Re: Deep Fakes, Phishing & Epistemological War - how we can help combat these.

Thanks Henry

for the extensive reply

>>>The mayhem appears when things
>>>are published as true by sites that look like official ones.

But this happens already, quite a lot, everywhere
From political websites, to institutional, even scientific sources (a lot
of gibberish
that nobody understand and nobody can reproduce/verify, and noboy has the
to investigate further is published as science and taken as fact. Its only
when somone, often by chance stumbles across some issue that certain things
come to light)

Official websites are full of lies or partial truths
Even omission of facts is a misrepresentation of truth
Telling the truth is actually perceived as a silly and stigmatized
(people are ridiculed when they things as they are, so there is great
fear in telling the truth) So I would say first and foremost is a cultural
that we trust implicitly what information comes from institutions
But institutions have hidden agendas and use information not for
information sake and to make people more knowledgeable, but to influence
and stir
opinions and behaviours


On Thu, Jul 4, 2019 at 10:09 PM Henry Story <> wrote:

> On 4 Jul 2019, at 10:33, Paola Di Maio <> wrote: >
> > Reality is so manipulated (at all levels) that humans have lost  (maybe
> > never had) the ability to understand of what is real beyond doubt,
> That is actually the subject of Epistemology. This comes in two parts.  1)
> The problm of definition: What is knowledge?  2) The sceptical problem:
> how can we know anything given that we can always find reason to doubt?
> Knowledge was defined by Socrates according to the reports by Plato as
> Justified True Belief. More than 2 thousand years later, after the
> development
> of modern quantified logic with Frege and Russell/Whitehead, the questions
> came to be to find logical necessary and sufficient definition of
> knowledge.
> These lead to well known problems defined by American Philosopher Edmund
> Gettier
> Around the same time Modal Logic came to have a mathematical formalisation
> and Hintikka used this to defined
>  S knows that P iff
>    in all the worlds compatible with the information S has, P is true.
> Robert Nozick in the award Winning book "Philosophical Explanations" showed
> that there was a problem with this definitiion. By updating Descartes'
> Meditations to the Science Fiction realm, and arguing that we could always
> imagine that aliens from Alpha Centauri had come at night, kidnapped S,
> attached his brain to a super-alien-computer and induce in him fake by
> realistic
> sense impressions. Since this doubt can always be brought up in that form
> or
> the more ancient one of dreaming, the question becomes how we can know at
> all, since that possibility cannot be excluded.
> The answer come by way of using the David Lewis' later logic of
> counterfactuals
> that organises possible worlds by a distance relation. Redefining knowledge
> using counterfactuals as Nozick does, it turns out that one does not need
> to consider more distant and outrageous possible worlds to know some
> everyday
> fact about how much money one has in one’s pocket.
> I give an overview of that in "Epistemology in the Cloud - on Fake News
> and Digital Sovereignty" (And if you don't want to read the paper you will
> find two presentations with slides, one of which I gave at the Chaos
> Computer Club Vienna's Privacy Week)
> There
> I add a Cloud computing related twist to it, leading us to take seriously
> the locality of information.
> > The vastness of widespread deceit (about news, history, and even
> science!)
> > and limited resources to verify everything that we hear, we need to limit
> > our fact checking to the strictly necessary facts that support our
> > decision making/ So when I read or hear some fact, I do my best to verify
> > its true.
> Yes, so if you are going to verify the truth of a statement quickly you
> may need to use the internet to do so.
> In the pre-internet world, you would do so by finding someone knowledgeable
> on the subject, which in many case would be someone educated in the area,
> or working for a company that is known to be able to make knowledgeable
> statements on a topic. So you may go to a dentist to get a prescription
> for your tooth pain, or to get a tooth pulled, not to someone you just met
> in the bar, even if they can speak very convincingly on the subject. Or
> you could read a book published by an expert in the area, and that
> expertise
> would be verifiable by knowing which institution they were speaking from.
> Of course if you are a mathematician reading a mathematical proof you would
> just need to verify the proof for yourself, but you may yet want to filter
> the things you read by knowing where the person writing things came from.
> This thinking gets one to understand the role of institutions and legal
> systems in our claims to knowledge. To make statements in a factual context
> is to be make oneself responsible for what one says, and requires one to
> not follow up by saying something contradictory to that. To make a promise
> requires one to be able to follow up on it, and then to try to follow up,
> and so limits one's future possible lives to those compatible with one's
> promises. Entering an institution is to make a certain promise to uphold
> its values.
> But the web currently has not useful information about what institutions
> is behind a web site. A little typo, or clicking on a phishing link can
> make you end up on a web site that looks very much like what you are
> expecting but be a fake site. This was very unlikely to happen when
> buildings
> in a town gave you a way to recognise the institution you were talking to.
> That building would in any case mean the presence of people on legally
> delimted soil.
> So before the large public can even get around to fact checking we need
> to build an institutional Web of Trust (WoT), which can play the role of
> buildings in local life, by letting people know the legal framework a web
> site is tied to.  I describe how to do that in the blog post "Stopping
> (https) Phishing"
> This can be done with Linked Data because we do not require global
> consensus,
> and so we can allow different nations to have differnet points of views
> on each other and even how to map ontologies, when disagreements arise.
> > Deepfakes adds another layer to that manipulation and falsification of
> > reality, by leveraging new technology.
> > I see two areas of concern
> >  a) technology ethics - a fun  technology developed
> > to animate fictional output is used to falsify reality  (making people
> say
> > what they have not) with potentially devastanting consequences is  not
> > entirely new-manipulation has always occurred by twisting, falsifying
> > or taking out of context what people may say.  Misinformation and
> > misrepresentation are  a less technologically sophisticated, but with
> > similar consequences (to manipulate public opinion and behaviours) This
> > already happened with emails.  Deepfakes is a progression of  spoofing
> > tech where someone fakes another person email address.
> Deep fakes are not a problem if they are annotated as fictional.
> Terminator
> 1, 2 and 3 did not cause global mayhem, because they appeared in cinemas
> and were clearly labled as science-fiction.  The mayhem appears when things
> are published as true by sites that look like official ones.
> > b) the increased value of authenticity, and authentication tech
> That will be important especially for allowing private citizens to also
> make clear which legal space they are speaking from, when say they publish
> a photo or film about something happening.
> > From a systems view point, another layer of risk, can be addressed
> > with  another layer of architecture (strenghten authentication layer?)
> Yes, we need a new layer, but not the authentication one. We have that
> already. The domain name to DNS authentiation layer technology does
> its job well enough if one uses X509 certificates and DANE on DNS-SEC.
> What is missing is the institutional web of trust that can then be used by
> the
> browser to display rich information on a secured screen such as the Apple
> Touch Bar, in a seamless but helpful way. The information contained
> in X509 Certificates is much much too poor to be of interest and hence
> of use.
> For an example of how this institutional web of trust could be tied to
> hardware see the blog post "Phishing in Context - Epistemology of the
> Screen"
> As for authentication of citizens using Verifiable Claims so that they too
> can
> make claims (such as location claims if they were a witness to something)
> needs the institutional web of trust to work for networks that go beyond
> a few degrees of seperation, since if you go a few more jumps you have the
> whole world in your network.
> Henry Story

Received on Friday, 5 July 2019 03:21:57 UTC