Artificial Intelligence: Offences against Children

Home Office written question – answered am ar 21 Rhagfyr 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Bailey of Paddington Lord Bailey of Paddington Ceidwadwyr

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to make (1) the generation, and (2) the possession, of AI-generated sexual images and videos of children a punishable offence.

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government remains firmly committed to tackling all forms of child sexual abuse online and in our communities across the UK and internationally. Our approach is underpinned by the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy which sets out firm commitments to drive action across the whole system.

The law in the UK is very clear with regards to production of child sexual abuse material. It is an offence to produce, store, share or search for any material that contains or depicts child sexual abuse, regardless of whether the material depicts a ‘real’ child or not. This prohibition also includes pseudo-imagery that may have been computer-generated.

Possession of indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment. In addition, the offence of taking, making, distribution and possession with a view to distribution of any indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child under 18 carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.

Home Office investment supports the National Crime Agency to use its unique capabilities to disrupt the highest harm offenders, safeguard children and remove the most horrific child sexual abuse material from the internet, including on the dark web.

The Home Office has recently rolled out new tools linked to our world-leading Child Abuse Image Database to support law enforcement to identify offenders and safeguard victims more quickly. This includes Fast Forensic Triage – a tool that enables police officers to identify known indecent images of children on suspects’ devices up to 100 times faster than before.

In October, the Home Office, in partnership with the Internet Watch Foundation, hosted an AI Safety Summit side event to discuss the growing threat of generative artificial intelligence in tackling online child sexual abuse. As part of the event, the Home Office issued a joint statement on tackling the proliferation of AI-generated child sexual abuse material, with 33 signatories, including tech companies such as Snapchat, TikTok and Stability AI.

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