The Attorney General’s Office Election Law Unit identified the people and entities responsible for misleading voters using AI-generated robocalls that sound like President Joe Biden.
The perpetrator behind the robocall featuring what sounded to many like United States President Joe Biden’s voice instructing citizens in New Hampshire not to vote in the Jan. 23 primary has been revealed to be Life Corporation and an individual named Walter Monk.
In an announcement from the New Hampshire Department of Justice, Attorney General John M. Formella stated that the Attorney General’s Office Election Law Unit identified the source as a Texas-based firm, Life Corporation, that has been caught slinging disinformation before and an individual named Walter Monk.
The automated messages were generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) deepfake tool to meddle in the 2024 presidential election. The state attorney general’s office labeled the robocalls as misinformation, advising New Hampshire voters to ignore the message.
We’re proud to join in this effort to protect consumers from AI-generated robocalls with a cease-and-desist letter sent to the Texas-based company in question. https://t.co/qFtpf7eR2X https://t.co/ki2hVhH9Fv
— The FCC (@FCC) February 7, 2024
AI deepfake tools refer to software or applications that use advanced AI algorithms to create highly realistic and deceptive digital content, such as videos, audio recordings, or images.
The state attorney general identified voter suppression calls in New Hampshire in mid-January. An investigation was initiated in collaboration with state and federal partners like the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force and the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau.
However, the Election Law Unit issued a cease-and-desist order to Life Corporation for violating RSA 659:40, III, which bars voter suppression. The order demands immediate compliance, and the Unit reserves the right to take additional enforcement actions based on prior conduct.
The Election Law Unit investigators traced the calls to a Texas-based telecoms provider, Lingo. Meanwhile, the FCC also issued a cease-and-desist letter to Lingo Telecom for alleged AI-generated voice cloning in robocalls. The letter orders an immediate halt to supporting illegal robocall traffic.
The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Jan. 31 had proposed considering calls featuring AI-generated voices as illegal, subject to the regulations and penalties outlined in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Deepfakes have increased worries about AI-generated content, with the World Economic Forum highlighting the adverse outcomes of AI technologies in its 19th Global Risks Report. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service — Canada’s primary national intelligence agency — also raised concerns about the disinformation campaigns conducted across the internet using AI deepfakes.