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When Seeing Isn’t Believing: Deepfakes and the Law

March 2, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 1:30 pm

The NYU Center for Cybersecurity and the NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy hosted a March 2nd conference on deepfakes and the law. Deepfakes are realistically altered fake videos that make a person appear to have said or done things they never did. The videos have problematic implications for individuals, companies, the proliferation of “fake news,” state security, and trust in democracy. The event featured a keynote, two panels, and a fireside chat.

Video of the event is now available

9:00am: Registration

9:20-9:50am: Keynote

Kathryn Harrison, Founder & CEO, DeepTrust Alliance

Kathryn Harrison is the founder and CEO of the DeepTrust Alliance, a non-profit building the solutions and ecosystem to tackle deepfakes and misinformation. This keynote will provide an introduction to and technical overview of deepfakes. What are they? Where did they come from? What role do they play in the larger ecosystem of misinformation?

9:50-11:05am: Panel 1

The Front Line: Big Tech, Fake News, and Private Industry’s Deepfake Detection Problem

Our first panel will focus on the actors on the front lines dealing with deepfake videos, such as platforms that publish and disseminate them. Companies like Facebook and Reddit have issued new policies to address manipulated media—but how will those policies work in reality? The panel will address a number of important questions: How do these policies interact with current law? What are the legal and business implications for companies that address these issues? Are there legal implications if companies do too much, or too little, to address deepfakes? How should companies navigate legal and policy questions about First Amendment rights, censorship and national/global security? What does company decision making and governance look like in this space? Do these companies even have the technical capability to confidently identify fake videos? Are internal policies enough, or does the private sector require government intervention? Is self-regulation sufficient, or would the landscape benefit from different forms of legal intervention?


Saleela Salahuddin, Cybersecurity Policy Lead, Facebook

Till Daldrup, Training Coordinator, Wall Street Journal

Andrew Gully, Technical Research Manager, Google-Jigsaw

Corin Faife, Journalist, WITNESS


Judi Germano, Distinguished Fellow, NYU Center for Cybersecurity

CLE Materials:

Deep Fakes: A Looming Challenge for Privacy, Democracy, and National Security

Analyzing the Commoditization of Deepfakes

Alphabet-Owned Jigsaw Bought a Russian Troll Campaign as an Experiment

Regulating deep fakes: legal and ethical considerations

Free Speech and the Regulation of Social Media Content

11:20-11:55am: Fireside Chat

A Terrorist’s Tool: Global Implications of Deepfakes & Misinformation for International Security and Human Rights

This discussion will address how terrorist organizations have used–and continue to use–misinformation and deepfakes to advance their agendas, threaten global security and impinge on human rights. The conversation will also cover current efforts, potential solutions, and opportunities for global collaboration to address these concerns.


Mounir Ibrahim, VP of Strategic Initiatives, Truepic, Inc.

Emerita Torres, Director of Policy Research and Programs, The Soufan Center


Matthew Ferraro, Counsel, WilmerHale

11:55am-12:10pm: Lunch

12:10-12:15pm: Awards Presentation

JLPP 2020 Legislation Competition Awards Presented, NYU Law Dean Trevor Morrison

12:15-1:30pm: Panel 2

Legislative Solutions, Individual Rights, and the Question of Government Intervention

A second panel will address larger public policy and legal concerns involved in deepfake video technology. Three states have already passed legislation regulating deepfake videos, and eleven bills are currently pending in Congress. This panel will discuss various approaches to regulating deepfakes and the thorny issues involved, such as privacy, free speech, and civil liberties. Topics will include election security, national security, digital privacy, and constitutional protections.


Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project

Lindsay Gorman, Fellow for Emerging Technologies, Alliance for Securing Democracy

Rob Volkert, VP of Threat Investigations, Nisos

Noah Stein, Assistant Attorney General in the Bureau of Internet & Technology, N.Y. State Attorney General’s Office


Randy Milch, Co-Chair, NYU Center for Cybersecurity

CLE Materials:

Deepfakes laws and proposals flood US

R. 3220

DEEPFAKES Accountability Act would impose unenforceable rules — but it’s a start

Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 902


This event was free of charge.

3.0 credits of New York State CLE in the Areas of Professional Practice category were available. This event is appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys.


Date: March 2, 2020
Time: 9:00 am - 1:30 pm


Venue Name: Greenberg Lounge
Address: 40 Washington Sq. South
New York, NY 10012

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Organizer Name: NYU Center for Cybersecurity
Organizer Name: Journal of Legislation & Public Policy