article featured image


From January 20, 2023, new regulations regarding deepfake will be in place in China.

Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) declared that the purpose of these rules is to protect users from being impersonated.

CAC aims to closely analyze deep synthesis technology and services that can modify facial and voice data. These altered images can be easily used for manipulation or misinformation, raising concerns outside China as well.

The Content of the New Deepfake Regulations

The CAC regulations forbid the fabrication of deepfakes without the subject’s agreement. Another point of interest is the representation of anything that can be deemed adverse to the national interest, which is prohibited.

“The regulator said the move was aimed at curbing risks that might arise from activities provided by “deep synthesis service providers” that use deep learning or virtual reality to alter digital content”, according to Cyber News.

China hopes that synthetic content will be used only under state supervision, admitting that this industry will grow. This is not the first time that China’s government adopted new Internet legislation to support the Chinese Communist Party’s vision of a stable, prosperous society.

Deepfakes must “promote the healthy development of internet information services and maintain a good ecology of cyberspace,” the statement on the CAC website says.


The Issues with the New Rules

But researchers warn that these rules raise some issues. For starters, the label “synthetic content” must be defined. Although it is not easy to establish how these marks will be formed and saved – all watermarks can be deleted with re-encoding or AI.

Users must register with their real name, according to these regulations, so authorities will be able to identify the sources of unlabeled or manipulative deepfake. But this task can be challenging on the wild, wild Internet.

“This is challenging because, once a piece of content is created, it can be decoupled from the service on which it is created and spread independently of it. Videos can be re-uploaded, audio re-recorded, images screenshotted, removing them from the originator’s control. And, as the adage goes, the Internet is forever: once some information has spread on the Internet, it is extremely difficult to erase it completely,” as Emmie Hine and Luciano Floridi show on Nature Machine Intelligence.

Research shows that deepfake spreads faster than real news and is harder to block it, so even if China is moving quicker on regulating it, other parts of the world are making steps in that direction too.

Some American states have adopted laws on deep synthesis technology focusing on pornography or content related to the elections. And the EU will demand deepfake labeling starting in 2023.

If you liked this article, follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookYouTube, and Instagram for more cybersecurity news and topics.

Author Profile

Andreea Chebac

Digital Content Creator

Andreea is a digital content creator within Heimdal® with a great belief in the educational power of content.