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Friday, September 13, 2019

SACRAMENTO —  California would crack down on fake sex videos that often target celebrities under a bill approved Friday by the state Legislature that is headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Assembly Bill 602 by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) would give anyone depicted in a digitally altered sex video the right to sue the person who created it or anyone who intentionally shared it if there is reason to believe the person depicted did not consent to its release or creation.

“It’s a big relief,” Berman said moments after the bill passed its final vote. “Technology is being used in really terrible ways and taking advantage of people in ways that are having real harm. ... We need to rein it in.”

Known as “deep fakes,” the technology has been used to digitally graft the face of a person into a pornographic film without the people involved knowing or consenting to it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) released the following statement today in response to amendments that were made to AB 302 in the Senate Appropriations Committee:

“I was sad to see the details of the amendments that were forced into AB 302 by the Senate Appropriations Committee, which indicate a lack of urgency in addressing the community college student homelessness crisis in California and unnecessarily further a stigma that prevents them from seeking help.

Friday, August 30, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) released the following statement today in response to AB 302 passing out of the Senate Appropriations Committee:

“I am glad that AB 302 passed out of Senate Appropriations today and is moving on to the Senate floor. My excitement, however, is tempered by the unknown details of the committee's amendments. I look forward to reviewing the amendments when they are available and will have a longer statement at that time.”

 

Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024

Monday, August 19, 2019

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said during a press conference on Wednesday morning that Jewish Americans “must be included” in a controversial ethnic studies curriculum for high school.

“Jews are being attacked at this time in synagogues,” Thurmond said in the media room at the California Department of Education in Sacramento. “Acts of hate are happening against the Jewish people. They must be included.”

The press conference was called in response to negative public feedback received since the draft curriculum was released for comment in June, but particularly in the past few weeks.

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Assemblymember Berman with FPPC Commissioners
Assemblymember Berman with FPPC Commissioners
Assemblymember Berman with FPPC Commissioners
Assemblymember Berman with FPPC Commissioners
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

In a show of unity, 11 California lawmakers representing the Jewish and Latino legislative caucuses toured Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego on Aug. 9 after increasing scrutiny about conditions at the facility.

The legislators conducted interviews and met with detainees at the center, which is overseen by private prison company CoreCivic and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Visiting the Otay Mesa detention facility was powerful and profoundly sad,” said Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), a member of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “We all have a responsibility to highlight what is going on at the border. But I do think Jews have a unique history and experience that allows us to empathize with today’s migrants that much more.”

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Opinion: Too few Bay Area students have access to computer science courses

Despite growing up under the shadow of Apple and Google, children aren’t learning essential skills

 

Marc Berman and Lisa Andrew

The Mercury News

August 11, 2019

 

What exactly is computer science, and why is it important to our children’s future?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Monday, July 8, 2019

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- There's a race to defuse a powerful political weapon: computer-generated fake videos. Researchers at UC Berkeley are leading the charge to fight the fake news technology.

Millions of people saw distorted video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, posted to social media in May. Simple edits to the video, made it sound like Pelosi was drunkenly slurring her words, when she was not.

"That really wreaks havoc on democracy, on society and our personal safety," said Hany Farid, a Computer Science Professor at UC Berkeley.

Farid and graduate student, Shruti Agarwal, are developing software to combat deepfake technology -- content synthesized through artificial intelligence.

An example of a deepfake video, can be seen in filmmaker Jordan Peele's PSA from 2018 about the danger of the videos.