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House Bill 465 — Sexual abuse, visual representation

House Bill 465 — Sexual abuse, visual representation

Parrish Miller
February 5, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 465 would criminalize the possession of AI-generated imagery that appears to depict a minor engaged in sexual activity.

Rating: 0

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

House Bill 465 would create Section 18-1507C, Idaho Code, to criminalize knowingly producing, distributing, receiving, possessing, or accessing "a visual depiction, including a video or image created using generative AI or machine learning that depicts a child engaging in explicit sexual conduct and is obscene." A violation would be a felony carrying a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

The bill states, "It shall not be a required element of a violation of subsection (1) of this section that the child depicted actually exists."

The bill amends Section 18-1507, Idaho Code, to expand the definition of "sexually exploitative material" to include "computer generated visual material" and material that has been "created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable child is engaging in, participating in, observing, or being used for explicit sexual conduct."

Under existing Idaho code, possessing or accessing "sexually exploitative material" "through any means" carries a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

The bill says that the requirement that the material depict an "identifiable child" "shall not be construed to require proof of the actual identity of the identifiable child."

In relation to these statutes, "child" is defined as "a person who is less than eighteen (18) years of age," and it is unclear how the age of an AI-generated depiction of someone who does not actually exist could be determined. 

Protecting actual children from sexual exploitation through AI is an appropriate act of guarding their rights and innocence. But we must be careful that laws protecting the rights of real people are not construed so broadly that they criminalize digital imagery based on perception alone.


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