FBI Shuts Down Russian Disinformation Campaign That Relied on AI Technology 

By Steve Neavling

Federal prosecutors disrupted an AI-generated Russian propaganda campaign that spread online disinformation in the U.S. and abroad. 

The bot farm, which was backed by the Kremlin and created by Russian operatives, used social media to peddle false information and fake news, the Justice Department announced Tuesday. 

The operation included nearly 1,000 accounts on X that masqueraded as Americans.

It’s just the latest way Russians have spread misinformation in the U.S. 

The mastermind of the bot farm was a deputy editor at Kremlin-owned RT. 

“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,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said. “As the Russian government continues to wage its brutal war in Ukraine and threatens democracies around the world, the Justice Department will continue to deploy all of our legal authorities to counter Russian aggression and protect the American people.”

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the law enforcement action demonstrations that federal investigators “will not tolerate Russian government actors and their agents deploying AI to sow disinformation and fuel division among Americans.” 

“As malign actors accelerate their criminal misuse of AI, the Justice Department will respond and we will prioritize disruptive actions with our international partners and the private sector,” Monaco added. “We will not hesitate to shut down bot farms, seize illegally obtained internet domains, and take the fight to our adversaries.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray said it’s the first time federal investigators disrupted “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,” Wray said. “The FBI is committed to working with our partners and deploying joint, sequenced operations to strategically disrupt our most dangerous adversaries and their use of cutting-edge technology for nefarious purposes.”

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