Atlanta

Georgia lawmakers move to ban deep fake videos from state politics

ATLANTA — A bipartisan group of Georgia senators are pushing to ban deep fakes from the state’s elections.

Senate Bill 392 was filed on Jan. 25, would make it a criminal offense for deep fakes to be used, created or requested, describing it legally as a criminal election interference charge.

The bill was filed three days after an AI-generated robocall impersonated President Joe Biden in what the Associated Press reported was an attempt to suppress votes during the New Hampshire primary.

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The day after the legislation was filed, deepfakes took social media by storm after someone published a series of deep faked explicit images of popstar Taylor Swift.

According to the legislative text of the bill, if it passes, Georgia would ban any video recording, video file, sound recording, sound file, electronic image or photograph that is “created through technological means, rather than through the ability of another person to physically or verbally impersonate such person,” and appears to depict a real person speaking or behaving in a way that did not happen in real life.

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If someone uses a deep fake “within 90 days of an election with the intent to decide one or more electors” to either reduce a candidate’s chance to be elected or otherwise influence the result of an election or referendum, they’ll be committing a felony, the proposed bill reads.

The bill also says that any deep fake created by a candidate or at a candidate’s request, and that includes a depiction of the same candidate will not count as an illegal deep fake, but if anyone solicits a deep fake to interfere with an election would face charges.

Anyone who commits an offense under this new offense, if passed, would be guilty of a felony with a one to five-year prison sentence and up to a $50,000 fine. The bill also requires the results of any investigation into a potential illegal use of deep fakes, politically, to be released to the public.

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