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Australia: AG introduces bill prohibiting sharing of sexually explicit deepfakes

On June 5, 2024, the Attorney General (AG), Hon Mark Dreyfus, announced the introduction of the Criminal Code Amendment (Deepfake Sexual Material) Bill 2024 to Parliament. On the same day, the bill was read for the first time.

What are the main elements of the bill?

Specifically, the bill imposes criminal penalties of up to six years imprisonment on those who share sexually explicit material without consent. This includes material that is digitally created using artificial intelligence (AI) or other technology such as deepfakes. Where the person also created the deepfake that is shared without consent, the bill imposes a higher penalty of seven years imprisonment.

Exemptions

However, the provisions of the bill do not apply when:

  • transmitting the material is necessary for enforcing or investigating compliance with laws, court proceedings, or for a genuine medical or scientific purpose; or
  • a reasonable person would consider transmitting the material acceptable, considering:
    • the nature and content of the material;
    • the circumstances of the transmission;
    • the age, intellectual capacity, vulnerability, or other relevant circumstances of the person depicted;
    • the impact on the privacy of the person depicted;
    • the relationship between the person transmitting the material and the person depicted; or
    • any other relevant factors.

You can read the press release here, the bill here, and track its progress here.