tv Intelligence Agency Leaders Testify on Global Threats CSPAN April 14, 2021 10:27am-12:17pm EDT
that money, use it on other things.g the and so what homeland security secretary minor a told a group of employees in this town hall s is that there were some gaps left in the wall. soen the stop order came through, there were gaps in thea wall that they may have to fillt they don't want to leave the wall.ro i did reporting where the sheriff said, in arizona, theree were about 4 miles of land they built a high speed road. the wall is a system, it's the physical barrier plus usually a highme speed bor road where bor patrol agents can use their vehicles and get to and from different points -- >> we'll leave this program at this point you can watch the rest of it on our website cspan.org. we're live as intelligence agency leaders prepare to
testify to members of the senate intelligence committee on global threats. live coverage here on cspan three. >> the annual threat assessment describes an array of threats we are facing in the coming year, beginning with those emanating from key state actors and starting with china, which is an unparalleled priority for the intelligence community but we also look rat russia, iran and north korea in that context. china is a near competitor challenging the united states in multiple areas while pushing to revise global norms in ways that favor the chinese system. chinese employing a way to show its strengths. including its claims over disputed territory and assertions of sovereignty over taiwan. it also had substantial cyber capabilities if deployed at a minimum can cause localized disruptions to critical
infrastructure inside the united states and while china has a threat to the united states, it's important to note it threatens the ability to complicate in the years ahead. we expect russia will continue to erode influences. while russia does not want conflict of the united states, it's believed they're trying to weaken the united states. and they'll use tools including assassination and arms sales. and it'll use cyber capabilities to threaten the allies. russia is becoming increasingly adapt at leveraging its
technical prowess for options in the military and cyber sphere, to give ability to push back and force the united states to accommodate its interest. turning to iran, tehran is seeking to project power in neighboring statements, minimize threats to stability. tehran will also continue to pursue a military presence in syria, destabilize yemen and threaten israel. and north korea may take a part in destabiliing actions to reshape its security environment and seek to drive wedges between the united states and its allies. this could include the resumption of weapons and missile testing. when it comes to transnational threats the assessment focuses on key issues that intersect with the state actor threats that i just outlined, starting with covid-19. the effect of the current pandemic will obviously continue to strain governments and
societies over the coming year, face fuelling humanitarian and economic crisis, political unrest and competition as countries such as china and russia seek advantage through vaccine diplomacy to build influence and demand sussessions from other countries. countries with high debts face challenging recoveries while others turn inward. the pandemic has also served to highlight the importance of public health to national security. a changing climate will continue to fuel disease outbreaks, threaten food and water security. and although much of the effect of changing climate on u.s. security will play out indirectly in a broader political and economic, context,
warmer weather can have impacts. in addition to driving overscarce natural resources. an economic depravation will drive populations from their homes and increase the risk of political upheavel. the skorj of drugs and crime will continue to take its toll on american lives, prosperity and safety. and narcotics trafficking groups will continue to drive threats while also being used by adversaries employee cyber tools to steal and using complex schemes to launder proceeds undermining confidence in financial institutions. and the preliv ration of technology in our lives pose unique capabilities. there are threats from the
infrastructure and influence threats against our democracy. we need, as you have stressed to us to focus on the competition in technical areas such as high performance commuting, article official intelligence, quantum computing, fiber optics. with regard to global terrorism, isis and al qaeda are the biggest threats. they seek to conduct attacks inside the united states. domestically lone actors pose a greater threat. we see the threat manifest itself in individuals inspired by isis or al qaeda and those who commit acts from goals stemming from other influence such as racial bias. which we refer to as domestic violence extremism or dve, which
is a growing threat in the united states. these extremists see themselves as part of a broader movement and, in fact, a number of other countries are experiencing a rise in dve. australia, germany, norway and the united kingdom considering violence extremists to be the fastest growing terrorist threat they face. and regional conflicts continue to fuel humanitarian crisis, the fighting in afghanistan, iraq and syria has an implication for u.s. forces while tensions between india and pakistan are a concern for the world. the activity of foreign powers in libya and conflicts in if other areas including africa and the middle east have the potential to escalate and spread. asia has military issues, latin america has contested elections,
protests are likely to continue to produce volatility and while africa will see ongoing marginalization of communities, ethic conflict and contentious elections. we face a long array of threats. our increasing interconnected world offers enormous opportunities but at the same time it multiplies our challenges calling us to greater vigilance. as we invest in our people who are the only and best answer to addressing the challenges. i would be remiss not to note a final threat we are tracking, health incidents that have affected a number of our personnel. the intelligence community is taking these incidents very seriously and it is committed to investigating the source of these incidents, pr eventing them from continuing and caring for those effected.
we appreciate the support many of you have shown for our personnel in this issue. we look forward to answering your questions about these and other worldwide threats today. thank you. >> director, that was a list of as many awful things in ten minutes as i may have heard in recent times. i want to drill down on a couple of issues. one, i think in many ways this committee, particularly under the leadership of senator burr was one of the first to really raise the flag around the challenges on 5g. where i believe, my personal belief is, the united states and the west at large were asleep at the switch where now we have a rising china not only having a national champion in the case of huawei but being involved at the
standard setting, rule setting, protocol setting in a way that i think, again, we had not seen in the past. my question is this. the idea that the ic has to become kind of that that ability to look in to where china is rising in a series of technology development, how do we get that -- how do we have that kind of appropriate oversight, i'd like you and maybe director burns to address this question. in many ways this committee by default has become a little bit of the technology committee for the senate and i want to commend folks, we're taking a lead, looking into ai, quantum, looking into all this list of rising technology areas but how does the ic build up that
expertise of being able to monitor china's rise in a variety of technology areas. both you and dr. burns or anybody else wants to jump in, i appreciate it. >> absolutely. so thank you. chairman. i think i'll start and hand it over, obviously. this is an area, obviously, that you've had a lot of interest in, and i know the committee has really helped us think through in a sense, but it is absolutely true that we are focused on this issue, we think it's incredibly important as you indicated and as you note, it's not just about 5g, which obviously is one piece of the puzzle but it's across a series of technology sectors where china is increasingly catching up to us in effect and where we see that they're contesting our leadership in effect in these areas. and the implications are the things i think we can help to supply to the policy community both the pace they are moving but also what are the
implications for national security and what should they be focused on and prioritizing as well as understanding in a sense what the implications are for supply chain and for resilience and how we can actually address these issues. but i think as your question implies, it means that we need to be as smart about technology as any part of the u.s. government and our society. that is something we have been working on in bringing in the expertise that we need to the intelligence community. it's a workforce issue, also retaining that expertise and making sure we have ways to do that. but it's also exchanging and deepening our partnership with the private sector and other parts of the government. in many respects that's a major push we're involved in where we have legislation, thanks to you about public private partnerships other issues we can -- mechanicians that we can use to ensure we're doing exchanges that are deeper than a meeting and having a discussion
and having people go in and out, i think that's a big part of us ensuring that we understand the implications of this, as well as sharing information with the private sector in appropriate ways and obviously lawful and respectful of privacy and civil liberties but critical for us to understand their perspective and for us to share our own perspective in certain ways so that we can actually manage this and help the public and the policy community in particular understand those issues. >> dr. burns, do you want to -- >> yes, sir. i would just add very briefly that i absolutely agree with you that the competition and technology is right at the core of our rivalry with an increasingly adversarial chinese communist party that requires us at the cia to do two things, strengthen our owndirectorates e
focused on tech and cyber issues right now. nearly one third of our officers of our entire workforce are focused on the technology and cyber mission today. so that's a reflection of the priority we need to attach. partnerships are equally important not just across the intelligence community and with the private sector, but also with foreign partners as well. as you know we had some success over the last few years working with foreign partners to help highlight the risk on 5g technology dependency on -- on criminal dependencies on huawei can provide and working with them to find ways we can become more resilient, including on semiconductors as well. >> i think we need to make sure we draw upon all parts of the government, the commerce department, ostp others, our friends on the dod side of the
house. i don't feel we have that one centralized place to make those assessments about china and the vast majority of members of this committee have joined in bipartisan legislation to try to create, in a sense, technology alliances amongst democracies around the world. i think we need that coordinated effort to take on the issues with china. senator rubio? >> about a year and a half ago, a bat virus infected human beings and transferred to something that infected human beings. i don't need to tell everybody what happened since then. a possible answer is this crossed over from an animal to a human but there's another hypothesis which is plausible. that is one that there was an accident at a laboratory. that ended up impacting the world the way we've seen. and there's reason to believe that's plausible. in number one researchers have
demonstrated from their publication record that they were skilled at techniques in which they modified bat coronaviruses in order to create new manmade viruses. second there have been lab leaks documented in china, including one involving the original sars virus. and third, diplomats who visited in 2019 warned of the sub par safety standards they observed. i think it's really a two-part question. i'll start with you, director hanes. we can't conclude that the virus that caused covid-19 came out naturally. and to date, no such path of transmission has been definitively identified. is that -- are those two things
accurate? >> thank you vice chairman. it is accurate the intelligence community does not know exactly where, when or how covid-19 virus was transmitted initially. and basically components have coalesced around two alternative theories, they are it emerged naturally or it was a laboratory accident as you identified. and that is where we are right now. but we're continuing to work on this issue and collect information and to the best we can essentially to give you greater confidence in what the scenario is. but i'll leave it to my colleagues if there's anything they want to add. >> no, sir, mr. vice chairman. the one thing that's clear to us and our analysts is the chinese leadership has not been fully forthcoming or transparent in
working with the w.h.o. or in providing the kind of original complete data that would help answer those questions. we're doing everything we can using all the sources available to all of us on this panel to try to get to the bottom of it. >> i -- i -- i'm sorry, general. >> no, i would add we continue to gather and inform a series of, you know, of pieces that we're looking at working very closely partnered with the ic here and also with a number of other partners in academia as well. >> the second topic i wanted to touch with you, it's really based on your assessment. beijing has been intensifying efforts to shape the political environment of the united states to promote its policy preferences to mold public discourse, pressure political figures whom beijing opposes its
interest and muffle on issues just as religious freedom and suppression of hong kong. we're all aware of disinformation efforts but we make a mistake to not focus on china's growing efforts to involve and engage itself in our political environment here in the united states. different aims perhaps different tactics in some ways but they have every capability that the russians do, and more in many cases, and they are certainly interested in molding public discourse and creating political pressure -- creating pressure on political figures they don't like here in the united states. i was hoping you could further elaborate on that for the benefit of the american public. >> thank you, i'll start and i have a feeling that others will have things to say on this, in
particular director wray spends time on this issue a lot. i couldn't agree more that this is an issue with both china and russia that we are working to try to ensure, frankly, we can educate the american public on these issues. we have within the odni, i'll speak to that for a moment, a national counterintelligence center that focuses on this issue and has done enormous amounts of outreach to the private sector, i know we have worked with your committee to try to have engagements that help to bring this to various sectors to help them understand the degree to which china is trying to influence and also the degree to which they're engaging in counterintelligence activities. it's a top priority for the intelligence community. with you let me hand it over to director wray. >> so i -- i testified previously that i don't think there is any country that presents a more severe threat to
our innovation, our economic security and our democratic ideas. and the tools in their tool box to influence our businesses, our academic institutions, our governments at all levels are deep and wide and persistent. in addition to things mentioned in the threat assessment, i'll highlight one which illustrates the diversity of their tactics. we had an indictment we announced, i think last fall, that relates to the chinese operation fox hunt, which is essentially them conducting uncoordinated, illegal law enforcement activity here on u.s. soil as a means to threaten, intimidate, harass, blackmail members of the same -- that chairman warner mentioned in his opening comments.
it's an indication and illustration of just how challenging and diverse this particular threat is. we have now over 2,000 investigations that tie back to the chinese government. on the economic espionage side alone it's about a 1300% increase over the last several years. we're opening a new investigation into china in ten hours. and i can assure the committee that's not because our folks don't have anything to do with their time. >> senator feinstein? diane? >> thank you. thank you very much. you note, in your statement for the record, that china, russia, iran and north korea have the ability right now to conduct cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and cause temporary disruptions. additionally, in 2019, you
were talking, and i often am talking to ceos, is to focus their cybersecurity more than they have in the past inwardly. the key is how fast you detect the compromise and how fast you remediate it. secondly, the importance of reaching out and coordinating with government, public/private partnership, is at a premium because we often use in the threat context the expression left of boom. you know, we all want to get left of boom. in the cyber arena, one company's right of boom is left of everybody else in the same industry's boom. so we need that first company, and someday you're going to be the first company if you're a ceo, someday you're going to be the second or third company. we need those companies promptly reaching out to government so we can stop of threat of
metastasizing across the industry. >> what investments does the i.c. need to make, what steps do you need to take in order to change this sort of status quo? >> well, i think we're working more and more closely than ever across the ic on the issue, so that level of partnership and integration is going well and continues to improve and is important. but i think the bigger piece is more and more public/private engagement between the ic and the private sector. and i know that there has been discussion about different ways to incentivize the private sector to come forward more quickly and promptly and fulsomely and i think those are key on this issue. >> thank you. >> i would simply add very briefly one of the things i think you both made very clear is while some of these exfiltrated information, they
could have wreaked havoc with our whole economy. senator burke. >> i think of all the partnerships that exist in washington, this committee is one of the most important one we have. a couple observations. the u.s. government technology policy, whether development or deployment, if it exists at all, is stupid. i'm not speaking of the five agencies you represent, because you do technology a whole different way than government. but that doesn't limit the intelligence community which has to do it for their job. dovetailing on senator warner's 5g comment, just a personal observation, i've never seen an issue that came before congress or this country that sderchd a
partner more than 5g. i think we all looked through a tunnel and said five i's is a structure and it's limited to that. when we talk about things that are outside the norm and the future is going to be all outside the norm, why don't we leverage the relationships that we have and realize that all smart people don't exist here. if they did, we wouldn't have a problem with china. so it's not a 5i's problem solution. give me a number in your organization that are vaccinated today. >> i'm not sure i can give you
an approximate percentage. with us, unlike some of the other agencies, our folks are vaccinated in individual states based heavily on those states' pace of rollout of the vaccination. so we have some field offices where we're close to 100% and we have some field offices where we're quite a bit lower. it's uneven but on a good trajectory. >> director burns. >> about 80% of ours is vaccinated today, and another 20% has received the first vaccine shot. in the field, 100% today have the vaccine available to them. >> director haynes. >> 86%, i believe, of our work force has received the first shot, at least, and a fair percentage of that has been vaccinated twice. >> general mocasoni.
>> i don't know if i can give you an exact percentage based upon the fact that outside fort meade, we have obviously had a focus with the department of defense and department of state to vaccinate our personnel. within fort meade, we have focused on setting up our own vaccination site. being both a military and civilian community, we have the opportunity to not only get the vaccine off reservation but also fort meade. >> general, that's exponentially increasing starting last week and this week on joint air force base. thousands are vaccines are coming in and we're taking advantage of that. >> thank you for that, general. observation. there are only three members of the united states congress that served on the intelligence committee on 9/11.
all three of them sit on this committee, senator widen, senator feinstein and myself. the forward to the worldwide report says, isis, al qaeda and its militant allies continue to plot terrorist attacks against u.s. persons in interest. director haynes, were you at the table when the decision was made to exit afghanistan? >> i was at the table for a number of discussions leading up to the decision. i'm not sure that the decision was made in a specific meeting. >> i'll explore additional questions in the closed session as it relates to afghanistan.
we are all focused on these cyber hacks. do you believe that new authorities are needed for you or other agencies to address the defensive mechanisms we need today and in the future, and director wray, do you believe that there are legal changes that need to be made that facilitate either government or the private sector being able to get ahead of what we've seen with solar winds and with microsoft? >> senator, i'm not seeking legal authorities for nsa or u.s. cyber command. my intent and my discussions has always been to state that with an adversary that has increased its scope, scale and sophistication, we have to understand that there are blind spots in our nation today. and one of the blind spots that our adversaies are using is the fact they're utilizing infrastructure by a means we cannot surveil that with what
they're doing. the second piece is what they are noticing in their opening statement. we ever the breadth of an intrusion for the fact that for a number of good reasons, some of them obviously legal, that, you know, much of the private sector does not share this information readily. and so while there is no one solution to what's going on, i think we have to understand the program in totality. >> i agree with general nakasoni. i would just add a few points. i've referenced before the importance of the private sector piece of this, and to the extent there is need for a significant change, that's one of the places the most significant progress could be achieved. the reality is that adversaries try to use you as infrastructure for a variety of reasons, and one of them is to try and blend in with legitimate traffic that
exists there. and the private sector which controls 90% of the critical infrastructure and an even higher percentage of our pii and our innovation has the key dots as part of the overall connecting of the dots phenomenon. i know, for example, the cyber solarium commission noted the brief law, things like that which further strengthen the glue between the private sector and the intelligence community and the rest of the government i think ultimately has got to be the key ingredient to any long-term solution. >> thank you. >> senator widen? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you all for being here. a couple quick questions. we told you, dr. haines and dr. burns, i would be touching on these this morning, and i ask you because i was very encouraged by some of your initial comments about transparency. i think there is an opportunity now to usher in a new set of
rules that give americans information about the basic rules under which the government conducts its operations. so two quick yes or no answers. for you, ms. haines, senator heinrich and i sent you a letter explaining why information related to a cia program need to be declassified. the information is contained in a report from privacy and civil liberties oversight board, and those reports are required to be made public to the greatest extent possible. will you get back to us within 30 days about whether you intend to declassify the information? director haines. >> thank you, senator. we just received the letter and absolutely intend to look at it. i'm happy to get back to you within 30 days to let you know our views on that. i defer to director burns if he has anything further. >> no. i agree. >> very good. along the same lines, director haines, i sent you all a letter
explaining why fisa needs to be declassified. my request would be to get an answer within 30 days. >> understood. thank you, senator. absolutely. >> great. i appreciate that. now, i do want to turn to this question of solar winds, and i want to start with you, general nakasoni, if i might. my concern is that the government's response to this extraordinary hack is just going to be to throw a bunch more money at the same companies that sold the government insecure products that the hackers exploited. and, really, what we're talking about with that approach is cyber pork. now, i also believe that security and liberty aren't mutually exclusive. we can have both. so i was concerned about a recent suggestion you made that the government's ability to detect and stop the solar winds campaign was hampered by the
need to get a warrant before conducting surveillance of the internet. my understanding is the government has the ability now of watching every bit of data going in and out of a solar network, including the solar winds malware. yet the hacking of the federal agencies somehow went unnoticed. what i would like to see is if we can all agree before seeking new powers to surveil the domestic internet, we all ought to be working together, you, dhs, all the agencies, so that more can be done to detect hacking that's going on in our own networks. what is your thinking on that? >> senator, i think you point out really the important piece here, is that there is no one answer to this question. and so as i've talked about, we need the intelligence community being able to see what's going on outside our borders. we need obviously our law
enforcement capabilities to be able to understand what's going on, obviously, within the united states. we need government to be resilient upon which, you know, these intrusions are taking place. the challenge we have right now, though, senator, is what our adversaries is doing is not spear fishing. it's not guessing passwords. it's utilizing supply chain operations. it's using those vulnerabilities that a provider doesn't even know about it. we call that above best practices. when they do that, we need this entire total capability to bring to that. again, i think as we take a look at our capabilities, as adversaries move into u.s. infrastructure to make sure that we can identify them, and be able to alert what's going on, is going to have to be looked at, sir. >> my point is only general. let's look at ways to shore up our own house first before we start talking about approaches that could unravel some of these
sacred constitutional rights that americans feel so strongly about, and i'll follow up with you on this when we're off line. director wray, a question for you. in juli sent you a number of questions related to fbi operations in portland last summer. i asked for responses that i could share with my fellow oregonians that want to know what happened in our state. i want to ask you now, can i have those responses within two weeks? >> we would be happy to try to get a response back to you in two weeks. i have to take a closer look at the specific items. >> one last question, if i might, and i think this would be appropriate for director haines. you and i have been talking about this question of privacy being at the mercy of unscrupulous data brokers. one part of the solution is making sure when the government wants records, it goes through a legal process.
the other is to make sure adversaries can't buy up this data which includes private information for government officials. you said you believed this could hurt national security. would you work with us to keep all of this data out of the hands of our adversaries? >> thank you, senator. so i think we had a conversation, absolutely correct, on commercially acquired information and how it is that the intelligence community deals with it. and i think -- you know, i absolutely agree with you that we need to establish a framework that is clear and that has privacy and civil liberties at its heart and also addresses the functionality of it, so that's one thing, and i believe producing that framework that allows the american public to see what the framework is, essentially, even if they don't have visibility into the particular transactions or what we're doing to push for that.
that's one piece. on the second piece, i agree with you that there is a concern about foreign adversaries getting commercially acquired information as well and i'm absolutely committed to trying to do everything we can to reduce that possibility in the national security. >> i'll follow up with you privately. thank you, chairman. >> thank you, chairman. my first question is for director burns based on your long history of dealing with issues in the middle east. one of the things i found missing from this report, and obviously it's always easy to criticize a product you didn't help produce, but there is an 3fédearth of reference here to the abraham accords which seems to me to change dramatically what's going on in the middle east. and obviously it's a threat assessment, but it seems to me whether a threat is increased or decreased ought to be mentioned in here. could you give me your thoughts
on what effect the abraham accords are having? i think most of us know, but i'd like to get on the record your thoughts of what effect the abraham accords are having insomuch as it's not included in the assessment. >> i think the abraham accords were a very positive step for the united states, for israel and for the wider interests of stability and security in a region in which stability and security are often in short supply. i know it's the intention of this administration to try and build on the abraham accords and expand, you know, the number of countries who are willing to engage and normalize with israel. that's never an easy task, but i think it's a very important one. >> thank you, i appreciate your thoughts on that. the next one is for director haines. your office is prominently on
the front page so i'm going to talk about something that i think needs more for consumption by the american public. on page 20 you talk about the cyber threat. back in the day when this annual threat assessment was done every year, it was a lot easier when we were talking about symmetric threats we face. today we live in an asymmetric world, and with all due respect, i think the cyber world should have been expanded and the threats should have been more underscored than it was. i think our most urgent threats are symmetric rather than asymmetric. could you give me your thoughts on that, please? >> there is nobody that would agree with you month that our
threats are major and critical. the debate centers around whether or not, in a sense to emphasize it more in this section or to do so as we have done in the state actor threat where you'll see that we've identified the cyber threats that are associated with many of the state actors that are sort of the greatest adversaries in this space. so it is not intended to reflect a lack of prioritization or emphasis on it, but rather the fact that it really imbues the entire threat assessment in many respects. sort of pulling on it in different categories is critical. >> i appreciate that, and we know that over the years the threat when it comes to cyber, was mainly non-state actors, but a worrisome trend is more and more were seeing state actors involved in cyber activity that threatens us. i think probably the reason is there doesn't seem to be that
much of a price that they pay for this. and it seems to me that that should be underscored more in the report. your thoughts? >> thank you, senator. i think you're right to indicate that we have as a country, and i think from a policy perspective, we've seen policymakers struggle with how to effectively deter these kind of attacks from state actors or non-state actors. a lot of time has been spent on that and i know you're well aware of it. i think in transactional crime, there is work being done to try to deter it, but whether it's effective, it's not as effective as we'd like it to be. i think dr. nakasoni might have more information on that and
would defer to him. >> this is an instrument of national power now by many countries. one of the things i think our nation has done over the past years is really realize we must be continually involved in this domain in cyberspace. this is what we've learned over the past two elections. we will continually be involved well into the future as we take a look at what our adversaries want to do. >> i appreciate that. i have other questions but we'll save it for the closed session. thank you. >> i think mr. risch is correct and it raises the issue of doing it in a timely manner. >> as we witnessed on january 6, the most serious threat to our democracy sometimes comes from within. last december, over four months ago now, i wrote a letter to fbi director wray and the acting director of dhs's intelligence and analysis office asking for a public written assessment of the threat that qanon poses to our country.
director haines, i want to thank you for following up on your commitment to ensure that we received a response to that letter. on february 11, i did receive a response, but, unfortunately, it was designated for official use only. that means it's not classified but it still cannot be made public. so i spent the last two months working with the fbi to get this assessment downgraded to the public realm with no success. the constitution protects the advocacy of all kinds of beliefs and views, even those that philosophically embrace violent tactics. but the public deserves to know how the government assesses the threat to our country from those who would act violently on such beliefs. that's the public assessment that i asked for. director wray, why is it that you cannot or won't tell the american people directly about the threat that adherence to the
qanon conspiracy theory presents? >> thank you for your question. i think in an effort to get you information about what is, in many cases, ongoing law enforcement investigations, we were trying to give you as much information as we could in a nonclassified way, recognize the complicated things, and my understanding is my staff is working with yours and we should be able to get you a fully nonclassified copy very shortly. we focus on the violence and the federal criminal activity regardless of the inspiration. we understand qanon to be more of a reference to a complex conspiracy theory or a set of complex conspiracy theories on line and set to a movement. social isolation, financial hardship, et cetera all
exacerbate people's vulnerability to those theories, and we are concerned about the potential that those things can lead to violence. and where it is an inspiration for federal crime, we're going to aggressively pursue it. in fact, we have arrested at least five self-identified qanon adherents associated with january 6. >> you are aware that q is really ron watkins, the administrator, the -- and whether or not he is q, he and his father have focused on the qanon phenomenon. given the role qanon did play in the attack on the capitol, what
are the legal repercussions for those who might be primarily responsible for propagating these sorts of dangerous, and in some cases, violent messages in these forums? >> well, i think your question starts to raise different legal theories. we obviously, again, have to be careful to be focused on threats of violence and things that violate federal criminal law. that doesn't mean that rhetoric isn't a societal problem that doesn't need to be addressed, but from the fbi's perspective, from a law enforcement perspective, we try to be very careful to focus on violence, threats of violence and associated federal criminal activity. there may be certain instances where language becomes part of a conspiracy, for example. and there are instances where there are other federal statutes which may be violated. but, again, those are complicated questions which i would refer over to the lawyers at the justice department.
>> so for any of you as a follow-up, i think a few years ago as a nation, we really put enormous effort into understanding the mechanisms by which violent extremists and groups like the islamic state, for example, became radicalized in chat rooms and online forums. are we applying that sort of rigor to the dve radicalization problem? >> so we are using our joint terrorism task forces, which we have over 200 all around the country, to investigate not just the home-grown violent extremists, the jihadist-inspired terrorists but also the domestic violence extremes, and certainly in both cases there are a lot of parallels. you have individuals largely able to connect online. it provides a greater decentralized connectivity, and as i have said before, it's
terrorism today, and that includes domestic violent extremism, moves at the speed of social media. that means recruitment, that means planning, training, dissemination of propaganda, et cetera, all those things that apply and that happen on the jihadist-inspired side. in many cases they're also happening on the domestic violence extremist side. obviously there are, on the violence extremist side, protectionism and legal issues we need to be mindful of, especially in this country. >> senator collins? >> thank you. director burns, let me take this opportunity to thank you publicly for your focus on the medical injuries suffered by the cia and other personnel that are commonly referred to as the havana syndrome. i'm going to have a question for
you on that when we're in closed session, but i did want to publicly thank you and acknowledge your efforts. i want to turn to afghanistan, director burns. our country has already sharply reduced its footprint in this country. there is no doubt that americans are tired of our endless wars in afghanistan, but there are many experts who are warning of the adverse consequences of president biden completely withdrawing our troops and our presence in afghanistan. if, as many experts predict, the taliban will make significant territorial gains once u.s. forces are gone, what would be the implications for u.s.
interests both regionally here at home and globally. if i've directed it to the wrong person, feel free to. >> senator collins, thank you very much for the question, and thank you for your earlier comments. i promised in my confirmation hearing that i take very seriously ensuring that our colleagues at cia but also working with my partners on this panel receive the care that they deserve and that we get to the bottom of the question of what caused these incidents and who might have been responsible. and i look forward to staying in close touch with you on that. i know my colleagues at cia deeply appreciate your personal commitment on this issue. with regard to afghanistan, i'll begin and then turn to director haines. i guess what i would say at the
start is i think we have to be clear-eyed about the reality, looking at the potential terrorism challenge that both al qaeda and isis and afghanistan remain intent on recovering the ability to attack u.s. targets, whether it's in the region and the west or ultimately in the homeland. after years of sustained counterterrorism pressure, the reality is that neither of them have that capacity today and that there are terrorist groups, whether it's al qaeda in the arabian peninsula or other parts of the world that represent more serious threats today. it is also clear that our ability to keep that threat in afghanistan in check from either al qaeda or isis in afghanistan have been fueled by intelligence, by the cia and our other intelligence partners. when the time comes for the u.s.
military to withdraw, the u.s. government's ability to collect and act on threats will diminish. that's simply a fact. it is also a fact, however, that after withdrawal, whenever that time comes, the cia and all of our partners in the u.s. government will retain a suite of capabilities, some of them remaining in place, some of them that will generate that can help us anticipate and contest any rebuilding effort. further, it's a fact that already a number of other variables, i think, involved on that question of rebuilding. it's a role the taliban themselves play. they've been fighting against isis and afghanistan for many years whom they view as a very potent rival. they have an obligation to ensure that al qaeda is never again able to use afghanistan as a platform for external plotting. there is the question of the capacity of the government of
afghanistan with our support to fight terrorists. there is a question of whether or not al qaeda or isis in afghanistan or isis in general seeks to relocate fighters and leaders to afghanistan as well. there is a question in the role that neighbors play who also have a concern about spillover from afghanistan. so all of that, to be honest, means that there is a significant risk once the u.s. military and the coalition militaies withdraw. but we will work very hard at the cia and with our partners to try and provide the kind of strategic warning to others in the u.s. government that enables them and us to address that threat if it starts to materialize. >> i fully agree with director burns' analysis and that is our feeling on this issue. >> thank you.
>> senator king, i believe online, on webex. >> i have a question about the gap in intelligence coverage in our foreign agencies and domestic agencies. solar winds is a perfect example of an institute that is implemented on servers in the united states. how do we deal with this, bearing in mind that it protects american citizens. >> thank you, senator king. i think it's an excellent question and it's one, obviously, that we're struggling with in a series of areas in our discussion of dve, our discussion of cyber, in areas
like maligned influence and so on. i think from at least my perspective, we are working through each of these issues very carefully to ensure that we are complying with the law, that we are within our authorities, that we're doing what we should be doing and taking into account privacy and civil liberties and the questions that are so critical to any time that we are collecting intelligence along these lines and trying to combine, in effect, domestic intelligent sources. in that space trying to then also provide an analysis that gives people the full picture. i think as general nakasoni noted, there are some real challenges we're facing in this area. >> if you see activity of this kind in your work overseas, are you allowed to tell the fbi and say, we think this is happening, you should follow up? >> certainly we are allowed to
do that, and we do that regularly with director wray's folks and they do a good job. senator, if i can lay this out a little bit. it does begin overseas beginning with what adversaries are doing outside the united states. to director wray's point, in the united states it is the public/private partnership. we need to be able to understand that when adversaries come into the united states and use our infrastructure, whether or not it's servers or providers, there is coverage on that. it's also this idea that we understand an intrusion may have taken place, so this idea to understand the data that may be lost and shared is really important. the last point is we need obviously the public and the private industry to have the most resilience possible. so there is a complete responsibility there. but i would offer director wray for his thoughts. >> i'm about to run out of time so let me follow up. i think this is something that bears a lot of discussion and i hope you all will share with us
your thinking of whether we need to change authority or how we fill in this blank spot to maintain our protection for our country. i sent one of your predecessors a simple message. the adversaries on cyberspace, are they determined to launch a cyber intrusion or attack against us? is there an adequate deterrent, or is this something we still need to establish more clearly? >> senator, i'm not sure in terms of whether or not our adversaries feel that necessarily, but here's what i know our adversaries understand that's different today than it was several years ago, that we are not going to be standing by the sidelines not being involved
in terms of what's going on with the cyberspace and cybersecurity. over the past several years, whether or not it's been defending our elections or being able to provide quicker attribution, this is our focus and this has been the focus of the agency and the ic and across our government. >> thank you. i know that i'm out of time. director burns, one question for the record, please. if you could provide an estimate of information achieved over the next decade, i think that will be a significant challenge. how many do you estimate will be on the move because of -- i appreciate it. >> thank you, chairman, and director haines, director burns and general barry, i think this is the first time the three of you have appeared at this
particular hearing, and certainly we're glad and grateful to have you all here. director haines, let's talk a little bit, you and i have talked a little about the overhead architecture issues. part of the development of how you use ai is how much information you have to continually train on. we may talk about that later this afternoon, but for right now, the chinese have announced public plans for 138 satellite commercial constellations that can circle the globe every ten minutes. what is the adversity for us on that and what ability do we have to respond to that, commercial and non-commercial? >> thank you, senator.
it may be useful to have a further discussion about this in closed session, but i think there is just no question as a general matter that china is focused on achieving leadership in space, in effect, as compared to the united states and has been working hard on a variety of different efforts in this area to try to contest what has been presumed our leadership in these areas. and i think for the details, let's discuss in closed session. >> i think we would want to do that and look at both the diversity of what we have up there and how it competes with what they'll have. on a really different question, director burns, you have extensive personal knowledge and experience with putin. how do you assess what he's doing right now near and in the eastern ukraine and the impact that may have?
is this an actual movement? do we think it's a bluff to try to get concessions, a little of both? what do you think about the putin actions right now as it relates to ukraine? >> well, senator, thanks for the question. i think, as i said in my confirmation hearing, most of my white hair came from serving in russia and dealing with putin's russia over the years, so one thing i've learned is not to underestimate the ways in which president putin and the russian leadership, you know, can throw its weight around. i think, and i'll turn to general barrier about this in a moment, but i think obviously the russian military buildup in crimea and alongside the border of donbas is a serious concern. it could be a combination of the things you mentioned signaling a way of trying to intimidate the ukranian leadership signals to the united states, but also the
buildup has reached the point that it could also provide the basis for military incursions as well. it's something that not only the united states but our allies have to take very seriously. i know dr. crane and others have been dealing with allies as well so that we're sharing information, and they share that same concern that we have as well, and that was part fortunate purpose of the president's call yesterday to president putin was to register very clearly the seriousness of our concern. >> we'll probably talk about that more later, too. general barrier, what's your sense of what's happening there and the concerns we should have about it? >> senator, working with our partners in the european command, nato and our q5 partners, the russians have positioned themselves to give themselves options. as we've watched that buildup of forces, they could actually be going into a series of exercises
starting at any time or if they chose to do a limited tack, they may choose that option. i agree with director burns and his assessment of that and we can go into that in more detail in closed session. >> let me see if i can get one more question out of general barrier. we know that the effects of the pandemic had a broad reaction, but they can also see the effect on the military and other places. what do they think about the potential way we respond to similar circumstances? >> sir, the pandemic has given us insights on how we can do our jobs better should this happen again. in terms of readiness of our key adversaries that we watch, i think initially it did have an impact on the readiness of those
forces, although they seem to have overcome that, as an example of what we're seeing with the russians in crimea right now does not appear to be impacted by covid, and we continue to watch that very carefully across the spectrum of foreign military intelligence. >> we look forward to an abundance of questions about ukraine. senator bennett. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you all for being here today. i really appreciate it. in the annual threat assessment, director haines, you wrote that beijing is working to match or exceed u.s. capabilities in space to gain the military, economic and prestige benefits that washington has accrued from space leadership. you also wrote that china has counterspace weapons capabilities targeted to address u.s. satellites. they said russia conducted a test of the anti-satellite missile which if tested on an actual satellite would cause a
large debris field that could endanger commercial satellites and pollute the space. could you tell the american people what we are doing to maintain our superiority in space and what the role of the private sector is in doing that? >> thank you, senator. i would say that -- obviously we'll have a further discussion in closed session, but the private sector has just become increasingly important in our efforts to contest and work essentially against contestations to our leadership in space. excuse me. but what i can say is that we have been working very hard to ensure that the policy community understands and that obviously we support space force in its work to promote, in effect, u.s. leadership in space, and it's been an area where we benefit,
as we've indicated, economically, from a security perspective, from a communications perspective and from the perspective of just understanding an intelligence perspective. all of those things are areas that we want to ensure we continue leadership in this area. >> i look forward to our conversation later. director burns, according to freedom house, democracy has been in retreat for 15 years against authoritarianism and we know that russia and china want to continue that for another 50 years. how do you assess the threats of democracy around the world, and which regions have we seen the most significant democratic retreats, which regions do you consider most at risk and how are our adversaries thinking about this? i probably should have called you secretary burns when i asked this question, but i couldn't
resist. >> thanks, senator, very much. i think the problem of erosion of democracies, as freedom house points out, is a very real one in many parts of the world. those who have established democracies and those where democratic governance is quite fragile. that has partly to do, i think, across the board with questions about the ability of democratic governance to deliver. i think you've seen some of that in our own country. at least in yours we haven't been immune from that at all. the challenge, and i think president biden has emphasized this, is working with other democracies, and i say this as an analytical judgment in the faith of delivering that governance for people. that deprives authoritarian leaderships of an argument they use that somehow authoritarian
systems are better able to deliver. the reality is there is a great deal of resilience in democratic systems, but it's important for all of us that have democratic governments to demonstrate that, to renew ourselves. that's what i found in many years in my previous incarnation serving overseas that we get further through the power of our example than we do through the power of our preaching. i think that's true for any governmental area in the world. and we also talked about technology, and that's something we need to be mindful of, because the proliferations of technology are one tool that authoritarians use to strengthen their grip and make it more difficult for governments to emerge in societies around the world. >> in that context, director wray, fragile societies and the risk that's posed to democracy,
i wonder if you could share with the american people what you have learned about the intersection of social media platforms and domestic violent extremists and what the american people can do to be more canny users of those platforms. what should they be looking for? >> certainly social media has become, in many ways, the key amplifier to domestic violent extremism just as it has for maligned foreign influence which we've discussed at great length to this committee as well. it provides a level of -- the same things that attract people to it for good reasons also can cause a lot of harms that we're trying to entrust the american people against. it creates speed, dissemination, efficiency, accessibility, a
level of decentralized connectivity. i think i would say that both with respect to maligned foreign influence and with respect to domestic violent extremism, people need to understand better what information is that they're reading. a greater level of discerning skepticism is a crucial ingredient not just to protect against foreign misinformation but also violent extremism. there is all sorts of stuff out there on the internet that poses as fact which just isn't. there is all kinds of connectivity between like-minded individuals which blocks out other voices which creates a sort of echo chamber effect, and especially with the isolation caused by covid increases our public's susceptibility to some of the same kind of ills we've discussed at great length. so social media can bring great
good to society, but it is also a platform for all kinds of security challenges we're trying to counter. >> senator corman? >> general nakasoni and the recent hearing we've had on the solar winds hack, the notification of victims by hacking was raised, and i believe senator collins has advocated for a long time in a piece of legislation that victims of cyberattacks notify the federal government in some manner to provide context and complete knowledge of sort of what's out there. it seems to me that otherwise we're looking through a soda straw at some of the threats. do you think --
>> senator, as we were discussing this morning, i think to understand the breadth of any intrusion in the united states we'll have to have some means of what we understand has taken place. obviously the policymakers and yourselves will determine that, but i think that's a key component of it as well. >> that will help you and cyber command and nsa do a better job? >> certainly within the united states, responsibility obviously rests with the federal bureau of investigation. >> i beg your pardon. director wray, what do you say? >> we were very, i think, enthusiastic about the recommendation from the cyber solarium that speaks to this issue. as i said before, the private sector controls many of the dots on all manner of cyber threats, and it's important to think of the private sector not in just one broad category, there are
two big groups relevant to this issue and why they go straight to the heart of your question. i put them in two buckets. one, there's the providers, so the cybersecurity industry, the i.t. industry, et cetera, they have a unique visibility into how they network. making sure the glue is there is critical. but then there's also the victims. the reality is that most offenders are going to come back to victims again, most cyber actors are coming back and most victims will be popping up again. you have repeat offenders and repeat victims. so their hard drives, their logs, their servers provide key technical dots to who is compromising them, how they're being compromised and this is the key, who might be targeted next. that gets back to my point before about why the private sector outreach is so important. one company reaching out to us promptly after they've been
compromised means that all the rest of the companies that are likely to be the next ones hit, we might be able to get in front of it. so if you think about the scale of the dots that are in the private sector, i think that's the piece of this. it doesn't mean there aren't other tweaks here and there in terms of authorities, things like that, but ultimately, for the united states which doesn't have state-owned enterprises all over the place to protect against this problem, we really have to solve this public/private partnership issue. >> director haines, the issue of supply chain vulnerability is high on congress' agenda and certainly on everybody's mind, but i don't really have a clear understanding of how good a handle the intelligence community has on what those supply chains that are critical to our national security look like, and we clearly need the help of the intelligence community to help congress, the
policymaker, sort of rack and stack what are the most urgent priorities. semiconductors are certainly one that's on everybody's mind, but other -- do you think the intelligence committee has a good handle on those so you could help congress prioritize those so we could attack them from a policy perspective? >> yeah. i think frankly this is an area where we're doing a lot of work. as you indicate, semiconductors are the obvious one, but there are a lot of others. we've been working through elements and other key areas where there might be a contestation from other countries such as china to our ability to get access to things that are critical to our national security and where we need to promote an effort, in a sense, from the policy community to pay attention to it and to recognize where there are vulnerabilities and how to address them over time. this is -- the piece that i find particularly interesting is, to your point, how do you
prioritize, because there is just an enormous amount of things you could look at to say we need to have a resilient supply chain on to work on and promote. we've tried to provide the intelligence community what are priorities in a sense, but obviously there are decisions to be made from the policy community with where are you prioritizing, where do you want to focus in a sense, and we ever been building up an infrastructure that allows us to then focus to sort of make sure we can both track it but also provide kind of options for where you might be able to pull, essentially, supplies from -- that are not the ones you are pulling in order to have that kind of resilience built in. >> thank you. >> senator casey? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank all three directors and the two generals who are with us today and to commend you for your public service. i wanted to start with director haines and probably most of my question or two would be
directed at director haines, but certainly others may have a view on the issues i'm raising. i want to talk in particular about supply chains which we've heard a lot about this year, and this idea of outbound versus inbound investment by u.s. companies in that context. we know that on march 19, the economic review commission held a hearing to examine how u.s. capital investment props up the chinese government's military civil fusion strategy and ultimately compromises u.s. national security. some witnesses made reference to the committee known by the acronym cifias, the committee on foreign investment which, for
decades now, has reviewed inbound investment, but there is nothing comparable for outbound investment in terms of review as to as to the national security indication of foreign investments that are made overseas. so because we don't have that is outgoing to countries of concern, we could have national security implications. i've engaged senator cornyn. i'm developing a similar interagency committee to review outbound investment of what we call in the legislation i'm working on critical capabilities to foreign adversaries or nonmarket economies like china. so director, maybe two initial questions. currently how does the ic work with its partners to assess and
mitigate the activities of foreign intelligence services and other adversaries attempting to compromise u.s. supply chains? >> thank you, senator. so it's really important and interesting question, and i think just to maybe take them apart. on the issue of outbound and outsourcing, how are we positioned? i think from my perspective, i've had a number of calls now with my counterparts and kind of coming into the job. i think you would be surprised by how many of them in allies and partnership countries are interested in talking about this issue. and one of the things that we are doing in -- throughout the intelligence community and i think director burns may have thoughts on this as well is promoting conversations between our intelligence services in order to understand what they're seeing in this space as well and being able to provide that, therefore, to our policy makers
as here is what we are seeing with respect to these issues that we know are critical for supply chain issues and here's where we're seeing outsourcing and outbound investments. the second thing i think is interesting and you may already know this, but we're certainly lifting it up in a sense, is how many other countries are starting to do cifius-like processes. canada has a law that effectively allows them to review investments. and it's another reason for why i think our counterparts are talking to us about this issue. they're looking to figure out how does the intelligence community support our process. are there ways in which they can do the same. i think that can get to the information you're describing on the inbound and outbound side of things. let me see if rick brings us anything. >> i agree. i think there are plenty of models on the outbound side that have worked where we are deepen our partnerships with other
governments that have a real stake in taking a very careful look at some of the outbound matters. >> thank you. that's helpful. just finally, the last question on this would be does the ic view the chinese government, chinese communityist parties civil and military fusion agenda as a risk currently to u.s. supply chains? >> i think it is -- there is no question that the chinese have an advantage in some respects through their civil military fusion approach to things. they're capable as a consequence of directing in effect their private sector in ways we do not do, and i think that provides a short-term advantage. but i think it might be not a long-term advantage in the sense that i think the way we structure ourselves makes us capable of having flexibility that over times sustains our private market in the ways if chinese market doesn't have.
>> the vote started but we're trying to get the -- senator sass? >> thank you, chairman. thanks to the five of you for being here as well. the american people are blessed to have an ic that's has serious as ours is. we have a lot of -- we have a ga still yan patriots. and the five of you care deeply about the mission and about leading those folks and celebrating them. i want to say since most of our time in this committee is spent in oversight capacity which is in private, we don't get the chance to say in front of the american people enough, thank you to the entire intelligence community and particularly the five of you who are leaders. director, i also want to praise your statement. i think that your opening statement on behalf of the community today was incredibly strong. i want to highlight a couple pieces. i would admit in a way i'm riffing on where the chairman opened. that when you do an around the world threat assessment of what the challenges are that we face and i think marco, the vice
chairman said something similar. i think his riff was more than 90% of all the intelligence and national security challenges, the american people and our troops face around the world more than 90% of them originate in the five bad guy category of long-term tech race with the chinese communist party. russia, sewing disinformation and corruption, and cyber attacks abroad. iranian nukes and sponsorship of terrorism abroad. there are five things that are the five big threats we face. there aren't two. and there aren't really 20 that need to be on that top tier list. there are five. but one of the things that that's new i think in the last four to six years is a consensus in your community and on this committee in a bipartisan way that there is an unparalleled number one threat, the five things are not equal. the long-term technology race we face with china is the biggest
existential national security threat we face. and i think chairman warner did a great job of distinguishing between chairman xi's command and control tyrannical system and his party, but that's not the same as the chinese people. that's not the same as chinese expats. that's not the same as asian americans abroad. and we have to together, the ic and this committee in a bipartisan way, has to make sure we communicate again and again to the american people that there is one overarching national security threat we face. and it is not race-based. it is not chinese americans. it is chairman xi and his cronies and what they want to do to try to dominate the world and oppress people. most acutely the uyghurs, but lots and lots of people abroad. i think it's important to underscore some of the things you said on behalf of the community. you said the threat we face from china is unparalleled. it's not the same as north korea, as big a deal as that is,
it's not the same as russia, nefarious actions abroad. china is a near peer competitor and will maintain the innovation and industrial policies because chinese leaders see this strategy as necessary to reduce dependence on foreign technologies, enable military advances and sustain economic growth and thus, ensure the ccp's survival. chairman xi is not about the good of his people. not the good of the chinese people. he's about the good of his party and the way they oppress his people. you said china is trying to promote new international norms for state rights. you said that china will remain the top threat to technological competitiveness as they continue to target technology sectors. i think it was a strong statement. as part of what happens, the majority of not only our committee's work but this hearing is in private today. as far as something we put before the american people, that's an incredibly strong
opening statement. i want to commend you and the whole interagently process that got it there. i want to follow up on your response to senator casey's comment. i'm putting a finer point on it. in 2018, congress passed a new law about export controls, and the goal is to be sure that we update what emerging and foundational technologies we regard as needing to be restricted to the ccp. obviously the ccp is also involved in a massive technology theft. ip theft project. but just at the level of export controls. a law was passed in 2018, and it's largely unimplemented, and i think former chairman bur made the good point that in 5g, we should view the five is as allies that we would use to build the technology base. we need something about the ttp again that says freedom-loving nations that believe in open
navigation of the seaways, free trade, the rule of law, human rights, we need an alliance of freedom-loving peoples against the ccp's nefarious sponsorship of stuff like surveillance state tyranny abroad, but to do that, we need clarity about what the critical things are. when will the law be implemented and more importantly, if we're going to build an alliance of freedom-loving nations in this technology race, how can we do it, lead allies if we don't have clarity for ourselves about what the critical technologies are? >> thank you, senator. maybe i'll start and welcome my colleagues joining on this. i think just to focus in on the intelligence relationships in particular, and the five i-point that you and senator burr are making, i think it will not surprise you that technology is one of the things that we intend
to talk to them about that we are already talking to them about at different levels, and i think it is entirely right to be focussed on the idea that among the five i's, we can actually do some good work together in effect in addressing this issue, that we -- none of us can do alone in a way, and that's a place where we need to focus. i think there is also -- it is true the policy community is working and i know the administration is working on a strategy on these issues that would include partners and would effectively focus on the kind of issues that you're describing. in addition, they also are look agent the technology sectors and how you approach each of these to deal with whether or not delinking is the right thing to do and how to do it so you don't have collateral impact that sometimes can have negative consequences if these areas. why don't i leave it to others to comment? >> senator, i would just say
from a di perspective in the department of defense, our closest partners are 5 i's teammates. we talk on a weekly basis. from a strategic competition or intelligent supports a sect to strategic competition, they're all in. this conversation about identifying the technology and how we can collectively get after this threat with the ccp, i think they are ready for that conversation. >> think about what our competitive advantages for the nation for the intelligence community. whether it's artificial data, space, all these are critical capabilities that have far-reaching implications not only for our economy but obviously for the security of our nation as we take a look at where we're going in the future as well. >> i mean, i just say the chair and the vice chair want to
compliment senator sass for agreeing with the chair and the vice chair. >> it's always helpful, yes. anybody else? >> we're kind of going down. >> fair enough. >> in the classiied session, i want to focus on the tie wa needs pieces. >> director wray, as you're familiar, the families of the victims of the september 11th attacks requested a number of fbi documents be declassified. as we approach the 20th anniversary of the attacks, i'm trying to understand what information in the reports could still be so sensitive that it cannot be shared with the american people. for several months i have been trying to get fbi to provide a classified copy of the documents to this committee so that i can read them myself. but so far the fbi has refused. from an oversight perspective, this is deeply concerning. why hasn't the fbi provided the requested documents to the committee? and will you commit to providing
that -- those documents? >> well, senator, i understand how important this issue is to you personally and, of course, also to the victims' families and as somebody whose family still lives in new york, it's personal to me as well. and meeting and engaging with the nechb victims and families was a part of my own inspiration for my last time in law enforcement to come back into service. we do have to be careful here, because of certain source and method issues and grand jury issues, but i have instructed our subject matter experts to review to see the if there's more we can share, and i'm happy to report that we have identified some additional documents that we will be able to make available for review shortly, and my staff will work with the committee staff to facilitate with you. >> can we have those documents within the next two weeks? >>. >> i'll have to get back with my
staff on the timing. my definition of shortly is consistent with that timeframe. >> okay. and if you're not going to provide the particular document that i have requested, i need a reason in writing to the committee since i as a member of the committee have every right to review the document. >> certainly. i agree an important part of our collaboration is even in the rare instances where we can't provide information, we have an obligation, i think, to explain to you why. >> thank you. to director haines and to -- i'm very concerned about these live spots as we go into testimony today, that our opponents are using the u.s. infrastructure and loopholes to
penetrate our infrastructure, our companies, our data, in a way that really prohibits us from following through on our investigations and terrorist groups and other international risks. i understand there are legal reasons, and i've heard the testimony that we want to talk about how we can ask the private sector to perhaps consider having a required law passed. and i think that's a reasonable approach. but i'd like a little more context and information from both of you on how you see these gaps, and these blind spots, and, in fact, when we do have foreign terrorist attacks, and undermining of our democracy such as what russia tried to do with the election, and undermined public confidence in our electoral process and
exacerbated global divisions in the u.s., these are serious issues. i don't like hearing we have blind spots. i'd like a little more analysis about if there are other authorities needed. i've heard you say you don't need other authorities, but i guess i'm not willing to accept that we are going to have blind spots. i think there has to be an appropriate way to give the tools that our intelligence community needs. >> thank you, senator. i'll start and obviously i'll leave the bulk of the answer to those who have more views on the specifics. i would say i think really support the law that is currently being considered which is basically something that we create as i understand as an obligation on companies to provide information when there are attacks much like fire i did
in the context of solar winds. that is something i think would be useful. it is one piece of the puzzle, and i think the general can speak with greater authority on what specifically the other issues are and answering your further questions. >> senator, i share your concern with these blind spots, and this is something we shouldn't accept. let me be a little more specific in terms of the blind spots. when an adversary decides that they're going to conduct an intrusion into a u.s. company, a u.s. government agency, one of the things that they realize is the fact if they can come into the united states and use an internet service provider in a period of time, they can quickly do that and conduct their operations and virtually not have any coverage in a timely manner from our ability to do surveillance in the united states. and that's obviously through a warrant, most likely done by the
federal bureau of investigation. they understand the timelines it takes for a warrant to be done. they are being able to expose this gap. this is one of the areas that we have to understand our adversaries are using today. it's the way that they have structured their activities, and it's in a way that we as we go forward, need to be able to address. again, it's not that we are looking for authorities for the national security agency. it's let's make sure that we identify what's taking place so the appropriate measures can be undertaken. >> senator cotton? >> thank you all for your appearance here today. these hearings are always a welcome opportunity to highlight the work that you and all of the men and women you do in your agencies and organizations to help keep our country safe. most of this committee's work like most of your work happens behind closed doors in a class if ied setting so the american people don't appreciate the great work that you and the men and women you lead do for our country.
so i'm glad that we have a chance to highlight this once a year or so. i also want to stress the importance of protecting all the information that your people collect, and director wray, part of the fbi's responsibility is to ensure that classified information is handled correctly. that it's not disclosed in a way that could pose a risk toward american's national security or military operations. is that correct? >> yes. that's correct. >> and that applies to all persons to include persons especially who are cleared to handle classified information as well? >> well, it's a responsibility that we share with other agencies in that respect, but yes. >> so you do investigate instances of alleged disclosure of classified information that was done wrongly? >> absolutely. we have quite a number of such investigations. >> i just want to take the opportunity to call your attention to a letter that 16 republican senators sent to you yesterday about what appears to have been a potentially serious
breach of handling classified information by the nominee to be the undersecretary of defense for policy. could i get your commitment to provide a prompt response to that letter to the united states senate since this nomination could be pending just any time now? >> i'm aware of the letter. i haven't had a chance to review it yet. >> i don't expect you to have a conclusion about whether you should or should not or will or will not start an investigation. but i believe it's worrysome, and there are people sitting in prison today for mishandling classified information. we should always insist that everyone handle the information correctly no matter how powerful they are or who they're connected to. >> miss haines, i want to turn to the threat assessment about the migration crisis on the southern border. it lists several potential
factors in terms of seasonal employment opportunities or the pandemic. one factor was perceived changes in u.s. immigration policy. is it possible that a factor could also be actual changes to u.s. immigration policy? >> thank you. i think we were look agent the degree of folks coming. i don't think there were changes at the time that would have accounted for, in other words, it was perceived changes they were looking at. >> i know you're not in charge of immigration policy. i'll give you three changes that have been made by the biden administration since the first day. one, they created an exception to the pandemic exclusion order for minors. not shockingly, we have a surge of minors at the border. two, they eliminated safe third country agreements. and three, the remain in mexico policy as well.
so those are three policies on which word is out in central america. and finally, i'll just give you this bit of open source intelligence that you can go back to the directors and tell your analysts about. i was at the border a couple weeks ago and had the chance to see the heart breaking scenes of young mothers and fathers with their kids under the bridge where they were being processed after just crossing the river with the help of smugglers and traffickers. i grabbed a border patrol person and asked them how long they've been there and why they came. not a single one of them made a comment about asylum in terms of persecution based on race, ethnicity, sex, religion, political views or anything else. the most common answers were joe biden, i can get in now, and i want a job. i have some other issues i want to does. as i said earlier, most of it is in a classified setting.
i look forward to talking to you in a few minutes. >> thank you, senator cotton. senator rubio? >> i want to thank you guys. i think it's been important to get these things on the record. it's an opportunity for the american public to hear and each of you individually. that's why we're able to do it again this year and i look forward to our session this afternoon. thank you for being here. >> before i close, three quick things. one, i think you've heard this from virtually every member. a hardy thanks to not just you but thousands of men and women that work for yyou, and i hope you'll take that message back to the work force. i think senator burr mentioned we value this relationship we have in the ic and want to keep it open. we always want to have your back. two, i think dr. haines, you've made mention of this. i think almost the majority of members on the committee are actively working on bipartisan legislation that would encourage
around this idea of alliances that we do this not only in a greater way with the private sector but also with our even beyond our 5-i partners. and three, as we discussed in a broadly bipartisan way, we've taken some of the lessons from our solar winds hearing, and i think we may have at least a partial response where with the appropriate liability protections there would be some level of mid incident reporting to an enterprise that would include public and private together so we could potentially close some of the gabs that senator gillibrand and others have raised in their questions. we will reconvene where? at 1:00. have an enjoyable lunch. thank you. >> thank you.
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