10 Apr, 2024 @ 10:49
1 min read

Guardia Civil investigating new case of AI pornography involving minors in Spain’s Mallorca

THE Guardia Civil is investigating a fresh case of the use of artificial intelligence to create pornographic images involving minors. That’s according to sources close to the case, who spoke to news agency Europa Press. 

The story was first broken by online newspaper Ultima Hora, which reported that three minors in Mallorca aged between 14 and 16 years old have been named as official suspects in the case, after they allegedly used real photos of female classmates to create fake sex scenes.

The files were then shared widely via social media and messaging services such as WhatsApp and reached a large number of students at separate schools on the Balearic island. 

Ultima Hora reported that the case was first brought to the attention of the Civil Guard, in the municipality of Felantix, on Saturday, when they were informed by one of the parents of a victim. 

The pornographic images were created using photos of the victims from Instagram, and were reportedly of such a high quality that it was practically impossible to tell that they were not real.

The alleged culprits will be facing child pornography charges, although given that one of the boys being investigated by the authorities is just 14, he is too young to be prosecuted under Spanish law. 

The case in Mallorca is the latest in a line of similar incidents to be investigated by the Spanish authorities. 

In October of last year, a minor was arrested in Barcelona province on suspicion of using artificial intelligence to create child pornography. 

The youngster was thought to have been taking photos of children from his window and then using so-called ‘deep fake’ technology to turn the images into content of a sexual nature. 

Earlier that same month, the public prosecutor in the province of Badajoz opened an investigation into as many as 26 schoolboys for their alleged involvement in the creation and distribution of deep-fake nude photos of female classmates. The number of victims of these AI-generated images was as high as 21.

Police sources issued a reminder that it is a criminal offence in Spain to store child pornography on a cellphone, computer or other electronic device, as well as to share it. If you receive such images, they should be reported to the authorities and then deleted. 

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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