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For Immediate Release:
September 5, 2023

For press inquiries only, contact:
Amanda Priest (334) 322-5694
Cameron Mixon (334) 242-7491

(Montgomery) – As part of a bipartisan 54-state and territory coalition, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall sent a letter urging Congress to study how artificial intelligence (AI) can and is being used to exploit children through child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and to propose legislation to protect children from those abuses.

“AI poses a dangerous new frontier for cybercriminals who will exploit our children by easily generating fake photographs of abused children for their benefit,” said Attorney General Marshall. “My office will continue to actively prosecute cybercriminals who seek to harm our children, but Congress must study this rapidly changing technology as it will make identifying victims and prosecuting criminals more difficult.”

The dangers of AI as it relates to CSAM is in three main categories: a real child’s likeness who has not been physically abused being digitally altered in a depiction of abuse, a real child who has been physically abused being digitally recreated in other depictions of abuse, and a child who does not even exist being digitally created in a depiction of abuse that feeds the market for CSAM.

The letter states, “AI is also being used to generate child sexual abuse material (CSAM).  For example, AI tools can rapidly and easily create ‘deepfakes’ by studying real photographs of abused children to generate new images showing those children in sexual positions. This involves overlaying the face of one person on the body of another. Deepfakes can also be generated by overlaying photographs of otherwise unvictimized children on the internet with photographs of abused children to create new CSAM involving the previously unharmed children.” 

Attorney General Marshall and the coalition ask Congress to form a commission to study specifically how AI can be used to exploit children and to “act to deter and address child exploitation, such as by expanding existing restrictions on CSAM to explicitly cover AI-generated CSAM.” 

The letter continues, “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.” 

Attorney General Marshall has signed-on to the South Carolina led letter and is co-sponsored in a bipartisan effort by Mississippi, North Carolina, and Oregon. They are also joined by Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia. Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisianna, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

You can read the full letter here.