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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 25, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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and you alluded to them in your remarks. counterterrorism remains our top priority. counterterrorism has changed dramatically. they have changed in the 18 months i have been on this job. the shift has been the growth of the group that called themselves the islamic state from a safe haven in syria and portions of the iraq. they are issuing a siren song to troubled souls that travel to these so-called caliphates, or if you can't travel, kill someone where you are. that song goes out into social media and it is consumed by people who are hard to see. they are in the basement or space and consuming poison. increasingly the focus is on people in uniform. we saw isil calling for harm to
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come to our military members. the threat we face is global. it moves at the speed of light. it is increasingly difficult to see. ghost to the complex spiderweb of social media. we focus i tried to find those needles in our 50 state haystack who might be radicalizing and responding to this poison and even driving -- planning to travel. we have got all 50. that is no cause for celebration. we're working with our partners in state and local. a lot of folks think of the 50's
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and 60's and 70's -- it is alive and well. their trend as to what matters. we are trying to prevent that. we are responsible for protecting children in this country, people from fraudsters, the ravages of drug dealing and violent crime. folks all over again the work every single day. cyber, the threats i mention increase in the comes at us through the internet. you mentioned the modern fbi and how it was born of the 20th century. 50 miles an hour. 60 miles an hour. we have -- are facing a vector change now. john dillinger couldn't do the
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threat we face through the internet. moves at the speed of light. everyone is next-door neighbors to everyone on the internet. all of our international operations are growing our ability to be good in cyberspace to protect kids, fight fraud everything. people, training, technology and smart deployment. most folks don't know about the fbi trains all the nations. we spent time there building the world's greatest library of improvised explosive devices. the hard-earned tax dollars have bought it and it is worth the money.
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compare the forensics of that and symbols we have collected in an operation that is centered in alabama. -- samples we have collected in an operation that is centered in alabama. local partners are central to everything we do. i've been to all of the field offices to build relationships. i do something else, which i think every member of a law enforcement family she do good when -- should do. when someone is killed, i make a call. i make too many calls. two yesterday. totally different circumstances. wisconsin and california. they were all murdered by thugs.
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they didn't deserve that. they left behind families. it leaves me today with a heavy heart. we are having important conversations. i'm keen to make sure we have conversations and understand what is at stake in the sacrifices made in the men and women in law enforcement and the kind of people who sign up to do this sort of work, especially with the loss of life. it is on my mind. the 9/11 review commission, we told the world we have released pages. we declassified as much as he could. their messages, you have done great, if not than enough. that is my message for the fbi. you are good. never be satisfied with it.
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we are in progress of transforming capabilities. we still need to go farther. i pledge is i have got a .5 years to go i will work every day to make this better. thank you for your time. representative culberson: thank you. keep officers in our prayers. our hearts go out to the families of those three agents who lost their lives. it is something all of us keep in the forefront of our minds. the sacrifice in risk that all of you take in protecting us and the country from these incredibly complex threats. it is apparent in this new era the scale of the problem is huge. you have to rely on state and local authorities. it is a team effort. the genius of america is the founders envisioned a system of protecting lives and property.
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in the good hearts and common sense of individual americans. help defend the country. really the most important role. our enemies will never be able to defeat the good hearts and good common sense of individual americans defending their families, homes, neighborhoods communities. our local police and state officers and what they do is indispensable. i appreciate you mentioning it. the evolving threat we face is important motivation behind chairman wolf's amendment to create the 9/11 commission. it released unclassified report today.
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i appreciate you mentioning it in your opening testimony. one of the key recommendations they made that i know you have begun to do is the vitally important role that intelligence analysts play in the new world the fbi confronts. could you talk a little bit more of the work that you are doing to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 commission to professionalize the intelligence analysts position within the fbi. director comey: thank you, mr. chairman. they didn't have that service as recently as 13 years ago. we have made great progress, but transforming and creating a new element to the organization i believe is a generational project.
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i announced as soon as i started i would spend my decade pushing on that same change. it is about attracting great talent. it is about having the rest of the organization except them learn to work well together with them. we are doing that extremely well in some places. i'm doing a bunch of different things. i making a personal priority site review a series of projects to drive that forward. i grade our leaders on it. working hard to make sure people understand that this is something the fbi has oh ways done. this is about -- has always done. this is about making this great organization better. make sure that i drive the integration between intelligence analysts and our operators and make it good everywhere in the
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united states. representative culberson: in making the analyst positions and moving them into senior management levels, making sure they are integrated with that into your career service and syria management positions. director comey: yes, sir. i created a separate intelligence branch. so the leader of the branch was much closer to me so i could see that person and drive it. to that role, i love him as a person. don't like him as a concept. several should be -- i have got talent coming up towards that. i don't know we have made material progress. representative culberson: also the panel's recommendation that the fbi. a five-year plan.
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do you agree with the concept? director comey: i have to give it more thought. i don't want to great plants just for the sake -- create plan s just for the sake of writing them. they do sit on the shelf. i look at where there is an overarching plan that ought to be written. i told him i would get back to them. i don't know if that makes sense. representative culberson: your information sharing with state and local police departments and law horsemen authorities is a good story -- law enforcement authorities is a good story. talk to us about that. director comey: we have broken. a lot of the berries both technological and regulatory policy between -- we lean
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forward and push things out as a matter of reflex. it is great to hear. i ask about everywhere i go. how are we doing? the answer is, you are doing extremely well. we have seen a dramatic change. it is the right thing to do. it is practical and we need these folks. i would joint tasks -- our joint tasks force -- i believe i have a great marriage, that i believe i can be a better spouse. director comey: if a terrorist is an average american, using judgment to spot something peculiar, or a local police officer a sheriff having spotted
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something and it is their instincts tells them something is out of place in wrong, it is a good story here and frankly the entire 9/11 commission recommendation is encouraging to see the sum of what they have sent to congress is a good news story. you have done a good job. we appreciate that very much. representative: when i became ranking, one of my first visits was one of the places where you do joint operations looking for children and the innocence lost project. even been able to rescue some 4300 children. as you know, there are thousands
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of children who are missing. many are being exploited in all kinds of terrible circumstances. you have to prioritize. your people. your agents. very important work going on there. you have to make decisions about whether someone is tracking whether a talk is being exploited or a terrorist -- whether a child is being exploited or a terrorist. how have you prioritize this under your leadership? director comey: thank you. the work involving kids is some of the most important and meaningful that we do. as the father of five, i have gone out and visited and met with folks who do this work. told them there is nothing
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deeper than that work. take care of yourselves. the way we approach it is i view the fbi like a safety and football. we have certain assigned coverages. every game, every opponent that is our sensibility. beyond that come and look to the primary line of defense. where do you need us in this game? should we play run support? should we play deep? that will be different in every game against every opponent. i told my special agents in charge that in the cities in which operate, figure out where we can make it. figure out where we are needed. we are a big agency, but we are small compared to stay and local
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law enforcement. figure out where they need us to make a tackle. the review and prioritization. -- threat review and prioritization. we figure out what rights in the u.s. we need to make a tackle on. in the lead delphia, where we need? in phoenix -- in philadelphia, where are we needed? in phoenix, where are we needed? representative: i don't think most americans know that thousands of children are missing every week in our country . someend up -- country. some end up exploited for years on the internet. one of the things you do is chase bank robbers. somebody who is a special agent in charge says we're going to go after inc. robbers or this
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little girl -- bank robbers or this little girl who is being exploited. with limited resources -- i understand decisions about what is funded. i guess you would want to do it all. director comey: the way in which we make a decision is sit down and talk to people. social service agencies. law enforcement. i'm the special agent in charge in philadelphia. who is doing what to address that problem here? what is my rank? where are my priorities? we do the same thing at the national level. what about things that could happen that the fbi might be able to help with? there are 304 that things. given who else is helping with those bad things and the harm
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how would we rank them? come up with a national threat ranking of the threats we could face. it is imperfect, that it is the way we try to balance it. representative: the chairman mentioned interval. -- interpol. the europeans have something magical going on. they could make an arrest of prosecutions throughout 28 countries with no extradition and none of these other issues. they have a system that we cannot do state to state. there is language and sovereignty issues and nationalities. it is something we could learn as we go forward. thank you.
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representative culberson: german rogers. -- chairman rogers. representative rogers: the graduation from investigating committed crimes and preparing evidence for prosecution, and then there is today's world where you are working to prevent events from leading to crime before it takes place. after terrorism -- counterterrorism try to prevent terrorism. trying to keep spies away. the constant barrage of cyber threats foreign and domestic. prevention rather than prosecution although there might
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be prosecution. that is a significant change. it has taken an effort on part of the fbi leadership to try to get it through that agencies about this new world in which we live in the mission -- do you agree with that? director comey: very much. the transformation that has happened in the fbi is one from a place where we were criticized with some justification. something came in or a call came in. we responded. we investigated. to stepping back and having taught full people say, what are the that things going on here that might happen? how do we find out more so we can address it before it happens? that is the intelligence transformation. i say this with pride.
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i think we are the best in the world at finding stuff out. what we're getting better at is what stuff do we need to find out? who else needs to know? what might we not know? what are we missing? and be much more thoughtful. connecting it. representative rogers: and the current world war, the terrorism violence, is a worldwide event. we are in a world war. we are up against a sophisticated enemy. the recruiting of foreign fighters into syria and iraq. we haven't found a way yet in my
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opinion to effectively stop or even slow it down. it is more than law enforcement or an fbi mission. just last week, we learned about a 47-year-old air force veteran who tried to join isis. before this apprehension there is a man who worked for number of american firms overseas, including a u.s. defense firm in iraq from -- for whom performed avionics and u.s. army aircraft. with had several stories like that that have it. . is there a magic bullet to try
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get at that problem? director comey: there isn't a magic bullet. it is about making sure we have sources where we need them to be. a capability in the online place -- space. their former likely to hear about a guy thinking about leaving the community american -- that community. the egyptians that spotted him when he was sent back from turkey alerted us and were able to lay hands on him. representative rogers: the prescription drug problem has been devastating in my part of the state and the country. now that we are beginning to make a dent in closing them down
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in other places and finally getting the fda to change the formulation of drugs to make them non-abused, a lot of the country is shifting to heroin. the drug cartels in mexico i'm hearing are now getting into the hill business -- pill business. what can you tell us about that? director comey: i think you identified something that doesn't get the attention it deserves. we do a lot to support them. we see the mexican traffickers increasingly shifting to heroin. these to be brown hair went -- it used to be brown heroin.
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what is happening is it is supplanting pill abuse. it is cheaper. easier to get. it is extraordinarily deadly. they don't realize it is andy 7%. -- 97%. pure. i heard about it a lot. now i'm hearing about it everywhere i go. for economic reasons, it is cheap. we're spending a lot of time trying to work with our partners to disrupt the traffickers and impose costs on them and drive the price up.
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representative rogers: still people are dying from pill abuse than car wrecks. pills are still a big problem. mr. chairman, i have used my time. representative culberson: not at all. representative rogers: quickly cyber threats -- where are we? director comey: ciber is a feature of every threat the fbi is responsible for. i describe it as an evil layer. we have got state actors looking to break into our corporate systems for their economic or intelligence advantage. and we have got all manner of
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thugs and criminals and pedophiles down below. our lives are there. my kids play on the internet. it is where we bank. those who do harm to children or credit card information or our banks, that is where they come. there isn't a single cyber threat. it is the bad guys have shrunk the world. belarus is next door to birmingham on the internet. where working hard to shrink that. i can make the globe smaller so we could impose some cost. everyone thinks it is a freebie. we have to impose costs on these people. even if they are in pajamas they are afraid to break into americans like in steals what manner -- and to -- and steal
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what matters to us. representative rogers: russia? director comey: russia is a significant player, as is china obviously. tewo huge operators. represented a rogers: -- representative rogers: we have proof they are attacking our databases. director comey: yes. represent a rogers: -- representative rogers: what are we doing? director comey: name it and shame it. publicizing them on posters. there are stealing our ideas and innovation. and died in that moment do any good. you will never catch them. we have many flaws.
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we are humans. never say never. people like to travel and get the kids educated in the u.s. or europe. we are trying to impose costs. name it. call it out. chinese are stealing our innovation, creativity, our jobs. in fact, it was this subcommittee men that many years ago who brought attention to a foreign government hacking into his files. he sort of let the way. i'm not satisfied at all that we are doing whatever we can do to try to stop it. thank you, mr. director. representative culberson: it is of keen interest to us.
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i've had a chance to come out here. very impressive. what advice if you could tell the american public out there listening some good basic rules to protect them? good hygiene practices? director comey: folks should exercise the prudence of wonder drug electronics as they would -- wandering electronics as they would in real life. they lock their car. people should hate the same way on the internet. -- should behave the same way on the internet. an e-mail is a knock on your front door. opening the attachment to an e-mail is opening your front door hit you would never open your front door without looking
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through your people before seeing who is there. people open that attachment. also, know where your children go to play. folks need to know where are they going? who are the interacting with? it is a kind of parenting and common sense we exercise in all parts of our life except when we're sitting at the keyboard which makes no sense at all. representative culberson: i heard your wonderful analysts talk about with some of your cyber folks that 80% of protecting yourself against a cyber attack is good hygiene like washing your hands are some of the basic things you have mentioned to us. thank you. representative: thank you for coming to testify before the subcommittee.
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forensic science and technology to identify suspects and assist the successful prosecution of criminals. last year's budget hearing and brought up assaulted hit -- ass ault kits. they began discussions of the backlogs. and please that the fbi laboratory staff i met with may facilitate dakota's upload of dna profiles linked to the suspects of accused sexual assault crimes. having said that, i want to add my thanks to frank wolf who really carried this and helped
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us see it entirely through. the appropriations bill includes the first point of the backlog in the police evidence rooms. and hopeful to see a program in fy-16. i want you to know we are committed to this issue. i encourage you and your staff to continue to work with them on the pilot project. it will focus on another point of the backlog that is a technical review from a private labs work. i would like to turn to have the second point of the backlog could the ad just mainly, the implementation and the police booking stations. i'm a firm believer in having the arrestee sample tested while
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that arrestee is in the booking environment. that will reduce the burden on government labs. i raised this last year as well. since last year's budget hearing, tell me what progress has been made? and once the relevant requirements have been amended what is your timeline assuming it has been amended for implementing? director comey: thank you, mr. honda. thank you for your continued focus on the rape kit backlog. there are rapists that will victimize more women. the key to stopping them sits on the shelves in a lot of police
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departments. i appreciate your focus on that. we will remain focused on it as well. on dna, we're big fans of the idea of the capability in booking rooms. a sample could be taken when someone is arrested and uploaded immediately. i spoke to dna rep -- experts. there is a private company making these devices to give them guidance on what will be needed to make it able to connect to our database in a way that preserves the sterling repartee -- sterling representation of our database. make sure we have the right software and hardware to connect the devices. good progress is being made. they think we are a few years away from being in a place this is a common feature. it does require legislative authorization. i don't know where that sits inside the executive branch. it is being looked at for
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privacy issues. both are marching along at the same time. that is my understanding today. representative honda: there are thousands of kits. 500,000 cases that are being left without the great evident that dna provides. victims and arrestees are at bay waiting to get justice. the quicker we move and implement this, that we can reduce these backlogs and have people really enjoy the benefits of our technology and have a rapid response. mr. chairman, if i could indulge with one quick question, thank
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you for adding to the fbi training manual, which will include guidance to report hate crimes directed at arabs and hindus. i think it will produce information. i have concerns about the common -- comment made last month on racism while policing and you said it is ridiculous that you couldn't say how many were shot by the police last month or last year. maybe taken out of context, but that was the quote. they report incidents to a database. this is automatic. the fbi have estimate from
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arrest related deaths -- primarily due to agency participation issues. good to discuss what the situation -- could you discuss what the situation is? director comey: thank you. it wasn't out of context. i do think it is ridiculous. i couldn't how many were shot by the police at any period of time. we don't have uniform reporting that is universal. we have 70,000 police departments. they are not all reporting encounters to us. i don't have confidence in my
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data. what i meant is it is ridiculous i could tell you how many books were sold on amazon or who many -- how many went to the flu to the hospital. that is a crazy place to be. it is a voluntary system. it requires the support of local and state law enforcement. the sheriff and the chiefs agree with me to give us this data. what do you need? we will talk to congress more on the road? have folks give us the data. we are not in a good place now. representative honda: perhaps with our good chairman we could look at this and see if we could be of assistance to you to acquire these different information.
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it doesn't seem to be acceptable of what is why and what is not going on in our country right now. director comey: there are violent encounters they encounter every day on our behalf. representative: thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to express my gratitude to the appropriations committee and members of congress for allowing me to serve. everyone was heartbroken of his passing. i do not believe his shoes could be filled. with that said director comey, i
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appreciate you are here and the magic that your agency provides for our security and protection here at home. i'm sorry for your loss for the three fbi agency mentioned pete we have lost a u.s. marshall in the past month. he is from south mississippi. it was in the line of duty. he left a wife and unborn child to carry on his legacy. we know what you all sacrifice day in and day out. some of the best people the world serve in our law enforcement. i would like to follow up with what chairman rogers mentioned that he mentioned china. homeland security. by former committee piques my curiosity.
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i don't want to put words in your mouth. we know the government of china is involved in cyberattacks on american governments and enterprise. knowing that and in diving five individuals -- and indicting five individuals, i don't think it works with china. they have the consent of their government. with that, how do we counter? what do you recommend to us and how to counter these cyber threats? i would like to hear your thoughts. director comey: thank you. i may have misspoken. the lives that were lost were police officers. one state trooper and to police officers. it doesn't make any difference.
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it is people lost in the line of duty. with respect to china for anyone in severn trent in, the question of what could be done about them is one that is both beyond -- one that even if it was, we wouldn't discuss it in an open forum. we are tend to make sure our responsibility is to investigate cyber intrusions to the u.s. and make sure that our government has a full understanding of who is doing what so we can figure out what to do about it. one of the things we do is bring criminal charges as part of a toolbox approach to change behavior with the chinese. it is part of a lot of international forums. our government is working to adopt some norms. it is my function that the fbi
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is to understand what they are doing and show our government here is what we see. representative palazzo: i understand the cyber threat is real. i think congress and the american people are recognizing it is real, clear, and present. i hope we're doing everything we can to provide your agency and others with the resources to counter this threat. not just illegally downloading music, but there's a huge fear if they engage in some form of cyber attack it could cripple our critical infrastructure. the last thing i would want to see is the lights go out and your atm doesn't work in the navigation on your car, it calls for huge amount of panic. he mentioned something of the radical islamists.
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we don't really see them. they are in their basements. they are consuming this form of poison. could you profile with this person would be? is there something about their demographics that make them vulnerable to this poison? i agree it is poison. we don't need anyone consuming it. director comey: in a way, i wish i could. that is one of the challenges to this threat. these people range from 18-62. there are from any part of the country, any background. they were either raised in the islamic faith or converts, but
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my have all different kinds of backgrounds and they consume this and develop the view that this is how they find meaning in life. they are people who are troubled souls seeking meaning in life. there isn't a poverty marker. some have jobs. they have this misguided sense the need to participate. some are losers. they have trouble with jobs and petty crime. we started this pretty closely and search for the pattern. so far, i cannot offer you one. representative palazzo: thank you. representative culberson: the back door of a trojan horse could be created with the piece of a computer system or hardwired with a computer chip or telecommute occasions
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equipment, it is invisible. you cannot see it. it is so bad. wah way in particular -- wahwei in particular. representative: good to be here today for this hearing. i met with some of the folk's from the birmingham facility recently. one of the things we talked about in the mentioned to me was the new iphone 6 has an
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encryption and it that you cannot get into that encrypt. there is no backdoor key. i wanted to know what is or what is the fbi's position on apple and google's decision? director comey: we have a huge problem. we lost four in -- we in law enforcement, when cap court process, the judges issue search warrants or interception orders. were unable to execute on those orders. we are drifting to a place where a whole lot of people look at us with tears in their eyes. what do you mean you cannot? my daughter is missing.
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i think we need to have a conversation in this country of where we are going. i want the ability to gather evidence. i follow it. we need a discussion. it is a huge feature we are discussing. car wrecks. i don't know exactly what the answer is. it is something we have to talk about. representative: you mentioned the mother shows you the phone and you cannot get into it. can you let us know the damage it has done to the fbi? director comey: we have encountered it in drug cases.
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and not in a position where i could offer a percentage or a number. it is a feature and an obstacle in a huge percentage of our criminal investigations. it will become worse and worse. privacy should be the paramount virtue. try to imagine what that world looks like? pedophiles cannot be seen. kidnappers cannot be seen. drug dealers cannot be seen. i can express that us. i hear it all over the country -- i cannot express that in numbers. i hear it all over the country. representative: what can we as a committee to to help you with this? director comey: one of the things that administration is working on is what would a legislative response look like? that would allow us with quick process to get access to that evidence?
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it is complicated. it includes device makers. i think it will require some sort of legislative fix. if you want to do business, we are about the rule of law. there is no safe to posit box that cannot -- there is no safe deposit box that cannot be opened without authority. where heading to place where huge spaces beyond authority it will take a legislative fix. representative: it does not matter resources, a legislative fix that needs to be dealt with. director comey: i think that is right. we need to figure out what are the trade-offs associated and had we reconcile them? it is hard. we do hard stuff. that is a conversation we need to have. representative: missy. representative culberson: talk to us weekly about the court
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case in the supreme court where a phone was seized as part of a routine police arrest and the police picked up the phone and looked at it and the guy said you cannot look at it. talk to us about that case. can apple see what is on here under court order? director comey: no. the iphone 6 design -- apple is unable to lock it. it becomes the safe deposit box with no second key. the bank cannot get into it. a judge cannot order access to it. representative culberson: is apple voluntarily made this decision to fix it so the user is able to lock it and they are not able? director comey: that is correct. i'm not trying to pick on the folks at apple or google. their view is they are responding to competitive pressures. people want to have a zone of
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privacy. so do i. but do have a zone of privacy outside the reach of the law is concerning. our practice has been to get search warrants for devices. that makes sense especially given all our lives are there. it is a suitcase carrying your kids pictures, documents. it was good sense to me that this is different than it used to be. should have fourth amendment implications. if i want to look at your phone without your consent, i would go to a judge and make a showing of probable cause and get a court order. if i could get the phone open, i could look at it. representative culberson: one more question -- have you heard that there is a rumor that apple has made an agreement with china about this? as a precondition to selling their phones there? director comey: i don't know
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anything about that. representative: thank you. representative culberson: chairman carter? representative carter: there is a way forward, right? is life or liberty is in jeopardy, i want you to get into the phone. i'm interested in what they had to say in the protections of personals people that people's personal papers and so on. the people we represent have some interest in privacy. that is why these companies are trying to produce a product that gives them that privacy. we need to protect public safety
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. if there is a terrorist to have a bomb and you need to track where they are, we need to be able to do it. it is good what the judge does next. representative: cyber is pounding me from every direction. every time i hear something, something pops into my head. if they could get into a cell phone like they do into a computer -- is there a solution to invaders from around the world china get in here? -- trying to get in here?
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if the law cannot penetrate it are we creating an instrument for lawlessness? this is an interesting conundrum. if they could put something in that computer to where nobody but that owner could open it, why can't they put it in the big , giant, supercomputers? everything gets locked waste to greatly. that sounds like a solution -- everything gets locked up away. that sounds like a great solution to turns out those who do harm -- solution. print of those are do harm, the law enforcement cannot -- turns out those who do harm, law
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enforcement cannot reach them. i don't think there is a right of privacy issue. if that is what they have created, they have created a monster that will harm law enforcement, national security and everything else in that country. it needs to be addressed. i want to talk about that. i don't think that is right. representative: if you had a case in front of you where you had evidence of a crime in a safe that was locked and the owner had the combination, how would you handle that? representative: if there is probable cause, we will give them the right to a search. if he made a search proofed and
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even the guy who created the monster cannot get in there that is bad policy. representative: there is no safe like that in the world. representative: but if you cannot crack the safe, that is what they created here, -- representative: that seems valid. representative: the issues of privacy are protected by that bill of rights. representative: i knew we would find wisdom from the judge. [laughter] the distinction i would ask is this -- the court order would be for hard-line. under pfizer, we could get a court order to tap into information that is used with a phone.
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accessing information on a digital phone that has what we might want to call intelligence come accessing that would be like accessing a person under oath and hearing information them i have inside of them. you might have to look at the kind of legislation that equates our so we may have to look at the kind of legislation that equates our intelligence in trying to access our own privacy. so there would be a sanction if we lie under oath. and if we have a choice now of opening up our own phone and even the company can't do that, yeah, i would just try to make a distinction -- >> i am yielding my time. let him talk. he's a nice guy. representative: i'm trying to make a distinction between the kinds of laws that we write and
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author, in one set of technology, when we're looking at artificial intelligence and we're looking at another kind of technology where we can make safe our own information accessing that is going to have to have another level of thought like we had to do with the accessing and tapping into technology. a safe is still the old technology -- [inaudible] representative: if you have access to a phone that the individual who bought it can open up, that you can have certain kinds of force of law that would require them to be able to testify -- director comey: it's an interesting question. forgive us, judge.
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representative: i just wanted to raise that. representative: thank you judge. representative: it really is a really interesting conversation that we started here and i'm glad to get the judge's wisdom on this. representative: the other question i wanted to ask you last time we were here you said one of the things you were concerned about is am i going to be able to get in the workforce the quality of people that i need in this cyber war that we are facing. how are you doing on being able to recruit the intelligent workforce that it takes to go off in the special area of national security and crime? how effective have you been since our last conversation? one of the things you expressed last time you were here and i wanted to give you a chance to say how effective you've been and what can we do to make you more effective? director comey: thanks, judge. pretty good. but it's too early for me to give you a high confidence read. i have been crawling out of my hole from sequestration. we've been hiring lots of people. so far so good and they're staying. once you get to do public service, it becomes addictive, even if a lot of
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other companies are throwing a lot of dough at you. folks are getting in and realizing it's fun to do good for living. it's early. we should talk again in a year when i have a fuel two years of -- afu full two years of data. representative: this is not only the issue you've got, but homeland security is looking at this issue too. one of the question has come up for us to discuss is what are the opportunities to contract with these people who have these firms that all they do is this kind of work and maybe is that something that government can do effectively and safely protecting government's interest, subcontract some of the work to the great computer wizards of our world. that's something we need to be thinking about and we're looking at it right now in homeland security, as to whether or not that is a safe and appropriate thing to do, to subcontract. that's something you might think about. i was in a room full of smart people yesterday morning for breakfast and i understood about every fifth word. thank you.
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representative: thank you judge. representative: it's complicated. it's an incredibly complex universe of computer out there. i'll recognize the state of washington, ms. butler. representative: i have three pieces here and i'm going to make them as a brief as possible. i appreciate your time. i'm going to start with -- i'm going to start on a different track and come back to cyber. why not mix it up. actually this does have a relation. in your submitted testimony you mentioned the internet facilitated sexual exploitation of children involving the threat that your agency is facing. there are thousands of children every year through sites like back and other internet sites that are sold. backpage and other sites have acknowledged the existence of prostitution and sexual exploitation and of minors on their sites and these sites are
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accomplices of basically promoting prostitution and exploitation of minors. i want to know where the fbi -- has the fbi prosecuted any of these companies for knowingly permitting the exploitation of girls and young women on their sites? director comey: it's a great question and a really important question because you're right. we're seeing an explosion of the abuse of kids through the internet and the sell of kids through the internet. the answer is yes. we've prosecuted the people behind an outfit i think called redbook that was in california. we locked up the proprior tore -- the proprietor running it and one of these back pages outfits and that shut down the site. so yes, we have. representative: follow up. since the online facilitated sexual exploitation of children
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is a prioritized threat, help me understand your allocation to that area of investigations and how does the internet against crimes program fund fit into that? director comey: we have task forces that focus on this -- i'm going to forget the number, but it's more than my number of field offices. we have two in some event. we do this in every field office, we do an operation called operation cross country where we work with state and local partners, because it connects to the cyber stuff. a lot of the ways in which we find the people that are going to exploit kids are through the advertisements where we try to take down in a swoop a bunch of these people, rescue the kids and lock up -- i hate the word pimp because it sounds like a 1970's comedy thing. these are slavers. we lock up the slavers. i'll have to get back to you on
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the second part of your question where the internet crim against -- crime against children fits in. representative: i'm glad you mentioned that operation cross country because i think the demand size -- you know, a lot of the work that we've been doing at a state level is changing the perception. we've been much more successfully here federally. these are victims, young children who have been brought into this slavery, form of slavery trafficked and exploited. and what we have -- now we're turning our eyes to how do we beat the demand. how are these people prosecuted. there's nothing more frustrating than knowing a 17 or 16-year-old girl who has been prosecuted is -- prostituted is the one that faces the criminal penalty and a john walks free. it is infuriating to me. so your foe focus on the demand -- your focus on the demand side, both these portals that the criminals are using. and i agree pimp has almost been romanticized in some areas which is pathetic. but these johns, the
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slavers need to be the focus. some of the people who are buying these children are people that at times are amongst us. switching -- and we're going to continue to focus, so we continue and follow up with your may staff and your team. cyber, this is my last question. premera blue cross in washington state had a real serious cyber attack last may, but the company did not discover the branch until january of this year. and upon the advice of the fbi and a cybersecurity firm, the company waited until march 17th to provide notification of the attack. about 11 million customers nationwide and about 6 million in washington state, including my constituents may have been compromised. so i guess i want to hear why
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did the -- why would the fbi recommend they wait to make that information public when we're talking about names, addresses telephone number, social security numbers in some cases medical history, banking data, so on and so forth. director comey: thank you for that. i don't know the facts enough to know if it was january to march. but we do sometimes ask companies to hold off for a little while so we don't alert the bad guys. as soon as it becomes public whoever is doing it goes under ground. representative: i would assume that's a 24-hour or two-day -- from the previous briefings that we've had with the cybersecurity , that's not a two-month window. if it is, we're not doing something right. director comey: the two-month window seems odd to me but it's
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more than a 24 hour time frame. it's a search for the ground zero computer to see if we can find the digital dust is from where the bad guys entered. and in a huge company sometimes that takes mar than a 24-hour dax -- takes more than a 24-hour period. two month i don't really understand. representative: i would love a follow-up on that. that greatly concerns me. thank you. i yield back. representative: thank you for being here today. sitting here listening to these discussions all over the place, i have an almost ten-year-old and a six-year-old. and the thought of one of my children going missing and you not being able to do anything about it because of what we already discussed is terrifying. but i can say this. thank you for the work that you do for our country and i appreciate the challenges that you have. i'm new to the subcommittee. so i, too, am not an expert in cybersecurity by any stretch. it's like going to school every day to learn more about what you do and the challenges you face. i was in huntsville, i know you touched on birmingham and i know
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you mentioned huntsville. it was great to be at the new tea. -- tdot facility. they're like delivering furniture. it was not complete yet. there's no bodies there yet and even some of the equipment. but it was fascinating for me to learn about what they're doing. this is the terrorists explosive device analytical center. and i also had the chance to stop by the hazardous devices school, which is great as well where they train local law enforcement. so i guess what i wanted to talk to you about, some of the things that they mentioned as a challenge was personnel recruitment. because just nationally it's difficult to find individuals that have the expertise to be able to do this type of analysis on ieds. i wanted to talk about your
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budget request and where you see any shortfalls in personnel for this new facility. and you know, what -- how we can make this vital center a reality. director comey: thank you so much for that. i too visited there in the last eight weeks. and they were just -- i could smell the fresh paint. very exciting. because it will make a big difference. it will save lives. that place will literally save lives. the answer is i think we're doing okay in terms of recruiting and hiring back. we were down many, many, many vacancy slots in the fbi as a result of sequestration. we hired about 2400 people last year. i'm trying to hire 3,000 this year. and then my budget request this year is simply about being able to sustain that. i don't think i'm going to have a problem staffing t dak. i'm going to transfer people and i actually went down and met
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with the staff at quantico and said, wait until you visit huntsville. you'll think i don't want to be sent to huntsville. wait until i try to get you out of huntsville. i don't think we're going to have a problem. i think the committee has supported us, well enough. it sounds like a corny thing to say, i'm lucky enough that the fbi has justifiably a very strong identity in american life. people want to work for the fbi and they want to do the kind of work we're doing in huntsville. folks are banging down the door. i advertise for special agents and i get 20,000 applications in two weeks. i think we're going to be okay there. director comey: -- representative: and that's great to hear. talking about the hazardous devices school, i forget what they call it, but the staging areas. director comey: the villages. representative: yeah. director comey: we blow stuff up
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in the villages. representative: they're wanting to expand that. it's an expensive, expensive school to operate because of what they're doing. but the equipment that they use -- if you could talk about that a little bit. director comey: there's such a demand for that. again, that is as you said, where we, the fbi train all state and local bomb teches in the united states. there are thousands of bomb technicians in the united states. they're all certified and trained at the hazardous devices school. but to be trained effectively you need to work with buildings that have a real feel to them. that's what the villages are. representative: they put the church next to the liquor store. director comey: they just showed me the church. they didn't show me the liquor store. director comey: -- representative: well they try to say it was like alabama. i wasn't going to accept that. director comey: thanks to the
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support of this committee and on the senator side, we've gotten the funding to build an additional number of villages. six additional villages and people shouldn't think that's a whole new town. it's a little cluster of buildings. that will enable us to meet the demand. the military abz it's downsizing and shrinking its commitment to the hazardous devices school. we're using the support we've gotten from congress to try to make sure that we staff up to make sure that we stay the same. i think we're going to be okay there was the verdict i got when i was there. representative: again, thank you for the important work that you do and everybody that's with you on your team. we appreciate your commitment to our country and our safety. thank you. representative: thank you. i wanted if i could to follow up on one of the questions that chairman rogers brought up about foreign fighters. director comey, we have seen estimates as many as 20,000 have traveled from 90 countries to travel and fight to syria, about 150 americans who have traveled to syria and iraq to fight with isis and other terrorists groups.
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could you talk to the committee -- and this i recognize is an unclassified setting -- about your ability to be able to identify and keep track of these folks and the americans that may be traveling over there and what can this subcommittee do to help you deal with the threat? director comey: thank you, mr. chairman. it's a big feature of the work and enormously challenging. the number of 150 is the approximate number of americans who have travelled to syria in connection with the conflict. some have gone for humanitarian reasons, some have gone due to associate with isil or other groups. so one of our challenges is, even with those we've identified trying to understand what they are doing there. not everybody who is going there went there to be a terrorist but we treat them all like they are and we cover them like a blanket when they come back until we understand it. our challenge is trying to make
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sure that with our partners in the intelligence community and our foreign partners, we have the trip wires in place to spot americans who might be going toward that area of the world but heading towards syria. there are thousands of americans every day that fly towards, right, the mediterranean, fly towards turkey for all manner of reasons. we need the help of our partners to spot those who might be transiting turkey. the turks have been a big help to us there and that relationship has gotten increasingly good. but then here at home to -- the challenge to come back to state and local law enforcement is, i'm not highly confident that 150 is 150 is 175, so i'm only missing 25 or 150 of 300. i -- i just don't know. because again it's so difficult in a wonderful free country like ours to know who might be traveling with bad purpose. that's where it comes into the research we do online to spot
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them and our relationship with state and local law enforcement. representative: we have the benefit of judge carter being here talking to us, how much tsa and home security doing? how are they working with you? what recommendations would you make to the chairman that anything homeland needs to be doing. director comey: i think we're in a goods place with respect to cvp. they're on the joint terrorist task force and the national ter -- national terrorist task force. we all recognize they have the eyes at the border, outbound and inbound. we're lashed up with them very closely. one of the lessons of the boston marathon bombing was we need to make sure we're even more effective to working with them. the key partner turns out to be cvp and i don't have a recommendation for improvement on that right now. representative: my understanding judge, and director, is that the united states didn't have the ability to track visas. if they overstay on visa, we're not doing a ooh good job of
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-- doing a good job of tracking these guys. representative: we don't have an exit policy right now. if they overstay a visa, they can know they're overstaying it but they don't know if they've left or not. that's a real problem. representative: that's why i was asking the question. representative: but that's not really where he's coming from. working together, i think there's a good, good working relationship between the agencies and the fbi and others. our guys are doing a pretty decent job on the law enforcement side of it. we need an exit policy but it's going to cost them, start counting in billions of dollars when we start doing it and that's one of the problems we've got in this particular environment we're living in right now. but you can spot them when they leave the country if you've flagged their visa, you think they might be a problem, they leave the country, homeland security is able to share that information. representative: we don't have an exit policy right now. we don't know.
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director comey: but if we have an interest with someone, we share that with cvp. representative: then we track the individual. we do that every day. but just the average joe that flies over here on a plane for a vacation, if he stays -- representative: or overstays. representative: we don't know that he didn't leave. he could have left. we don't necessarily know whether he left or didn't leave. representative: we have -- i know also the patriot act connelling up for renewal at the end of may. it will expire. all of us have an interest in protecting the privacy of americans, you do as well. remembering benjamin franklin and what he said about trading a little liberty for safety. that is an important lesson for us all to remember. can you talk to us, and also the
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americans watching today, the protections that the patriot act delves into. and that suitcase that we all have with us. director comey: thank you. representative: and how important the patriot act is to you. director comey: i tell folks and at the public, americans should be skeptical. about government power. i tell my british friends is because of you people that we built it the way we built it. you can trust people in power. i'm a nice person, i am an honest person, you should not just me. you should want to know how it is designed.
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the patriot act is a great example. if we want to get someone and their business records, using our authority under section 215 we have to go to a federal judge and get that authority. and then make a report to congress about how we are using section 215 and we discuss it in oversight hearings. the legislative, judicial, and executive are working together and then my work on 215 and all of our patriot act authorities are audited by the attorney general. these are great. it is burdensome, but that is the way it should be. there are judges, there is oversight and every piece of the work that we do. the reason that the patriot act authorizes and why it matters much especially what i mention section 213 is the authority that allows us to go to judges
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and get authority to get documents or tangible things or records. if that expires and we lose that authority, we will have a gap in our ability to respond to spies and terrorists. and the second i mention is roving wiretaps. in criminal cases, if the drug dealer is swapping phones, as they frequently do, a judge to issue an order that allows us to fall the person so we don't lose him. the patriot act gives us that authority when we are fighting spies antiterrorist. i think people would want us to have that same authority. the challenges, it just took me two minutes to explain and often people not in say it's terrible what the patriot act has done. i hope folks don't do that. representative: also, for people to know that mr. snowden is no hero.
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can you talk in an open setting of why -- should not think -- people should not think of him as a hero? director comey: i don't want to say -- i don't want to say too much because i hope mr. snowden will realize that the greatest country in the world has the fullest and freest criminal system. and he will avail himself for the rights and opportunities of being able to defend himself in our criminal justice system. i hope he will leave russia and come back here. i want him to have a fair trial. representative: remember he carried out how many laptops? representative: many records.
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and so you need to look at the entire damage to our ability to track terrorists and spies, the whole network. representative: thank you, mr. chairman. the bill has a number on it, but you are seeking a billion dollars. we have another part of the budget that has been -- it has grown from one billion dollars to $7 billion. it's the federal prison budget. yet it is a bit concerned because the federal prison system is gobbling up the budget that this committee has discretion over. and there is a sense that the country incarcerates people that don't need to be incarcerated. we incarcerate more people than any other country in the world. and so we set up a commission that has two former members of -- former members leading it, --
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out of oklahoma and alan guatemala -- out of west virginia. we put some experts on it including the head of corrections from the city of consulting you which i think was a very wise choice. and they are looking at what it is that we might be doing about something that we kind of call justice reinvestment. i am interested in your view about who the country, you know it somebody said here, if it is someone that did something we didn't like we should put them in jail. and i would like to hear what your view is about this problem and what you think we should do about it. director comey: it is something that i spend a lot of my life thinking about. i think we can always be smarter about how we incarcerate and how we use the course of aspects of
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the criminal justice system. i think we can be a whole abettor in preparing people to reenter society. that is something we as a country have done a very poor job of. i want to make sure that if i am involved in an effort like that that i am thoughtful about what connection, if any, is there between the incarceration rate and the fact that we have low levels of crime. i wouldn't want to do anything where we say 20 years from now, we really got that wrong. because we achieved a level of production that was unprecedented. a lot of people smarter than i should think about that. and i want to know, who are the people in jail, in federal prison and why are they there and what are the risks associated with them. the reason i say that, i often hear people talk about the nonviolent drug offenders in federal prison. i have never put anyone thereby that ascription. i can't find a lot of federal prosecutors that say, i
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prosecuted a low-level drug offender. there may be a lot of folks like that, but i want to make sure that the data is correct. besides that, i want to be effective. representative: this is almost an equal part to our budget of what you request now. and that point, it was at $1 billion. in the number of inmates actually has, as in the crime rate nationwide goes down, the inmates has gone down. a lot of that action is at the state level. the committee would be interested in your thoughts as we go through the process and as the recommendations from the group comes back so sandy hook took place a little while ago. it was a tragedy. and if there are, you know, every year not just the loss of police officers, there are
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literally thousands and thousands of americans eating shot and killed -- being shot and killed. the access of firearms which the supreme court has said people have a constitutional right to, and that is the law of the land, as a law enforcement official, how do you and ty jones is leaving as the head of the agency what should we be doing and thinking about as a nation on the question of firearms? director comey: all aspects of that are beyond my expertise and my authority, except for one piece. i spent a lot of my life trying to make sure that criminals were deathly afraid of being caught with a gun. and if the criminal was caught, obviously committing a crime with a gun or just possessing
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it, there are severe consequences. i have long believed that most hot -- most homicides are happenstance homicides. what would otherwise be a fistfight, because someone has a gun, it becomes a shooting. it is there in the waistband. and that if we can make the criminal or criminals very good at rational confrontations -- we want in the criminal mind that you should be afraid, you should think more about your gun that about your socks and shoes when you get dressed to go out and deal drugs. and i think that is effective. i am a big supporter, not a big part of the fbi of maniacal enforcement of felony possession, drug dealer possession. there is no excuse for a to have one, none.
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>> there has been a lot of debate on the hill about prosecution of people you have locked up as terrorists. as far as i can tell, there have been no issues. these prosecutions have proceeded and justice has been served. is that your sense of this? we have this debate -- the administration wants to close guantánamo and get out of the business of incarcerating people without a trial, without any due process. they think it is a problem for our country internationally. is there any concern you have about the ability of our court systems to handle these cases? director comey: distinguishing between foreign nationals captured on a battlefield overseas versus an american citizen -- director comey: it is about the
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effectiveness of the criminal justice system, in my experience. rep. fattah: should there be any concern that our country is capable of prosecuting -- director comey: none. that does not mean it ends the policy conversation, which is one the fbi should not be involved in, but courts are good at offering people a fair trial and incapacitating them for the rest of their lives in a safe way. rep. fattah: thank you. chair culberson: mr. honda. rep. honda: ip -- i appreciate your flexibility. i have a quick question. in 2016, my area will be hosting the super bowl. in the past three or four years we have been tracking the super
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bowl activities in terms of human trafficking. you have transnational organized crime, which addresses trafficking of women and children internationally. you also have the discussion around the child sex tourism initiative. i should say child sex slavery. prostitution has another connotation in my mind. is there a staff that we can collaborate with and speak with to anticipate for 2016? we are working with our local entities in terms of light rail, high-speed rail, and those kinds of activities at airports. it would be great if we could work with some of these staff to
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check and double check the kinds of things we are doing and see if there is anything we can collaborate on. director comey: i am sure that we can. this is something we have a lot of practice and. -- in. we can equip you with that. you can come to the super bowl for all kinds of reasons. if you are coming to pick up kids or engage in prostitution, we will be there and we will be looking to lock you up. we will get you what you need on that. rep. hanoda: -- honda: we like official kinds of surveillance. it would be great. director comey: sure. rep. carter: let's add a little judge-prosecutor discussion.
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i am not a law professor, but this is the kind of thing we have to be thinking about. we are telling our industry ok, the cyberattacks are real. they are coming. home depot got attacked. sony got attacked. you just heard about blue cross getting attacked. part of our plan for cyber security is to tell the industry, build a fort. protect yourself. we are helping you and assisting you, but the prepared. -- be prepared. what -- whether it is a criminal act or an act of war is an interesting debate to be had. what is your opinion of when a cyber attack escalates above a criminal activity and becomes an act of war? most people say that is a policy decision. i understand that is a good compound.
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it is an interesting discussion. what you are going to have ultimately is going back to the middle ages, building a bunch of little forts around our industry. some of these forts are going to be very powerful. i would bet the fort around microsoft is going to be extremely powerful. the fort around apple is going to be extremely powerful. not only powerful in defending themselves from attacks from outside, but they will have the ability to counterattack. and when they counterattack they can start an international incident. that is a question we have to ponder. we are, as a government, promoting them to build that fort. protect your castle. there are some who will save --
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who will always be able to be in the defending posture, but some may go offensive. from a criminal justice system we have to decide if that person has gone too far, just like the security guard that uses his gun in the protection of the bank or so for. some of it is going to be self-defense, maybe some is not paid we have to make that determination. we may have to make that determination in the cyber world sometime in the future if private energy, protecting its own property, decides to counterattack a cyber attack which we should have the ability to do. at least, we presume we would as the government. you have to assume that some of these big, monster tech industries have the ability to counterattack. how's that going to affect the world of criminal justice? director comey: i thought about
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it from the private sector where i was before coming back to this great job, and on the government side. the answer is we as a country, cannot allow it. it is against the law and, in my view, it should remain against the law. it is great to build a fort. if you start throwing rocks or barrels of oil down, it can have not done effects that are very hard to predict. it can drag us into a place where we do not want to be. it is unlawful for a private entity to hack back and it makes sense to me. but i also agree that there is a need for a lot of private enterprise, for our government to fill that space. that is a harder policy question. we cannot have each of these castles start throwing stuff out into the square. that public space is a place where the government ought to be operating. rep. carter: when you look at the dark ages, that is exactly
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what happened. france could not control the individual castles. england could not control the individual castles and all the social turmoil of the middle ages. arguably, we could be going into the cyber middle ages with everyone defending their own because the government, we are taking care of the government. in some instances, we are taking care of our body of commerce. but the individual person with the ownership is going to protect their own. on the horizon, we have real issues because the government has got to come in and say, how far can this person go to protect their own? the minute you hack into me if it is attached to every computer
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in you own, all over the world if somebody comes up with that that is a large offensive tool that you can use. it is something the government has got to start thinking about, because that is a big deal. at some point, it is an act of war. if they bombed microsoft or bombed the exxon mobil building in dallas, i think we would have a flyover airplane go out to bomb. we would call it an act of war. will we get to the point where it is an act of war by basically destroying a business? we in the criminal justice system, have to think about it. our professors in law school have to think about it and come up with a solution. director comey: there is a criminal justice and law from the old west. if the marshall does not provide safety for the people living in those towns, they are going to defend themselves to protect
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their families from the back guys. the government has to fill that public space and defend the citizens. rep. carter: i think you are probably right and that is a huge task. thank you. >> and a great question. if the government is unable to defend that space, if the marshall cannot be there how we have two provide self defense. in the cyber world. there is no clear answer, i guess. it is a really interesting question. rep. carter: we are literally creating those discussions today, no doubt. chair culberson: to follow up on the analogy about the apple 6 in case of a safe, where you have a court order to go in and get the contents of the safe, if
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the safe is uncrackable and the owner cannot or will not open it, as a general rule, does the company that built the safe has the ability to open the safe? is there any requirement that the company that built the safe open it? do they have the ability to open up -- open it? is there any legal requirement? director comey: with a court order, we can almost always get information from the manufacturer or we just blow the door open. chair culberson: the manufacturer could tell you. rep. carter: i have got to go. i want to thank you for all of the good work that you do. chair culberson: that is true. we will not keep you too much longer. in your experience, the manufacturer always had the ability to open it in some way, shape, or form?
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director comey: i do not know if we ever used lawful process to compel the manufacturer to give us assistance. i just do not know enough. chair culberson: that is another problem we are going to have to -- again, protecting people's individual privacy, but if you have evidence of a crime locked up in that suitcase -- let me ask about -- before we wrap up, i will follow-up with other questions for the record. the importance of inspector general, it is a question that is ongoing with every agency under our jurisdiction. inspector general's have a vital role in notifying us when they do audits and if the inspector general is denied access to information, they have to notify the committee. we have gotten several notices from the inspector general. we have mentioned this to you before, the fbi's failure to
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comply with the access to information requirement. i know that the fbi has disagreed with what the law requires. we have written a letter to the attorney general asking the office of legal counsel to help resolve a particular matter involving whistleblowers as quickly as possible. i would like to ask you, what steps are you taking to ensure the inspector general gets the information in a timely manner? what, if any, conflict of interest might there be in the inspector general, being in a position to decide what information the inspector general needs? particularly because the inspector general has, as you did, as a prosecutor, the ability to review things in a confidential manner, as a judge would. since the inspector general has criminal investigative authority and can maintain the confidentiality of that information, should the ig be the 1 -- you are able to work
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behind closed doors. what are you doing to get them that information? director comey: thank you. it is an important issue. i love my ig. the only thing i love more is the rule of law. i am in a situation where, as the fbi we have been given advice as to what the wiretap act, the grand jury secrecy act provides. we have to solve that problem which should be fairly easy. legal counsel is looking at the question. i think the new attorney general is moving towards resolving this question. i need someone to say it is ok. you do not have to go to a judge before you can turn over wiretap information or grand jury information to the ig, and problem solved. but i have no interest in obstructing the ig. i also do not want to be just
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willy-nilly turning over stuff that could be protected under these statutes. if someone says, why did you do that, because you were told by your general counsel that the law means this. and we are trying to speed up our business processes so that we can do what we need to do more quickly. chair culberson: particularly interested in getting it done in a timely fashion fit what are you doing to expedite the process? director comey: that is literally a question of building better business processes to better search for information. i will not go into the boring details, but i have internal consultants that are genius at business processes. i put them to work to figure out how to do this faster. it is like making cars. i think you will see dramatic improvement there. that is not going to solve this legal question, but i think i can solve the business process if i can get the department of justice to solve the legal question. then it will all be in a much
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better place. rep. honda: -- chair culberson: i also want to express our deep attitude to you for all you do to keep us safe while protecting our privacy and our precious constitutional rights as law-abiding americans. we are your best backup. there is no better backup for a law enforcement officer then americans using their own common sense and good judgment and hearts. you mentioned earlier about criminals with guns. i doubt you have ever had a problem with a concealed carry permit who is licensed, with a background check used your good judgment. i am not aware of any problems in texas. could you comment on that? director comey: we have not had situations with problems like that. chair culberson: that is law
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enforcement's best backup particularly if he is a texan. we will submit further questions for the record. the hearing is adjourned. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> u.s. army bowe bergdahl, a former taliban prisoner in afghanistan, was formally charged with desertion and misbehavior. he faces up to life in prison. here is an update from fort bragg with colonel daniel king. colonel king: good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for coming to fort bragg today. i am colonel daniel king spokesman for u.s. army forces command. i will provide you with a statement in regard to the army's investigation of sergeant robert bergdahl's 2009 disappearance in afghanistan. due to the specific and legal nature of the information i am about to provide, i am unable to take your questions, but our staff here will provide you with a copy of this statement and who to contact two address your questions at the conclusion at this -- of this statement.
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our statement follows -- the u.s. army forces command has thoroughly reviewed the army's investigation surrounding sergeant robert bergdahl's 2009 disappearance in afghanistan and formally charged sergeant bergdahl with military justice on march 25, 2015. with desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit, or place and have referred the case to an article 32 preliminary hearing. again, sergeant bergdahl is charged under the uniform code of military justice with one count, article 85, desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and one
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count, article 99, misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit, or place. as you recall, sergeant bergdahl disappeared june 30, 2009, from a combat outpost in afghanistan and was subsequently captured. regarding next steps, in article 32, preliminary hearing, a legal procedure under the uniform code of military justice designed to determine, with very sufficient evidence, to merit a court martial. it is required, before a case can be tried before a general court-martial. legal experts often compare an article 32 preliminary hearing to a civilian grand jury inquiry. the article 32 hearing will take place at fort sam houston
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texas. specific scheduling details will be announced at a later date. following the article 32 preliminary hearing, the receipt of the officer's recommendations . the report will be forwarded to a general court-martial convening authority. who may refer the case to a general court-martial, refer the charges to a special court-martial, dismissed the charges, or take any other action deemed appropriate. there are potential punishments associated with the two charges. article 85 of the uniform code of military justice, desertion with intention to shirk important or hazardous duty carries a maximum potential punishment of a dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank
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of e-1 total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a maximum confinement of five years. article 99 of the uniform code of military justice, misbehavior before the enemy i endangering the safety of a command, unit, or place, carries a maximum potential benefit the -- potential penalty of a dishonorable discharge reduction to the rank of e-1 total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and possible confinement for life. the specific legal elements associated with article 85 and article 99 are available within the written statement provided to you here today. forces command officials associated with this legal case cannot discuss or disclose the findings of the 2014 investigation while legal actions are pending out of respect for the judicial process
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, the rights of the accused, and to assure the proceeding's fairness and impartiality. the army's 2000 14 investigation into the circumstances of the 2009 disappearance and capture in afghanistan is currently being treated as potential evidence in defending article 32 per limitary hearing. -- preliminary hearing. this concludes our statement. thank you. >> up next on c-span, the president of afghanistan addresses a joint meeting of congress. then president obama marks the fifth anniversary of the health care law. later, prime minister david cameron takes questions at the british house of commons.
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>> on the next "washington journal," james jay c talksa about the charge filedr against sergeant bowe bergdahl, the u.s. soldier recoveredafano in afghanistan last year. california representative loretta sanchez, a member of the homeland security committee discusses the debate over defense spending and the president's decision to stay in afghanistan through 2015. as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter as well. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> in a speech to a joint meeting of congress, afghan president ostroff gunny thanked the u.s. for supporting his country. president donnie -- ghani took office in december after defeating hamid karzai.
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the speaker: members of congress, i have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you his
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excellency mohammad ashraf ghani president of the islamic republic of afghanistan. president ghani: in the name of god the merciful and compassionate speaker boehner vice president biden, senate majority leader mcconnell, house majority leader mccarthy house minority leader ms. pelosi, senate minority leader, ladies and gentlemen of the congress, please allow me to thank you for your gracious invitation to address this
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unique forum of deliberative democracy. above all else i'd like to begin by thanking the people of the united states whose generous support for my country has been such immense value in advancing the cause of freedom. more than one million brave americans have served in afghanistan. they have come to know our snow-capped mountains, our valleys our wind-swept deserts, our parched fields our rivers and our plains of waving wheat, but more
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important, knowing our gentlemenography, they've come to defend and to know our people. in return, the people of afghanistan recognizes the bravery of your soldiers and the tremendous sacrifices that americans have made to keep afghanistan free. we owe a profound debt to the 2,350 service men and women killed in the more than -- and the more than 20,000 who have been wounded in service to your country and ours.
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we owe a profound debt to the soldiers who've lost limbs to the brave veterans and to the families who tragically lost their loved ones to the enemies' cowardly acts of terror. we owe a profound debt to the many americans who've come to repair wells and cured the sick and we must acknowledge with appreciation that at the end of the day, it's the ordinary americans whose hard-earned taxes who over the years built the partnership that has led our conversation today. i want to -- i want to thank the american taxpayers and