Canada’s cybersecurity watchdog has warned that fake photos and videos created by artificial intelligence (AI) will “likely” be used to try to undermine voters’ faith in democracy in upcoming election campaigns.
In a new report published on Wednesday, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) said that AI-generated deepfakes – computer-generated images and videos that show events that never happened – “will almost certainly become more difficult to be identified, making it difficult for Canadians to trust online information about politicians or elections.”
“Despite the potential creative benefits of generative AI, its ability to pollute the information ecosystem with disinformation threatens democratic processes around the world,” the agency wrote.
“We estimate that it is likely that cyber threat actors will increasingly use generative AI to influence campaigns targeting elections.”
It also warned that cyberattacks were on the rise around the world, with Russia and China responsible for most of the attacks and that the two countries had accessed the personal information of voters around the world.
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And it says pro-Russia state-affiliated cyber actors are targeting elections in countries that have provided aid to Ukraine and specifically says the Kremlin may target the upcoming 2023 and 2024 elections in Europe.
It says Canada is also at risk because Ottawa supports Ukraine, because Canada is a member of NATO and other prominent international groups and because Canadians are among the most internet-connected voters in the world.
“Cyber threat activity poses a real and growing threat to Canada’s democratic processes,” the report said.
This story is developing and will be updated
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