In December, the Republican senator Ben Sasse introduced the US’s first bill to criminalise the malicious creation and distribution of deepfakes, describing the threat as “something that keeps our intelligence community up at night”.
A similar bill is being debated in New York state, while last month a Chinese law to regulate the use of deepfakes reached its second review before the country’s legislative body. For James (a 28-year-old Englishman and founder of derpfakes YouTube channel), however, legislation cannot halt the rising tide: “Those who seek to undermine democracy or the rights of others won’t be deterred by the laws in another country, or even their own.”
For derpfakes’ James, however, cynicism is the perfect protection. “Erosion of public trust in everything people see on the internet is surely a positive for society,” he says. “Far better than the assumption of everything as truth as the default.” James is also sceptical of companies such as Faculty and Amber, claiming that authentication would detect only amateur deepfakes. “Authentication hasn’t completely stopped any other sort of crime or nefarious activity. I have little reason to believe it would stop anyone working at a serious enough level.”
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Read the rest at The Guardian