Dutch politicians have just received a firsthand lesson on the dangers of deepfake videos. According to NL Times and By Volkskrant, the Dutch parliament’s foreign affairs committee was tricked into setting up a video call with someone using deepfake technology to impersonate Leonid Volkov (above), Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s leader.
The perpetrator has not been named, but this would not be the first incident. The same impostor has had conversations with Latvian and Ukrainian politicians and addressed political figures in Estonia, Lithuania and the United Kingdom.
The country’s House of Representatives said in a statement it was “outraged” about the in-depth discussion and was looking for ways to prevent such incidents from continuing.
The fake video call does not appear to have sustained any lasting damage. However, this illustrates the potential damage caused by deep discussions with politicians. A prankster might embarrass officials, while a state-backed actor might trick governments into making bad policy decisions and ostracizing their allies. Strict selection processes may be necessary to spot deepfakes and ensure that every participant is real.
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