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DOJ: Americans Can’t Hear The Biden-Hur ‘Memory Interview’ Because of ‘Deepfakes’

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonPresident Joe Biden listens during a meeting with Iraq's Prime Minister Shia al-Sudani in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Washington
President Joe Biden listens during a meeting with Iraq's Prime Minister Shia al-Sudani in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Washington - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.06.2024
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is attempting to prevent the release of the audio of the infamous “memory interview” between US President Joe Biden and special counsel Robert Hur, arguing that "deepfakes" may appear as a result.
Hur was investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents he obtained as a senator and vice president. While Hur wrote in his report that Biden likely violated the law intentionally, he declined to press charges because he thought Biden would appear to the jury as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” It also noted that Biden had trouble remembering when he was vice president and which year his son Beau died.
The DOJ issued a filing on Friday that argued “The passage of time and advancements in audio, artificial intelligence, and ‘deep fake’ technologies only amplify concerns about malicious manipulation of audio files. If the audio recording is released here, it is easy to foresee that it could be improperly altered, and that the altered file could be passed off as an authentic recording and widely distributed.”
While the DOJ admits that there is plenty of “other raw material to create a deepfake of President Biden’s voice” available to unscrupulous actors, it argues that if the public became aware that the legitimate recording was released, they would be more apt to believe a fake recording is legitimate.
The filing was first obtained by Politico.
It is not known how the court will respond to the strange reasoning. If a legitimate copy of the recording were released, it stands to reason it would become easier –not more difficult– to disprove fake versions.
As the DOJ admits in its filing as part of its argument that the release of the audio recording is unnecessary, the full transcript of the interview has already been released. It would be trivial for someone with AI experience to use the “raw material” already available of Biden to create a deepfake version of the interview and say it was leaked. A legitimate version being released would make that much easier for other internet users and the media to definitively debunk.
US President Joe Biden - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.02.2024
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The filing also comes after Biden used his executive privilege to stop the release of the tape to House Republicans who had sought to obtain it as part of their investigation into the Biden family. The latest filing was in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The DOJ also argues that the release of the audio would be a violation of Biden’s privacy. However, since we already know what he said thanks to the transcript– and we have no reason to believe that the transcript is incorrect, the only thing that would be revealed is everything between those words. How long did Biden pause before answering? How many times did he stumble on his words? Did he sound confused or angry during the interview?
These are the questions that could be revealed through the release of the audio and according to the filing, the DOJ doesn’t think it is in the “public interest” to reveal the answers, so much so that they are willing to resort to absurd fear-mongering over a new technology in hopes that the judge will be cowed into blocking its release.
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