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Push for legislation to punish deepfake porn creators, distributors in Taiwan and UK

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Push for legislation to punish deepfake porn creators, distributors in Taiwan and UK

The executive arm of the government of Taiwan says it is expediting action on a proposal to amend existing legislation so as to punish creators of deepfakes or distributors of digitally manipulated pornography videos.

In the UK, a Tory lawmaker has made a similar proposal, expressing the wish to see the distribution of non-consensual deepfake pornography criminalized.

Meanwhile, a blog post by Digital Shadows explains the phenomenon of deepfakes as a tool for criminal activities like online fraud, the various ways through they manifest as well as the measures companies and organizations can put in place to check the threat.

Taiwan law amendment to penalize deepfake actors

Taipei Times in an article quotes the Taiwanese cabinet spokesman, Lo Ping-cheng, as saying the idea is to amend some provisions of the Criminal Code to criminalize the unauthorized distribution of the recording of another person and the manipulation of a sexual recording, which at the moment, are not defined as crimes under the code.

It also seeks to outlaw the distribution of sexual videos that have been digitally manipulated.

Submitted last month by the Justice Ministry, the government is working to accelerate action on the tabling of the bill in Parliament, the spokesman was quoted as saying after a recent cabinet meeting.

This move, Taipei Times notes, come at a time when DPP lawmakers have made proposals for a separate bill to punish deepfakes by revising forgery provisions under chapter 15 of the criminal code.

The expected bill sustains that using digital methods to distort videos or audios potentially damages people’s reputation on the digital space.

Calls for tough legislation on deepfakes in Taiwan have heightened lately following concerns over instances of physical abuse and cases of manipulated and shared photos and videos of women to intimidate and disgrace them.

Tory MP suggests punishment for deepfakes

Maria Miller told Leading Britain’s Conversation (LBC) that people who are often depicted in deepfake photos or videos are sometimes not even aware of what is happening.

This, she explained, is because deepfake and nudification software manipulators can use the photo of an innocent person and associate it with an existing pornographic photo or video to give the impression that person is nude.

Miller said the law has to be clear on the kind of punishment for such practices because seeking help now from the police or other authorities in this regard doesn’t pay off.

“(O)ften, the people who are in the pictures are completely unaware they’ve been used in this way and the first they may know of it is a friend pointing it out to them. So you end up with material online which can, as I say, be quite extreme pornography depicting an individual who has never been involved in that activity. At the moment, if you ask for help from the police or the authorities, the law is not clear and this is why it needs to be changed,” Miller tells LBC.

How deepfakes manifest

A blog post by Digital Shadows, meanwhile, explores the various ways by which deepfake manipulators carry out fraud attacks against their victims.

According to the article, this can be through deceptive audios, malicious impersonations, hybrid tactics such as phishing and vishing campaigns which have proven to be a big challenge for companies and organizations especially as the remote work experience has gained traction due to the pandemic, as well as through false and misleading narratives in the form of fake news principally shared on social media platforms.

The article also talks about the growing phenomenon of deepfakes and how they are designed to bypass certain methods of identity authentication such as passwords and biometrics.

In the face of these deepfake threats notwithstanding, the write-up suggests that organizations can manage them in a number of ways including through the implementation of security policies at the work place such as two or multi-factor authentication systems; the use of quality voice biometrics solutions, as well as employee training and security alertness in understanding some of the real-world risks of deepfake technology.

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