US regulators are considering regulating deep fakes ahead of the 2024 election

US regulators are considering regulating deep fakes ahead of the 2024 election

On August 10, the US Federal Election Commission unanimously approved a petition that could regulate deepfake in political ads generated by artificial intelligence (AI).
The petition targets ads that use artificial intelligence to portray political opponents as taking action or saying something they didn’t do or say ahead of the 2024 election.
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, the advocacy organization behind the petition, described deep fakes as a “significant threat to democracy.”

“The FEC must use its authority to ban deepfake or risk joining a wave of AI-driven fake disinformation and the destruction of basic norms of truth and falsehood.”

We have already seen cases of candidates who have Used fake AI-generated images as part of their campaigns, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, running for the Republican nomination, has released three pictures of former US President Donald Trump hugging Dr. Anthony Fauci.
During the meeting with the FEC, Public Citizen requested clarification on a pre-existing law that aims to prevent “fraudulent misrepresentation” in political campaigns and whether deepfake AI is included.
Lisa Gilbert, Executive Vice President of Public Citizen, said:

“The need to regulate deep fakes and other deceptive uses of AI in election ads is becoming more urgent with each passing day.”

The FEC has decided to pursue the petition and the next step will be a 60-day public comment period, which Gilbert called an “encouraging sign” that AI’s threat to democracy is “being taken seriously” by the regulatory authority.
Craig Holman, Ph.D., government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, commented on the public comment period, arguing that:

“The public comment period will provide an important venue for policy advocates, pundits, and voters to express their concerns about the widespread use of fake ads during the upcoming election cycle.”

This latest action follows an initial petition filed by a public citizen in July. The petition outlines the same sentiment, highlighting that deep fakes can be achieved “influence election results”,
Following publication of the first petition, members of both houses of the United States Congress responded with letters of support.
Cointelegraph reached out to Public Citizen for further comments on their efforts on the matter.

Translation by Walter Rizzo