Sen. Warner: US is less prepared to secure the 2024 election than 2020

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence chair expressed concerns about foreign intervention this election cycle and chided Biden lawyers for taking a “cautious” approach on social media misinformation.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., speaks during a Trellix-Scoop News Group cybersecurity summit on Feb. 27, 2024, in Washington, D.C. (Scoop News Group photo)

The U.S. is less prepared to mitigate misinformation ahead of the 2024 election than it was during the 2020 cycle, the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said Tuesday.

Citing the expected deluge of misinformation powered by artificial intelligence and some “cautious” choices by Biden administration lawyers, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said he is concerned that this election cycle — which includes more than half of the global population — will face more threats than the last presidential election.

“I am worried that we are less prepared for foreign intervention in our elections in 2024 than we were in 2020,” Warner said during a Trellix and Scoop News Group cybersecurity summit in Washington, D.C.

Warner also noted that during the 2020 election, officials fighting foreign intervention at the Trump administration were “better geared, the team was better placed than I unfortunately believe [we are] right now.” 


Warner pointed to a court case that directed CISA to cease alerting social media companies of posts that are spreading misinformation about the election, following outrage from right-wing provocateurs. Warner also laid blame on the lawyers in the Biden administration more so than CISA.

“I think the administration’s lawyers, frankly, are being way too cautious,” Warner said. “NSA, CISA, ODNI, FBI literally had no communication with any of the social media platforms on election interference since July. And that ought to scare the hell out of all of us.”

Warner said that there are more Americans who have “less faith in our system” such that they might fall for misinformation, disinformation and malinformation. He pointed to a recent case of an AI-generated robocall imitating President Joe Biden that urged Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire to stay away from polls. Authorities have traced the call to the Texas-based telecommunications firm Life Corporation.

Warner said the 2016 election interference campaign by the Kremlin will look like “child’s play” compared to 2024, largely due to the impact of AI increasing the scale and speed of these operations. State and local officials have been sounding the alarm on lax funding and resources to deal with the election amid increasing physical threats and the looming threat of AI.

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