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U.S. and allies take down Russian 'bot farm' powered by AI

The effort drove nearly a thousand covert accounts on X

The United States and several allies said Tuesday that they had seized control of a sophisticated Russian propaganda mill that used artificial intelligence to drive nearly a thousand covert accounts on the social network X.

Though governments have increasingly turned to artificial intelligence in the past year to spread messages more widely and credibly, the takedown is unusual because the Western intelligence agencies traced it to an officer of the Russian FSB intelligence force and to a former senior editor at state-controlled publication RT, formerly called Russia Today, as explained in court filings.

In a strikingly detailed joint advisory, agencies in the United States, Netherlands and Canada identified various software programs used to manage the network, including one named Meliorator, which created fictitious users known as "souls" in various countries. The FBI won a court order allowing it to seize two web domains that the operation had used to register the email addresses behind the accounts.


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