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The EU wants to criminalize AI-generated porn images and deepfakes

Back in 2022, the European Commission released a proposal for a directive on how to combat domestic violence and violence against women in other forms. Now, the European Council and Parliament have agreed with the proposal to criminalize, among other things, different types of cyber-violence. The proposed rules will criminalize the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, including deepfakes made by AI tools, which could help deter revenge porn. Cyber-stalking, online harassment, misogynous hate speech and “cyber-flashing,” or the sending of unsolicited nudes, will also be recognized as criminal offenses.

The commission says that having a directive for the whole European Union that specifically addresses those particular acts will help victims in Member States that haven’t criminalized them yet. “This is an urgent issue to address, given the exponential spread and dramatic impact of violence online,” it wrote in its announcement. In addition, the directive will require member states to develop measures that can help users more easily identify cyber-violence and to know how to prevent it from happening if possible or how to seek help. It will require them to provide their residents with an online portal where they can send in reports, as well.

In its reporting, Politico suggested that the recent spread of pornographic deepfake images using Taylor Swift’s face urged EU officials to move forward with the proposal. If you’ll recall, X even had to temporarily block searches for the musician’s name after the images went viral. “The latest disgusting way of humiliating women is by sharing intimate images generated by AI in a couple of minutes by anybody,” European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová told the publication. “Such pictures can do huge harm, not only to popstars but to every woman who would have to prove at work or at home that it was a deepfake.” At the moment, though, the aforementioned rules are just part of a bill that representatives of EU member states still need to approve. “The final law is also pending adoption in Council and European Parliament,” the EU Council said. According to Politico, if all goes well and the bill becomes a law soon, EU states will have until 2027 to enforce the new rules.


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