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Pennsylvania Senate passes a bill to outlaw the distribution of deepfake material

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s state Senate on Monday approved legislation that would outlaw the distribution of salacious or pornographic deepfakes, with sponsors saying it will eliminate a loophole in the law that had frustrated prosecutors.

The bill was approved unanimously and was sent to the House.

It comes as states are increasingly working to update their laws to respond to such instances that have included the victimization of celebrities including Taylor Swift through the creation and distribution of computer-generated images using artificial intelligence to seem real.

Under the bill, one provision would make it a crime to try to harass someone by distributing a deepfake image of them without their consent while in a state of nudity or engaged in a sexual act. The offense would be more serious if the victim is a minor.

Another provision would outlaw such deepfakes created and distributed as child sexual abuse images.

President Joe Biden’s administration, meanwhile, is pushing the tech industry and financial institutions to shut down a growing market of abusive sexual images made with artificial intelligence technology.

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