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Law Enforcement Braces for Flood of Child Sex Abuse Images Generated by A.I.

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A sign at the entrance to the Department of Justice.

Steve Grocki, chief of the Justice Department’s child exploitation and obscenity section, warned against A.I.-generated child sex abuse images, describing them as “a particularly heinous form of online exploitation.”

Credit: Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times

Law enforcement officials are bracing for an explosion of material generated by artificial intelligence that realistically depicts children being sexually exploited, deepening the challenge of identifying victims and combating such abuse.

The concerns come as Meta, a primary resource for the authorities in flagging sexually explicit content, has made it tougher to track criminals by encrypting its messaging service. The complication underscores the tricky balance technology companies must strike in weighing privacy rights against children's safety. And the prospect of prosecuting that type of crime raises thorny questions of whether such images are illegal and what kind of recourse there may be for victims.

From The New York Times
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