OUR PICKSThe US Election Threats Are Clear. What to Do About Them Is Not | Keeping Federal Data Secure | U.S. Intelligence Is Facing a Crisis of Legitimacy, and more

Published 16 May 2024

·  The US Election Threats Are Clear. What to Do About Them Is Anything But
A Senate Intelligence Committee hearing today saw broad agreement on how AI and other threats loom ahead of the US election—and uncertainty about how to respond

·  RFK Jr. Is Priming His Audience for Election Denialism
Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign—and his life’s work—have laid the groundwork for supporters to blame his inevitable loss on an elite conspiracy

•  Trump Blasts His Trial Judges. Then His Fans Call for Violence.
Experts on extremism say the constant repetition of threatening or menacing language can normalize the idea of violence – and increase the risk of someone carrying it out

·  Violent Threats Surge After Donald Trump’s Attacks on Trial Judge
Online posts call for physical violence — including death threats — against Juan Merchan after the former president called him corrupt

·  Trump’s Attacks on Justice System Are Causing Real Damage, Experts Say
Prosecutors, witnesses and jurors in ex-president’s sights, and it could lead to violence, former federal prosecutors and judges say

·  UK to Deploy New Radio-Wave Weapon Which Can Blast Swarms of Drones Out of the Sky
At 10p a shot, military technology is a cost-effective alternative to traditional missiles, say experts

·  How to Regulate Artificial Intelligence
To everyone from academics and journalists to policymakers and AI researchers themselves, the imperative for regulation seems obvious

·  Keeping Federal Data Secure
Leaks, hacks, and simple mistakes have exposed Americans’ data, in some cases widely to the public, in others to malicious actors and enemies abroad

·  U.S. Intelligence Is Facing a Crisis of Legitimacy
Bad-faith attacks are putting U.S. security in danger

The US Election Threats Are Clear. What to Do About Them Is Anything But  (William Turton, Wired)
On Wednesday, members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee questioned senior national security officials on how they plan to respond to attacks on voting infrastructure and attempts to influence the election using deepfakesgenerative AI, and misinformation. While everyone in the room appeared to agree on what the threats are, senators expressed concern about how exactly government agencies would respond.
In a wide-ranging session, director of national intelligence Avril Haines, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Jen Easterly, and FBI executive assistant director Larissa Knapp focused especially on the wide availability of increasingly sophisticated AI tools that make it easier for more people to create convincing and deceptive fake videos and audio. Senators pressed them on what they would do if one of those AI-generated fakes went viral in the heat of a presidential election.
Committee chair Mark Warner, a senator from Virginia, noted that it’s now easier than ever for other countries to attempt to interfere in elections. “The barriers to entry for foreign malign influence—including election influence—have become almost vanishingly small,” Warner said. “The scale and sophistication of these sorts of attacks against our elections can be accelerated several-fold by what are now cutting-edge AI tools.
He also criticized efforts to downplay the severity of election interference in 2016. “I think there has been some rewriting post-2016 that somehow some of the activities in Russia, or even in 2020 with Iran, that 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.
The hearing covered domestic concerns as well. CISA director Easterly noted that threats to election workers have led to a “wave of resignations.” The FBI’s Knapp said during the hearing that “election workers are being harassed via robocalls, via white-powder letters, as well as swatting.” (Cont.)