The New Hampshire Department of Justice has exposed Life Corporation and Walter Monk as the culprits behind a misleading robocall campaign that mimicked the voice of U.S. President Joe Biden, instructing New Hampshire voters to abstain from participating in the January 23 primary. The announcement, made by Attorney General John Formella, pinpointed the source of these automated messages to a Texas-based company, Life Corporation, and an individual, Walter Monk, employing an artificial intelligence (AI) deepfake tool to interfere with the 2024 presidential election.
The state’s attorney general’s office has condemned these robocalls as deliberate misinformation, advising the electorate in New Hampshire to disregard the deceptive messages. Deepfake technology, which utilizes sophisticated AI algorithms, has become increasingly capable of generating convincingly realistic digital content, such as audio recordings, videos, and images, that can be difficult to distinguish from genuine content.
Following the detection of these voter suppression efforts in mid-January, the Election Law Unit, in cooperation with state and federal entities including the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau, launched an investigation. A cease-and-desist order has been issued against Life Corporation by the Election Law Unit for contravening the 2022 New Hampshire Revised Statutes Title LXIII, which pertains to election-related offenses such as bribes, intimidation, and suppression. The order compels immediate compliance from Life Corporation, with the unit retaining the authority to pursue further legal action based on the company’s past actions.
Investigators traced the origin of the calls to Lingo Telecom, a Texas-based telecommunications provider, which has also received a cease-and-desist letter from the U.S. FCC for its alleged involvement in circulating AI-generated voice cloning through robocalls. The FCC has demanded an immediate cessation of illegal robocall traffic support by Lingo Telecom.
In light of these events, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed treating robocalls featuring AI-generated voices as illegal, aligning them with the regulations and penalties established under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The proliferation of deepfakes has amplified concerns over AI-generated content’s potential to mislead and manipulate, with entities like the World Economic Forum and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service warning about the risks associated with AI technologies and their use in disinformation campaigns.