Karnataka: Poll officials to be trained on deep fakes

Election officials are taking the help of cyber security teams and the SP, CID, is the nodal officer.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

BENGALURU: In a first, election officials will be trained on deep fakes, artificial intelligence and modern cybercrimes, to keep a check on online crime.

“There is no harm in learning new technology and updating skills to keep pace with the times and also keep a check on cybercrime,” said an official from the Chief Electoral Office (CEO), Karnataka, who is part of the training session to be held on deep fakes and artificial intelligence (AI).

“There are instances of AI-generated images of eminent politicians doing the rounds on social media. There are also instances of voice modulation videos of leaders. So far, no deep fake cases have come to light in the election campaign, but there is a need to be updated to tackle all cases. The training is to improve work,” said Suryasen, IT and Media, Special Officer, CEO.

Election officials are taking the help of cyber security teams and the SP, CID, is the nodal officer. Such training is being undertaken for the first time in Karnataka.

So far, election officials have booked 17 cases against people and political parties under various Acts, including the IT Act, for using social media to spread hate messages, circulate fake news, memes, paid pages and making personal attacks. Of the 17, three pertain to the Nagrathpet case.

“We need to be very careful while booking cases against people. We are not filing cases against political satire. We are critical of hate and religious speeches, provocation and use of unparliamentary language. Quick action will be taken if a complaint is filed, but since such cases are very few, the total number of cases is also less. All speeches and messages put out by influencers, politicians, parties and fan pages are being closely monitored, but sometimes we don’t act, as we want to give people an equal opportunity,” said a CEO official.

A team of 80 people is working at the CEO head office in Bengaluru, tracking details on social media. Apart from this, each district has a team of 4-5 people.

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The New Indian Express