New California laws tackle political and pornographic deepfakes

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 730. The law makes it illegal to distribute manipulated videos designed to discredit a political candidate and deceive voters within 60 days of a general election.

We’ve already seen how deepfakes, which involves the manipulation of images and videos using machine learning, can be used to put words in the mouths of politicians. The video of Barack Obama being voiced by filmmaker Jordan Peele is quite convincing, and the clip in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was made to appear drunk and slurring her words caused controversy when Facebook refused to remove it.

Deepfakes originally rose to prominence when people started digitally replacing porn actresses' faces with those of Hollywood stars. With AB 602, also signed by Newsom, California residents will be able to sue anyone who puts their image into a pornographic clip without their consent.

"Voters have a right to know when video, audio, and images that they are being shown, to try to influence their vote in an upcoming election, have been manipulated and do not represent reality," said California Assembly member Marc Berman, author of AB 730 and AB 602. "In the context of elections, the ability to attribute speech or conduct to a candidate that is false – that never happened – makes deepfake technology a powerful and dangerous new tool in the arsenal of those who want to wage misinformation campaigns to confuse voters."

In an interview last month, Hao Li, a deepfakes pioneer and associate professor of computer science at the University of Southern California, said “perfectly real” videos are just six months away.

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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
So CA, the land that the right hates, is standing up for integrity in elections. I wonder what the right will think of this? :rolleyes:
 
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EClyde

TS Evangelist
I hadn't heard of these til I red of them here about a week back. They are marginal at best but will get better. Trouble is brewing for lots of people over these things
 
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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
While it might not be popular to start up in California, it is most definitely something that MUST be addressed sooner rather than later. Just the potential for eliminating video evidence alone is critical. Imagine if every body-cam video could be challenged and thrown out on this technicality? Or worse yet, every video of a crime, a murder, a rape, or any thanes crime .... This would be something that could be tied into crimes of impersonation or misrepresentation, among others and the potential for even more meddling into our elections in 2020 are endless .....
Personally, I think this one should rate as a 1st or 2nd class Felony with minimum sentences and extreme financial penalties for makers, distributors, and anyone benefiting from such garbage .....
 
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Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
Lol that stupid video was blocked in canada I had to put on my VPN to watch it.

In terms of deep fakes I've seen much better than this nancy one.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Hmmm, I lean (considerably) to the right, I don't hate California at all and think this bill is 100% spot on. Why do you feel the need to stereotype?
It is the message perpetrated by fox news and Russian trolls all over the internet. If you go to places like Yahoo News and look at the comments, you will see fake accounts working both sides against each other, pushing them to radical opposites. This has been Russia's playbook which started during the 2016 election.

Americans need to get off the internet and social media and connect with real people.
 
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Jeff Re

TS Maniac
It's funny how politicians can pass this sort of thing quickly when it's something that could hurt them, but anything that could hurt anybody else they don't seem to care about.
 
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Panda218

TS Evangelist
It's funny how politicians can pass this sort of thing quickly when it's something that could hurt them, but anything that could hurt anybody else they don't seem to care about.
I mean it's only a 60 day ban, so it's not like it's helping that much. It just reduces the amount of cut throat commercials we see on TV as elections get closer. They'll just start much much earlier now!
 

ubronan

TS Rookie
It is the message perpetrated by fox news and Russian trolls all over the internet. If you go to places like Yahoo News and look at the comments, you will see fake accounts working both sides against each other, pushing them to radical opposites. This has been Russia's playbook which started during the 2016 election.

Americans need to get off the internet and social media and connect with real people.
Its not just russian trolls, do you really think its about that.
These products are a global danger and actually can be used to make normal people look like criminals. Do you think you are able to proof your innocent if a made video is used where you do a crime. While you was actually sleeping in your bed ???
Have you thought about that, do you know that people which used a video chat believe they actually where talking to a bank emplyee when they got scammed ......
With the ever increasing possibilties to edit pictures, movies and even create lifelike looking images we are at a edge of going too far.
Some examples are actually already became facts.

Its on one side fantastic that it is possible, but we forgot the risks involved with this technics being fact now
Here more and more people get scammed and robbed because they send them so called bank mails or even a whatapp message scaring them to contact them because their account is at risk. These people get scared and believe this scam artists and end up being robbed from their money.
I actually was present when a presentation was done by a very attractive woman which was showed on a large projection screen, but turned out this lady does not exist at all.
It was a computer simulation, but so darn good that it becomes scary. What did it make scary because we where allowed to ask questions so you assume its a real person.
See the irony you never know if it is a human or not every micro expression was looking as if its a real person THATS MADE IT SCARY.

I forgot to add one important thing two of the fellow people where telling that they where blown away by that woman, and one of them actually looked like he fell in love with this so called woman. That was during the coffee break and we all thought we had been addressed by a real person.
 
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tacobravo

TS Rookie
So CA, the land that the right hates, is standing up for integrity in elections. I wonder what the right will think of this? :rolleyes:
Until they have adopt some kind of identification to verify who can legally vote, there is no integrity in the elections.