The US Election Threats Are Clear. What You Can Do About it is Anything but - Latest Global News

The US Election Threats Are Clear. What You Can Do About it is Anything but

On Wednesday, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee questioned senior national security officials about how they plan to respond to attacks on election infrastructure and attempts to influence the election using deepfakes, generative AI and misinformation. While everyone in the room seemed to agree on the threats, senators expressed concerns about how exactly government agencies would respond.

In a wide-ranging session, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Jen Easterly and FBI Deputy Director Larissa focused in particular on the widespread availability of increasingly sophisticated AI tools that make it easier for more people , produce convincing results and deceptive fake videos and audio files. The senators pressed them about what they would do if one of these AI-generated fakes went viral in the heat of a presidential election.

“I don’t think I have a clearer idea of ​​who is in charge and how we would respond,” said Marco Rubio, a Florida senator and the committee’s vice chairman. “I don’t want there to be a gray area.”

Haines referred to a U.S. government “notification framework” that provides guidance for the release of public information while taking into account the sensitive methods used by the U.S. government to collect intelligence information.

Building on Rubio’s question, committee chairman Mark Warner, Sen. of Virginia, praised the Trump administration’s response after Iran-linked actors posed as “Proud Boys” to intimidate voters. In a then-unprecedented move, within days, senior law enforcement and intelligence officials publicly attributed the impersonation to actors linked to Iran.

Sen. Angus King of Maine called the framework “a bureaucratic nightmare” and pushed for faster disclosure of influence efforts.

“What I want to demand is disclosure of sources when you hear about it immediately,” King said.

Haines responded that the framework may sound “quite bureaucratic” but the government was able to speed up its decision-making process and complete it in just two days.

Warner noted that it is now easier than ever for other countries to try to interfere in elections. “The barriers to entry for foreign malicious influence – including election influence – have become almost negligible,” Warner said. “The scale and sophistication of these types of attacks on our elections can be accelerated many times over by today’s cutting-edge AI tools.

He also criticized efforts to downplay the severity of election interference in 2016. “I think there was some rewriting after 2016 that some of the activity in Russia or even in 2020 with Iran was kind of harmless trolling,” Warner said.

Haines agreed, pointing to Iran as an example of a foreign actor making serious attempts to sow discord among Americans.

“[Iran is] They are increasingly aggressive in trying to foment this kind of discord, promoting chaos and undermining trust in the integrity of the process, and they are using social media platforms to make threats. [and] to spread disinformation,” she said.

And Iran is not alone; The officials gave an overview of other countries seeking to influence the upcoming presidential election. Haines said Russia “remains the most active foreign threat to our elections.”

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