Illinois lawmakers push for legislation to combat rise of deep fake crimes

Illinois lawmakers Friday urged Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign into law a proposal aimed at a growing problem posed by computer-generated images.

Women's groups say they're being used increasingly to sexually harass and threaten victims.

"Despite the rise of deep fakes, there are no consequences for bad actors," said State Sen. Mary Edly-Allen (D-Libertyville).

The proposal would allow victims to file a civil lawsuit against those who produced what appear to be intimate images, but are computer-generated deep fakes.


"Digital images can be spread quickly in schools, in workplaces, worldwide with just the click of a button, often causing significant harm to those depicted. Stalkers, offenders, friends of offenders use them or the threat of them to silence survivors," said Sarah Beuning, from the Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The Midwest director of the Anti-Defamation League said lifelike images generated by increasingly powerful computers are also being used by hate groups.

"An ADL survey recently showed that 41% of Americans have suffered from online hate. Twenty-seven percent of them have experienced severe online hate, including sexual harassment, stalking, physical threats, swatting, doxxing and sustained harassment over time," said David Goldenberg.

Supporters of the legislation say it protects the free-speech rights of Illinoisans to produce satire and parody of public figures, while giving victims of fake pornography an opportunity to recover damages.