Australia to outlaw sharing ‘deepfake’ pornography

A deepfake is a video of a person in which their face or body has been digitally altered so that they appear to be someone else. (deeptomcruise/TikTok pic)

SYDNEY: Australia’s government has announced new legislation making it a criminal offence to share deepfake pornographic images of people without their consent.

The law, to be introduced to parliament in the coming week, would bring in jail sentences of up to six years for sharing non-consensual deepfake pornography.

The penalty rises to seven years if the offender also created the material.

“Digitally created and altered sexually explicit material that is shared without consent is a damaging and deeply distressing form of abuse”, attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said in a statement late Saturday.

“We know it overwhelmingly affects women and girls who are the target of this kind of deeply offensive and harmful behaviour. It can inflict deep, long-lasting harm on victims.”

The new criminal offence would only apply to adults since children are already protected under separate child abuse legislation.

Countries around the world are grappling with the spread of deepfake pornography – digitally created sexually explicit material, usually generated with artificial intelligence.

In April, Britain said it would criminalise the creation of sexually explicit deepfake images without consent, with plans for unlimited fines and even jail if the image is widely shared.


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