Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have yet to file a single case against any individual for using Artificial Intelligence (AI) computer programs to generate Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM) despite multiple federal court decisions affirming such prosecutions under anti-pornography and obscenity statutes, according to a group of 30 House Republicans led by Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.).
"The same report explained that, 'Justice Department officials who combat child exploitation say such images still are illegal even if the child shown is AI-generated, but they could cite no case in which someone had been charged for creating one.' This report is deeply concerning, and we seek to understand what steps can be taken to address this perverted application of AI," Mr. Good continued.
Mr. Good's letter follows a widely publicized Sept. 13 "AI Insight Forum" hosted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the nation's capital that brought together dozens of digital industry executives and experts to sit down with congressional leaders to discuss how regulators should approach the controversial computer program capabilities.
Among the tech industry leaders in attendance were Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly known as Twitter), a pioneer of Space Commercialization, and founder of the Electric Vehicle (EV) Tesla. Also, there were Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, whose firm created and sells ChatGPT.
The issue of CSAM was not discussed during the forum, but Mr. Good is determined to force the issue to a prominent place on the nation's public policy agenda.
"The first reports of AI being used to exploit children for the purpose of generating CSAM surfaced in 2019, when it was revealed that AI could generate obscene, personalized images of minors under the age of 18. The process for generating this disturbing content was simple—a perpetrator merely had to upload a photo of their intended cyber victim, and in seconds, CSAM could be generated. By July 2020, the AI application had already been used to target over 100,000 individuals," Mr. Good told Mr. Garland.
"Congress has a vested interest in this matter dating back to the passage of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974. Since then, Congress has passed additional legislation regarding this issue and acted in conjunction with federal agencies to apply a multi-pronged approach in addressing sexual abuse of children. We are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to take swift action to combat AI-generated CSAM," Mr. Good continued.
Mr. Good asked Mr. Garland if DOJ has "conducted an analysis of available relevant data, such as cyber-tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children" regarding CSAM and whether DOJ has been "inhibited from investigating and prosecuting CSAM due to gaps in current criminal code." Mr. Good also asked Mr. Garland if DOJ will launch an investigation specifically focused on CSAM producers and peddlers.
A DOJ spokesman did not respond to The Epoch Times' request for comment on the Good-led letter and an explanation of the lack of prosecutions of individuals linked to CSAM.