Attorney General Bonta Urges Congress to Quickly Pass Legislation Establishing New Commission to Help Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Through AI

Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 states and territories in sending a letter to Congressional leaders in support of the newly introduced Child Exploitation and Artificial Intelligence Expert Commissions Act of 2024. This legislation, if passed, would create a commission to study the emerging threat of artificial intelligence (AI) being used to exploit children through child sexual abuse material. This abusive material, as the U.S. Department of Justice notes, “creates a permanent record of the child’s victimization.” The expert commission would propose legislation to protect children from those abuses.

“Artificial intelligence is ushering extraordinary advances in all sectors throughout the world, but it is also a tool that poses risks that we must tackle head-on,” said Attorney General Bonta. “As a father, and as the People’s Attorney, I support Congress’ efforts establish this commission to protect our kids. I won’t stand by as AI is used to threaten the safety and well-being of our children. We are all aware of the threat posed by AI, and we can’t allow our children’s safety to fall through the cracks. We have zero tolerance for child sexual abuse of any sort.”   

In September 2023, the attorneys general wrote a letter to Congress urging them to create this commission. That letter stated:

  • AI can be used to exploit children, including by identifying their location and mimicking their voices. For example, with only a short recording of a person’s voice, AI tools can clone the voice and use it to say things the person never actually said. Indeed, scammers have even been able to use AI to aid in fake kidnappings.  
  • Most troublingly, AI tools can create “deepfakes” of children. Deepfakes are fake images or videos that seem real. Among other things, AI can be used to study real photographs of abused children and generate new images showing those children in sexual positions, or to overlay photographs of otherwise unvictimized children on the internet with photographs of abused children to create new abusive content involving both children. 

In sending today’s letter to Congressional leaders, Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A copy of the letter is available here.


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