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House Lawmakers Urge Intelligence Community to Look Into ‘Deep Fake’ Tech

A bipartisan group of House members has asked the Intelligence Community to provide Congress a report on technologies that can be used to generate hyper-realistic multimedia forgeries amid worries that such equipment could be used for nefarious purposes.

Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., sent a letter to National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats expressing concern over the possibility that “malicious foreign actors” could use advanced technology to produce “deep fakes”—fraudulent audio recordings, images or videos that are virtually indistinguishable from authentic ones—to blackmail individuals, sow disinformation and potentially threaten public discourse and national security.

“By blurring the line between fact and fiction, deep fake technology could undermine public trust in recorded images and videos as objective depictions of reality,” the representatives wrote in the letter published Friday.

Considering such implications, the lawmakers asked Coats to coordinate with Intelligence Community leaders to prepare a Congressional report detailing, among other things, how deep fake technologies might be used to compromise U.S. national security; what technological countermeasures have been developed or could be developed; and what additional legal authorities may be needed to address the threat.

The signatories asked that the report be submitted by Dec. 14 at the latest.

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