US May Be Less Prepared for Election Threats Than 2020

( – Only five months away from the presidential election, and one senator is warning voters that America may be more exposed and vulnerable than before the 2020 election to foreign disinformation campaigns that may try to influence the results.

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Mark Warner of Virginia was interviewed on Monday, June 3, by The Associated Press and warned that US elections are more vulnerable to disinformation campaigns from foreign nations attempting to influence American voters.

Warner based his position on multiple factors, such as improvements to Russian and Chinese disinformation tactics, groups and domestic candidates who are spreading disinformation, and the development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems that can rapidly generate pictures, videos, and fake audio that can be difficult to distinguish from reality.

Warner told reporters that at “155 days” into 2024, the US “may be less prepared” for such interference than around the same time of the year leading into the 2020 election, as well as the 2016 election. Both of those elections’ results were heavily contested, with Democrats and Hillary Clinton accusing Russia of helping former President Donald Trump win in 2016, and then all of the questions raised about election transparency following Trump’s loss in 2020 and subsequent refusal to accept the results.

On top of foreign tactic improvements, domestic bad actors, and the threat of AI, Warner also notes that big tech companies have rolled back policies on social media platforms and search engines to curtail misinformation and disinformation, which happened amid ongoing debates about the federal government’s own efforts to mitigate the problem by colluding with these private companies. Those debates were especially sparked by the widespread censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 presidential debates.

Warner’s warning also comes on the heels of congressional efforts to ban the social media app TikTok due to its connections with China and concerns about national security risks from the exposure of American users’ data to the Chinese government and those users to potential influence.

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