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New criminal laws to combat sexually explicit deepfakes

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

Legislation introduced today will create new criminal offences to ban the sharing of non-consensual deepfake sexually explicit material.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Deepfake Sexual Material) Bill 2024 will 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.

Digitally created and altered sexually explicit material that is shared without consent is 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.

This Bill will strengthen existing Commonwealth Criminal Code offences, and introduce 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.

The Albanese Government is committed to tackling gender-based violence in all forms.

The proposed new laws would build on other actions taken by the Government, including increased funding for the eSafety Commissioner, advancing the review of the Online Safety Act a year ahead of schedule, and the commitment to address harmful practices such as doxxing and overhaul the Privacy Act to give all Australians, particularly women who are experiencing domestic and family violence, greater control over their personal information.