Man Fined Millions Over Biden Robocalls

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

( – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied a $6 million fine against political consultant Steven Kramer, who is accused of sending AI-generated robocalls that mimicked President Joe Biden’s voice during the lead-up to New Hampshire’s presidential primary.

Steven Kramer, a resident of Rockingham County, is also facing charges in several New Hampshire counties for bribery, intimidation, and voter suppression after locals reported receiving these deceptive calls, according to WMUR. These robocalls utilized artificial intelligence to imitate Biden’s voice, discouraging voting by saying, “Voting… only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again. Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday.”

Krista Zurek, a recipient of one of the calls, described her confusion to WMUR, noting, “It sounded like Joe Biden, and I was like, that’s weird, and then as I listened more, I’m like, it doesn’t really sound like Joe Biden.”

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel expressed the agency’s dedication to collaborating with states to tackle such deceptive practices. She highlighted the disconcerting nature of the robocalls in a statement, explaining, “When a caller sounds like a politician you know, a celebrity you like, or a family member who is familiar, any one of us could be tricked into believing something that is not true with calls using AI technology. It is exactly how the bad actors behind these junk calls with manipulated voices want you to react.”

Despite facing significant accusations, Kramer has been unapologetic about his actions, claiming his intent was to expose the need for stricter regulation on artificial intelligence. “Bring it,” he reportedly told investigators, as noted by WMUR.

The creation of the fake audio was quick and inexpensive, taking less than 20 minutes and costing just $1, according to a New Orleans magician involved in the project who spoke to NBC News. He revealed he was paid $150 for his work and showed Venmo payments from Kramer and his father, Bruce Kramer.

Kramer had connections with Dean Phillips’ presidential campaign, although both he and the campaign have denied any involvement with the robocalls, WMUR reported. Financial records from the Federal Election Commission show that Kramer received $259,946 from Phillips’ campaign for ballot access work in December and January.

Kramer, who has been a political consultant for over 20 years, has worked on numerous campaigns, including the 2020 presidential bid of Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, according to NBC News.

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