13 U.S. senators unveil bill to crack down on ‘deepfake’ revenge porn

By Around the Web

(Image by Atrakcja from Pixabay)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by The Daily Signal.]

By Jarrett Stepman
The Daily Signal

A bipartisan group of 13 senators unveiled legislation Tuesday to protect victims of digitally altered “revenge pornography.”

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., are sponsoring the Take It Down Act to crack down on the practice of using artificial intelligence tools to create so-called deepfake pornography depicting other people.

“In recent years, we’ve witnessed a stunning increase in exploitative sexual material online, largely due to bad actors taking advantage of newer technologies like generative artificial intelligence,” Cruz said in a written statement. “Many women and girls are forever harmed by these crimes, having to live with being victimized again and again.”

Although “some states provide legal remedies for victims of nonconsensual intimate imagery,” Cruz said, it would help to create a uniform, federal law to aid in “removing and prosecuting the publication of nonconsensual intimate images nationwide.”

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The Texas Republican said the bill would “empower all victims of this heinous crime.”

Emma Waters, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, explained how the deepfake videos work.

“These AI-generated photos and videos, dubbed ‘deepfakes,’ can be produced in a matter of minutes on a multitude of apps and websites,” Waters wrote. “The technology is simple. Anyone can use ‘face swap’ on ready-to-use apps, such as DeepSwap and FaceSwapper, to place someone else’s likeness in a sexually explicit photo or video.”

The Cruz-Klobuchar bill wouldn’t just go after creators of deepfake pornography; it would force websites that publish the material to take it down within 48 hours once notified.

A one-page explanation of the legislation lays out four points about what it would and wouldn’t do.

The bill would criminalize publication of such videos without consent, protect “good faith disclosure” of the videos to law enforcement, require websites to remove the offending material, and is “narrowly tailored” to punish criminal acts without “chilling lawful speech.”

A similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Majority Whip Dick Durbin, but Cruz and Klobuchar have criticized that measure for being too broad in scope.

The Hill quoted Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., one of the senators endorsing the Take It Down Act, as saying that Durbin’s bill would “stifle American technological innovation.”

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by The Daily Signal.]

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