Saturday, June 15, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

India takes action against deepfakes with new law

  • ‘Deepfakes weaken trust in society’
  • New regulation to undergo a process of public consultation
Update : 23 Nov 2023, 06:52 PM

India is drafting rules to detect and limit the spread of deepfake content and other harmful AI media, a senior lawmaker said Thursday, following reports of the proliferation of such content on social media platforms in recent weeks.

Minister of Electronics, Information, and Technology Ashwani Vaishnaw announced that the country is set to implement a legal regulation aimed at curbing the spread of deepfakes and misleading synthetic content. 

In response to a surge in deepfake incidents targeting eminent personalities like actor Katrina Kaif and Rashmika Mandana, Vaishnaw emphasized the need to penalize creators of misleading synthetic content. 

The minister expressed concern about the emerging threat of deepfakes to democracy, stating, "This isn’t free speech. Deepfakes weaken trust in society."

The proposed regulation, according to Vaishnaw, will involve either amending existing laws or introducing a new one to address the challenges posed by deepfake technology. 

The decision comes after a series of incidents where deepfake content was used to tarnish the social reputation of prominent individuals.

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Khusbu Jain, a tech-law specialist practicing at India's Supreme Court, said: "The government of India has raised concerns with respect to deepfake and has made a statement that it will draft a new regulation to deal with deepfakes which will have four pillars: detection of deepfakes and deep misinformation, prevention of detected deepfakes and misinformation by removing or reducing their vitality, strengthen the reporting mechanisms, and awareness."

Sandeep Shah, a tech entrepreneur based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, pointed out the potential risks, including unauthorized entry, misinformation campaigns, and compromising the chain of command within defense systems.

In the press briefing, minister Vaishnaw assured that the new regulation would undergo a process of public consultation and be based on technology for effective detection. 

He emphasized that social media platforms have agreed on the feasibility of detecting deepfakes through technology.

Alankar Saxena, an entrepreneur from Bengaluru, highlighted the broad impact of deepfakes on various industries, stating that finance, technology, and media are particularly vulnerable. 

Saxena emphasized the need for advanced detection mechanisms, robust cybersecurity infrastructure, and awareness among employees to combat the misuse of deepfake technology.

AI expert Jaspreet Bindra, in an exclusive chat with Dhaka Tribune, warned about the potential misuse of deepfakes in upcoming elections worldwide. He cited examples of deepfakes targeting political leaders and emphasized the need for governments to address the threat to democracy posed by manipulated content.

As the Indian government takes proactive steps to address the deepfake menace, the new regulation is expected to play a pivotal role in safeguarding the integrity of digital content and protecting individuals from the malicious use of synthetic media.

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