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UK criminalizes distribution of deepfake porn without consent • CableFree TV

Get ready for another UK expansion Internet Safety Bill: Ministry of Justice announced amendments to the law aimed at protecting victims of revenge porn, pornographic deepfakes and other abuses related to the acquisition and distribution of intimate images without consent – in the fight against violence that disproportionately affects women and girls.

The government says the latest amendment to the bill will broaden the scope of current intimate image crimes “so that more offenders face prosecution and possibly jail time.”

Other offensive acts that will become explicitly illegal include “blouse unbuttoning” (where photographs are taken of a woman’s top without consent); and installing equipment, such as hidden cameras, to take or record images of someone without their consent.

The government characterizes the planned changes as a comprehensive package of measures to modernize legislation in this area.

It is also notable for being the first time that the distribution of deepfakes has been criminalized.

Increasingly accessible and powerful AI generating images and videos has led to an increase in deepfake porn production and abuse, raising concerns about the harm associated with this type of AI-enabled technology.

Only this week edge said open-source AI text-to-image generator maker Stable Diffusion has tweaked the software to make it harder for users to create nude and pornographic images, apparently in response to the risk of using generative AI technology to create pornographic images. materials on child abuse.

But this is just one example. Many more tools are available for creating pornographic deepfakes.

From revenge porn to deepfakes

While the UK passed a law against commercial porn back in 2015 victims and activists were warning for years that the regime does not work and requires rethinking.

This has led to some purposeful changes over the years. For example, the government made it illegal to wear “upskirts” through a law change that went into effect. back in 2019. While in Marchit was said that “cyber-flashing” would be added as an offense to new internet security legislation.

However, he has now decided that further amendments are needed to expand and clarify offenses involving intimate images, to make it easier for police and prosecutors to investigate cases and to ensure that legislation keeps pace with technology.

It is acting in accordance with several recommendations of the Legal Commission in its 2021 overview abuse of intimate image.

This includes removing and replacing current legislation with new offenses that the government believes will lower the bar for successful prosecution, including the new predicate offense of publishing an intimate image without consent (so there will be no requirement to prove intent to harm in this case). ). grief); along with two more serious crimes based on the intent to cause humiliation, anxiety or suffering, and for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification.

The planned changes will also establish two specific offenses for threatening to share and installing imaging equipment; and criminalize the dissemination without consent of fabricated intimate images (so-called deepfakes).

The government reports that approximately 1 in 14 adults in England and Wales have faced the threat of sharing intimate images, with more than 28,000 reports of non-consensual disclosures of personal sexual images being filed by police between April 2015 and December 2021.

It also points to a rise in offensive deepfake porn – noting one example of a website that actually strips women naked and received 38 million visits in the first eight months of 2021.

A growing number of UK lawmakers and campaign groups have been calling for a ban on the use of AI to expose women ever since the technology’s abuse emerged. BBC report to one such site called DeepSukebe, which was reported last year.

Commenting on the planned changes to the statement, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Dominic Raab said:

We must do more to protect women and girls from people who take intimate photos or manipulate them to harass or humiliate them.

Our changes will give police and prosecutors the power they need to bring these cowards to justice and protect women and girls from such heinous violence.

Under the government’s plan, the new deepfake porn offenses will place a legal obligation on platforms and services that are subject to new internet safety legislation to remove this type of material if it has been posted on their platforms without consent – at the risk of severe penalties, according to the Internet Safety Act. on the Internet if they fail to remove the illegal content.

Victims of revenge porn and other intimate image abuse have complained for years about the difficulty and disproportionate effort required on their part to monitor and report images that have been posted online without their consent.

Ministers say the proposed changes to the UK law will improve victim protection in this area.

Commenting on another supporting statement, DCMS Secretary of State Michelle Donelan said:

With the Internet Safety Bill, I ensure that tech companies have to stop illegal content and protect children on their platforms, but we also modernize criminal laws to prevent horrendous crimes like cyberflashing.

With these latest additions to the bill, our laws will go even further to protect once and for all the women and children who have been disproportionately affected by this horrendous violence.

It should be noted that the Internet security bill remains on hold while the government is working on draft amendments related to another aspect of the law.

The government has denied that this delay would derail the passage of the bill through parliament – but there is no doubt that parliamentary time is limited. As such, it is unclear when (and even if) the bill will actually become UK law, given that there are only about two years left before a general election takes place.

In addition, Parliament must find time to make the necessary changes to the UK’s intimate image abuse law.

The government has yet to offer a timetable for this component, saying only that it will implement the package of changes “as soon as parliamentary time permits” and adding that it will announce additional details “in due course.”

By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org