DICT warns vs. deepfakes as Eleksyon 2025 draws near

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

The Department of Information and Communications Technology on Tuesday warned the public about the spread of “deepfakes”—videos that mimic the voices and images of prominent personalities—as the 2025 midterm elections draw near.

According to Jonathan Andal’s report on “24 Oras,” the DICT called on the House of Representatives to craft a law to regulate artificial intelligence which is being used to come up with false footage.

“We believe that, especially with the upcoming elections, this particular threat might increase,” DICT Undersecretary Jeff Ian Dy said before a House committee hearing.

He cited the fake videos that featured the face and voice of GMA host Susan Enriquez, who was made to appear that she was promoting the distribution of a particular necklace from Italy.

“Gamit po ang kanyang video, pati yung kanyang audio recording na di-nub doon sa video niya to make it look like she’s endorsing a particular product, when in fact she did not,” he added. 

(They used her video and her audio recording, dubbed in the video to make it look like she’s endorsing a particular product when she was not.) 

Cybersecurity expert Art Samaniego said a law is needed to prevent the threat of AI before the elections.

“Wala pa tayong batas laban sa deep fakes. Malapit na po ang election dapat gumawa tayo ng batas dito para ma-regulate ang paggamit ng AI,” Samaniego said. 

(We still don’t have a law against deep fakes. The election is coming. We should make a law to regulate the use of AI.) 

Aside from the deepfakes, the DICT also reported that Chinese hackers caused the cyber attack that happened on some government websites.

Among those targeted by hackers are the websites of those watching over the West Philippine Sea, namely the Philippine Coast Guard and the National Coast Watch System.

They also targeted DICT, the Department of Justice, the Congressional Police and Budget Research Department of the House of Representatives, and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s private website. 

However, the DICT said they currently have no evidence to say that this hacking attempt has the blessing of the Chinese government.

“The type of attack used is very sophisticated. I would call it theoretically perfect — pinagaralan at magagaling yung gumawa ng malware,” said Dy. 

(The malware’s creator is good, and it was thoroughly studied.) —Sherylin Untalan/NB, GMA Integrated News

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