SPRINGFIELDAttorney General Kwame Raoul today announced his legislation to clarify that Illinois’ child pornography laws apply to images and videos created by artificial intelligence (AI) technology was passed by the House of Representatives. The measure builds on the work being done by Attorney General Raoul’s office, in collaboration with state and federal law enforcement agencies, to crack down on child pornography throughout Illinois.

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Attorney General Raoul initiated House Bill (HB) 4623, which is sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, to address the use of AI-generated child pornography. The legislation prohibits the use of AI technology to create child pornography that either involves real children or obscene imagery. The bill also separately prohibits the nonconsensual dissemination of certain AI-generated sexual images. Raoul’s legislation was passed unanimously by the House and now heads to the Illinois Senate for further consideration.

“Child pornography is a reprehensible crime that victimizes children and their families each time images are downloaded or shared. Many victims will spend their lives attempting to recover from the trauma of exploitation,” Raoul said. “As this legislation moves to the Senate, it is critical to remember that in addition to victimizing children, the generation of any child pornography imagery perpetuates predatory behavior that we must stop. I look forward to working with members of the Senate to pass HB 4623.”

Experts from the Attorney General’s office previously testified before a House committee to explain that technological advances have enabled the creation of realistic, computer-generated images and videos of children, and to highlight the ways in which AI-generated child pornography is harmful. When AI technology uses images of real children to generate child pornography, the children who are depicted experience real reputational, emotional and privacy injuries. However, even when the technology does not use images of real children, the resulting child pornography nonetheless perpetuates abusive and predatory behavior.

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“Generative AI - the kind that can create realistic images and even videos - is already cheap or free,” said Gong-Gershowitz. “Disgustingly, this technology is being used to create explicit images depicting children. HB4623 is a vital piece of legislation that will help bring our existing sex offender laws up to speed with this rapidly evolving technology. I thank the Attorney General and his staff for their hard work on this legislation.”

Raoul’s office, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force that investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement agencies. The task force receives CyberTips, or online reports of child pornography, from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Over the last several years, CyberTipline reports have steadily increased. In 2023, reports to the ICAC increased by 46% over 2022.

Illinois’ ICAC Task Force is one of 61 ICAC task forces throughout the country and is comprised of a network of more than 185 local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Since 2019, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has received more than 40,900 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 720 arrests of sexual predators. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 2,010 arrests of sexual predators. The task force also has provided internet safety training and education to tens of thousands of parents, teachers, students and law enforcement professionals.

Attorney General Raoul is reminding the public that child sexual exploitation can be reported online at CyberTipline.com and child abuse at dcfsOnlineReporting.dcfs.illinois.gov. In addition, local child advocacy centers can be found at ChildrensAdvocacyCentersofIllinois.org.

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