LAW ON DEEPFAKES (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Governance)

News-CRUX-10     24th November 2023        

Context: Recently, the government, led by the Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, is contemplating the imposition of penalties on both the creators of deepfakes and the platforms hosting them, as a pivotal element of forthcoming regulations aimed at curbing this growing menace.

Deepfake Technology

  • About: Deepfakes refer to synthetic media, which includes videos, images, or audio recordings generated and altered using advanced artificial intelligence techniques, particularly deep learning algorithms.
  • It is utilized for generating fake news and committing financial fraud, among other illicit activities.
  • It involves overlaying a digital composite onto pre-existing videos, images, or audio, with cybercriminals employing Artificial Intelligence technology.

How are they made?

  • The first known example of widespread use of a deepfake video was spotted on Reddit in 2017 when a user swapped the faces of celebrities.
  • They scan through thousands of face shots using an AI algorithm (called encoder) that allows the machines to learn similarities between the two faces and reduces them to their shared common features, compressing the images in the process.


  • India does not have specific laws or regulations that ban or regulate the use of deepfake technology.
  • Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act (2000) related to defamation and publishing explicit material is applied in cases of deepfakes.
  • India’s IT Rules, 2021 require that all content reported to be fake or produced using deep fake be taken down by intermediary platforms within 36 hours.