The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau on Wednesday said it is developing software to identify deepfakes as part of its efforts to prevent the dissemination of false information by hostile foreign forces ahead of the local government elections in November.
In a statement, the bureau said it is also collaborating with prosecutors to crack down on vote buying and the infiltration of foreign funds in the Nov. 26 local government elections.
Deepfakes use sophisticated machine-learning techniques to manipulate videos and other presentations of public figures so that they express something unintended by the original, the bureau said, adding that it is working with tech firms to develop software to counter any such attempts ahead of the elections.
Deepfakes backed by foreign entities were last used to discredit the government’s handling of a local COVID-19 outbreak, it said.
About 234 people in 174 cases have been investigated for spreading false information during the outbreak, which lasted from May to July last year and prompted a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert, it added.
The bureau said that it has also established a task force to deal with corporate espionage, especially to investigate alleged efforts by China to poach talent and steal trade secrets from key industries in Taiwan, such as the semiconductor and petrochemical industries.
On Wednesday, three locations in New Taipei City were raided as part of an investigation into a Taiwanese firm that was allegedly recruiting talent for a Chinese semiconductor company, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said.
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