Technology-facilitated crimes on the rise

In recent years, technology has advanced at a rapid pace, bringing many benefits to society. However, with the rise of technology has come a new set of crimes that threaten the safety and security of individuals and communities. These technology-facilitated crimes, also known as cybercrimes, are a growing concern for human rights advocates around the world. One of the most significant human rights violations caused by technology-facilitated crimes is the invasion of privacy. With the increasing use of social media and other online platforms, individuals are sharing more personal information than ever before. This data can be easily accessed and used by criminals for a variety of purposes, including identity theft and financial fraud. In addition, the use of advanced surveillance technologies, such as facial recognition, raises concerns about government and corporate surveillance of individuals without their consent. Deepfake Technology Deepfakes are a type of digital content that has been altered using AI technology, creating a highly realistic and false version of the original media. These types of content are created with the intent to harm individuals and institutions.

The combination of commodity cloud computing, publicly available AI research algorithms, and an abundance of data and media has created an environment that has made it easier for anyone to create and manipulate media, which is commonly known as deepfakes. AI-generated synthetic media, also known as deepfakes, possess certain advantages in sectors like education, accessibility, criminal forensics and in film production. However, deepfakes can also be utilized for nefarious purposes such as harming reputations, manufacturing evidence, deceiving the public and eroding trust in democratic organizations. Affected by Deepfakes The initial detection of malicious use of deepfake technology was in the realm of pornography. A study by found that a considerable proportion of deepfake content is pornographic in nature, with over 135 million views on pornographic websites alone. These deepfake videos often target women and can lead to threats, intimidation, and psychological harm to the individuals depicted in them. Additionally, deepfake pornography can objectify women, resulting in emotional distress and in certain situations leading to financial loss, job loss, and other negative consequences.

Furthermore, deepfake technology can be used to falsely depict a person as engaging in unwanted behaviour or making inappropriate statements, which could cause harm even if the victim can prove otherwise. The use of deep fakes can also cause harm on a societal level, eroding trust in traditional media and contributing to a culture of factual relativism. In the political sphere, deep fakes can be used by nation-states to create uncertainty and chaos in target countries, as well as by actors who are not stateaffiliated, including militant groups and extremist groups to stir anti-state sentiments. Furthermore, the existence of deepfakes can also lead to a “liar’s dividend,” where genuine information is dismissed as fake news or deepfake, giving more credibility to denials and false narratives. What is the Way out? While technology-facilitated crimes are a growing concern, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate their impact. One of the most effective ways to address these crimes is through international cooperation and collaboration. For instance, the Cybercrime Convention of the Council of Europe offers a structure for nations to collaborate in order to combat cybercrime and safeguard human rights. In addition, governments and companies can take steps to protect individuals from technology-facilitated crimes.

This includes implementing strong data protection and privacy laws and investing in technologies that can detect and prevent cybercrime. Law enforcement agencies can also work to improve their ability to investigate and prosecute technology-facilitated crimes.Enhancing media literacy is crucial in order to create a discerning public. Consumer education on media literacy is the most powerful way to fight disinformation and technology-facilitated crimes. Individuals can also take steps to protect themselves from technologyfacilitated crimes. This includes being cautious about the information they share online, using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and being aware of the signs of cyberbullying and harassment. In conclusion, to mitigate the impact of these crimes, it is essential for governments, companies, and individuals to work together to combat cybercrime and protect human rights. This includes implementing strong data protection and privacy laws, investing in technologies that can detect and prevent cybercrime, and raising awareness about the risks associated with technology-facilitated crimes.

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