WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) – members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – introduced bipartisan legislation to fund research into ways of detecting “deepfakes.” Deepfakes are online videos that are manipulated to realistically mimic a person’s identity, and this legislation would help raise awareness of deepfakes and determine ways to combat the rising threat of this technology. The Identifying Outputs of Generative Adversarial Networks Act (IOGAN Act) directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support research to accelerate the development of technologies that could help improve the detection of deepfakes.
“As technology continues to evolve, so do the complexity and frequency of digital threats to Americans,” said Sen. Moran. “Deepfakes can be means for a variety of ill-intentioned uses, but the technology poses a specific threat to U.S. voters and consumers by way of misinformation that is increasingly difficult to identify. The Identifying Outputs of Generative Adversarial Networks Act will assist the federal government to effectively coordinate its efforts to address this threat by accelerating research and development of deepfake technology detection.”
“In the last decade, technology has completely revolutionized Americans’ lives,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “Yet that innovation also requires Congress to ensure that we have guardrails in place to protect our country from the malicious use of technology. Recently, deepfake technologies have been used to spoof the voices of leaders in other countries, to spread misinformation during democratic elections and to confuse and defraud consumers. I’m introducing the Identifying Outputs of Generative Adversarial Networks Act so that we can understand how to better identify deepfake technology, devise comprehensive strategies to stop it and to ensure we’re educating Nevadans, and all Americans on ways they can protect themselves.”
The IOGAN Act instructs the Director of the NSF to support research on the outputs that may be produced by generative adversarial networks, otherwise known as deepfakes, and other comparable techniques that may be developed in the future. Additionally, the IOGAN Act directs the NIST to work on setting measurements and standards relating to this technology, as well as develop a report on the feasibility of public-private partnerships to detect deepfakes.
Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio).
Full text of the legislation can be found here.
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