THE DEEP FAKES ARE COMING

As if watching the news or social media wasn’t already complicated enough, now you have to deal with deep fakes. The stuff of information nightmares, deep fakes map the face of a celebrity, a political or military leader to another person’s head. The result is a video of the leader/celebrity enacting the facial expressions, behaviors, mouth and eye movement of the target individual, and even worse saying whatever the faker desires. And the deep fakes are getting tougher to spot. WAR ROOM welcomes Matthew Fecteau as he considers the implications for national security, information operations and propaganda in the modern age as deep fakes become even more sophisticated. He looks at the near and long term actions the United States has to take to harness the technology as well as guard against it.

MAKING SENSE OF THE RUMBLINGS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA

The sparks that had defined the previous weeks promptly fizzled out. Two and a half years of relative tranquility on the Korean Peninsula was shattered in the month of June 2020. It began on the night of May 31, when South Korea-based North Korean defector groups floated balloons with anti-North Korean messages across the border. […]

ELLUL’S “PROPAGANDA”: OVER FIFTY YEARS’ WARNING, BUT ARE WE LISTENING? (DUSTY SHELVES)

Western nations have again become concerned about propaganda and disinformation due to the actions of the Chinese and Russian governments. An overlooked classic of information warfare/operations, disinformation, and fake news is Jacques Ellul’s Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1965). Jacques Ellul was a French sociologist and philosopher who served as professor at the University […]

FACING A FUTURE WITH ORGANIZED WEAPONIZATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Propagandists now exercise increasing sophistication in their communications In February 2019, in (Indian-administered) Southern Kashmir, a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist cell attacked an Indian paramilitary convoy with an improvised explosive device (IED). Two weeks later, when India launched airstrikes against a suspected JeM camp in Pakistan, it escalated the incident to a military crisis. Pakistan quickly […]

INFORMATION APOCALYPSE, PART II: THIS TIME, IT’S PERSONAL

trust in our public and democratic institutions is falling away in a landslide An unknown sage observed, “Information is a tool of warfare, and information is warfare itself.” Three months ago, WAR ROOM featured my essay exploring the deteriorating information environment. Things are not getting better. Two major institutions are now emerging from crisis, both […]