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Monday, May 20, 2024  
11 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

UK govt planning to criminalise sexually explicit deepfakes

Plans to collaborate with technology companies and social media platforms for this law

The UK government is set to introduce legislation that criminalizes the creation and dissemination of sexually explicit deep fakes.

During an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, a presenter from Channel 4 News, Cathy Newman expressed her deep concern and described the experience of discovering her image being used in a deep fake video as “incredibly invasive.”

According to the recently passed Online Safety Act, the sharing of deep fakes was made illegal. However, the new legislation goes even further by criminalizing the creation of sexually explicit deep fakes, regardless of whether the creator intends to share them or not.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) stated that the offense includes cases where the sole purpose is to cause alarm, humiliation, or distress to the victim.

A law professor specializing in the legal regulation of pornography and online abuse at Durham University, Clare McGlynn highlighted some limitations of the legislation.

She noted that the law will only classify the act as a criminal offense if it can be proven that the person created the deep fake with the explicit intention of causing distress.

The concerns raised by McGlynn highlight the complexities involved in crafting legislation to address the evolving challenges posed by deep fake technology.

The law is robust to hold perpetrators accountable and remains an ongoing process in the fight against deep fake-related abuses.

A former Love Island contestant, Cally Jane Beech spoke out about her personal experience as a victim of deep fake images.

She expressed her support for the new legislation, stating that it represents a significant step toward strengthening the laws surrounding deepfakes and better-protecting women.

Beech emphasized that the impact she endured went beyond mere embarrassment, causing immense harm to her privacy, dignity, and identity. She called for accountability for those who engage in such malicious acts.

The Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper condemned the creation of deep fake images as a gross violation of a person’s autonomy and privacy.

Cooper stressed that this behavior should not be tolerated, highlighting the way technology is being exploited to produce misogynistic content and empower perpetrators of violence against women and girls.

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