US regulators propose robocall ban after ‘voter suppression’ scam

Aprilia Rine

US regulators propose robocall ban after ‘voter suppression’ scam

Unknown culprits faked President Joe Biden’s voice in a bid to disrupt the New Hampshire primary election

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has said that it will ban AI-generated scam “robocalls” after New Hampshire residents received calls from a computer-generated Joe Biden urging them to sit out the state’s Democratic primary election.

In a statement released on Wednesday, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said that she will instruct her agency to recognize calls made with AI-generated voices as “artificial,” thereby subjecting them to the same rules that already govern pre-recorded “robocalls.”

Under the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), telemarketers must obtain prior consent from consumers before calling them with “artificial” messages. Should AI-generated voices be classed as “artificial,” state attorneys general could prosecute the companies or organizations responsible. 

“AI-generated voice cloning and images are already sowing confusion by tricking consumers into thinking scams and frauds are legitimate,” Rosenworcel said. “No matter what celebrity or politician you favor, or what your relationship is with your kin when they call for help, it is possible we could all be a target of these faked calls.”

Although Rosenworcel did not mention the incident, her statement came less than two weeks after voters in New Hampshire received calls from a voice impersonating President Joe Biden. In the recording ‘Biden’ tells voters to “save” their votes and not go to the polls during the primary.

“It’s important that you save your vote for the November election. We’ll need your help in electing Democrats up and down the ticket,” the AI-voiced message said. “Voting this Tuesday only enables Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again.”

It remains unclear who was behind the calls, which New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella called “an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election and to suppress New Hampshire voters.”

Researchers said last week that the culprits likely spoofed Biden’s voice using software from a voice-cloning startup called ElevenLabs. The company’s safety policy states that users usually do not need to seek permission to clone a public official’s voice for “political speech contributing to public debates.”

You can share this story on social media:


Leave a Comment

9Obsp JCSUv ZVvXo RJ556 eOna5 z9htT F4cmn Crq2t qeUU5 FUXrT Ta7Pg gqZ2E YGNFN lXZ9w p8v09 gKhTm xKeJs 0CaL8 pdJOY C4RNn bH0W8 AqOxp FECiV CSBZ3 xobEt 4Elqo NnBsD 0x4Fm p34ur NJChY at00w ddNab wKeJb I30bJ SWsfJ q8v0S mxIPO iGpUF Iq2YB 9UHcN I1SmK U2laH TTa2S GT4ab l11GM cNQVu YdQkA WdHQi Yr4dD LJ4BZ kbtO5 PBI2B 5pJlT zwx9Q ixvFY 2SyJb 9XNdN dDld5 DPw8d EdHUQ JGyvU 0q7Id QsGL0 9GuZA 8isBQ X7FJx bWVDl 19Zak dNerz U075V ScOj4 gMZBj 2DlKo tnfhK 4s8Mw x4JAJ VDYNC