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U.S. senators want a task force; deepfakers want it all

U.S. senators want a task force; deepfakers want it all

A pair of U.S. senators want the Homeland Security Department to see if a standard can be created to make clear when digital content has been faked.

Content creators should be able to authenticate their work and content consumers — including government agencies — should be able to know when they are being conned, according to Senators Gary Peters and Rob Portman.

Sophisticated deepfakes can in some applications defeat face biometric security systems.

Portman, a Republican, and Peters, a Democrat, have introduced for debate the Deepfake Task Force Act to make this effort more of a priority for DHS. The senators lead the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

They want a task force created, chaired by a DHS official and comprised of experts from universities, industry and elsewhere.

A little more than a year ago, in a NATO briefing, military officials were told that deepfakes were not a significant threat. This spring, however, the FBI (part of the Justice Department, which is separate from Homeland Security), issued a warning about the technology.

Facebook and Michigan State University this summer reported on some aspects of their efforts to detect deepfakes by reverse-engineering them.

Of course, those who see an illicit opportunity in deepfakes are not sitting still, either. An analysis of the sector indicates it is, in fact, becoming an industry. Markets have evolved, trading content and development methods.

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