FEB 06, 2024

Attorney General Alan Wilson praises the anti-AI CSAM bills in General Assembly, urges quick passage

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Attorney General Alan Wilson was joined by legislators and the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children in celebrating the filing of two critical bills aimed at protecting children from MPIC (morphed pornography of identifiable children) and AI-generated CSAM (child sexual abuse material).

"AI now is like the Internet was 30 years ago–it's a society disrupter. Technology can be a useful tool, but it can also be incredibly devastating when used the wrong way," said Attorney General Alan Wilson. "Our laws need to keep up with technology, and as a dad of two teenagers, protecting our children from harm is my top priority. I'm very thankful legislators recognize the importance and urgency of passing laws to protect kids from AI-generated exploitation."

MPIC is when an identifiable child's photo is morphed onto a pornographic image through the use of AI, deepfakes, photoshop or apps so that the child appears engaged in sexual activity. It can range from being crude and clearly fake or highly sophisticated where it's hard to distinguish what is real. AI-generated CSAM is virtually generated using images, videos, or other content. It can include identifiable minors, minors, or minors who do not exist. With AI becoming more prevalent and easily accessible, AI-generated CSAM can be created from simple, free apps or more sophisticated editing software. As technology continues to progress and becomes easier to use, MPIC and AI-generated CSAM are easier to produce and distribute than ever before and will only continue to rise.

"Creators and users are one step ahead of the law. These bills give the Attorney General’s office, solicitors, and law enforcement the flexibility they need to investigate and prosecute obscene images of child sexual abuse now and in the future. We have to update our laws to remain effective in prosecuting those who place children in jeopardy," said Senator Brad Hutto. Hutto is the Chairman of the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children and the primary sponsor of the two Senate bills.

"I would like to thank the Attorney General and the Internet Crimes Against Children unit for educating the Committee on these threats to our children and working so closely with us to develop the bill language," said State Representative Raye Felder. Felder is the immediate past Chairman and the primary sponsor of the two House bills.

In September, Attorney General Alan Wilson sent a letter to Congress warning of the dangers of AI-generated CSAM, urging Congress to establish a commission to study AI CSAM, and prompt other states to review and update as needed respective states laws. All 50 states and four territories signed onto the letter. The letter argues, “We are engaged in a race against time to protect the children of our country from the dangers of AI. Indeed, the proverbial walls of the city have already been breached. Now is the time to act.”

 

Read the MPIC bills here (S.995) and here (H.4973).

Read the AI-generated CSAM bills here (S.996) and here (H.4972).

Read Attorney General Wilson's letter to Congress on AI and CSAM here.

You can watch the news conference here.

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