‘This is sexual violence’: Ocasio-Cortez boosts bill to tackle AI deepfake porn

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is emphasizing the need for federal legislation that would add protections around the spread of nonconsensual artificial intelligence (AI) deepfake pornography.

In a Tuesday video, Ocasio-Cortez underscored the need for protections, like the bipartisan Defiance Act she is leading in the House, amid a rise in AI-generated nonconsensual porn of prominent figures and regular people.

“This is sexual violence,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the video.

The congresswoman said she has been personally targeted by nonconsensual AI porn. She spoke about her experience and the fight to combat nonconsensual AI porn in an interview with Rolling Stone published in April.

Other prominent figure have also been targets of high-profile incidents of the spread of nonconsensual deepfake porn. Explicit AI-generated images of Taylor Swift that spread online in January highlighted the issue, and the White House weighed in to call it “alarming.”

Ocasio-Cortez said the even more concerning issue is how this is increasingly putting “every day people” at risk of “being targeted by this kind of reputational, sexual violence that is at its core exploitative.”

“And what is even crazier is that right now there are no federal protections for any person regardless of your gender if you’re a victim of nonconsensual deepfake pornography,” she added.

Without protections in place, the White House last week put out a call to action to urge tech companies to make voluntary commitments to disrupt monetization, creation and distribution of image-based sexual abuse.

“You might be asking yourself, ‘Why has this not been treated like the emergency that it is?’  Well, maybe that has something to do with the fact that Congress is over 70 percent male and women’s issue kind of whoosh institutionally around here. But we are ending that today,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

The bipartisan Defiance Act was introduced in March in both the House and Senate.

It would create a federal civil right of action for victims of nonconsensual AI porn to allow them to seek accountability in court.

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