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A highschool’s deepfake porn scandal is pushing US lawmakers into motion

A highschool’s deepfake porn scandal is pushing US lawmakers into motion


Efforts from members of Congress to clamp down on deepfake pornography are not entirely new. In 2019 and 2021, Representative Yvette Clarke launched the DEEPFAKES Accountability Act, which requires creators of deepfakes to watermark their content material. And in December 2022, Representative Morelle, who’s now working intently with Francesca, launched the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act. His invoice focuses on criminalizing the creation and distribution of pornographic deepfakes with out the consent of the particular person whose picture is used. Both efforts, which didn’t have bipartisan help, stalled up to now. 

But just lately, the problem has reached a “tipping level,” says Hany Farid, a professor on the University of California, Berkeley, as a result of AI has grown way more subtle, making the potential for hurt way more critical. “The menace vector has modified dramatically,” says Farid. Creating a convincing deepfake 5 years in the past required lots of of pictures, he says, which meant these at biggest danger for being focused have been celebrities and well-known individuals with numerous publicly accessible images. But now, deepfakes might be created with only one picture.

Farid says, “We’ve simply given highschool boys the mom of all nuclear weapons for them, which is to have the ability to create porn with [a single image] of whoever they need. And in fact, they’re doing it.”

Clarke and Morelle, each Democrats from New York, have reintroduced their payments this 12 months. Morelle’s now has 18 cosponsors from each events, 4 of whom joined after the incident involving Francesca got here to gentle—which signifies there might be actual legislative momentum to get the invoice handed. Then simply this week, Representative Kean, one of many cosponsors of Morelle’s invoice, launched a related proposal supposed to push ahead AI-labeling efforts—partially in response to Francesca’s appeals. 

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