Press Release

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.

Friday, October 4, 2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill that aims to protect voters and political candidates from deepfakes in time for the 2020 election.

AB 730, written by Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, prohibits distribution of doctored video or audio of a candidate “with the intent to injure the candidate’s reputation or to deceive a voter into voting for or against the candidate” unless the media is clearly marked as fake.

The new law, signed Thursday, boosts existing law about manipulated photos and would allow candidates to seek injunctive relief and damages if they can prove the deepfakes were distributed with malice.

“In the context of elections, the ability to attribute speech or conduct to a candidate that is false – that never happened – makes deepfake technology a powerful and dangerous new tool in the arsenal of those who want to wage misinformation campaigns to confuse voters,” Berman said in a statement.

Friday, October 4, 2019

(CN) – California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday meant to cut down on the use of deepfakes meant to disrupt elections, after a viral video was released earlier this year of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose image was manipulated so she appeared drunk in it.

Assembly Bill 730, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, prohibits individuals or groups from distributing deepfakes within 60 days of an election unless it also carries with it a disclosure statement that it has been manipulated.

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 602, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman, which enacts civil penalties for creating and disclosing nonconsensual digitally produced sexually explicit material.

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. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Assemblymember Marc Berman briefly discusses the 2019 legislative session.