Telegram’s deepfake robot repository has finally caught the attention of the law. The Bombay High Court has asked the government to gather information and prepare a report on the bots, powered by artificial intelligence, which create fake nudes of women using their photos. Using a Hindustan Times report as a citation, the court urged the government to identify if there is any “malice” in the report. These bots are said to have targeted over 104,000 women and a good chunk of bot users belong to India.
The Bombay High Court issued the directive to investigate this report while hearing petitions against the media trial in the case of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. According to a PTI report, the court asked Additional Attorney General Anil Singh to contact the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Supreme Court College, which included Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Judge GS Kulkarni, said: “If you can collect from the ministry what the press media reported … We want you to check the report for malice. Yes. please check with the ministry. “
In the latest biggest controversy involving Telegram, an entire ecosystem of bots, which are powered by an advanced version of the DeepNude software, are responsible for trade in fake nudes at user request. The findings were first reported by Sensity, a security firm that claims to have also informed relevant police authorities about the same case. The report states that these deepfake bots targeted over 104,000 women, whose photos were randomly chosen by social media and shared by users.
This deepfake ecosystem on Telegram is propagated using artificial intelligence-based software that analyzes photos of women to make them appear naked in artificially created images. These manipulated images are created on demand. The service from these bots is free: the resulting images, however, have partial watermarks and partial nudity. To get a full version of these photos – the ones with full visibility – users are required to pay a nominal fee on a subscription basis. A fee of around Rs 100 will give you access to full services for one week.
Sensity said the significant publicity for these deepfake robots came from the Russian social media website VK. Their geographic location survey of around 7,200 users of these bots revealed that around 2% of the users are from India and neighboring countries. The report also mentioned that a “limited number” of the targeted women were minors in July this year.
In India, cybercrime related to the transmission of sexual and explicit material is attempted under Section 67A of the Notice Technology Acting while Section 66E is enforced on offenses involving sharing images of a person’s private area without their consent. Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 354C involve criminal defamation and voyeurism, respectively, according to the Hindustan Times report citing a 2018 analysis.
Telegram is said to be filled with deepfake robots allegedly creating fake nudes of women without their consent.
- The Bombay High Court asked the Center to gather more information about Telegram’s deepfake bots.
- These deepfake robots create fake nudes of many women without their consent.
- Telegram has many channels that are used to circulate these images.