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Deep Fakes, Digital Identity and Democracy: Why Digital Identity is Important to Election Security

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Election security is a national security issue because our individual data is input into local databases (DMVs and voter registration systems), verified for our ability to vote in a particular jurisdiction, and used to create poll lists on election day. According to the report, Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure, released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Russian government directed extensive activity against U.S. election infrastructure – the same infrastructure where our personal data is stored. Under a DHS S&T Cybersecurity award, Ms. Vescent’s company was tasked to research how voter information was stored and accessed in digital systems and produced the report, Securing Voter Data Systems. This talk will explain the role of digital identity in free and democratic elections. It will introduce the term Maskirovka – Russian military deception – and give examples of information operations, including deep fakes, disinformation, and targeted propaganda based on detailed user profiles. It introduces emerging solutions like video provenance to combat deep fakes, and other solutions that ensure free and fair elections using new digital identity technology. Questions answered: What is the role of identity in elections? What are the technical and social attack surfaces? What should we really be scared of? What can we do to increase the resilience in our election systems?Election security is a national security issue because our individual data is input into local databases (DMVs and voter registration systems), verified for our ability to vote in a particular jurisdiction, and used to create poll lists on election day. According to the report, Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure, released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Russian government directed extensive activity against U.S. election infrastructure – the same infrastructure where our personal data is stored. Under a DHS S&T Cybersecurity award, Ms. Vescent’s company was tasked to research how voter information was stored and accessed in digital systems and produced the report, Securing Voter Data Systems. This talk will explain the role of digital identity in free and democratic elections. It will introduce the term Maskirovka – Russian military deception – and give examples of information operations, including deep fakes, disinformation, and targeted propaganda based on detailed user profiles. It introduces emerging solutions like video provenance to combat deep fakes, and other solutions that ensure free and fair elections using new digital identity technology. Questions answered: What is the role of identity in elections? What are the technical and social attack surfaces? What should we really be scared of? What can we do to increase the resilience in our election systems? (Assured Identity, Security, Vision & Strategy, Government Identity, Heather Vescent)

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