Fake/Proof

FakeProof on Google Play

FakeProof (F/P) proactively enhances the ability to verify the reality of video and audio recordings -- making them proof* against faking.

* -- Of course, nothing is completely proof against faking (see below), but calling it Fake/Resistant is less catchy.

Caveat: Reality vs Truth

By reality, we mean that the events captured in the recording actually happened -- it does not mean that those real world events are not susceptible to manipulation (for example by using actors or provocateurs) or open to different interpretations! Real just means that it really happened: it doesn’t mean it’s true. But things that aren’t real are very rarely true -- and that’s about as far down the philosophical rabbit-hole as we’re going to go here!

Why is this important?

Regular people, taking videos with cell-phone cameras, have been key players in documenting and organizing response to all kinds of critical world events. But there are a lot of attacks -- old and new -- on our common understanding of what actually happened. One of the biggest is the manipulation of videos, either by traditional video staging or editing, or by the growing strength of deep fake videos. While this isn't the source of the fragmenting reality that is affecting modern society, it is a powerful contributing factor. So we think its important to fortify our ability to record reality.

[Interestingly, this is how the world used to be: back before photographic or audio recordings, it used to always be one person's word against another's.]

How does it work?

(see Details)

F/P allows you to record several tracks of data, simultaneously, into a single standard MP4 file that is compatible with normal media tools.

  • Video tracks -- F/P can record simultaneously from the front and rear cameras

  • Audio track -- just your standard phone microphone

  • Location track -- a stream of phone's GPS coordinates

  • Sensor track -- a stream of the phone's internal sensors (magnetometer, accelerometer, etc)

F/P uses several methods to protect against manipulating or faking these tracks. These include:

  • cryptographically signing the recording streams (eg video and audio)

    • this prevents modification of the recording, and proves that it was generated by your username

  • syncing timestamps with the F/P Server

    • this proves that the recording was taken at a specific time -- prevents anyone presenting an old recording as new!

  • embedding phone location and sensor data in the recording

    • this proves the location of the recording, and can be used to validate video and audio streams (for example, they can prove that someone didn't just take a new recording of a manipulated video being played on a high resolution screen!)

There are several other more sophisticated methods under investigation.

How do I verify a recording?

(see Details)

Each F/P recording stores all the information needed for verification, including metadata, signatures, and sensor data. To verify a F/P recording, simply open it in the F/P App and click Verify (note: this requires an internet connection so that the F/P Server can be consulted for signature and timestamp validity). You can use any common file sharing method to exchange recordings -- though some systems may re-encode the recording which will destroy the F/P side-channels.

NOTE: Absolutely no personal information or the content of your recording is shared with the F/P Server. The only information shared and stored is:

  • your chosen username and your F/P public key -- a public cryptographic key generated for you by the F/P App. The private key is stored only on your phone.

  • Start and end timestamps for each recording, as well as a cryptographic hash of the recording contents, and a cryptographic signature from the F/P App and from your F/P private key.