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Deepfake Technology

Why is it in the news?

  • The use of deepfakes in political campaigns and online gendered violence is a growing concern.

More about the news

  • Deepfake technology involves the manipulation of digital media (video, audio, images) using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • Deepfakes often have a gendered impact, with a significant percentage being pornographic.
  • A study found that 96% of deepfakes were pornographic, with 99% involving women.
  • Deepfake technology used for online gendered violence, causing psychological trauma to women.


Existing Laws in India

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 India lacks specific laws addressing deepfakes and AI-related crimes.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Provisions under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act) are applicable, including Sections 66E, 66D, 67, 67A, and 67B.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The IT Rules require social media platforms to remove ‘artificially morphed images’ or risk losing ‘safe harbour’ protection.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, can also be used for cybercrimes associated with deepfakes.


Challenges with Existing Laws

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Critics argue that current laws are not adequate for emerging technologies like deepfakes.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The legal framework needs a comprehensive approach considering the wide range of harm caused by generative AI technology.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Existing laws place the burden on victims to file complaints, and enforcement mechanisms may be insufficient.


International Best Practices

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The U.S. introduces executive orders, laws criminalizing deepfake distribution, and regulations for labelling AI-generated content.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 China implements regulations to restrict deep synthesis technology, ensuring explicit labelling and traceability.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 The EU strengthens its Code of Practice on Disinformation, proposing fines for social media platforms not flagging deepfake content.


Proposed Reforms and Government Response

  • Proposed regulations aim to hold creators and social media intermediaries accountable.
  • Though existing laws deemed adequate by the government, critics argue that regulatory reforms should consider preventive measures, awareness, and robust enforcement mechanisms.
  • Recently, the Delhi High Court expresses reservations about issuing directions to control deepfakes, suggesting that the government is better suited to address the issue.
  • Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeks to block access to websites generating deepfakes.



  • Critics emphasize the need for a holistic approach to AI governance in India, including safety standards, awareness programs, and institution building.
  • Suggestions for innovative policy tools, such as regulatory sandboxes, to balance innovation and regulation without curbing free speech can be considered.

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