Press Release

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The state of California will pay $3.85 million to researchers at the University of California, Davis, to develop the nation’s first program to train health care professionals to help their patients reduce firearm-related injury and death, university officials announced Tuesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom approved the funding on Friday when he signed Assembly Bill 521 . Money will go toward educating a variety of California providers, including practicing physicians, mental health care professionals, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, health professions students and other specialists.

Dr. Amy Barnhorst, a UC Davis Health psychiatrist, will oversee the training. She has spent a good deal of her career studying gun violence, suicide and public mental health.

Monday, October 14, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Yesterday Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 623, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), which would provide county elections officials more flexibility to update and improve ballot layouts for voters.

Friday, October 11, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Today Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 521, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), which tasks the UC Davis Firearm Violence Research Center with establishing firearm violence prevention education and training programs for health care providers.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Today Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 538, joint authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell), which modernizes and improves forensic and medical care for sexual assault survivors.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Deepfake is on the rise. A study found that in the past year, the number of artificial intelligence-manipulated videos online almost doubled.

The Alarming Increase Of Deepfake Videos

The Amsterdam-based cybersecurity company Deeptrace found 14,698 deepfake videos on the internet during its most recent tally in June and July. For comparison, the tech start-up counted only 7,964 last December. That is an 84 percent increase within only seven months.

While concerns over deepfake center on the potential use of technology to mislead or lie to the public especially during election season, the recently published report by Deeptrace revealed that the majority (96 percent) of deepfake videos currently online consist of pornographic content and all of them feature women.

Monday, October 7, 2019

California has become the latest state to ban politically motivated deepfakes amidst growing concern about how the technology could be used to interfere with the 2020 election.

On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the AB 730 bill into law, making it illegal to create or distribute deceptively altered videos, audio, or photos of political candidates. Additionally, he signed AB 602, a bill that allows California residents to take legal action against distributors of deepfake pornographic content which distributes their likeness without getting legal consent to do so.

Friday, October 4, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is trying to stop people from deceptively editing videos and audio in ways that are aimed at influencing elections.

Legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday bans the distribution of manipulated videos and pictures that maliciously aim to give someone a false impression about a political candidate’s actions or words within 60 days of an election.

It was written in response to a rise in the use of “deep fake” technology that can make it appear as if someone is saying something or acting in a way they are not.

Experts have raised concerns about such technology’s possible use in voter disinformation campaigns, but opponents of the law say the bill threatens to trample on free speech rights and may not have its intended effect.