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“Half the Truth is Often a Great Lie”: Deep Fakes, Open Source Information, and International Criminal Law

  • Alexa Koenig (a1)

Extract

The video opens with a man—now known to be Commander Al-Werfalli of the elite Libyan Special Forces team al Saiqa—throwing a quick glance over his shoulder as a black SUV rolls off camera. Cradling a gun, he saunters towards three men kneeling on a sidewalk, hands bound behind their backs, faces turned toward the wall. He raises the gun in his left hand. Without pausing, he walks methodically down the row, a bullet punctuating every other step. The men slump forward as they fall. Werfalli's first hint of emotion is visible only when he unloads multiple bullets into the final body.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Footnotes

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Thanks to Lindsay Freeman, Alexandra Huneeus, Andrea Lampros, Daragh Murray, and Larissa van den Herik for their feedback.

Footnotes

References

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1 Bellingcat, Werfalli Libya Video Two, Vimeo (Sep. 20, 2017) [warning: graphic content].

3 Prosecutor v. Al-Werfalli, Case No. ICC-01/11-01/17, Warrant of Arrest (Aug. 15, 2017).

4 Id.

5 Cited in the warrant as LBY-OTP-0060.

6 Prosecutor v. Al-Werfalli, Case No. ICC-01/11-01/17, Second Warrant of Arrest (July 4, 2018).

7 International Protocol on Open Source Investigations (U.C. Berkeley Human Rights Center, forthcoming 2019).

8 Lindsay Freeman, The Impact of Digital Technologies on International Criminal Investigations and Trials, 41 Fordham Int'l L.J. 283 (2017). U.C. Berkeley's Human Rights Center has been leading an international effort to develop standards for the use of open source information as evidence in prosecutions of international crimes.

9 See generally Rebecca Hamilton, User-Generated Evidence, 57 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 1 (2018).

10 See, e.g., Jon Christian, Experts Fear Face Swapping Tech Could Start an International Showdown, The Outline (Feb. 1, 2018).

11 See, e.g., Syrian Archive.

12 Int'l Crim. Ct. Office of the Prosecutor, Strategic Plan 2016-2018, at 23 (Nov. 16, 2015).

13 Twitter Usage Statistics, Internet Live Stats.

14 Mark R. Robertson, 500 Hours of Video Uploaded to YouTube Every Minute [Forecast], Tubular Insights (Nov. 13, 2015).

15 Iva Vukusic, Nineteen Minutes of Horror, 12 Gen. Studies & Prevention: An Int'l J. 35 (2018).

16 Jonathan Drake & Theresa Harris, Geospatial Evidence in International Human Rights Litigation, AAAS (2018).

17 Enrique Piracés, The Future of Human Rights Technology, in New Technologies for Human Rights Law and Practice 289–308 (Molly K. Land & Jay D. Aronson eds., 2018).

18 International Protocol, supra note 7.

19 Kelly Matheson, Video as Evidence Field Guide (2016).

20 See, e.g., Tianxiang Shen et al., Deep Fakes Using Generative Adversarial Networks, Noiselab (2018).

21 Fake Obama Created Using AI Tool to Make Phoney Speeches, BBC News (July 17, 2017). Audio fakes are also becoming increasingly sophisticated.

22 See Marc Jonathan Blitz, Lies, Line Drawing, and (Deep) Fake News, 71 Okla. L. Rev. 59, 106 (2018); see also James Vincent, Why We Need a Better Definition of Deep Fake, Verge (May 22, 2018).

23 Robert Chesney & Danielle Citron, Deep Fakes: A Looming Challenge for Privacy, Security and National Security, 107 Cal. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2019).

24 Id. at manuscript p. 21.

25 While there are many other potential categories of response, they exceed the scope of this essay.

26 See, e.g., Blitz, supra note 22.

27 David Kaye (Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression), Report, UN Doc. A/73/348 (Aug. 29, 2018).

29 Blitz, supra note 22, at 63–64.

30 Id. at 82.

31 Id. at 72.

32 Id. at 73–74.

33 See, e.g., Dan Sabbagh & Sophia Ankel, Call for Upskirting Bill to Include “Deepfake” Pornography Ban, Guardian (June 21, 2018).

34 Chesney & Citron, supra note 23, at manuscript p. 4, 20–21.

35 Id. at 10; Kaye, supra note 27.

36 For the first textbook on this, see Digital Witness: Using Open Source Information for Human Rights Documentation, Advocacy and Accountability (Sam Dubberley et al. eds., 2019).

37 Id.

38 Chesney & Citron, supra note 23, at 29.

39 Louise Metsakis, Artificial Intelligence is Now Fighting Fake Porn, Wired (Feb. 14, 2018).

40 Chesney & Citron, supra note 23, at 30.

41 Sarah Scoles, These New Tricks Can Outsmart Deepfake Videos—For Now, Wired (Oct. 17, 2018).

Thanks to Lindsay Freeman, Alexandra Huneeus, Andrea Lampros, Daragh Murray, and Larissa van den Herik for their feedback.

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