Houston-area student accused of creating 'deep fake' explicit photos of teacher, sharing them online
HOUSTON - A student from a Klein Independent School District (KISD) school is accused of digitally altering and creating fake revealing photos of a teacher, then sharing the explicit images online.
Officials from KISD say a student edited a teacher’s face from pictures posted on social media and digitally altered them onto bodies of revealing women. Then, KISD officials say an account was created online that used the deep fake photos of the teacher in a manner that requested money for more sexual images.
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"If you use someone else’s persona to create a website, social media account, or email with the intent to defraud or harm them, it’s the offense of online impersonation," said attorney Matthew Sharp from the Law Office of Matthew Sharp. "Under Texas penal code, it’s a third degree felony. It is a serious crime. If you are accused and convicted, you are looking at some serious punishment."
As technology improves, so does the quality of deep fakes. A deep fake is defined as video of a person in which their face or body has been digitally changed, so they appear to be someone else.
"A lot of the technology is being used, not for the best purposes, but for either pranks, to be mean, or vindictive," said Gary Huestis, Director of Digital Forensics at Powerhouse Forensics.
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According to Huestis, there is not much people can do to prevent becoming victims, other than have an extremely limited digital footprint. However, that still might not be enough.
"Your picture is going to be out there," said Huestis. "There’s really not a lot you can do."
Several different law enforcement agencies are investigating the claims made against the KISD student.
The KISD student received disciplinary action at school from another incident relating to this case. However, additional disciplinary actions could be taken following the investigation.
"Klein ISD does not tolerate verbal abuse towards teachers or staff," said a spokesperson from KISD. "This matter continues to be under investigation as we consult with law enforcement agencies to stop the targeted cyber harassment."