The German Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament representing the 16 federal states, is pushing for stricter laws against deepfakes. It has proposed a bill to protect personal rights from such realistic-looking media content, which is increasingly being generated using AI. The core of the draft is a new paragraph 201b of the German Criminal Code (StGB), which would punish the dissemination of computer-generated or altered recordings that violate personal rights with a fine or imprisonment of up to two years. Those who make such content publicly accessible or distribute deepfakes related to highly personal matters could face up to five years in prison. The Bundesrat justifies its proposal by stating that deepfakes pose "considerable dangers both to individual personal rights and assets and to the democratic process of forming opinions." The bill will now be introduced in the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, which will then decide on it. The government has previously acknowledged that instruments to combat AI-generated videos have not been sufficient so far and that action is needed.

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Max is managing editor at THE DECODER. As a trained philosopher, he deals with consciousness, AI, and the question of whether machines can really think or just pretend to.
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