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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sex Videos Anwar Ibrahim deny . Looks like him but. .

IT engineer Lim Ming Leong has not watched the purported sex video of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim but he is convinced it is not the Opposition Leader. He insists that the man in the video is an impersonator.

“I just know,” the self-confessed pro-opposition supporter says matter-of-factly.
Asked if this could also be the case with the controversial Lingam video clip on judicial promotions, Lim's reply is a firm “No.

Lim's stance reflects the general sentiment of pro-opposition supporters who believe Anwar is innocent and has been framed.

On the other end of the spectrum, many pro-government supporters are adamant that the Opposition Leader is the man in the video. “This (different perception) reflects one's political inclination. People will only believe a source they think is credible,” says Ibrahim Suffian of the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.

Unlike the 2007 Lingam video, which is easily accessible on the Internet, only a few selected media members and politicians were “privileged” to watch the 22-minute sex video at Carcosa Seri Negara on Monday.

In a report, French news agency AFP quoted online news portal journalist Sam Tan as saying: “The people involved showed us the video on a laptop and it appeared to be from a CCTV that showed someone who looks like Anwar having sex with a woman.”

Those who also viewed the video included representatives from Malaysiakini, The Star, New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, China Press, The Malaysian Insider and Bernama.

Former PKR man and now Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) president Datuk Zaid Ibrahim feels he is in a better position to form an opinion than many Malaysians who have not seen the video. Zaid, who also says the man resembles Anwar, is calling for an independent international panel of experts to verify the authenticity of the video.

Two Anwar loyalists who have watched the video, Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul and former PKR supreme council member Badrul Hisham Shaharin have, however, dismissed any possibility of the Opposition Leader being the man.

“No way Anwar is the man in the video,” Johari asserts, adding that while the man's face bears a resemblance to Anwar at a glance, his other physical attributes convinced him otherwise.

While Anwar supporters and detractors argue over the man's identity, another hotly debated issue centres on the authenticity of the video and whether it could have been doctored. The black and white CCTV recording was allegedly shot on Feb 21 this year at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, with scenes shot from four different angles.

Grant Fredericks, an analyst with Forensic Video Solutions in the United States, says effective video manipulation is possible but it takes considerable skill, time, adequate equipment and a lot of money. “It is always possible to alter or manipulate video. Video and film production tools, graphics generators and computer animation tools are built for that purpose,” he tells Sunday Star in an e-mail interview.

“The real question is, can a video be altered to such a degree that manipulation cannot be detected? It is highly unlikely a traditional video recording could be produced that could be manipulated without detection of the alterations,” adds Grant.

A local filmmaker familiar with post-production work concurs, saying that every frame in the video would have to be altered individually for a video to be doctored.

A typical video recording has 25 frames per second (fps). In a 22-minute video, this means a total 33,000 (25fps x 60 x 22mins) frames would have to be altered, assuming the whole video was doctored.

“It would be very expensive, although those with a political motive might not find money to be a problem,” he opines.

He explains that the process of video manipulation can only be done by hand and parameters such as lighting have to be tweaked and changed.

“Shadows change from movement to movement. The surrounding light has to fall naturally on the face and surroundings. If you don't change the lighting, the image will look weird and out of place.

“It also depends on what is being doctored. Are we just replacing the head or the whole body? Or are we adding a belly?”

To doctor a face on somebody else's body, for example, one would need images of the person's face from all angles, he says.

Sunway University deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Higher Degrees) Prof Dr David Ngo says it is difficult to tell if a video recording is fake or has been produced professionally by only watching it. Much also depends on the type of video used, he says.

“If it is an analogue video tape and the video recorder is available, there are techniques to determine if a particular tape was recorded in a particular video recorder,” he adds.
Prof Ngo says if the recording is digital, then one way to find out about fake recording is to blow up individual frames.

“Look for unexpected transitions, variations in colour temperature or inconsistent shadows. Fake areas will show immediately if the recording is poorly formatted,” he explains.
Prof Ngo, who specialises in biometric cryptography, predictive intelligence and aesthetic systems, says a team of experts specialising in the various areas of video enhancement, and audio and video authenticity, would need to study if a recording is authentic.

When asked if Malaysia could produce a fake recording, he says the necessary tools are available off-the-shelf.

Prof Ngo cites tools like Video Edit Magic which can be used to superimpose two videos.
A lecturer in media studies says anything is possible, citing the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, which depicts a scene showing lead actor Tom Hanks meeting former US President John F. Kennedy, as an example.

Originally, the producers shot a video of Hanks with an actor by the name of Jed Gillin. Then, using special computerised effects, the producers switched Gillin's image with an old film footage of Kennedy.

“If you do it well, you can fool a lot of people. But a person with a keen eye can spot something wrong in a matter of seconds. The process costs a lot of money,” says the lecturer who specialises in 3D-video.

CyberSecurity Malaysia's chief executive officer Husin Jazri points out that many Hollywood movies have adopted modification, superimpose and CGI effects.

“We can identify some of them, whether they are doctored or not. However, there are also video works which are very realistic and difficult to tell apart,” he shares.
Husin adds that a layman would have to look out for inconsistencies to detect a doctored video.
“If you look at the video very carefully, you can always detect human errors in a doctored video. You can check for inconsistency in terms of contrast and the brightness of objects found in the video. Or look out for any missing object across the video playback or the sudden addition of an object in a scene,” he says.

Film maker and script writer Syed Azidi Aziz says it important to watch the original video recording and not the copy to identify a fake one.

“The lighting and shadow are the two basic things when determining if a video recording could be fake,” adds Syed Azidi who is more famously known as the blogger Kickdefella.

Another local filmmaker who wishes to be known as Fariq says that while images and audio can be easily doctored, it is next to impossible to do the same for video, especially if it is a continuous stream.

In fact, most filmmakers agree that it would be easier to hire a body double, as is done in Hollywood films.

Fariq explains that the hairstyle, body shape and facial features of the body double would have to be similar to the person being framed.

“As long as it's not a close up shot, the light is dim and the person looks like you, it is possible,” he says.“But it is not easy to get a perfect match. NSTOnline


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