Proposed Wisconsin bill to address artificially made ‘deep fake’ pornography

Bill to address 'deep fake' porn
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 5:34 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 8:22 PM CDT
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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - There’s a new and disturbing form of ‘cyber-abuse’ that a local senator would like fellow legislators to address right now.

It’s a concern we first told you about a few weeks ago when Brown County Sergent Matthew Wilson told us about the difficult nature of prosecuting so-called ‘victimless crimes’.

Predators use artificial intelligence to manipulate and turn people’s Facebook photos-including children-into pornographic ones. Imagine someone took your photo from Facebook and altered it into a ‘deep face’ pornographic photo using artificial intelligence then sold it; that is legal in Wisconsin.

“They probably got that from your open source, Facebook, Instagram, whatever the case may be. So, they legally possessed it because you put it out on the internet for everybody to see. And that’s legal right? Yes,” Sergent Detective Matthew Wilson from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office said, “We have had cases in the last couple of years with AI generated child pornography, where we haven’t been able to charge out because it’s not against the law to possess that.”

Wisconsin Senator Andre Jacque is circulating a proposed bill for co-sponsorship right now. He hopes it will give people more peace of mind that their online imagines won’t be manipulated into pornography. He also hopes this will give investigators more tools to prosecute.

“When I talk to law enforcement, it’s always frustrating when they look at the statute, and they look at what they believe is a crime that’s been committed, but say, I don’t think there’s anything that we can refer and DA says, I don’t think I can charge anything on this because technically it doesn’t meet these criteria.” Republican Senator Andre Jacque from Senate District one said.

Under current state law, capturing or distributing nude photos without a person’s consent is a felony with a maximum penalty of three and a half years in prison and $10,000 fine.

Jacques proposed legislation that would expand the law to include what are known as ‘deep fakes’. For example, Photoshopping the face of a real person onto an AI generated body.

“So basically, what the deep fakes do is they strip away that sense of security that we have for our own image being used in the way that that it was originally intended, and it allows people to strip that that context out, as well as create any number of implications that are going to be just extremely humiliating or difficult for people.” Jacques said.

Jacque hopes to get this proposed bill referred to the judiciary of criminal justice committees in both chambers. He would like to see it on the floor by the end of the year.

See how Wisconsin lawmakers are addressing a new form of cyber abuse against children.