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senate Bill S. 2065

Should Homeland Security Conduct an Annual Study of ‘Deepfakes’?

Argument in favor

Deepfakes threaten legitimate news, individuals’ privacy, and businesses. As such, the government should ensure that it understands and is actively working to address this threat.

Marian's Opinion
···
07/27/2019
We are facing National Security Threats! Montana Legislators stand against these threats! Time to put Country First! Stop Mitch McConnell from blocking legislation that will help secure our elections! Extremely Anti American behavior exhibited by Republicans especially Moscow Mitch becoming fabulously wealthy GREED!
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Robert's Opinion
···
07/27/2019
We need a bipartisan group looking at video and audio media helping citizens knowing what is true and what is fake. Does anyone know what percent of fake news is coming from the White House and tweets?
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Maryjane's Opinion
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07/27/2019
The US has been/ is now TOO SLOW in defending against/ preparing for cyber & high-tech crime, which is pervasive & much more dangerous than the “old, low-tech crimes.” Security experts say the Russians, alone, have intruded into ALL 50 states, & the US electric power grid—what else??? Their unimpeded access has also encouraged others—Iran & China, according to security experts. The need for effective cyber counter measures is I M M E D I A T E!
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Argument opposed

DARPA is among the agencies that are already funding deepfake research and anti-deepfake tools, so this bill is unnecessary.

jimK's Opinion
···
07/27/2019
I support the notion that deep fake and like technologies pose a threat and could very easily be used to mislead a populace and that an annual reporting of threats be made. I am concerned that DHS may not have the scientific ‘creds’ to understand what is reported and nor threats implied- but I am unsure where that should be- perhaps a digital forensics unit of the FBI. I believe that DOD sources and the NSA should contribute whatever they are permitted to, but I do not think that the repository of such reporting for homeland use can be kept by these agencies. I think it more important that DHS focus on identifying who is purposefully using these and emerging technologies to misinform and mislead the public and to publicly bring charges against them. We will of course, need to address meaningfully stiff penalties against domestic abusers and sanctions against foreign entities. On a side note, that Russian app that shows aging of a person’s photo entitles them to keep the original photos and use them in any way they choose. I often wonder if these are the source of photos showing up here on a couple of past mass ‘troll’ posting campaigns on this very site,
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burrkitty's Opinion
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07/27/2019
Duplicating DARPA’s efforts waste money. If it must be a government entity ask DARPA. Otherwise ask the hundreds of scientific researchers in the country who work on it. I know some of those folks. They are proud of their work and are happy to explain in excruciating detail if you’re willing to listen.
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Thelma's Opinion
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07/27/2019
I can’t trust my own senator. Rob, you have voted in favor of Trump and his lunacy too many times for my taste. I feel like there’s some anti-democracy, pro-trump surprise hidden in this bill. BTW, this research is already funded. So there you go.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedJuly 9th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 2065?

This bill — the Deepfake Report Act of 2019 — would direct the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct an annual study of deepfakes and similar content. Under this bill, DHS would be required to assess: 1) the technology used to generate deepfakes, 2) deepfakes’ uses by foreign and domestic entities, 3) countermeasures to deepfakes and 4) potential statutory and regulatory authorities to address this threat. In the course of conducting its study, DHS would be required to consult the intelligence community, Justice Dept., Federal Election Commission (FEC) and National Science Foundation (NSF).

Deepfakes are hyper-realistic digital manipulations of real content depicting events that didn’t actually occur. 

Impact

News and video consumers; deepfakes; deepfake prevention research; intelligence community; DHS; DOJ; FEC; and NSF.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2065

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced this bill to direct the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct an annual study of deepfakes and other types of similar content

“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. This bill prepares our country to answer those questions and address concerns by ensuring we have a sound understanding of this issue.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) adds:

“Artificial intelligence presents enormous opportunities for improving the world around us but also poses serious challenges. Deepfakes can be used to manipulate reality and spread misinformation quickly. In an era where we have more information available at our fingertips than ever, we have to be vigilant about making sure that information is reliable and true in whichever form it takes. The United States needs to have a better understanding of how to approach the issues with technologies like deepfakes and this bipartisan legislation is a crucial step in that direction.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) adds

“Deepfake technology is an example of how AI can be used in ways that can be damaging to our society and our democracy. Any policy response needs to distinguish carefully between legitimate, protected speech and content that is intended to spread disinformation. This legislation will help increase awareness of deepfake technology and is a necessary first step toward determining how to address this growing threat."

House sponsor Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) says

“Deepfakes pose a serious threat to our national security, homeland security, and the integrity of our elections. While there is effort underway to counter these videos on social networks and video sites, it is currently being done through a patchwork of policies. Congress should act to ensure that the federal government truly understands the scope of this technology as it takes steps to protect against misinformation.”

The Internet Association supports this bill. Its Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Elizabeth Banker, said in a press release

“The Deepfakes Report Act of 2019 is an important proactive step. It calls on several agencies with relevant expertise to examine the state of technology, including both the benefits and potential threats presented by deepfakes, and assess countermeasures that can be deployed. Although we have concerns about the broad definition of ‘deepfakes’ outlined in the bill, we hope examination of this technology will help policymakers take an evidenced-based, measured approach.”

Daniel Castro, a top official at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) think tank, expressed support for this bill in a press release. He added that “deep-fakes present significant new challenges to media consumption by disrupting the traditional notion that ‘seeing is believing.’

This bill passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by voice vote with the support of seven bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including four Democrats and three Republicans. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), has three bipartisan House cosponsors, including two Republicans and one Democrat. It’s also endorsed by the Internet Association, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and CompTIA.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) has introduced another bill, the Malicious Deep Fake Prohibition Act of 2018, to address deepfakes’ threat. His bill would criminalize the malicious creation and distribution of deepfakes, impose penalties on deepfake creators using others’ likenesses without their consent and require anyone creating a piece of synthetic media imitating a person to disclose that the video was altered or generated.


Of NoteThe controversy over deepfakes peaked after a video appeared to show House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) looking drunk. Technically, this video didn’t qualify as a deepfake, since it was slowed down with the audio quality changed, rather than manipulated using AI, it illustrated the danger manipulated videos pose to politicians’ images. While Facebook flagged the video as fake, it didn’t take it down; thus, it went viral and many people initially thought the video was actually true (YouTube pulled the video after it came to its attention). 

Attorneys at WilmerHale have written about how disinformation campaigns aided by deepfakes have also harmed businesses by spreading lies about their brands, manipulating stock prices and undermining confidence in emerging technologies through bogus or grossly misleading fake news. They conclude that disinformation’s threat to the private sector “will grow as deepfake-technology increases in sophistication.”

Deepfakes and manipulated videos in general are also a challenge to news media organizations seeking to verify the veracity of video given to them by sources. Politico reports that both Reuters and the Wall Street Journal have embarked on their own efforts to train their journalists to identify doctored videos. The Washington Post has also launched a public-facing “Fact Checker’s Guide to Manipulated Video” in an effort to help voters spot misleading material by classifying videos into three categories: “Missing Context,” “Deceptive Editing,” and “Malicious Transformation,” which includes deepfakes.

Ordinary citizens are also threatened by deepfakes. In late June, the app Deepnudes shut down amid controversy when journalists revealed that users could feed ordinary women’s photos into the app and have it produce naked images of them.

There are ways to spot deepfakes, if one is paying attention: first, check if there’s blurring around the face but not anywhere else in the video. Because current AI technology isn’t fully developed to properly mimic faces, this blurring is a clear sign that a video is fake. Additionally, there may be a change in skin tone around the edge of the face. Second, current deepfake technologies have trouble realistically depicting blinking: so inconsistent blinking is another sign of a deepfake.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been working on its “Media Forensics” (MediFor) program for over a year. This program “brings together world-class researchers to attempt to level the digital imagery playing field, which currently favors the manipulator, by developing technologies for the automated assessment of the integrity of an image or video and integrating these in an end-to-end media forensics platform.” According to DARPA, should this program succeed, it’ll “automatically detect manipulations, provide detailed information about how these manipulations were performed, and reason about the overall integrity of visual media to facilitate decisions regarding the use of any questionable image or video.”

DARPA funding has helped a team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside create a deep neural network that can identify manipulated images with a high degree of accuracy. One of the researchers, Brian Hosler, explained the technology to Digital Trends: 

“Many [previous] deepfake detectors rely on visual quirks in the faked video, like inconsistent lip movement or weird head pose. However, researchers are getting better and better at ironing out these visual cues when creating deepfakes. Our system uses statistical correlations in the pixels of a video to identify the camera that captured it. A deepfake video is unlikely to have the same statistical correlations in the fake part of the video as in the real part, and this inconsistency could be used to detect fake content.”

Together, Sens. Gardner, Portman and Heinrich are the co-founders of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / ANNECORDON)

AKA

Deepfake Report Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to publish an annual report on the use of deepfake technology, and for other purposes.

    We are facing National Security Threats! Montana Legislators stand against these threats! Time to put Country First! Stop Mitch McConnell from blocking legislation that will help secure our elections! Extremely Anti American behavior exhibited by Republicans especially Moscow Mitch becoming fabulously wealthy GREED!
    Like (60)
    Follow
    Share
    I support the notion that deep fake and like technologies pose a threat and could very easily be used to mislead a populace and that an annual reporting of threats be made. I am concerned that DHS may not have the scientific ‘creds’ to understand what is reported and nor threats implied- but I am unsure where that should be- perhaps a digital forensics unit of the FBI. I believe that DOD sources and the NSA should contribute whatever they are permitted to, but I do not think that the repository of such reporting for homeland use can be kept by these agencies. I think it more important that DHS focus on identifying who is purposefully using these and emerging technologies to misinform and mislead the public and to publicly bring charges against them. We will of course, need to address meaningfully stiff penalties against domestic abusers and sanctions against foreign entities. On a side note, that Russian app that shows aging of a person’s photo entitles them to keep the original photos and use them in any way they choose. I often wonder if these are the source of photos showing up here on a couple of past mass ‘troll’ posting campaigns on this very site,
    Like (78)
    Follow
    Share
    Duplicating DARPA’s efforts waste money. If it must be a government entity ask DARPA. Otherwise ask the hundreds of scientific researchers in the country who work on it. I know some of those folks. They are proud of their work and are happy to explain in excruciating detail if you’re willing to listen.
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    We need a bipartisan group looking at video and audio media helping citizens knowing what is true and what is fake. Does anyone know what percent of fake news is coming from the White House and tweets?
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    I can’t trust my own senator. Rob, you have voted in favor of Trump and his lunacy too many times for my taste. I feel like there’s some anti-democracy, pro-trump surprise hidden in this bill. BTW, this research is already funded. So there you go.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    The US has been/ is now TOO SLOW in defending against/ preparing for cyber & high-tech crime, which is pervasive & much more dangerous than the “old, low-tech crimes.” Security experts say the Russians, alone, have intruded into ALL 50 states, & the US electric power grid—what else??? Their unimpeded access has also encouraged others—Iran & China, according to security experts. The need for effective cyber counter measures is I M M E D I A T E!
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    The Deepfake Report Act of 2019 — would direct the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct an annual study of deepfakes and similar content. You would need to start with the republicans and their gerrymandering, their attack of non profits, their lock step with Trump and Russia, their voter fraud by republicans stuffing the Ballot box, their attack of the person and not the problem, the marginalization of people and their views, plus suppressing facts, the corporate control over government, the international influence of election, the sleeping with the devil.
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    I fear what will transpire if the government gets involved in categorizing news
    Like (14)
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    Looking into “DeepFlakes” should begin in the Halls of Congress!
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    Do we trust anybody at HHS?
    Like (11)
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    👍🏻👍🏻 Senate Bill S.2065 AKA The Deepfake Report Act of 2019 👍🏻👍🏻 I support and recommend the passage of the Senate Bill S.2065 AKA The Deepfake Report Act of 2019. Deepfakes threaten legitimate news, individuals’ privacy, and businesses. As such, the government should ensure that it understands and is actively working to address this threat. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻 S.2065 👍🏻👍🏻. 7.27.19.....
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    I fear that this administration and some members of Congress would use the information with extreme bias in their favor.
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    I am not sure DHS is the right agency to handle this. Also, the creation / distribution of deepfakes should be a crime (similar to fraud / defamation but specific to this medium) and this bill does not create a mechanism for that.
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    I support the idea, but the fact that it’s sponsor is Portman makes me suspicious it is a Trojan horse.
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    I fully support and recommend Congressman Portman’s bill on Deep Fakes. This should have been addressed before now. I support looking in Federal government, civilian, MSM, foreign governments , lobbyists. Anyone who has an agenda, disinformation campaigns . #MAGA
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    Rob Portman, as your boss and constituent, I direct you to keep homeland security in the box. Deepfakes need to be studied but homeland security is the pretend powerful "second" personal military for republican presidents who want to throw their weight around but don't have the country or military behind them.
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    Based on who is backing this I’m saying no thanks... most of the disinformation we are getting is from the White House and other Trumpets on the hill and in the Congress... I don’t trust them to clean house, investigate, or administrate anything that is not corrupt!!!
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    Yes to Senate 2065. The study of deep fakes must be made official and well funded. We must include aggressive prosecution for the purveyors of deep fakes and their distribution via social media, mainstream media or any other form of consumption either public or private. The dangers to truth and freedom presented by this specific AI technology cannot be over emphasized.
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    This is another attempt by the Republicans to cover up or try to make the FACTS look as bad as the LIES the LYING LIARS have created to keep Trump in office. Those Republicans who are BOT SPEAKING OUT ARE COMMITTING TREASON.
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    I could not say it any better than jimK day did. I completely agree with him. The very first thing that came to my mind when I read about this props all was I’m not sure if this is the right department for this.
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