Arkansas Attorney General Joins Coalition Urging Congress to Address AI’s Exploitation of Children

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin’s office recently joined a coalition of state attorneys general urging congress to address the ways in which artificial intelligence may be used to exploit children.

In a statement, Attorney General Griffin said,

AI poses a very real threat to our children. This ‘new frontier for abuse’ opens the door for children to be exploited in new ways, including publishing their location and mimicking their voice and likeness in sexual or other objectionable content.

The bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from across the country expressed concern over how artificial intelligence and “deepfake” technology might be used to generate child sexual abuse material — also known as child pornography.

In 2001 the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 1496 addressing computer exploitation of a child. The law generally makes it a felony to produce or reproduce child sexual abuse material “by computerized means.”

At the time there was serious discussion about how computers and computer software could be used to manufacture child sexual abuse material. Of course, in 2001 very few people could have imagined the artificial intelligence technology that exists today, but lawmakers recognized the need to address the issue — and Family Council supported the good law they passed.

As technology changes and artificial intelligence advances, lawmakers likely will need to enact new legislation to protect children. That is what this coalition of state attorneys general is calling on lawmakers to do.

You Can Read the Coalition’s Letter and Call to Action Here.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

“I Found Pornhub Anyway”

I was ten years old when I watched porn for the first time. I found myself on Pornhub, which I stumbled across by accident and returned to out of curiosity. The website has no age verification, no ID requirement, not even a prompt asking me if I was over 18. The site is easy to find, impossible to avoid, and has become a frequent rite of passage for kids my age. . . . Today I’m 16, and my peers are suffering from an addiction to what many call “the new drug.” Porn is the disastrous replacement for intimacy among my sexless, anxiety-ridden generation.

Homeschooler Isabel Hogben from Redwood City, California, recently wrote those words as part of an eye-opening essay at The Free Press.

Hogben argues that pornography is not free speech and it is not content. It’s a dangerous substance, and it must be controlled like one.

Among other things, Hogben describes how extreme today’s pornography is compared to porn produced in years past. 

She also notes that porn consumption harms adolescent brains that are still developing, and she highlights research that shows pornography’s effects on the brain are identical to drug addiction.

“It’s as much a dangerous substance as illicit drugs,” she writes.

Hogben’s essay — which you can read here — underscores why it is so important that the Arkansas Legislature passed restrictions on pornographic websites this year.

Act 612 of 2023 by Sen. Tyler Dees (R – Siloam Springs) and Rep. Mindy McAlindon (R – Centerton) requires pornographic websites to use age verification to ensure their users are 18 or older.

The law, which took effect on August 1, prompted PornHub to disable access to its website from Arkansas.

Technology has given children unprecedented access to pornography, and Family Council is deeply grateful to Sen. Tyler Dees and Rep. Mindy McAlindon for sponsoring Act 612 and to the members of the Arkansas General Assembly for overwhelmingly supporting the passage of this good law.

Act 612 of 2023 may be one of the best laws that the Arkansas Legislature enacted this year, because it’s going to help protect children in the state from harmful content online. That’s something to celebrate.

You Can Read Isabel Hogben’s Entire Essay Here.

Arkansas Legislature Passes Bill Protecting Children From Pornographic Websites

On Wednesday the Arkansas Legislature officially passed a bill that will help protect children from Internet pornography.

S.B. 66 by Sen. Tyler Dees (R – Siloam Springs) and Rep. Mindy McAlindon (R – Centerton) requires pornographic websites to use a government-issued ID or a commercially available age verification method to ensure their users are age 18 or older.

The bill previously passed in the Arkansas Senate, and was slightly amended before passing in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, the Arkansas Senate voted to concur in the changes the House made.

S.B. 66 now goes to Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be signed into law.

Going forward, this good law will require porn sites to take important steps to prevent minors from accessing pornographic material online.

Websites that violate S.B. 66 could be held liable under the law.

Other states have considered legislation very similar to S.B. 66.

Technology has given children unprecedented access to pornography. Among other things, pornography is believed to contribute to mental health problems.

S.B. 66 will help address this problem in Arkansas.

Family Council is deeply grateful to Sen. Tyler Dees and Rep. Mindy McAlindon for sponsoring S.B. 66 and to the members of the Arkansas General Assembly for overwhelmingly supporting the passage of this good law.

This may be one of the best laws that the Arkansas Legislature enacts this year, because it’s going to help protect children in the state from harmful content online. That’s something to celebrate.