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Deepfake pre-election robocalls of Joe Biden tracked to a Texas firm

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The Election Law Unit of the Attorney General’s Office in New Hampshire released an update related to the investigation into a malicious robocall campaign that happened before the recent primaries, Ars Technica reports.

The illegal robocalls using a fake voice of President Joe Biden directly encouraged recipients not to participate in the vote. They also illegally spoofed the caller ID information to appear to come from a number belonging to a former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair, the office says, adding:

“This Office immediately launched an investigation into these calls in coordination with state and federal partners, including the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force, which is a bipartisan task force made up of 50 state attorneys general, and the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau. Through these collective efforts, the source of these calls has been identified as Texas-based Life Corporation and an individual named Walter Monk.”

On Tuesday, the Election Law Unit issued a cease-and-desist order to Life Corporation for violating a law that prohibits any person from engaging in voter suppression by knowingly attempting to prevent or deter another person from voting or registering to vote based on fraudulent, deceptive, misleading, or spurious grounds or information.

The voice service provider for many of these malicious calls was Lingo Telecom. In response, the company suspended services to Life Corporation, the office says. The overall number of robocalls was estimated between 5,000 and 25,000.

The Attorney General’s Office in New Hampshire has so far not been able to confirm whether the voice recording was made using the popular voice-generating tool from ElevenLabs. The remark was a reference to Bloomberg’s recent report that ElevenLabs suspended the account behind the recording, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Anyway, if you are interested in the risks of artificial intelligence, you can read our recent editorial in which we discuss, among other things, the technology safeguards and government regulation of popular AI tools.

Image: Pixabay

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