Canada’s cybersecurity watchdog is warning fake images and videos created by artificial intelligence (AI) will “very likely” be used to try to undermine voters’ faith in democracy in upcoming election campaigns.
In a new report published Wednesday, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) stated AI-created deepfakes – computer-generated images and videos that show events that did not take place – “will almost certainly become more difficult to detect, making it harder 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 worldwide,” the agency wrote.
“We assess it very likely that cyber threat actors will increasingly use generative AI in influence campaigns targeting elections.”
It also warned that cyberattacks are increasing around the world, that Russia and China are responsible for most attributed attacks and that the two countries have accessed voters’ personal information around the world.
And it says pro-Russia state-affiliated cyber actors have targeted elections in countries that provided assistance to Ukraine and specifically says the Kremlin could target the upcoming 2023 and 2024 European elections.
It says Canada is also very much at risk because Ottawa supports Ukraine, because Canada is a member of NATO and other prominent global 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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