Justice Department Targets Tougher Sentences for AI-Driven Election Crimes

(LibertySons.org) – The 2024 presidential election is just over six months away. As the fall approaches, federal officials are trying to mitigate the risk of election interference. That includes imposing tougher sentences on artificial intelligence (AI) driven crimes.

On May 13, Deputy US Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the Justice Department is changing its sentencing guidelines for AI election-related crimes. The new technology has made it easier to create deepfakes that imitate politicians and sound like them, allowing bad actors to spread misinformation.

Monaco also mentioned threats to election workers and crimes like swatting. That’s when someone calls to report a violent crime, like a murder, that results in a large police presence responding to an innocent person’s home. Multiple politicians have been the victim of swatting incidents.

The deputy AG said criminals are using new tools that allow them to hide their identities or hide the sources of violent threats. They are also using technology that clones audio or contains altered videos that impersonate trusted people. Finally, the criminals are using online harassment and social media content to “recruit and radicalize” Americans.

Monaco said that when “threat actors use advanced technology […] the Department of Justice will seek enhanced sentences.”

Bad actors have already used deepfakes to target elections. During the Democratic primary in January, an AI robocall that imitated President Joe Biden’s voice called thousands of New Hampshire voters and urged them not to vote. An investigation uncovered it was a New Orleans magician who made the calls at the request of a political consultant who was working for Biden’s Democratic challenger, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN).

Election officials have been demanding the Justice Department take more actions to control the threats they’ve received over the last several years. There are also concerns that foreign actors could use AI to spread fake news and disrupt the election. The Department of Justice hopes the increased punishments will help combat the problems and keep the 2024 election safe.

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