The U.S. House of Representatives has officially passed a bill that seeks to curb the growing threat of deepfakes and other forms of manipulated media. The Identifying Outputs of Generative Adversarial Networks Act (the IOGAN Act – also known as bill H.R. 4355) was first introduced by Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, a Republican representative from Ohio.
Deepfake technology has advanced at an astonishing rate over the past few years. Thanks in large part to the rapid improvements in AI, people have been able to create images and audio and video clips that seem wholly authentic to casual human observers.
The IOGAN Act specifically tasks the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to research and invest in technologies that would be able to distinguish deepfake content from legitimate material. Deepfakes represent a national security concern if they are used to create misleading (and otherwise scandalous) videos with politicians and other public figures. They can also be used to commit fraud if the fakes become sophisticated enough to get past modern identity verification software.
“Recent technological advances have reshaped the world we live in, but with that come new threats to our national security that must be addressed,” said Gonzalez. “It is critical that we learn to identify and combat deepfake technology now to stop scammers and foreign entities who would seek to do harm to the American public.”
Congressman Gonzalez is not the first person to sound the alarm about deepfake technology. A recent Pindrop report warned that fraudsters will soon be able to mimic human voices in real time, which would allow them to target call centers. BeyondTrust has made similar predictions, arguing that deepfake tech will be used to compromise biometric credentials and lead to a rise in identity fraud as hackers use deepfakes to gain access to larger systems.
The bill still needs to pass the U.S. Senate before it becomes official law.
December 12, 2019 – by Eric Weiss