Deepfakes part of new laws targeting explicit content

Graphic about deepfakes. | Newsreel
Deepfakes are captured in new laws governing the sharing of explicit content. | Photo: Arkadiusz Wargula (iStock)

Laws prohibiting the sharing of sexually explicit material have been updated to include deepfakes.

Legislation introduced into Federal Parliament today creates new criminal offences and bans the sharing of non-consensual deepfake sexually explicit material.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the Criminal Code Amendment (Deepfake Sexual Material) Bill 2024 would impose serious criminal penalties on those who share sexually explicit material without consent.

“This includes material that is digitally created using artificial intelligence or other technology,” Attorney-General Dreyfus said.

He said digitally created and altered sexually explicit material that was shared without consent was a damaging and deeply distressing form of abuse.

“This insidious behaviour can be a method of degrading, humiliating and dehumanising victims. Such acts are overwhelmingly targeted towards women and girls, perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes and contributing to gender-based violence.”

Attorney-General Dreyfus said the Bill would strengthen existing Commonwealth Criminal Code offences, and introduced a new aggravated criminal offence to target those who use technologies to artificially generate or alter sexually explicit material, such as deepfakes, for the purposes of non-consensual sharing online.

“These offences will be subject to serious criminal penalties of up to 6 years imprisonment for sharing of non-consensual deepfake sexually explicit material.

“Where the person also created the deepfake that is shared without consent, there is an aggravated offence which carries a higher penalty of 7 years’ imprisonment,” he said.