so convincing that they are impossible
to distinguish from the real thing.
  Advances  in digital technology could soon make this nightmare a
reality Thanks to the rise of deepfakes-highly realistic and difficuLt--

ROBERT CHESNEY is James A. Baker III Chair and Director of the Robert Strauss Center
for international Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin.
DANIELLE CITRON is Morton and Sophia Macht Professor of Law at the University of
Maryland and Affiliate Fellow at the Yale Information Society Project,


january/February 2019  147

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