Monday, July 22, 2024

US thwarts Russian government-backed disinformation campaign utilizing AI technology, reports Queen City News

Russian Propaganda Campaign Using AI Disrupted – Nearly 1,000 Bogus Social Media Accounts Seized

In a groundbreaking move, the U.S. Justice Department announced the disruption of a Russian internet propaganda campaign backed by the Kremlin that spread disinformation in the United States. The operation, which relied on artificial intelligence, involved the seizure of nearly 1,000 bogus social media accounts.

According to officials, the campaign aimed to sow discord in the U.S. by creating fictitious social media profiles that appeared to be legitimate users, but were actually pushing the agenda of the Russian government. This included spreading disinformation about Russia’s war with Ukraine.

The scheme was reportedly organized in 2022 by a senior editor at RT, a Russian-state funded media organization. The Kremlin provided support and financial approval for the operation, with an officer of Russia’s Federal Security Service leading a private intelligence organization to promote disinformation through social media.

FBI Director Christopher Wray stated, “Today’s actions represent a first in disrupting a Russian-sponsored Generative AI-enhanced social media bot farm. Russia intended to use this bot farm to disseminate AI-generated foreign disinformation, scaling their work with the assistance of AI to undermine our partners in Ukraine and influence geopolitical narratives favorable to the Russian government.”

Among the fake posts highlighted by the Justice Department was a video posted by a supposed resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, showing Russian President Vladimir Putin stating that areas of Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania were gifts to those countries from liberating Russian forces during World War II.

As part of the disruption, the Justice Department seized two domain names and 968 accounts on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The FBI and the Cyber National Mission Force also collaborated with Canadian and Dutch authorities on a joint cybersecurity advisory regarding the social media bot farm.

This recent development underscores the ongoing threat posed by foreign influence campaigns using AI technology to influence public opinion and potentially impact American elections.

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