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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 30, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote -- are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 24, the nays are 75. the amendment is not agreed to.
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under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 2709, as modified, offered by the senator from oregon, mr. merkley. the senate will be in order. senators will remove their confirmations from the well, from the chamber. mr. merkley: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: madam president, in a moment i will ask unanimous consent to withdraw this amendment of i think there is a better way to tackle this particular issue, but i'm going to use this moment to note for my colleagues that i appreciate all the senators who have come to me to say they share the outrage at the exploitative
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pricing of insurance on our home owns. this drives homeowners into foreclosure, which is not good for the ohm owners, communities or the u.s. government because we ensure the vast bulk of these mortgages. therefore, if you're going to be responsible from an accounting sense for the investment of the u.s. taxpayer -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. merkley: -- this needs to be addressed. so, madam president, i ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment 2709, as modified. the presiding officer: without objection. the amendment is withdrawn. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: very briefly, i just want to thank the senator from oregon, both for driving the issue and for working with us in a process to get to where he wants to be and where we can maximize our votes on this bill, and i appreciate your courtesy and cooperation and look afford
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to working with you. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 2700 offered by the senator from nevada, mr. heller. mr. heller: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. mr. heller: thank you, madam president. let me be clear that my amendment simply confirms existing law. i'm trying to provide some clarity that private flood insurance can be a viable option for homeowners and businesses. private insurers are already subject to regulations in each and every state by their commissioners, insurance commissioners, and that's insurance commissioners are the best regulators for ensuring proper consumer protection. so, madam president, i ask my colleagues to support the heller-lee amendment so that we can provide the american public more competition, higher quality at less cost when it comes to flood insurance. thank you, madam president. mr. menendez: madam president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: the senate not in order. the presiding officer: the senator is critic. will senators remove their conversations from the chamber. the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: madam president, i have to oppose the heller amendment. this amendment would weaken consumer protections and completely remove minimum standards with respect to private flood insurance policies. in tirk the amendment strips the -- in particular, the amendment strips the requirement that the private policy has to be comparable to a national flood insurance policy, meaning companies could be able to offer inadequate policies to consumers across the country without any requirements as to what's in the policy. for all of those who have talked about solvency, if you have insurance that doesn't meet a minimum standard to ensure that the congresses of flooding can be paid for by the policy, you want to vote against this amendment. i urge a "no" vote on the heller amendment.
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mr i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator wish to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 49, the nays are 50, the amendment is not agreed to.
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mr. menendez: move to reconsider and lay on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: i have seven unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders and i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to, and they be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate recess until 1:50:00 p.m. today. the presiding officer: without objection. objection.
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>> california congressman henry waxman who once chaired the house energy and commerce committee saying he will leave congress after having served 40 years. a close ally of leader nancy pelosi. another close friend of the minority leader, george miller said he will be stepping down. that brings the current total to 32, 20 republicans and 12 democrats who have announced they will not run again in 2014. house republicans are meeting this week for their annual retreat being held this year in cambridge, maryland, to a live picture right now, over 190 of the 230 members are attending this retreat which comes to close tomorrow. earlier republican leaders held a briefing with reporters to discuss agenda items including immigration and outreach to new voters. there will be a news conference coming up at 3 p.m. eastern. c-span will have a life.
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>> also, president obama is wrapping up his two-day state of the union trip with a speech in nashville, tennessee. while the president's remarks will focus mostly on education he will likely address the death of one of the school students last week were shot and killed in an apparent accident by clasping. you can see his remarks live scheduled for 5:20 p.m. eastern this afternoon on c-span. >> bring attention to what women do or how women have contributed always returns to the question of the body. so for one thing, many people object to bring women's studies are women's history into a middle school, high school classroom because there's an assumption that women's studies is only about sex, birth control, abortion. and actually it's also about women in politics, in law, women working on farms, queens, prime
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ministers, and my job is to break down the fear many people have. what goes on in a women's studies classroom? >> sunday, women's history, feminist movement and antifeminist backlash women's studies professor and author bonnie morris will take your questions in depth life for three are starting at noon eastern. booktv's "in depth" o on c-span2. an online utility few days to weigh in on this months tv book club. mark levin, join the conversation. go to booktv.org and click on book club to in a chat room. >> the director of national intelligence yesterday called on former nsa contractor edward snowden to return remaining still and intelligence documents saying the disclosures have cause profound damage by revealing surveillance methods to terrorists.
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director james clapper was testifying at a senate intelligence hearing focusing on worldwide security threats. joining them at the hearing with heads of the cia and fbi. directors of john brennan and james comey. >> if you want to talk about national security, let's talk about drones that violate international law. director clapper, you are fired, too, for lying to congress, for lying to the american people. >> the committee will come to order. let me say at the outset that we hold this hearing to provide information to the public on the intelligence communities assessments of threats facing our nation. i ask that everyone in this room remove any signs you may have, and refrain from any disruptions are in the hearing so that the committee can conduct the
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hearing, and people sitting behind you can see. i will ask the capital place to remove anyone who disrupts this proceeding. this committee meets today in open session to hear the annual report from the united states intelligence community on the range of threats to the nation's security. and let me start by welcoming the witnesses. they are the director of national intelligence, james clapper. the director of the central intelligence agency, john brennan. the director of the federal bureau of investigation, james comey. the director of the defense intelligence agency, lieutenant general michael flynn. and the director of the national counterterrorism center, matt olsen. every year at this hearing members and intelligence officials alike talk about how the threats to the united states are more varied and complex than
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ever before. and this year is no exception. rather than listening -- listing all the sources of instability and proliferation of weapons a bubble of causing physical and computer damage, i'd like to focus when opening remarks on the threat posed by terrorism. thanks in large part to the efforts of the women and men of the intelligence community, there have been no terrorist attacks against, in the united states homeland since our last threat hearing. and numerous plots against united states interests overseas have been prevented. i'm concerned that this success has led to a popular misconception that the threat has diminished. it has not. the presence of terrorist groups, including those formally affiliated with al qaeda and
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others, have spread over the past year. while the threat emanating from pakistan's tribal areas has diminished due to persistent counterterrorism operations, the threat from other areas has increased. in fact, terrorism is at an all time high worldwide. if you include attacks by groups like the taliban against the united states military and our coalition forces, according to the nation's consortium for the study of terrorism and response to terrorism, at the university of maryland, which is the source for the state department's official talents, there were more than 8400 terrorist attacks, killing 15,400 people in 2012. the instability that spread through north africa and the middle east during the arab
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spring has continued to lead to an increase in the terrorist presence and terrorist safe havens throughout the region. libya, egypt and mali continue to see regular violence. recent terrorist attacks and control now parts of western iraq, are of great concern. while governance in yemen and somalia have improved, two of the most dangerous terrorist groups continue to find safe havens in these countries where they remain virulent. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, known to us as aqap, remains intent on attacking the united states. and al-shabaab which publicly merged with al qaeda in february of 2012 continues to plot against western targets in east
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africa. but i think the most notable development since last year's hearing is actually in syria, which has become a magnet for foreign fighters and for terrorist activity. the situation has become so dire that even al qaeda pashtun al qaeda's central leader, ayman al-zawahiri, has announced -- denounce the activities of one group as being too extreme cabinets. because large swaths of the country of iraq are beyond the regime's control, or that of the moderate -- excuse me, of syria, are beyond the regime's control or that of the moderate opposition, this leads to the major concerns of the establishment of the safe haven and a real prospect that syria could become a launching point, or waystation, for terrorists seeking to attack the united states or other nations. not only our fighters being drawn to syria, but so are
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technologies and techniques that pose particular problems to our defenses. i think i am also concerned about afghanistan. and a drawdown of u.s. and isaf forces. the committee has heard the intelligence community's assessment of the likely outcome for the future of afghanistan, especially if you bilateral security agreement is not signed and the united states is unable to commit significant personnel and resources beyond 2014. i am particularly concerned that the afghan government will not be able to prevent the return of al qaeda elements to some parts of the country, and that the talibans control over afghan territory will grow. the vice chairman and i were in afghanistan in 2012, and he has
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just returned. i saw school girls walking home with their white headdress and brilliant smiles on their faces on the streets of kabul. and i also met women serving in the afghan parliament. i saw their courage and devotion to their country. and i am deeply concerned that in the years following 2014, if president karzai or someone else doesn't sign the bilateral security agreement, all the gains for democracy, for women's rights, will evaporate. i'm going to skip some of this and put it in the record. as your testimony, gentlemen, makes clear today, there are numerous confounding and complicated threats out there that need devoted attention. and the intelligence community with sequester and furlough has been through a very difficult time. and i would very much like to
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thank the men and women of the united states intelligence community for their service to this country. it is very much appreciated by this committee. i also would like to note to colleagues that director clapper came before us in closed session two weeks ago and went through a series of classified matters, and we discussed what the iac is doing about them. he and other witnesses are available to answer classified questions in closed session, but the point of today's hearing is to focus on the unclassified details of the threats we face. and to provide the american people with a better sense of how our intelligence community use them. mr. vice chairman? >> thanks very much, madam chair, and i join you in welcoming all our witnesses back to this open hearing this morning. this has been an especially difficult year for the men and
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women in the intelligence community. the constant stream of press articles as a result of the largest intentional disclosures of classified information has, without a doubt, compromise our national security and complicated our foreign partnerships. as director olsen recently acknowledged, these disclosures have caused terrorist groups to change their communication methods and in other cases dropped out of our collection altogether. but there's another piece to these leaks that each one of you is sitting on a daily basis. the inaccuracies and insinuations about intelligence activity that are in place to protect this country are especially frustrating and demoralizing to the men and women on the front lines. this committee knows from our oversight that the intelligence community takes very seriously its obligation to preserve the rights and privacy of americans. director clapper, i implore you to convey our thanks and appreciation to the entire
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intelligence community and those men and women who serve under each and every one of you. senator burr and i result returned from a trip to jordan and afghanistan where we met some of the men and women of our military and our intelligence community. many of them are serving in isolated units and in very dangerous parts of afghanistan, and are conducting very dangerous but very important missions. in our meetings it became very clear that we cannot let afghanistan suffer the same fate as iraq. we must not withdraw from the fight before we finish what we went there to do. recent press articles suggest that we may leave behind a force of 8000 to 12,000 american military personnel which would likely require continued support from the intelligence community. we have come a long way from denying a safe haven to al qaeda and building up the security forces of our afghan partners. but we must not commit the same
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mistake of losing what the president turned a must win war. assuming we have a signed bilateral security agreement we must ensure that afghanistan has adequate support and military assistance to ensure that it doesn't quickly go the way of iraq. as we continue to pressure or al qaeda, the growth of local and regional affiliates remain a big concern. the reason we went into afghanistan in the first place was to remove the safe haven that if the talibans, and the taliban provided to al qaeda, yet the instability in the middle east and north africa seems to be fueling a new breeding ground for terrorism, especially in places like syria. as we fight these changing terrorist threats, we must not lose sight of the national security challenges caused by our nation's state adversaries and regional instability. as we look to the intelligence community to give us a clear
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reading on what is happening now, we also expect that you will look over the horizon to tell us about the impending threats. in this context, recent discussions to limit your abilities to gather information are troubling. and i'd like an honest assessment from each of you to the potential impact of these decisions. we have to make sure that the community can effectively provide warning and protection are all of this country's national security interests, now and in the future. it is the joint responsibility of congress and the administration to ensure that we prioritize our efforts are properly, state and nonstate cyber actors, international and home-grown terrorists, and an ever evolving list of aggressors, proliferators, and criminals will continue to try to do us harm. at any given time the intelligence community has to know which of these threats
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presents the greatest potential harm. i look forward to hearing the details of what those threats are, what is being done to address them, and how we, as your partners in this effort, can assist. thanks, madam chair spent and i thank you, mr. vice chairman. i'd like to announce to the committee that last night we announced that the earlybird rules would prevail today, and i want to welcome the panel, and director clapper, it's my understanding you have a joint statement for the fourth gentlemen and/or sell. please proceed. >> madam chairman, vice chairman chambliss, distinguished them as of the committee, michael and i are here today to present the intelligence committees worldwide threat assessment as we do every year. i'll cover five topics in about eight minutes. on behalf of all of us. as deny this is my fourth appearance before the committee to discuss the threats we face. -- as deny. it is if anything even more
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evident and relevant today. looking back over my more than half a century of intelligence i have not expressed a time when we been beset by more crises and threats around the globe. my list is long. it includes the scorch and diversification of terrorism, loosely connected in a globally dispersed to include here at home as example five by the boston marathon bombing. the sectarian war in syria is an attraction as a growing center of radical extremism, at the potential threat this poses to the homeland. the spillover of conflict in the neighboring lebanon and iraq, the destabilizing flood of refugees in jordan, turkey and lebanon. the implications of the drawdown in afghanistan. the deteriorating into security posture in iraq. the growth of foreign cyber capabilities. the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, aggressive nationstate intelligence efforts against us. and assertive russia, a competitive china, a dangerous
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unpredictable north korea, a challenging iran, a lingering ethnic divisions in the balkans, perpetual conflict and extremism in africa, violent political struggles, and among others, the ukraine, burma, thailand and bangladesh. the specter of mass atrocities and the increasing stress of burgeoning populations, the urgent demand for energy, water and food. the increasing sophistication of transnational crime. the tragedy and magnitude of human trafficking. the in situ is rot of invented synthetic drugs. i could go on with this litany, but suffice to say we live in a complex, dangerous world. a statement for the record that we've submitted, particularly the classified version, provide a comprehensive view of these and other daunting challenges. my second topic is what is consumed extraordinaire time and energy for much of the past
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year. the intelligence community and the congress and the white house, and, of course, in the public square. i'm speaking of course about the most massive and most damaging theft of intelligence information in our history by edward snowden. and the ensuing avalanche of revelations published and broadcast around the world. i won't dwell on the debate about snowden's motives or legal standing, or on the supreme ironies associated with his choice of freedom loving nations as beacons of freaks pressure from which to rail about what underwent state he thinks this country has become. what i do want to speak you as a nation's senior intelligence officer is the profound damage that his disclosures have caused and continue to cause. as a consequence, the nation is less safe and its people less secure. what snowden has stolen and exposed has gone way, way beyond his professed concerns with so-called domestic surveillance programs. as a result of loss critical for intelligence collection sources
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including some shared wit us by valued partners. terrorists and other adversaries of this country are going to school on u.s. intelligence sources, methods and trade craft, and the insights of their gaming are making our job much, much harder. this includes putting the lives of members or assets of the intelligence community at risk as well as our armed forces, diplomats, and our citizens. we are beginning to see changes in the communicate she's behavior of adversaries, which you alluded to. particularly terrace, a disturbing trend which i anticipate will continue. snowden claims that he has won and that his mission is accomplished. if that is so, i call on him and his of topless is to facilitate the return of the remaining stolen documents that ar have nt yet been exposed to prevent even more damage to u.s. security. as a third and related point i want to come on the ensuing fallout. it pains me greatly that financial security agency and its magnificent workforce have
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been pilloried in public comment or. i started in the intelligence profession 50 years ago, and members among them and i've worked at nsa so this is deeply personal to me. the real facts are as the president noted in his speech on the 17th, that the men and women who work at nsa, both military and civilian can have done their utmost to protect this country and do so in a lawful manner. as i end of the leaders in the community have said many times, nsa's job is not to target the e-mails and phone calls of u.s. citizens. the agency does collect foreign intelligence, the whole reason nsa has existed since 1952, performing critical missions that i'm sure the american people want it to carry out. moreover, the effects of an offer his disclosures hurt the entire intelligence community, not just nsa. critical intelligence capabilities and which the united states has invested billions are at risk, are likely to be curtailed or eliminated either because of compromise or conscious decision.
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moreover, the impact of the losses caused by the disclosures will be amplified by the substantial budget reductions we are incurring. the start consequences of this perfect storm are plainly evident. the intelligence community is going to have less capacity to protect our nation and its allies than we have had. and disconnection a i'm also compelled to note the negative morale impact this perfect storm has had on the workforce which are compounded by sequestration furloughs, the shutdown and salary freezes. and in that regard i very much appreciate, we all do, your tributes to the women and men of the intelligence community. and we will certainly convey that to all of them. this leads me to my fourth point. we are faced with collectively, and by collectively i mean this committee, the congress at large, the executive branch, and all of us in the intelligence community, is the inescapable compared to accept more risk. the plain hard fact and a circumstance the community must
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and will manage, together with you and those we support in the executive branch. but if dealing with reduced capacities is what we need to ensure the faith and confidence of the american people and their elected representatives, then we in the intelligence community will work as hard as we can to meet the expectations before us. that brings me to my fifth and final point. the major take away for us, certainly for me, from the past several months is that we must lean in the direction of transparency, wherever and whenever we can. with greater transparency about these intelligence programs, the american people may be more likely to accept them. the president set the tone and direction for us in his speech as well is in his landmark presidential policy directive. and major hallmark of which is transparency. i have specific tasking in conjunction with the attorney general to conduct further declassification to develop additional protections under section 702 of the fisa act, to modify how we conduct both collection under section 215 of
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the patriot act and to ensure more oversight of sensitive collection activities. clearly we will need your support in making these changes. through all of this we must and will sustain our professional tradecraft and integrity. and we must continue to protect our crown jewel sources of methods so that we can accomplish what we've always been chartered to do, protect the lives of american citizens here and abroad from the new death threats i described at the beginning of this statement. without i'll conclude and we are ready to address your questions. >> thank you very much, director clapper. and thank you for being so up front. i wanted to ask you one question about syria, and then, mr. olsen, a question about sochi. your written statement for the record i believe states, director clapper, that syria has become a significant location or independent or al qaeda aligned
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groups to recruit, train, and equip a growing number of extremists. some of whom might conduct external attacks. could you respond to this, and -- how concerned should we be also about europeans, or even americans, training in syria and traveling back to the west to carry out attacks? >> well, we should be very concerned about this, senator feinstein. syria has become a huge magnet for extremists. first, those groups who are engaged in syria itself, some 1600 different groups that we estimate summer in the neighborhood of between 75,000, 110,000 of which about 26,000 be great as extremists. we estimate at this point in excess of 7000 foreign fighters have been extracted from some 50
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countries, many of them in europe and the mideast. and this is of great concern not only to us but to those countries. in our recent engagements with our foreign interlocutors, particularly in europe, tremendous concern here for these extremists who are attracted to syria, engage in combat, get training, and we are seeing now the appearance of training complexes in syria to train people to go back to their countries and, of course, conduct more terrorist acts. so this is a huge concern to all of us. >> thank you very much. mr. olsen, on sochi, i'd like to know what your assessment is of the threat to the olympic games, and whether you believe our athletes will be safe. and i would like director comey
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to respond to the level of cooperation between the russians and the fbi, with respect to security at the olympic games. mr. olsen. >> thank you very much, madam chairman, and vice chairman. let me say at the outset i appreciate your leadership in a particular your focus on terrorism, and the leadership of the entire committee. if i may say just as well, i fully agree with director clapper's assessment of the situation in syria it and as you laid out in your opening statement, the combination of a permissive environment, extremist groups account hoosier and a number of foreign fighters combined to make syria a place that we are very concerned about a particular the potential for terrorist attacks emanating from syria to the west -- al-nusra. with respect to the question about sochi, we are very focused on the sochi olympics and we have seen an uptick in the threat reporting regarding sochi. and this is what we expected
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even with the olympics are located. the are a number of extremists in that area, and a particular a group which is probably the most prominent terrorist group in russia. the leader of that group last july announced a public message that the group would intend to carry out attacks in sochi in connection with the olympics. and we've seen a number of attacks stemming from last fall, suicide bombings in volgograd, but took a number of lies. so we are very focused on the problem of terrorism in the run up to the olympics. i would add that i traveled to sochi last december, and met with russian security officials. they understand the threat. they are very focused on this, and devoting substantial resources. the biggest issue from my perspective is not the games themselves, the venues themselves. there's extensive security at those locations, the site of the events. the greater threat is to softer
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targets in the greater sochi area, and in the outskirts. beyond sochi. where there is a substantial potential for a terrorist attack. >> they do very much. mr. koh me, would you tell us what you can't about cooperation between russia and your organization? >> certainly, senator. the cooperation between has been steadily improving over the last year. we've had exchanges at all levels, particularly in connection with sochi including me directly to my counterpart at fsb. and they think that we have a good level of cooperation there. it can always improve. we're looking for ways to improve it, as are they, but as director olsen said this would make the big focus for the fbi. >> mr. vice chairman? >> thanks, madam chair. director clapper, uss in a statement for the record that core al qaeda has been on a downward trajectory since 2008, that the ability to conduct
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complex, sophisticated and large-scale attacks against the homeland is significantly degraded. however, at the same time you assess that aqap poses a significant threat and remains intent on targeting the united states and u.s. interests overseas. what i'd like to do is to have your first start off, director clapper, but i want kind of a joe discussion about al qaeda, not just core al qaeda. ..
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capable of attacking the united states, would use a the right this decreased or increased? ferret, has the terrorist threat against u.s. interests overseas increased or diminished over the past decade? and then last week, what is the impact of limitations that are proposed to be put on sections to 15 and seven of two likely to have on the future of the telogen sages see with regard to collection? director clapper. >> thank you, mr. vice chairman. and ctc probably said it best recently that while the ideological center of al qaeda movement i think still remains in the thought fata, the
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operational planning has dispersed. there are some five different franchises at least in 12 countries that this movement has morphed into a greasy chapters of it of course and emm, somali, syria, et cetera. many of these movements, while essentially locally focused, probably the most -- still the most prominent one that has an external focus on the homeland remains a qa p.e., i think was looking to need to view as the one that has the most -- poses the most immediate threat for potential attack on the homeland. the probability of attack now compared to 2001 at least for me
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is the very heart question to answer because principally because the very dispersion and diffusion of the threat, whereas we are very, very focused initially, particularly at nighttime. on al qaeda, al qaeda core, now we are facing a much more dispersed threat. what we spoke about before in serious, what is going on there and it may be some new respects, a fata force and what is going on there in the attraction of these foreign fighters is very, very worrisome. aspirationala, one does have aspirations for attacks on the homeland. so i can't say that the thread is any less.
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i think our ability to discern it is much improved over what it was in the early part of the 2000. so i think that dispersion and decentralization actually creates a different ride and a harder one to watch and detect because it is dispersion. it is clear as well that are collection capabilities are not as robust, perhaps, as they were because the terrorists, not specifically because of the snowden revelations and how we go about our business and how we use tradecraft to detect bad and thwart them. as far as what impacts the
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changes that will accrue, hopefully we can, particularly with respect to 215 and the other tools we have that we can minimize the threat as they make these modifications and alterations. in general, this is big hand, little map. we are in total going to have less s. capacity than in the past. that is occasioned by the changes we are going to make as well as, you know, the significant budget cuts we are taking. those things together as i alluded to in my oral statement, the perfect storm we are going to contend with. the bottom line for me as we are going to have to identify and be eyes wide open. i say we, all of us about identifying risk and managing it.
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let me turn to my colleagues. >> just to agree with general clapper, the dispersion has made it much more challenging for us. we need to rely heavily on partners and ultimate capacity and number of countries throughout the world. the terrorists are becoming more sophisticated and they are going to school on the repeated disclosures and leaks that has allowed them to burrow in and made it much more difficult for us to find them and address the threats that they pose. so when i look at the threat relative to 9/11, we as a country have to make great job of addressing some of the vulnerabilities that exist in our system and putting together an information sharing architecture that allows us to move information very quickly. you never know what you don't know. but the increasing diversity of the threat in the growth as he pointed out that terrorist elements in place like syria and yemen, we have a number of threats we need to confront
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simultaneously. >> thank you very much, vice chairman. senator heinrich. >> thank you, chairman. thank you for joining us. i want to thank you for participating in this hearing on worldwide threat. i know it is not always easy to talk about some of these things in an unclassified setting, but i certainly appreciate your willingness to try. i also want to publicly thank the men and women of the intelligence community who day in and day out dedicate themselves to keeping us all safe. it is a thankless job that a simple expression of gratitude can't fully capture, but we deeply appreciate their efforts. before i get to my question today, mr. brennan, i want to know to my continued disappointment with how the cia under your leadership has chosen to engage and interact with this committee, especially as it relates to the committee study of the cia detention and interrogation program. recent efforts undertaken by
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caa, including but not limited to inaccurate public statements about committee study are meant to intimidate, deflecting mark legitimate oversight. it only make me firmer in my conviction that the committee should release and declassify the full 6300 page study with minimal reductions so the public can judge the facts for themselves. how much of a plot my colleague, senator rockefeller, for making significant efforts to bridge the chasm between the committee and director brennan on some of these issues. but it doesn't appear to be in the director's nature to accept these overtures, frankly. i think that is incredibly unfortunate. i am fully confident in the factual accuracy of the report and nothing in your response so far has persuaded me otherwise. director brennan, limited to a few questions. on march 16, 2009, 1 of your predecessors of a cia director
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leon panetta announced the creation of a directories review group for foundation, detention and interrogation. to be led by well respected senior cia advised by senator warner and who passed away as you know in 2012. according to the press release at the time, the group was tasked with assembling data and formulating positions on the quote complex after controversial question that define addition, detention and interrogation, unquote. do you know when and why the panetta review group was disbanded? >> senator, first of all i respectfully but vehemently disagree with your characterization of the cia's cooperation with this committee. i am fully prepared to come forward to this committee at any time to request my appearance to talk about that study. and i think related to the issue that you just raise in terms of the question, all committee members are received is some
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information that i have provided recently to the chairman of vice chairman on this issue and i look forward to addressing these matters with the committee at the appropriate time and not a say threat assessment. >> thank you, mr. brennan. i believe that's appropriate. >> actually come it doesn't fully answer the question. and i'm not sure i do know actually when and why the panetta review group was disbanded. >> i'll be happy to address that question at a time when the committee leadership request that information from it. >> thank you. i think that it's appropriate, senator for a classified section. >> let me move to director clapper and move to edward snowden. regarding u.s. intelligence connection have obviously caused tensions of our european allies. have our european allies ever collected intelligence to address those of other allied nations?
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>> yes, they have. i could go into more detail on that in a classified session. >> that is fine, director clapper. russia recently announced it would expand edward snowden and not force them to leave their country. you put the russians have gained access to the documents that edward snowden stole come watch obviously many of which have not been released publicly, fortunately. >> i think this might be best left to a classified session. i don't want to say or do anything that would jeopardize the current investigation. >> set-aside, director. thank you, chairman. >> thank you very much, madam chair. let me start by saying that the men and women of american intelligence agency are overwhelmingly dedicated
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professionals. they deserve to have leadership that is trusted by the american people. unfortunately, that trust has been seriously undermined by senior officials reckless reliance on secret interpretations of the law and battered by years of misleading and deceptive statement senior officials made to the american people. these statements did not protect sources and methods that are useful in fighting terror. instead, they hit that policy choices and violations of the liberty of the american people. for example, director of the nsa said publicly that the nsa doesn't hold data on u.s. citizens. that was obviously untrue. justice department officials testified in section 215 of the patriot act is analogous to grand jury subpoenas authority and we've made multiple occasions.
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officials also suggest that the nsa doesn't have the authority to read american e-mails without a warrant, that the fisa court opinions declassified last august showed that wasn't true either. so for purposes of trying to move this dialogue along because i don't think this culture of misinformation is going to be easily fixed, i would like to get into several other areas of the governments interpretation of the law is still unclear. director clapper, law-abiding americans want to protect the privacy of their communication and i see a clear need to strengthen protections for information, for information sent over the web are stored in the cloud. the classified court documents show that in 2011 the nsa sought and obtained the authority to go through communications collected with respect to section seven of
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two of the foreign intelligence and surveillance act and conduct warrantless searches for the communications of specific americans. can you tell us today whether any searches have ever been conducted? >> senator wyden, i think at a threat hearing, this would -- i would prefer not to discuss this and have this as a separate subject because they are very complex legal issues here that i just don't think is the appropriate time to discuss them. >> one with that time be? i tried with written questions a year ago to get answered. we were stonewalled on that in this committee can't do oversight if we can't get direct answers. when will you give the american people and unclassified answer to that question that relates directly to the privacy? >> as soon as we can assume,
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sir. >> would be wrong with 30 days? >> @. >> thank you. that's making progress. director brennan, problem with respect to policy. does the federal computer fraud and abuse act apply to the cia? seems to me a yes or no question. >> i would have to look into what it is actually called for and is applicable at each of cia's authority. i'd be happy to get to you senator, i'm not. >> , but that's a? >> soon as possible, but no longer than -- >> a week? >> i think so, yes. >> very good. let me ask a question of u.s. senate, director comey to track individuals with cell site information and smartphone application. glassboro they testified that we the nsa identified a number we
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can get to the fbi. when they get there probable cause, they can get a locational information they need. i do not in the nsa to publicly clarify these remarks, but it hasn't happened yet. so is the fbi required to a probable cause in order to require americans location information for intelligence purposes? >> i don't believe so, senator. almost all circumstances we have to maintain a court order. the shortness of reasonable basis to conclude it's relevant to the investigation. >> so you don't have to show probable cause. you have cited another standard here it is standard different if the government is collecting the location information from a smartphone app rather than a cell phone tower? >> i don't think i know -- i probably ought to ask someone who is smarter and what standard is that governs those. >> my time is up.
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can i have an answer to that within a week? >> escamilla can. >> thank you him as senator wyden. senator udall, let me apologize to you. i skipped over your name and called on senator wyden. it's your moment. >> no apologies, madam chair. thank you for being here. am i to make it clear how much this committee respects and admires the hard-working members of the intelligence community. i know everyone on this committee keeps this worldwide threat assessment handy. it is not reading that puts you to sleep he gets your attention. i want to thank you and your team for putting this together. i did want to pick up on senator heinrichs questioning. we are back in operation here. director brennan, you know a long history of this committee
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study of our detention and interrogation programs. i would like to put my statement in the record that walks us through that record. but i did want to focus initially on a cia internal review, some people call it that up another review. were you aware of a cia internal review when he provided the cia's official response to this committee in june of last year? i don't have much time, so i'd appreciate a yes or no answer. >> it wasn't a review, senator. it was a summary. at the time, now, i had not gone through it. >> it strikes me as a bit improbable given that you knew about the internal review and you spoke to us and stated your obligation as cia director was to make sure the cia's response was as thorough and accurate as
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possible. in that context, let me move to the next question. does the information in the internal review contradict provisions included in your june 2013 are sponsored committee? >> senator, i respect who would like to say i don't think this is the proper format for that. our responses to your report were unclassified form and i look forward to addressing these questions of the committee at the appropriate time. >> at and make sure i understand. are you saying the cia officers who were asked to produce this internal review got it wrong? like you said, the committee got it wrong. we had 6300 pages, 6 million documents, 35,000 footnotes. >> senator, as you well know, i didn't say the committee got it wrong. i said there were things in that report i disagreed with. there he thinks that report i agreed with. i look forward to working with
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the committee on the next steps in that report. i am prepared to deal with the committee to make sure we are able to address the issue of of the interrogation program at the appropriate time. look forward to it. the >> madam chair, i fill up two minutes remaining. let me move to the snowden disclosures and what exists between the public and intelligence community. this committee was created to address a severe breach of trust that developed what it was revealed the cia was connect an unlawful domestic searches. the committee went to work, found that to be true. i want to reassure the american people, especially given what has been happening, that the cia and director understand the
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limits of their mission and its authorities. we are all aware that order prohibits the cia from engaging in domestic spying a searches of u.s. citizens within our borders. can you assure the committee the cia does not conduct such domestic spying and searches? >> i can assure the cia followed the letter the spirit of the law terms of the cia's authority start commenters or responsibilities to collect intelligence to keep this country safe. yes, senator, i do. >> let me finish on the snow. i think we have an important opportunity when it comes to this vital review that we undertook. we have set the record straight. america is at its best when we acknowledge our mistakes and learn from those mistakes. it is clear the detention rendition interrogation programs at the cia went over the line
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during the first decade of this century. director brennan, i just don't understand why we can't work together to clarify the record, to move forward and in so doing, acknowledge the tremendous work of those you lead and those that were tasked on this committee to oversee. i am hopeful we can find a way forward on this important common part matter. thank you. >> i hope we can to, senator. >> thank you very much. i want to apologize to senator collins because i didn't indicate initially that we would go back and forth. so, the list is actually who got here first. senator mikulski next and then senator collins. >> i'd be happy to yield to senator collins. >> the chairman of the appropriations committee always goes first.
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[laughter] >> senator, please proceed. >> first of all, to those here at the panel and other members of agencies representing the intelligence community like homeland security, i too want to echo my thanks and support for all the employees who work in the intelligence community. general clapper, i want to say to you, i recall that last year's hearing you asked for flexibility for the intel committee. during this, here today i want you to know that both the chairman and vice-chairman supported by the entire members of this committee work with me to try to get flexibility for you. there were stacked by the house of representatives during the cr to get you that flexibility. what i want you to know today, we were united to try to get you and therefore the intelligence community that. so we are on the side of the
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employees facing sequestering so on. ask now to the budget agreement and a consolidated approach relations. we think that part is behind. we look forward to working with u.s. we listen listen to those needs. i want to come to the employees they are and no group of employees has been battered more than the men and women who work at the national security agency. because of the illegal leaks by edward snowden, nsa has been battered and by de facto, so have the employees of the national security agency. we are all well aware that morale is extremely low there because of budget impacts on the impacts of snowden. let me go to my point, though. men and women who work at the national security agency truly believe what they did -- do, particularly under 215 and 702 is constitutional, is legal, was
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authorized and was necessary. so they thought they were doing a good job defending america. other to come to the constitutionality and engage or support. there are now several legal opinions about the constitutionality of these programs. now as we engage upon the affair, which i support review and reform, they let that many members of this committee that we need to determine the constitutionality. if it's not constitutional, that day. what general clapper, would you consult with the department of justice, the white house, asked for an expedited review by the supreme court of the united states to determine the constitutionality of the program so that we don't continually shop for a legal opinion that we
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want, either one side or the other. >> i will discuss this with the attorney general. i am not up with the protocol for seeking a reading by the supreme court. >> is there a sense of urgency within the station to seek such a constitutional determination? >> well, i can't speak for the administration. i would think there would be since we, to your point being throughout all of this and with all the controversy, that we all fell and still feel what were doing it over cited, both by all three branches of the government . there is a current court ruling, a fourth amendment ruling, which is data provided to a third.
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it seemed that general clapper, 336 different legal opinions. 36 on the program constitutional. judge leon said it's not. >> exactly. nor are we. >> i accept the appeals process, but we have got to get a constitution on this as quickly as possible. the american people are entitled to know that in the men and women who work at nsa need to know that and i think those of us who want the republic review of our format for you to know that. >> i could not agree with you more about the need for clarity on these issues for the women and men of the intelligence community trying to do the right thing. the mac about to come to cybersecurity. director comey, neiman marcus has been had. who knows what else. what i find in the public's mind there is a confusion now between cybersecurity and surveillance.
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it kind of co-mingled these words. my question to you is two things. is the impact of the snowden as they are slowly goes down and our work to be more aggressive in the cybersecurity area, or particularly as it relates to american identity come the safety of credit cards, are great, if better. and as the failure for us to pass cybersecurity regulatory efforts really aided and abetted -- has been a contributing factor to the fact that an international crime is now targeting us? >> thank you, senator. with respect to the work being done by men and women in line for us which respond to cyberthreat, especially those are on financial fraud a threat, we are working as hard as ever to address those threats. with the storm around surveillance in the leaks has
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done has complicated the discussion about what tools were used to do that. in that respect, it's made our lives more complicated. the people need to realize that there is dragged of fraud and -- because we connected our entire life to the internet and that is a place where we come you seem on first and authorities have to respond robustly. >> to think congress is passed legislation in this area quite >> yes, i do. >> using there is an urgency and we should review the original legislation, even as the starting point for negotiation quite >> there is. one of the critical prices information sharing. the private sector sees the bad guys coming in. we need to make sure the private sector understands the rules of the road in how they share information with the government. >> my time is up. i want to say also during the sequestering so on i read these wonderful documents that came from voluntary organizations associated with the fbi. it was called voices from the field.
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they were quite poignant and it shows when they say was sequester, our first line of defense in many ways. would you think the agents for us? >> i will. thank you, senator. >> senator collins. >> thank you, not of chairman. general flynn, thus far in the discussion today and in general, there has been very little focus on the damage that edward snowden has done to our military. i have read dia ss is evident to me that most of the documents stolen by mr. snowden has nothing to do with the privacy rights and civil liberties of american citizens or even the
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nsa collection program. indeed, these documents and referred the number of 1.7 million documents aired in any case multi-pages. if you printed them on stack them, they would be more than three miles high. i say that to give the public more information about how extraordinarily expensive to documents that he stole were. and they don't just pertain to the nsa. they pertain to the entire intelligence community and include information about military intelligence, defense capabilities, the defense industry. now, you are the leader of military intelligence. you have also been deployed for
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expensive. interact. you know what the impact is on the military. could you share with the committee your assessment of the impact that the damage that edward snowden has done to our military and in particular, has he placed our men and women in uniform at greater risk? >> senator collins, thanks for that question. underreport figure indicating are highlighting, we do have i believe a session in a week for this committee to go through the entire report. the strongest word that i can use to describe, you know, how bad this is how it's caused great damage to our national security. i think another way to address,
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you know, your question is what are the costs that we are going to incur because of the scale and scope of what has been taken by snowden? i won't put a dollar figure, but i know that the scale for the cost to our nation, you know, obviously a treasure and capabilities that are going to have to be examined, re-examined and potentially adjusted. i think the greatest cost that is unknown today, but we will likely face is the cost in human lives on tomorrow's battlefield or in some place where we will put our military forces coming in now, what we ask them to go into harms way. that is the greatest cost we face with the disclosures that
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have been presented so far. the strongest word i can use, this has caused great damage to our national security. >> so it is caused great damage to our national security and you would agree that it puts at risk potentially the lives of our troops? is that accurate? >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you. >> mr. olson, it is good to see you again. we were extensively with us on the homeland security committee. i want to turn to the impact of the snowden leaks on our nation's ability to connect the dots and protect our citizens from terrorism attacks. you address this issue at a recent conference.
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have you seen terrorist groups change their methods as a direct result of the disclosures of the stolen documents that mr. gavel has? >> senator collins, the answer to that is yes. as we have been discussing the terrorist landscape has become increasingly complex. we've seen geographic diffusion of groups or networks and that places a premium on our ability to monitor communications. what was seen in the last six to eight months is an awareness by these groups and their increasingly sophisticated and awareness of our ability to monitor communications at specific instance is where they changed the way and which they communicate to avoid being surveilled or been subject to her surveillance tactics.
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>> and obviously, that puts us at greater risk of an attack? >> is certainly puts us at risk of missing some thing that we are trying to see, which could lead to putting us at risk of an attack, yeah. >> just a quote you, you said this is not an exaggeration. this is a fact. >> i absolutely do, yes. >> thank you, madam chair. >> senator warner. >> thank you, not an chairman. i want to pick up with what senator mikulski said. most of us have read these comments at the outset, even if some of our colleagues have very distinct policy difference is, which is we need to see if i think continuing to express our support for the men in the minute the intelligence community who do these jobs in and close ways and in dangerous
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ways. they have been under challenge with concerns about the nsa programs, snowden affair, effexor sequestration disproportionate perhaps in virginia and maryland, but all across the country. china director clapper, was talked about ways to give them some of the recognition. the state of being addresses i hope will continue to find ways that we can during these challenging times, a firm to their extraordinary work these men and women do protecting our country. i want to take my moment to, director clapper, it is following up on what senator mikulski race, i think the challenges around cyberterrorism and cyberthreats by the public report put out a year ago about coming out of china and russia.
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i believe you stated last year that you thought the effect of cyberattacks on america were estimated at close to $300 billion in economic damage. that damage in terms of direct attack, but i also think we see time and again cases are intellectual property is taken and competitors are able to enter into the marketplace, basically leapfrogging over the whole r&d staff because they feel are intellectual capital. we now have seen in a series of committees, including banking committee, looking at some of the data breach is talking now about 7 million potential data information at target alone. target disproportionally was ill-equipped. this is an indication the industry by industry, these attackers can find the weakest
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link and even companies doing the right thing, as their colleagues in the industry are not keeping up to standards, there is a challenge. do you have any sense if you or anyone else on the panel chair to repass it a fair number are different not or are higher number in terms of the economic threat, the intellectual capital threat and obviously the personal information posed by these cyberactivist? >> senator, i think it is almost incalculable to total up with the potential costs may be. this starts from the sheer difficulty of ascribing value, intellectual property, particularly over time. the potential dollar value is an estimable. if you consider in its totality, i really can't give you a good
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number. we have a hard time coming up with one. whatever it is, it's big. >> anyone else want to add a comment? >> question i would also have continuing down this plane was that i is someone who came from in telecom sector, i get to third about additional government regulatory burdens. and how you said it in an appropriate standard, something that is also fluid as this field is. my gosh, not having some standard, not having the good actors some say to me to be a real economic challenge. i guess one of the questions i would have for you in as wide as the data breach at neiman marcus, michaels and others, what does that say about the ability of the private sector to keep data secure?
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>> well, this is a great concern to all of us. to senator mikulski's point earlier when this was discussed a year ago or so when there was a lot of discussion and debate in the congress about the need for some cyberlegislation. there has to be in my view and i'll ask others to speak to this, a partnership between the government and the private sector, understanding the concerns about burdens being placed, regulatory burdens and all that sort of thing that could be placed on private sector. the government cannot do all this by itself. the private sector, particularly, you know, the turnabout piece of this which i am, our foreign nation states, china and russia, the most sophisticated -- represent the most sophisticated taper capability.
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and nonstate actors, act taveras with the foreign or domestic. we need the civilian sector is kind of our two line if you will. we can depend on that sector to report to us to enable the government to help them. i've asked director comey to speak to this as well. >> that's. >> that's what i meant to respond to senator mikulski about the work we have to do to protect the american people getting tangled up in controversy about surveillance without the cooperation of the private sector. i think of us as patrolling history. we can see that street is safe, but were no help to the neighborhoods. we have to find a way for them to tell us what is going on and asked to tell them what is going on in order to protect the american people. it gets caught up in the swirl
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about my goodness, the government wants to do it through clear, lawful guidelines to make those on the street and in the neighborhoods. >> i concur with you and trying to get this collaboration is so critical. the challenge is these retailers saw in terms of run across that line to do a report to the public because i think if the public had a full understanding of how often and how many firms are under daily assault, it would maybe even pale to some of the concerns they have about the other activities going on. this is the dawning day today. again, i hope the congress comes back and revisit. thank you, madam chair. >> thankkitimat, senator warner. senator rockefeller. >> kitimat, madam chairman.
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i'll wait for a second round, but it's something i feel so strongly about a have to make a statement. the president announced that section 215 metadata should no longer be stored by the government. he asked the governor national intelligence to root for the attorney general to come up with new options. ultimately, the decision rests with congress and the senate are absolutely opposes contracting out this inherently core governmental function. this seems to be lost in this conversation is everyday we face a growing and evolving threat for enemies that could cost american lives. the terrorist threat remains real and ongoing. the government's ability to assess the data that is protected american terrorist attack. the hard fact is that our national security interests do not change just because public opinion nonissues fluctuate. the collection and clear enough
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this metadata is not a private sector responsibility. it is the fundamental core government functions should remain that way. i am concerned that any change of our current trademark would harm both our national security and privacy. other president has made it clear that he understands our intelligence need for this data that we should keep collecting, i do not believe he came up with a better alternative. she just threw it to you. and two eyes. here's why. practically, we do not have the technical capacity to do this. it is impossible to do so without the massive mistakes or catastrophic privacy violations. their hundreds and hundreds of telecommunication companies. these have their own issues. you can't talk about one or two
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big ones. they're all going to have to go into this protocol. prospects are don t. meant to be ridiculous. they do not want to become agents of the government. they do not want to become the governments guardians of data. the telecom providers themselves do not want to do this. and for good reason. telecom companies do not take an oath of allegiance to protect domestically and internationally. small matter is a big matter. they are neither counterterrorist agencies are privacy protection organizations. they are businesses interested in the bottom line. they are focused on rewarding shareholders, not protecting privacy or national security. i've served on the commerce committee for 30 years and nine of the telephone sometime make empty promises about consumer protection and transparency.
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i've been through many iterations of this and is not happy. corporations, core profit motives can and sometimes have trumped their holdings to their own public commitments. my concerns about private providers retaining data for national security purposes are only heightened by the advent of multimillion dollars data broker industry that biased rows of data, including telephone numbers, which it uses to determine our most personal inclination. one data broker holds as much as 75,000 different data point about each one of us, including our health is staggering. further about in the telecom providers in the extended storage of this data for intelligence purposes would not only make the data subject discovery in lawsuits, but also make it more vulnerable to attack by hackers or foreign intelligence organizations.
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another powerful reason to be against private companies taking responsibility for core government functions. additionally, targeting the recent loss of 110 million american's information to hackers does not reassure me at all that moving the sensitive data to the private sector for intelligence purposes would adequately protect consumers privacy. the venous data away from the stringent audits and oversight mechanisms this committee has worked over the years to put in place and now has added on 20 more amendment to do more. it makes it less vulnerable to abuse. i want to reiterate, the telecom providers want no part of it. they say so. they never have. they did not advise it. they had to.
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that's a very different situation. this is not a foundation for a good partnership. in fact, for contacts under the existing system, there's 22 supervisors in the intelligence electorate, highly trained and skilled and 33 intelligence analyst to work specifically in the intelligence to read. these are professionals who have spent their careers preparing to do this job and to do it well. they work an extra in controlled environment. the queries are subject to multiple overlapping checks added 10 inspections, keeping in mind that these queries involve only anonymous numbers. no-name, no content, no location. no one is listening to conversations are reading your new bill. the data is highly secure. the queries of the data are connected only by highly trained professionals, which the telecom
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companies do not have and could not be trained to have for a very long period of time, because they don't want to be part of it. last year this committee worked to significantly strengthen 250 oversight with the adoption of 20 major reforms. >> we will at the last 30 minutes at this hearing to return to live coverage of the senate now. just a few minutes, lawmakers will hold a vote on the flood insurance bill. you will see work on a farm bill. accompany h.r. 44264, on the amendment of the house to the amendment of the senate to the bill h.r. 2642 to provide for the reform and continuation of agriculture and other programs of the department of agriculture and so forth and for other purposes, having met, have agreed that the house recede from its amendment to the amendment of the senate and agree to the same with an amendment and the senate agree to the same signed by a majority
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of all the conferees on the part of both houses. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the amendment? without objection. the senate will proceed. mr. reid: i have a cloture motion i ask be reported. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion, we the undersigned senators in accordance with the rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the conference report to accompany h.r. 2642, the agricultural reform and risk management act signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waiched, the cloture vote occur at 5:30, monday february 3, if cloture is invoked, there be two 20 minutes, at 2:15, to be equally divided between the leaders or their designees, upon the use or yielding back of
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that time all postcloture time be considered expired, and the senate proceed to vote on adoption of the conference report. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent we resume consideration of s. 1926. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on passage of s. 1926. who yields time? a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i'll be brief in our wasn't minute to express my thanks to senator menendez from new jersey, senator landrieu around vitter and all those that came together 20 put together a great bill for the people of the united states senate. it was a bipartisan effort, it was a equally divided effort between the democrats and the republicans. i thank the senator from new
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jersey for his cooperation. mr. menendez: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: let me first i want to urge all of our colleagues to cast a yes vote on the passage of the home homeowners flood insurance act. this is a great week for the senate, gridlock far too often pervades this chamber and we've had an honest and open debate on this issue that's critical to the american people, we've had a respectable debate on good faith amendments that were germane to the bill and live up to the ideals of the senate and now we're poised to pass a critical piece of legislation which i believe overwhelming bipartisan support which will provide relief to millions of american families. i want to thank all of our cosponsors and their staffs including very large list of republican colleagues who support the bill and i particularly want to thank my
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lead republican cosponsor, senator isakson, for his efforts and the partnership on this issue and many others. i've had the pleasure to work with senator isakson on a number of issues and have come to respect his honesty and his desire to come together and get things done regardless of the issue. i think he's one of the most well respected members of the senate and together working with our colleagues i think we're poised to give some real relief to families and send a strong message to the house. the presiding officer: time has expired. mr. menendez: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: the question occurs on the passage of s. 1926 as amended. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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