Video and audio creation technology gets better every day. Within a few years, it'll likely be possible for a user with relatively little expertise and standard desktop hardware to create nearly-undetectable forged video and audio of people without their consent. With such power in the hands of so many, how can we avoid entering a post-truth society, where one cannot believe anything one did not witness with one's eyes and ears?

We can't solve this problem entirely, but we think this project might be a step in the right direction. Asymmetric cryptography allows us to validate a file to verify that it was signed, in its exact binary form, by the holder of a unique private key. Want to prove that your footage of a real-estate tycoon hanging out in Moscow is legit? In the future, your camera could sign the footage with a hardware-backed private key, and by demonstrating that the signatures from the camera were still intact, you could prove that your footage wasn't fabricated with advanced CGI.

Admittedly, cryptographic signing isn't a new technique, but for video files, it makes a lot more sense to sign blocks of data with much smaller granularity than the entire file. With a bit more work (and of course, widespread community acceptance) this project could allow media creators to prove the validity of their video without losing all ability to edit it.

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