Russia Leads Adversaries Looking to Sway 2024 Election, US Warns

(Bloomberg) -- A growing number of US adversaries, led by Russia, are looking to influence the 2024 presidential election through for-hire commercial firms and the use of generative artificial intelligence, American officials said Wednesday.

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Russia poses the most serious threat in this election cycle, according to Office of the Director of National Intelligence officials, who asked not to be identified discussing non-public assessments.

Moscow likely views the election as an opportunity to pursue its broader goals of undercutting support for Ukraine’s war effort, eroding confidence in democratic institutions and undermining trust in the US more broadly, the officials said.

The intelligence community expects Russia to take advantage of social discord in the US, including college campus protests in support of Palestinians in the Gaza war, the officials added.

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Iran intends to act as an agent of chaos in the 2024 elections, sowing domestic strife and even promoting violence, the officials said. China, at the same time, has taken a more cautious approach so far and is aware of the potential blowback that could accompany election interference, according to the officials.

ODNI’s Foreign Malign Influence Center, which began operating in September 2022, will seek to counter these threats through the use of forensic media analysis. That program seeks to establish whether media is created synthetically or manipulated by foreign operatives through a combination of commercially-available and proprietary intelligence community tools, the officials said.

The center also oversees the intelligence community’s efforts to notify targets of foreign interference as well as to notify the public of emerging threats.

In October 2020, the director’s office warned that both Iran and Russia had obtained US voter registration information in a bid to interfere in that election. Officials accused Iranians of posing as the far-right group Proud Boys to send intimidating emails to voters.

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