SEOUL, April 16 (Korea Bizwire) — The South Korean government is using technology to crack down on fake news and illegal election practices ahead of the upcoming local elections.
The National Election Commission has adopted a digital authentication service, a new system developed by the National Forensic Service (NFS) designed to authenticate online content and collect digital evidence, the research institute said on Sunday.
Using a smartphone app, regulators can collect pictures and videos of electronic fraud at crime scenes, giving evidence its own hash value, also known as a ‘digital fingerprint’, and sending the data to the main NFS server to secure the information.
The digital authentication service is being adopted during local elections for the first time in South Korea, after the NFS invested nearly 400 million won since 2014 to develop the system.
Charges of spreading fake news have been difficult to prove in the past, as posts are often deleted, leaving no evidence for law enforcement to collect.
The new system, however, is expected to help investigators fight fake news better, as it is designed to capture original posts containing fake news as evidence in the form of screenshots and videos in a rapid manner, raising the credibility of evidence and work efficiency.
“With our own digital authentication service, we can avoid wasting the administrative power of investigating agencies in proving digital evidence authentic. We believe it will make contributions to investigations into electoral fraud,” said Choi Young-shik, the director of the NFS.
“The NFS hopes to focus on the development of scientific investigation technology to help solve fundamental problems like it has with the National Election Commission, and establish a structured system for scientific investigations,” Choi added.
The evidence authentication service was trialed during the 19th presidential election last May, before being re-launched in early February, and has been used to prove the authenticity of over 3,000 pieces of evidence since then.