Vice President Jourová and Senator Klobuchar call for urgent action to protect democracy from tech threats

 Vice President Jourová and Senator Klobuchar call for urgent action to protect democracy from tech threats

RAID reports from the Atlantic Council event in Washington, where European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová and US Senator Amy Klobuchar urged transatlantic and global cooperation to safeguard information integrity in this election year.

At an Atlantic Council event in Washington on 26 March, European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová and US Senator Amy Klobuchar highlighted the critical need for coordinated action to protect democracy from technological threats.

Senator Klobuchar described the situation as a “critical juncture,” demanding immediate action. “Let’s not stand by while our elections are undermined,” she said. “This is a hair on fire moment”

Vice President Jourová underscored the transnational nature of threats to democracy, including cyberattacks, foreign interference, and the rise of artificial intelligence.

“We have to make sure that the elections are fair and free, and that they are not manipulated or somehow damaged by some dirty hidden methods.” Jourová said.

2024 is a “super electoral year” for Europe, with European elections organised in 27 Member States. There are also 10 national elections and many regional and local ones.

Europe has identified a number of threats for which it expects to appear, said Jourová. “Cyberthreats and cyberattacks: so we need our infrastructure to be safe and prepared.”

“Second: foreign interference; and here of course in the European Union, we speak about the Kremlin, which is very successful in creating narratives which can influence the voting preferences of the people, in order to influence the elections in the way that the people in Europe stop supporting Ukraine.”

“The third thing is the appearance of disinformation in combination with AI – in other words, disinformation on steroids, amplified by AI, where we as human beings have a very limited chance to defend ourselves.”

She cautioned against the potential consequences of deepfakes portraying political leaders issuing false commands, which could incite panic and erode trust in government institutions.

The discussion also focused on the role of digital platforms in mitigating the spread of disinformation and election manipulation. Both speakers stressed the need for increased content moderation efforts and resources to combat misleading and harmful online content.

“When I came with this request to label the AI production in July last year, I received mixed answers from the big tech,” said Jourová. “Some said yes, but we have to develop another AI machine to detect the production of AI. Some platforms told me this is impossible.”

“What I heard for instance from Meta was that it’s possible to detect AI when it appears using their system, but when it is produced somewhere else and comes from outside, it’s not that easy. That’s why it’s so important that technological companies now have this horizontal agreement.”

“Today’s discussion shows that these challenges truly cross national borders and it highlights the importance of working with international partners, as we have done in the past, to safeguard democracy across the globe,” said Senator Klobuchar.

European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová is giving a Keynote Address at RAID Virtual on 30 April. Register at