3 Years Behind Bars and a ₹1 Lakh Fine: Centre’s Stern Warning Amid Rashmika Mandanna Deepfake Controversy!

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued an advisory to social media platforms, underlining the legal provisions that cover such deepfakes

New Delhi: The Indian government has issued a stern reminder to social media platforms in the wake of a viral deepfake video, allegedly featuring actor Rashmika Mandanna. This incident has raised concerns about the misuse of Artificial Intelligence for spreading disinformation.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has sent an advisory to social media platforms, emphasizing the legal provisions surrounding deepfakes and the potential penalties for their creation and dissemination.

The government has invoked Section 66D of the Information Technology Act, 2000, which pertains to ‘punishment for cheating by personation using a computer resource.’ This section states, “Whoever, by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personating, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to three years and shall also be liable to a fine of up to one lakh rupees.”

The government’s advisory comes in response to the deepfake video that went viral, initially appearing to show Rashmika Mandanna entering an elevator. However, it was later discovered that the video featured British-Indian influencer Zara Patel, with her face digitally replaced by that of Rashmika Mandanna.

This revelation has ignited concerns about the consequences of such manipulations, particularly for public figures whose images are manipulated without their consent.

Rashmika Mandanna expressed her apprehension about the incident, calling it “extremely scary.” She emphasized the misuse of technology and its potential harm, not only to herself but to anyone vulnerable to such actions.

Numerous voices within the film industry, including legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, have raised the issue and called for legal action.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensuring safety and trust for Indians in the digital space. Under the Information Technology rules implemented in April 2023, platforms are legally obligated to prevent the spread of misinformation, remove reported misinformation within 36 hours, and can face legal action if they fail to comply. The emergence of deepfakes presents an even more dangerous form of misinformation, which the minister stressed needs to be addressed by platforms. #SafeTrustedInternet #Accountable #DigitalIndia”

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