Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Deep Fake Videos

GS-3 Mains Exam : Science and Technology

Revision Notes

Question : Evaluate the challenges deep fakes pose to the integrity of the electoral process in India. How has the Election Commission of India responded to these challenges?


  • Deep fake videos have emerged as a powerful tool for manipulating information.
  • Targets include PM Modi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, singer Taylor Swift, and actor Anil Kapoor.
  • Despite their potential utility, the notorious use of deep fakes overshadows their benefits.

What are Deep Fakes?

  • According to Merriam-Webster, a “deep fake” is an image or recording convincingly altered to misrepresent someone’s actions or words.

Recent Example:

  • Scarlett Johansson claimed her voice from the 2013 film Her was used without consent by OpenAI for the voice ‘Sky’ in its chatbot.

Indian Elections and Use of Deep Fakes:

Integrity of the Electoral Process:

  • The integrity has been based on the ballot box, the independence of the Election Commission of India (ECI), and accurate vote counting since the first general election in 1951-52.

New Challenge:

  • The rise of AI, particularly deep fakes, poses a new threat to the electoral process.

ECI Advisory:

  • On May 6, the ECI issued guidelines to political parties for the responsible and ethical use of social media during campaigns.
  • Political parties are required to remove fake content within three hours of detection.


  • Deep fakes can distort public perception and influence electoral outcomes.
  • The ECI’s proactive measures aim to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process against AI-driven manipulation.

Mechanism to Deal with Deep Fakes in India:

Legal provisions:

    • Information Technology Act, 2000
    • Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021
    • Indian Penal Code, 1860

Indian Penal Code, 1860:

  • Section 468: Forgery of document/electronic record for cheating
  • Section 505: Making/publishing statements to cause public fear/alarm
    • Used against alleged deep fakes of UP CM Yogi Adityanath
  • Section 416: Criminalizes cheating by personation

Information Technology Act, 2000:

  • Section 66(c): Punishes deceptive/misleading electronic messages (up to 3 years imprisonment)
  • Sections 66 & 67: Punish cheating by personation, privacy violation, and transmitting/publishing private images (up to 3 years imprisonment)
  • Useful but lacks comprehensive protection against AI-generated misinformation/deep fakes

No Remedy for External Influence on Elections using AI:

  • Existing laws lack provisions for hostile nations influencing electoral outcomes
  • 2024: Over half the world, including India, US, UK, go to polls
  • UK Home Secretary James Cleverly warned of adversaries like Iran/Russia generating content to sway British elections (Feb 2023)
  • Microsoft warned China could amplify AI-generated content to benefit interests in Indian, South Korean, and US elections (April 2023)
  • Forbes reported Russia aims to influence US opinion against Ukraine and NATO using deep fakes (May 2024)

Need for New Legal Provisions:

  • Battle for electoral integrity and informed public opinion has shifted to the “virtual” world
  • Requires new legal understanding of impersonation and misinformation
  • Europe’s Artificial Intelligence Act, 2024 (effective June 2024) offers ideas for legal regime against deep fakes aimed at “manipulating human behavior”
  • India needs to build on existing laws to craft new provisions addressing AI and deep fakes influencing electoral outcomes


  • Electoral integrity battle has entered the digital world
  • Existing laws inadequate against virtual malice
  • India and the world need specific legal provisions targeting misinformation spread via AI and deep fakes to influence elections

Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic China’s Taiwan Drills

GS-2 Mains Exam : Economy

Revision Notes

China’s recent military exercise around Taiwan is a complex issue with historical baggage and potential for future conflict.

  • China’s Aggressive Display: The drills involved all branches of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) – Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Their focus on “seizing power” around Taiwan sends a clear message of potential military action.
  • Triggering the Drills: The election of Lai Ching Te, a pro-independence figure, as Taiwan’s president on May 20th likely triggered China’s response. Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which Lai leads, as “separatists.”
  • A Cycle of Tension: These drills aren’t new. China has conducted similar exercises in 2022 and 2023. It’s a calculated strategy to intimidate Taiwan’s leadership and discourage them from pursuing independence formally.
  • The Delicate Balance: Interestingly, both sides maintain a precarious equilibrium. Taiwan enjoys a great degree of self-governance (de facto autonomy) despite China’s claim over the island (de jure claim). Taiwan avoids declaring independence to prevent a military escalation that China would likely respond with.
  • Beyond Sabre-rattling: While some see the drills as mere posturing, two factors raise concerns:
    1. Xi Jinping’s Agenda: President Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized “reunification” with Taiwan as a key part of his legacy. He hasn’t ruled out using force, even if it’s primarily political rhetoric for domestic consumption.
    2. China’s Expansionist Aims: These drills are more than just intimidation tactics. They project and assert China’s power in the region. China has a history of territorial disputes with its neighbors and actively seeks to expand its influence in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific as a whole. This expansionism creates significant unease in countries with close economic ties to China.
  • The Bigger Picture: China’s actions reflect a desire to reclaim its perceived past glory. However, this aggressive approach towards Taiwan and other neighbors can destabilize the region. Major powers with interests in the region, like the US, need to carefully monitor the situation and advocate for peaceful resolution.

The situation remains fluid, and the potential consequences of miscalculation are high. Both China and Taiwan need to find ways to peacefully co-exist and avoid actions that could trigger a major conflict.


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