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FEC Inaction on Deepfakes Is Dangerous and Inexcusable

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It has now been eight months since the FEC closed its comment period on Public Citizen’s petition for a new rule to regulate the use of generative AI deepfakes in election ads and more than a year since Public Citizen first petitioned on the issue. Despite the urgency posed by the rapidly approaching 2024 elections, the FEC has yet to make a decision on whether or not to proceed with rulemaking.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“Is the Federal Election Commission a real federal agency or just a deepfake version of one?

“It’s certainly not acting like a real federal agency. With the November election less than five months away and with deepfake technology improving seemingly daily, it is imperative that lawmakers and regulators put in place protections against a deepfake democratic disaster. Instead, the FEC is refusing, yet again, to do its job. It has kicked the can, yet again, on Public Citizen’s common-sense petition for the agency to use its existing authority to put rules in place to stop deceptive and fraudulent deepfakes.

Twenty states have passed laws on a bipartisan basis to address the problem. Politicians of all political stripes recognize the threat of deceptive deepfakes and want safeguards in place. There’s absolutely no excuse for the FEC’s inaction.”