Australian Government To Criminalise  None Consensual Deepfake Sexually Explicitly Image

Australian Government To Criminalise None Consensual Deepfake Sexually Explicitly Image

By Martin Cole-

The Australian government is taking a bold step to address the rising concern of non-consensual deepfake sexually explicit materials with the introduction of the Criminal Code Amendment (Deepfake Sexual Material) Bill 2024.

Deepfake (the word is a combination of deep learning and fake) media overlays an image or video on an existing image. It uses machine learning and AI to manipulate visuals and even audio, which can make it look and sound like someone else.

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AI deepfakes can be used to manipulate images of politicians to spread disinformation. It can – and has – manipulated pictures of celebrities such as actor Scarlett Johannson into sexually explicit videos

Sensity AI, a research company tracking deepfake videos, found in a 2019 study that 96 per cent were pornographic.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese have condemned such deepfakes as a “damaging and deeply distressing form of abuse,” warranting serious criminal penalties.

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Introduced to parliament and awaiting a second reading, the bill proposes up to six years of imprisonment for those found guilty of sharing non-consensual sexually explicit deepfake content. It also includes aggravated offenses for repeat offenders and creators of such content, with penalties of up to seven years in prison.

These new laws specifically target sexual material featuring adults, while child abuse material will continue to be prosecuted under existing, more severe charges.

Dreyfus acknowledged the challenges in identifying and prosecuting individuals who share deepfakes, primarily due to the anonymity provided by social media platforms.

However, he emphasized that these challenges should not deter legislative action. Technological advancements can aid in tracing and prosecuting offenders, reinforcing the government’s stance that the creation and dissemination of non-consensual deepfake materials must be prohibited.

In conjunction with the new bill, the Australian government is enhancing other initiatives to combat online abuse. Increased funding for the eSafety Commissioner, tackling harmful practices such as doxxing, and revising the Privacy Act to grant greater control over personal data are part of the broader strategy to protect Australians, especially women who are victims of domestic abuse.

The bill is part of a broader effort to tackle Australia’s gendered violence crisis. Discussions for the bill began in May during federal leaders’ meetings focused on this issue. Prime Minister Albanese emphasized the bill’s intent to “keep women safe,” highlighting the alarming increase in pornographic deepfake content targeting women

One Australian victim of deepfake,-Pokimane(pictured)- who has over seven million followers, called on them in a tweet to “stop sexualizing people without their consent. That’s it, that’s the tweet.

Consent activist Chanel Contos, (pictured)who led the Teach us Consent campaign in Australia which culminated in a new national consent curriculum told The Eye Of Media.Com that victims of deepfakes find the experience traumatic.

“Without consent, deepfakes is more than intrusive and really is abusive. Image-based abuse is unacceptable, and the new laws to tackle this is most welcome and well overdue. Strong laws like this is likely to be a deterrent to those who have no empathy and wish to ruin other people’s lives’.

.A 2023 report by social media analytics firm Graphika found a staggering 2000% increase in websites generating non-consensual sexual images using artificial intelligence. The federal government has committed AU$1 billion towards combating gendered violence.

The situation in the UK mirrors some of the issues Australia is addressing, with non-consensual deepfake content and online abuse being significant concerns. While the UK has implemented laws against revenge porn and other forms of online harassment, the rise of deepfake technology presents new challenges.

The UK’s Revenge Porn Helpline has reported increasing cases involving deepfake technology. Current UK laws, such as the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, make it illegal to share private sexual images without consent, punishable by up to two years in prison. However, these laws may not be sufficient to address the specific challenges posed by deepfakes.

Australia’s approach, which includes specific offenses for deepfake content and enhanced technological measures for detection and prosecution, offers a potential model for the UK. The introduction of targeted legislation could provide clearer legal recourse and stronger deterrents against the creation and distribution of non-consensual deepfake material.

Sensity AI, a research company tracking deepfake videos, found in a 2019 study that 96 per cent were pornographic.

US Twitch streamer, Brandon “Atrioc” Ewing, was caught watching AI-generated material of several female streamers.

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