Truth is the first casualty of war. Pentagon's Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is seeking to deploy "next generation" deep fakes and hack the Internet of Things (IoT) to track their effects, according to a procurement document, reported by The Intercept on Monday.
The document, published in 2020 and updated in October 2022, shows that USSOCOM is seeking a "next generation of 'deep fake' or other similar technology to generate messages and influence operations via non-traditional channels in relevant peer/near peer environments."
The deep-fake technology uses publicly available imagery to create a digital version of a person, which can be used to fabricate footage.
The Pentagon’s procurement document also notes a “next generation capability to ‘takeover’ Internet of Things (IoT) devices” to assess the effects of propaganda campaigns by hacking such devices.
The move would allow the military to collect data and information from local populaces to craft and promote better messages.
While US officials claim that the adversaries, particularly China and Russia, could deploy deep fakes in disinformation campaigns, the procurement document shows that the Department of Defense is seeking to weaponize them, according to the report.
The document’s Military Information Support Operations (MISO) is also seeking tools that can falsify images of public figures.
The documents specifically mention a desire for “a next generation of ‘deep fake’ or other similar technology to generate messages and influence operations via non-traditional channels in relevant peer/near peer environments.”
US agencies have been developing tools to detect such videos to defend users against potential deep fake attacks. However, the Pentagon’s document shows that, while Washington decries the threat to democracy and public trust posed by deep fakes, the Department of Defense is seeking to exploit their capabilities.
As previously reported by Rebel News in January, the U.S. State Department pushed the “Russian disinformation” narrative to enable social media censorship. Revelations produced by the release of Elon Musk’s Twitter Files show that the Global Engagement Center (GEC), a branch of the State Department, shaped the narrative around the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic in its early days.
Equally concerning is how a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom, the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), which aims to withdraw financial support from websites it believes are spreading false information, was partially financed by the GEC, the Daily Caller reported in February.
GDI has published a list of news sources that it considers the "riskiest" to disinform, with most of them having conservative leanings. Conversely, the "least risky" sources are mostly left-leaning.