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Deepfake Technology

By Amigos IAS

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

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

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

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

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


Challenges with Existing Laws

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

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

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


International Best Practices

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

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

·       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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