FEC Chair: FCC’s Political AI Disclosure Rule Will ‘Sow Chaos’


    The FCC is facing intense pushback from the Federal Election Commission regarding its proposal to introduce new regulations on artificial intelligence in political radio ads. FEC Chairman Sean Cooksey says the FCC is directly interfering with the FEC’s exclusive jurisdiction.

    The initiative, announced by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in May, suggests mandatory on-air and written disclosures for AI-generated content in political advertisements on radio and television. However, this proposal appears to be stirring jurisdictional and legal controversies in Washington.

    The crux of the concern, as expressed in a detailed letter to Chairwoman Rosenworcel, centers on an alleged overreach of the FCC’s authority that the Chairman claims would “sow chaos among political campaigns.” The FEC, which is mandated by Congress to oversee the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, maintains that it is the sole body empowered to regulate political disclaimers and communications, backed by previous federal court rulings such as Galliano v. United States Postal Service.

    Chairman Cooksey’s response also highlights the potential for conflict between the FCC’s proposals and existing FEC regulations, particularly in the area of AI usage in political communications. The FEC is already contemplating rules to address new technologies like AI in political ads, suggesting that any preemptive regulations by the FCC could lead to legal disputes and duplicative regulatory efforts.

    Finally, the FEC head skewers the timing of the FCC’s proposed rules. Chairman Cooksey writes, “I am deeply troubled that you reportedly ‘hope to have the regulations in place before the election.’ The general election is in five months. Assuming you do not disregard the procedural protections of notice-and-comment rulemaking, any final rule from your proposal would become effective mere weeks before the election. This would create confusion and disarray among political campaigns, and it would chill broadcasters from carrying many political ads during the most critical period before Americans head to the polls. As a result, your agency would be interfering with and undermining political campaigns and the election. ”

    The letter ends by recommending that any new regulations from the FCC regarding political advertising and AI be postponed until after the November 2024 elections.


    1. What is so difficult about going into a studio, positioning the microphone and camera, turn the recorder on, and prompt the announcer to begin? AI is for hacking up the competition, altering voice and video to “twist” what the opposition is saying, and that is not right. Already being done with some of the Biden advertising but what is new with the most dishonest president in US history…


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