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By Clare O’Gara
Mon | Oct 28, 2019 | 10:40 AM PDT

When most people think about deepfakes, one particular example comes to mind:


This deepfake of President Obama was a wake-up call for anyone in the public who didn't have deepfakes on their radar.

But these things can be life altering, and even history altering.

What if a person on trial claims to be innocent, but a deepfake makes them look guilty?

What if, in the case of Obama, a political leader appears to claim something that they never believed?

Deepfakes are serious business. But new bipartisan legislation was just passed to jump start the conversation.

What does the new Senate bill on deepfakes say?

It's a bill that, according to Senator Rob Portman, will prepare the nation to answer challenging questions about cybersecurity and establish a "sound understanding of this issue."

The Deepfake Report Act just passed with bipartisan support.

Here's what Portman has to say about the bill:

"As AI rapidly becomes an intrinsic part of our economy and society, AI-based threats, such as deepfakes, have become an increasing threat to our democracy. Addressing the challenges posed by deepfakes will require policymakers to grapple with important questions related to civil liberties and privacy."

The legislation essentially requires that the Secretary of Homeland Security produce an annual report on the evolving use of deepfake technology. The report has to include eight different things, according to the bill:

  1. An assessment of the underlying technology involved in deepfakes
  2. A description of the types of deepfakes
  3. An assessment of how foreign governments could use deepfakes to harm national security
  4. An assessment of how non-governmental entities (NGOs) in the U.S. could use deepfakes
  5. An assessment of the uses, applications, dangers, and benefits of deepfakes
  6. An analysis of the methods used to determine whether content is real or a deepfake
  7. A description of the technology used to counter deepfakes
  8. Any additional information the Secretary determines appropriate

Now it's up to the House of Representatives to continue this crucial conversation.

Check out the full Deepfake Report Act here.