Thursday, October 3, 2019

SACRAMENTO — Ahead of what is expected to be a contentious election next year, California has made it illegal to distribute deceptively edited videos and audio clips intended to damage a politician’s reputation or deceive someone into voting for or against a candidate.

On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed without comment AB730, which prohibits the distribution of manipulated clips known as “deepfakes” within 60 days of an election. It gives candidates the right to sue to stop their spread and to seek financial damages, though there are no criminal penalties. The law, which includes exceptions for media organizations and exempts images and audio that disclose they have been manipulated, will expire in 2023.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Today Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 730, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), which will help shield voters from misinformation about candidates before the 2020 election. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Today Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 602, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman, which enacts civil penalties for creating and disclosing nonconsensual digitally produced sexually explicit material.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Assemblymember Marc Berman briefly discusses the 2019 legislative session. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Shunning free speech concerns brought by civil liberties groups, the California Senate on Friday approved a bill meant to protect political candidates from deceptive social media videos known as deepfakes.

Inspired by a doctored video that made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appear drunk during a speech and went viral, Assembly Bill 730 would give candidates the ability to sue people or organizations that share deepfakes without warning labels near Election Day.

Supporters say the deceptive technology has the potential to impact elections in the Golden State and elsewhere.

“It's a powerful and dangerous new tool for those wanting to wage disinformation campaigns,” said state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles.

Friday, September 13, 2019

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.”

The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted.

“We urge Gov. Newsom to sign AB 602,” White said. “Our laws need to be responsive to a digital environment in which technology is weaponized and getting more advanced by the day. Without clear prohibitions and consent requirements, SAG-AFTRA members will continue to be exploited for financial gain. This is an opportunity for California to be a global leader on the rapidly escalating threat of ‘deepfake’ videos.”

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.