US Department of Justice Disrupts Russian AI-Enhanced Propaganda Operation

The US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday the disruption of a Russian operation utilizing fake social media accounts enhanced by artificial intelligence to covertly disseminate pro-Kremlin messages in the United States and globally.

Election Security Concerns

This revelation comes just four months before the US presidential election, a period security experts anticipate will be targeted by hacking and covert social media influence from foreign adversaries. Senior US officials have publicly stated they are vigilant against schemes to disrupt the vote.

Court Actions and Seizures

The Justice Department secured court approval to seize two domain names and investigate nearly 1,000 social media accounts allegedly linked to this operation.

Statement from Attorney General

“With these actions, the Justice Department has disrupted a Russian-government backed, AI-enabled propaganda campaign to use a bot farm to spread disinformation in the United States and abroad,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

Historic Accusation

Tuesday’s action marks the first time the United States has publicly accused a foreign government of using generative AI in an influence operation, according to Justice Department and FBI officials. US authorities have warned that adversaries might exploit the expanding capabilities of AI systems to amplify misinformation efforts.

Details of the Alleged Operation

According to prosecutors, the operation was orchestrated through a private intelligence organization based in Russia, staffed by Russian intelligence officers and a senior employee of the Moscow-based, government-funded news outlet Russia Today (RT). The Kremlin reportedly approved and funded the effort in early 2023.