Tech Leaders Support Portman’s Bipartisan Deepfake Task Force Act to Create Task Force at DHS to Combat Deepfakes

Tech leaders have expressed support for the bipartisan Deepfake Task Force Act introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The legislation will create a task force at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to strengthen its mission to counter deepfake technology. Deepfakes are hyper-realistic, digital manipulations of real content that depict events that did not actually occur.

The legislation would create a task force within DHS charged with producing a coordinated plan to explore how a “digital content provenance” standard could assist with reducing the spread of deepfakes, develop tools for content creators to authenticate their content and its origin, and increase the ability of civil society and industry leaders to relay trust and information about the source of the deepfakes to consumers. The task force would be comprised of experts from academia, government, civil society, and industry, and would be chaired by DHS. 

The following tech leaders support the Deepfake Task Force Act: 

  • Dana Rao, EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Adobe: “Adobe applauds Senator Portman and Senator Peters’ bipartisan leadership on finding solutions to help restore faith in the content we view online. The task force outlined in this bill focuses on provenance, which we feel is a crucial component of combatting disinformation. At Adobe, we believe providing easy access to information about the origin and edit history of digital content can empower consumers to make their own decisions about who and what they can trust. Through our Content Authenticity Initiative, we are committed to working across the private and public sectors to give consumers more confidence in the trustworthiness of the online ecosystem.”
  • Jeff Joseph, President and CEO of the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA): “Our nearly 700 members across the information industry understand that truth is the most important currency in growing and innovating and stands as the foundation of our democracy. This proposed legislation seeks to create a government partnership with the private sector to leverage expertise on both sides to fight misinformation and explore the benefits of digital content provenance standards, using the ability of the government to convene experts across different sectors. This strategic partnership is both pro-innovation and pro-democracy. We applaud the leadership of Sen. Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Peters (D-MI) in introducing this legislation.”
  • Jeff McGregor, CEO of TruepicTruepic strongly supports the bipartisan introduction of the Deepfake Task Force Act and establishment of the National Deepfake and Digital Provenance Task Force, as initially recommended by the National Security Commission on AI. We firmly believe that establishing verifiable provenance in digital content is critical to restoring trust in what we see and hear online, helping to counter disinformation, reduce fraud, and protect consumers.”
  • Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientific Officer at Microsoft: “We are encouraged by the fast action and bipartisan commitment to establish a task force to address the rising challenges of synthetic media to our democracy. We are deeply aware of the complexities and believe that a critical path forward is to bring together thought leaders in technology, media, civil society, academia, and government. Our superpower is our ability to innovate and take action when it comes to the good of our citizens and long-term health of our society.” 
  • Aaron Cooper, Vice President of Global Policy at BSA | The Software Alliance: “Software has made it possible for people to create content, connect, and share their work online in new and exciting ways. However, these powerful tools also raise the risk that bad actors will use software to create and disseminate dangerous deepfakes. We applaud Senators Portman and Peters for their attention to this increasingly important topic. The Deepfake Task Force Act is a welcome addition to ongoing debates on content authenticity, and we look forward to working with the sponsors of this bill and other members of Congress on legislative and regulatory solutions for deepfakes.”
  • The Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity: “The Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) strongly supports the bipartisan introduction of the Deepfake Task Force Act, which will establish the National Deepfake and Digital Provenance Task Force. As deceptive content online becomes more sophisticated, we’re witnessing alarming consequences that challenge the trustworthiness of digital information. We believe digital content provenance is the most feasible and scalable technology to help counter the erosion of public trust. The approach safely empowers consumers with the transparency they need to understand the origin and history of a digital content asset in a verifiable way, while also protecting content creators’ privacy preferences. We applaud Senator Portman and Senator Peters’ leadership in introducing this bill and encourage government, private industry, academia and others to engage, learn and contribute to the emerging open standards the C2PA is building.”
  • Vince Jesaitis, Director of Government Affairs for Arm: “Arm appreciates the leadership from Senators Portman and Peters to confront online misinformation and for their introduction of the Deep Fakes Taskforce Act. As a founding member of The Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), Arm is addressing misinformation by working with other stakeholders in the development of standards verifying digital content sources. This legislation appropriately recognizes the critical role standards will play in slowing online misinformation and enhancing digital trust. Arm looks forward to working with the Senators, and ultimately the Task Force, to address this important issue.”
  • Jatin Aythora, Director of Research & Development at BBC: “Project Origin, established by the BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, Microsoft and The New York Times, has been developing tools and infrastructure to enable media publishers to employ trustworthy, standardized signals that indicate that content is unaltered from its original source. As long-time advocates of media provenance with a deep understanding of the field, we are enthusiastic about the establishment of a task force to examine this important and complex issue in the hopes that it will encourage ongoing trust in media.”
  • Daniel Castro, Vice President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation: Deepfakes threaten to amplify the challenge of disinformation and pose a growing risk to American’s privacy and civil liberties. This legislation would take an important step forward in standardizing the tools and methods of verifying digital content provenance and coordinating government efforts to address the threat of digital forgeries.”