Mystery company linked to Biden robocalls identified by New Hampshire Attorney General

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On Tuesday, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said a Texas-based telecom company was behind an AI-generated robocall allegedly impersonating President Joe Biden ahead of the state's presidential primary last month.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Formella announced that he had identified Life Corporation and its owner, Walter Monk, as the source behind the thousands of calls and that his office had issued a cease-and-desist letter to the company and filed a criminal case. Has opened. look into the matter. The Federal Communications Commission sent its own cease-and-desist letters to Life Corporation, as well as another Texas company, Lingo Telecom, the alleged voice service provider of the calls.

“It is important to ensure public confidence in the electoral process,” Formella said at Tuesday's press conference. “We are providing this update and information today to reassure the public that we take this seriously and it is one of our most important priorities. “We are also providing this update and information to send a strong message to any individual or entity who would attempt to undermine our elections through AI or other means.”

Formella said between 5,000 and 25,000 of these robocalls were placed before the New Hampshire primary, imitating Biden and discouraging voters from voting. “Your vote will make a difference, not this Tuesday, but in November,” the robocall said.

In January, WIRED reported that two teams of researchers had determined that the call was made with voice-cloning software from AI startup Eleven Labs. The company declined to take responsibility for the Biden clone, telling WIRED that it is “dedicated to preventing misuse of audio AI tools.”

Last week, the FCC floated a new proposal to ban robocalls that use AI-generated voices by updating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the 1991 law that regulates telemarketers. The FCC has used the TCPA in the past to take action against junk callers, including conservative activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Berkman. In 2021, the FCC fined the pair more than $5 million for violating the law after they made calls threatening to release voters' personal information if they voted by mail in the 2020 election.

“Consumers deserve to know that the person on the other end of the line is who they claim to be,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement Tuesday.