U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is seeking to utilize deep fakes in “influence operations” and develop new technologies for “disinformation campaigns,” according to federal procurement documents.
The procurement documents, which were first obtained by The Intercept, outlines plans to develop future capabilities to hack into foreign populations’ internet-connected devices for data collection purposes in order to break it down “to craft and promote messages that may be more readily received by [the] local populace in relevant peer/near peer environments.” The U.S. would develop and implement offensive cyber tactics, which use technology to gather information and harm an enemy, according to the documents, entitled “Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, And Logistics Directorate Of Science And Technology “(SOF AT&L-ST).
Originally published in 2020, the procurement documents contain a wishlist of futuristic gadgets such as lasers, robots and holographs, the Intercept reported. In October 2022, SOCOM discretely released a new version of the procurement document with a section called “Advanced technologies for use in Military Information Support Operations (MISO),” according to the Intercept.
The newest version of the documents outlines goals to procure “technologies for influence operations, digital deception, communication disruption, and disinformation campaigns at the tactical edge and operational levels.” It also specifically requests “a next generation of ‘deep fake’ or other similar technology to generate messages and influence operations via non-traditional channels in relevant peer/near peer environments.”
The U.S. State Department, through its Global Engagement Center (GEC), helped fund The Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a United Kingdom-based nonprofit that attempts to demonetize sites it states are spreading “disinformation.” Most of the list of news outlets identified as the “riskiest” were conservative, while the “least risky” were mostly left-wing.
In September 2021, the GEC hosted the U.S.-Paris Tech Challenge, an event striving to “advance the development of promising and innovative technologies against disinformation and propaganda” in Europe and the U.K.
SOCOM did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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