Cruz Introduces Legislation to Fight AI “Deepfakes”

NRB | June 28, 2024 | Industry News

This week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held a field hearing on ending Big Tech’s complicity in creating illicit “deepfakes,” following the introduction of his bipartisan Tools to Address Known Exploitation by Immobilizing Technological Deepfakes on Websites and Networks (TAKE IT DOWN) Act. 

The field hearing, held in Dallas, Texas, featured witnesses whose lives have been impacted by authentic or “deepfake” (artificially generated) explicit material shared for the purposes of exacting revenge or embarrassing the victim. 

Cruz’s TAKE IT DOWN Act aims to “protect and empower” victims of what is commonly referred to as “revenge pornography” and make the internet safer by criminalizing non-consensual intimate imagery (NCII), including that which is AI-generated. The bill also will require social media sites to remove this type of content after it receives notification from a victim.

The legislation offers four objectives: criminalize the publication of NCII or the threat to publish NCII in interstate commerce, protect good faith efforts to assist victims, require websites to take down NCII upon notice from the victim, and protect lawful speech.

“In recent years, we’ve witnessed a stunning increase in exploitative sexual material online, largely due to bad actors taking advantage of newer technologies like generative artificial intelligence,” Cruz shared. “While some states provide legal remedies for victims of non-consensual intimate imagery, states would be further supported by a uniform federal statute that aids in removing and prosecuting the publication of non-consensual intimate images nationwide.”

With generative artificial intelligence tools now readily available to all internet users, there is an increased need for guardrails to address unintended consequences like identifiable explicit images created without the subject’s awareness or consent. 

  • Read the bill text here.
  • Read a one-page summary of the legislation here.
  • Watch the field hearing here

In 2024, NRB’s Board of Directors issued a resolution on applying wisdom in use of artificial intelligence, writing, “NRB urges Christians to exercise responsibility and wisdom in utilizing AI and other emerging technologies, recognizing the limitations of technological enhancements and interventions, and emphasizing that human redemption and transformation are spiritual goods, not products of technology.” 

NRB also recently submitted a recommendation aimed at maintaining guardrails against explicit content on the OpenAI platform and continues to monitor issues related to the proliferation of explicit AI content and minors’ access to age-inappropriate material. 

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