Indian IT Minister Announces Plans for New Regulations Combatting Deepfakes

The technology behind deepfakes, their potential impact, and the forthcoming regulations aimed at curbing their proliferation.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update
Deep fake
  • Centre to Unveil Comprehensive Framework to Combat Deepfakes in 10 Days
  • The imminent government framework in India set to combat deepfakes, the digitally altered videos threatening democracy.

Camera applications have evolved significantly, offering users a plethora of options—from elongating legs to erasing blemishes and even adding playful animal ears. However, the latest advancement takes a more complex turn: the emergence of "deepfakes."

These deepfakes denote manipulated videos and digitally altered representations, crafted using advanced artificial intelligence techniques. They produce seemingly authentic images and sounds, blurring the line between reality and fiction. The rapid accessibility of this technology to the general public has enabled the creation of these fabricated yet highly convincing visuals and audio clips.

Terming deepfakes as a severe threat to democracy, India's Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, vowed to implement new regulations imminently to combat the escalating menace of digitally altered content. In a high-profile meeting with social media platforms on Thursday, the minister emphasized the urgent need for concerted action in multiple key areas, including detection, prevention, bolstering reporting mechanisms, and enhancing user awareness.


"We will start drafting regulation today itself, and within a short time we will have a new set of regulations for deepfakes… this could be in the form of amending existing frameworks or introducing new rules or laws," Vaishnaw informed reporters.

In a resolute move against the burgeoning threat of deepfakes, the Indian government has announced an imminent framework aimed at tackling the proliferation of digitally manipulated content. Promising swift action, the Centre has set a ten-day timeline to identify actionable strategies to combat the menace posed by deepfakes.

This comprehensive framework is poised to target key areas crucial in the fight against deepfakes, including detection, curbing misinformation, preventing their widespread dissemination, fortifying reporting mechanisms, and fostering heightened awareness among the populace.


IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw affirmed the government's commitment, stating that immediate steps will be taken to draft new regulations specifically designed to combat the rising tide of deepfakes. Among the measures under consideration is the proposition to impose penalties on individuals involved in the creation or dissemination of deepfakes, as well as platforms that host such deceitful content.

This forthcoming framework represents a concerted effort by the government to address the multifaceted challenges posed by deepfakes, reflecting a determination to fortify defenses against the dissemination of manipulated content across digital platforms.

The government's rapid response to the burgeoning threat of deepfakes underscores its commitment to safeguarding democratic processes and protecting the rights of digital citizens in the online sphere. MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) has outlined a comprehensive four-pillared strategy focusing on detection, prevention, reporting mechanisms, and increased awareness to counter the proliferation of deepfakes.


Legal experts, including Ranjana Adhikari, Partner at INDUSLAW, have lauded the government's proactive stance, emphasizing the necessity for regulations that discourage dissemination, incentivize early reporting, penalize delays in addressing complaints, and restrict avenues for deepfake creation.

While regulations in countries like the US exempt certain forms of content such as parodies and satire from anti-deepfake laws, India might adopt a more stringent approach. The impending regulations will likely necessitate widespread education on recognizing deepfakes, challenging the conventional notion that 'seeing is believing.'

Recently, the SAG-AFTRA, a prominent union representing artists, raised global concerns about the dangers of 'Digital Replicas' (deepfakes). The potential misuse of deepfakes to tarnish reputations and impede professional opportunities for artists has drawn attention to the urgent need for protective measures in India's creative landscape.


Kumar Ritesh, Founder and CEO of CYFIRMA, underscored the necessity for consistent regulations targeting the creation, distribution, and malicious use of deepfake content. He highlighted the importance of collaboration between the government and tech companies to enforce these regulations effectively.

Furthermore, Ritesh advocated for public awareness campaigns, R&D funding for deepfake detection technologies, and international cooperation to address the transnational nature of deepfake threats. His sentiments echoed the sentiment that India, with its technological prowess, is poised to lead the global initiative against deepfake technology.

The imminent regulations signal a pivotal moment in India's battle against the pernicious impact of deepfakes, signaling a determined effort to fortify its defenses against digital misinformation and manipulation.