Portman, Schatz Introduce Amendment to Assess & Address Rising Threat of Deepfakes

June 25, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Deepfake Report Act as an amendment to the Senate’s FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The measure directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct an annual study of deepfakes and other types of similar content. Deepfakes are hyper-realistic, digital manipulations of real content that depict events that did not actually occur. The legislation requires DHS to assess the technology used to generate deepfakes, the uses of deepfakes by foreign and domestic entities, and available countermeasures to deepfakes, to help policymakers and the public better understand the threats deepfakes pose to our national security and election security. The Deepfake Report Act passed the Senate in October 2019 as a stand-alone 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,” said Senator Portman. “Addressing the challenges posed by deepfakes will require policymakers to grapple with important questions related to civil liberties and privacy. This bill prepares our country to answer those questions and address concerns by ensuring we have a sound understanding of this issue. As concerns with deepfakes grow by the day, I urge my Senate colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment.”

“Fake content can damage our national security and undermine our democracy,” said Senator Schatz. “Our amendment directs the federal government to learn more about the scope and impact of deepfake technology. It’s an important step in fighting disinformation.”

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