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Michigan lawmakers pass deepfake pornography ban

Michigan lawmakers pass deepfake legislation
Michigan lawmakers pass deepfake legislation 02:24

(CBS DETROIT) - New legislation in Michigan would penalize people for using technology to create and distribute deepfake pornography. 

"It happens a lot to younger women, girls, students as a kind of bullying technique," said state Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou. "It causes a lot of mental distress; in some cases, financial issues, reputational harm, and even some really severe cases could lead to self-harm and suicide."

In an instance of bipartisanship, the package of bills passed the House earlier this week with a wide margin of 108-2. The bills would make it illegal to create and distribute digitally altered pictures or videos that falsely show sexual activity. 

"Both Republicans and Democrats were really strongly in favor of these bills, which was wonderful. It's really great when you can, you know, have things be nonpartisan and just good policy for the people," Tsernoglou said. 

Republican state Rep. Steve Carra said he was in favor of most of the elements of the bill but ultimately voted against it. 

"This creates an atmosphere to where somebody could have actually been involved in the creation and agreed to the creation of it, but then it gets disseminated in a way they didn't want to, and now all of a sudden, they're saying, 'Wait, wait a second,'" said Carra. 

Carra said he wanted to see the bill allow for verbal consent to create and disseminate the doctored footage. 

"This atmosphere we created, I think, is absolutely way too far. But the concept is 100% a great concept," he said. "To take away the defense that somebody should be able to have is a very dangerous precedent that we need to make sure we don't do, because if we open this up, where is it going to be next?"

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