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EU Commission’s Proposal: Criminalizing AI-Powered Child Abuse

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EU Commission's Proposal: Criminalizing AI-Powered Child Abuse

The European Commission is considering criminalizing the use of artificial intelligence (AI)-generated imagery and deepfakes depicting child sexual abuse (CSA) in response to technological advancements. The proposed measures aim to update existing laws and include the creation of a new criminal offense for live-streaming CSA. The possession and exchange of “pedophile manuals” would be made illegal. The proposal also addresses AI chatbots used for child abuse. It seeks to update rules from 2011, focusing on mandatory reporting of offenses. These measures are part of a broader package aimed at preventing CSA, raising online risk awareness, facilitating crime reporting for victims, and providing support and financial compensation.

The European Commission’s impact assessment prior to the proposal emphasized the increased online presence and recent technological developments as contributing factors to the rise in child sexual abuse. To tackle online safety risks for children, the proposal urges member states to invest in awareness campaigns. Concerns have been raised regarding the misuse of technology to create child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The artificial content produced through deepfakes and AI-generated imagery further complicates the identification of real victims for law enforcement authorities. This has led lawmakers to review regulations and consider criminalizing these activities. The final decision on the proposals will be made by the European Union’s co-legislators in the Parliament and Council.

Once an agreement is reached on amending the current directive on combating CSA, the proposal would come into effect 20 days after being published in the Official Journal of the EU. The ordinary legislative procedure entails the European Commission submitting a proposal, which the European Parliament (EP) and Council of Ministers can approve or amend. If disagreements persist, both institutions have the option to propose amendments. Negotiations follow, and upon conclusion, both institutions can vote for or against the final version.

In May 2022, the Commission introduced additional legislation that focuses on the responsibility of digital services to employ automated technologies for detecting and reporting CSAM, as well as identifying grooming activity targeting children. The current proposal complements this regulation. There has been a significant increase in awareness regarding the dangers of deepfakes and AI-generated images since the introduction of the private-message-scanning proposal less than two years ago.

4 thoughts on “EU Commission’s Proposal: Criminalizing AI-Powered Child Abuse

  1. It’s time we recognize the severe harm caused by deepfakes and AI-generated imagery in child sexual abuse. I’m glad the European Commission is taking a firm stand against these despicable acts.

  2. We must do everything in our power to fight against child sexual abuse. These proposed measures are crucial to hold perpetrators accountable and protect vulnerable children.

  3. This proposal not only addresses the use of deepfakes but also highlights the importance of awareness campaigns and mandatory reporting. It’s a comprehensive approach to preventing child sexual abuse. 🌍

  4. A commendable effort by the European Commission to update laws and tackle the challenges posed by deepfakes and AI-generated imagery in child sexual abuse. Let’s work together to create a safer online world for our children!

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