Committee Advances Deepfakes Legislation

Deepfakes

A Senate homeland security committee has green-lighted a bill that addresses the rise of forged video content -- so-called deepfakes. 

The Senate Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee on July 26 approved the Deepfakes Report Act, which requires the Department of Homeland Security to publish annual reports on deepfakes, improve understanding of the technology used to produce deepfakes, and identify how foreign governments or their proxies use the technology to threaten national security. 

Under the legislation, DHS would also have to consider available technological countermeasures and legislative responses to fight deepfakes. 

The bill was introduced June 28 by a bipartisan group of lawmakers: Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ore., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D. It has a companion bill in the House.

“Rapid advances in artificial intelligence technology combined with an increasing reliance on social media as a primary news source have left us more vulnerable than ever to bad actors attempting to sew discord and spread misinformation,” Peters said in a release. “Soon enough, anyone with a computer and an internet connection will have the power to mislead thousands with just the push of a button. I’m pleased the committee unanimously approved this bipartisan bill to help our country recognize and combat this emerging national security threat.”

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