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Digital Safety


In groups of 3 to 5 people, design sample legislation that promotes digital safety and protects people from online- or image-based sexual abuse through deepfakes. 


At the same time, this legislation must also uphold free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. 


In designing this legislation, draw from the information provided in the article “Verifying Images.” What does this legislation include? What are your goals and how will you meet them? Be as specific and detailed as possible. Anticipate and address any potential critiques of the legislation that your working group designed.


Verifying Images: Deepfakes, Control, and Consent by Emily van der Nagel

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•The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

•The term “deepfake” refers to altered digital media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness. Audiovisual manipulation may include face swapping, lip-synching, voice synthesis, and other measures. When deepfakes involve sexually nonconsensual pornographic content, this continues a long history of sexist and racist images being used to harass, humiliate, and harm people. 


•The number of deepfakes online nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019.


•In California, AB-602 bans the nonconsensual use of deepfakes in pornography.


•In October 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into legislation AB730, which makes it illegal to create or distribute fake videos, images or audio of politicians within 60 days of an election. However, the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier’s Foundation argue that this law could encroach on free speech. 

Source: Data & Society: 

Deepfakes and Cheap Fakes;

Deepfakes, Revenge Porn, And The Impact On Women 

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