Skip to main content
Tags: Warner Trump Facebook Russia Disinformation Election

Intel Chair Says US May Be Less Prepared for Election Threats Than 4 Years Ago

Intel Chair Says US May Be Less Prepared for Election Threats Than 4 Years Ago
(AP)

Monday, 03 June 2024 07:02 PM EDT

With only five months before voters head to the polls, the U.S. may be more vulnerable to foreign disinformation aimed at influencing voters and undermining democracy than it was before the 2020 election, the leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Monday.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, based his warning on several factors: improved disinformation tactics by Russia and China, the rise of domestic candidates and groups who are themselves willing to spread disinformation, and the arrival of artificial intelligence programs that allow the rapid creation of images, audio and video difficult to tell from the real thing.

In addition, tech companies have rolled back their efforts to protect users from misinformation even as the government's own attempts to combat the problem have become mired in debates about surveillance and censorship.

As a result, the U.S. could face a greater threat of foreign disinformation ahead of the 2024 election than it did in the 2016 or 2020 presidential election cycles, Warner said.

“We may be less prepared 155 days out in 2024 than we were under President Trump (in 2020),” Warner told The Associated Press in an interview Monday.

Noting similar campaigns in 2016 and 2020, security officials, democracy activists and disinformation researchers have warned for years that Russia, China, Iran and domestic groups within the U.S. will use online platforms to spread false and polarizing content designed to influence the race between Trump, a Republican, and President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

Warner's assessment of America's vulnerability comes just weeks after top security officials told the Intelligence Committee that the U.S. has greatly improved its ability to combat foreign disinformation.

Several new challenges, however, will make safeguarding the 2024 election different than past cycles.

AI programs have already been used to generate misleading content, such as a robocall that mimicked the voice of Biden telling New Hampshire voters not to cast a ballot in that state's primary. Deceptive deepfakes created with AI programs have also popped up ahead of elections in India, Mexico, Moldova, Slovakia and Bangladesh.

Attempts by federal agencies to communicate with tech companies about disinformation campaigns have been complicated by court cases and debates over the role of government in monitoring political discourse.

Tech platforms have largely moved away from aggressive policies prohibiting election misinformation. X, formerly Twitter, laid off most of its content moderators in favor of a hands-off approach that now allows Neo-Nazi hate speech, Russian propaganda and disinformation.

Last year YouTube, owned by Google, reversed its policy prohibiting debunked election claims and now allows videos that argue the 2020 election was the result of widespread fraud.

Questions about China's influence over TikTok prompted Congress to pass a law that would ban the popular site in the U.S. if its Beijing-based owner refuses to divest.

Meta, the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, prohibits information that interferes with elections and says it will label content made with AI. But the company is also allowing political advertisements that claim the 2020 election was rigged, which critics say undercuts its promises.

“I'm not sure that these companies, other than the press release, have done anything in a meaningful way,” Warner said.

Representatives from Meta, X and TikTok did not immediately respond to messages on Monday.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Newsfront
With only five months before voters head to the polls, the U.S. may be more vulnerable to foreign disinformation aimed at influencing voters and undermining democracy than it was before the 2020 election, the leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Monday.Sen. Mark...
Warner Trump Facebook Russia Disinformation Election
539
2024-02-03
Monday, 03 June 2024 07:02 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved