ack Rashmika Mandanna deepfake case: Police track down four suspects

Police have however also clarified that the suspects seem to be the uploaders and not the creators of the deepfake profile. They added that the hunt is on for the key conspirator.

 

File image of Bollywood actor Rashmika Mandanna (Rashmika Mandanna/X)
File image of Bollywood actor Rashmika Mandanna (Rashmika Mandanna/X)

In a new development to Animal actress Radmika Mandanna’s deepfake case, Delhi Police has said it has tracked down four suspects, ANI reported.

Police have however also clarified that the suspects seem to be the uploaders and not the creators of the deepfake profile. They added that the hunt is on for the key conspirator.

Police Investigation

Earlier on November 24, the case hit a dead end as social media platforms said they were unable to give information about the individual(s) who allegedly made the deepfake profiles.

Sources told ANI the accused either removed or deleted their account from social media platforms. Officials said the account could have been created with a fake identity and using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to upload the deepfake videos.

On November 18, Union Minister for Communications, Electronics, and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw said that notices were issued to all social media platforms directing them to take necessary steps to identify and remove deepfake content.

As per officials, the police detained a few suspects. However, none of them created the deepfake video in question but shared the video.

No help from social media companies

The Delhi Police IFSO (Internet Freedom and Safety for Online Users) unit in November sent a letter to Meta (formerly Facebook) but the social media company responded by expressing its inability to provide details of the deleted account.

Sources further told ANI that police are awaiting a reply from GoDaddy (a publicly traded internet domain registry) since a similar profile was made through GoDaddy also.

Case background

On November 6, a modified video of actor Rashmika Mandanna appeared online sparking discussions of digital safety. In the viral video, it can be seen that a woman resembling the actress Rashmika was entering a lift wearing a black swimsuit.

The video quickly went viral and several social media users came forward to confirm that it was a deep fake. It was later identified that the video was of a British Actress Zara Patel.

The actor strongly reacted to the alleged deep fake video and said, ‘I feel really hurt to share this and have to talk about the deep fake video of me being spread online. Something like this is honestly, extremely scary not only for me but also for each one of us who today is vulnerable to so much harm because of how technology is being misused.’

The Delhi Police registered the FIR under relevant sections, and an investigation has been carried out into the matter. They also said a technical analysis is underway to identify the accused involved.
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