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Deepfakes threaten criminal trials

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2020 | Criminal Defense

The Florida justice system faces a growing threat from the growing possibility of faked evidence in a court hearing. This should worry criminal defendants who may find their freedom at risk from these deepfakes. The growing sophistication of technology makes these doctored recordings even easier to make.

All that is needed to make a fake recording is a cell phone and an app. Certainly, one with a laptop can manufacture their own evidence using someone’s real voice and image. Anyone who has spent some time on Facebook and Twitter can see for themselves how effective faked videos are. Unfortunately, the use of these deepfakes goes beyond social media. Prosecutors may even unintentionally try to introduce one of these deepfakes as evidence not knowing that they are fake.

One can see how this is a dangerous trend for the justice system. Defendants may be unable to introduce recordings and videos in the future that can prove their innocence because the evidence cannot be authenticated. Alternatively, the trust in the system may be so eroded that their exculpatory evidence may simply not be believed because juries have grown skeptical of all recorded evidence. This is what is known as the “Liar’s Dividend,” and it has bred cynicism and skepticism throughout all parts of society. Courts need to quickly figure out how to address the issue of deepfakes.

Given the new complexities that have been introduced, the help of a criminal defense attorney in any proceeding takes on growing importance. Evidentiary issues can sink a criminal defense if the prosecutors are able to introduce a harmful piece of evidence into the case. This is why it is essential to have an attorney who can scrutinize evidence before it becomes part of the record and could file a motion to suppress the evidence.