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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 13, 2016 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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possible. reporter: is that interaction, is that effort yielding more positive results or trending more positively or seeing increased concerns that those kind of -- any sort of rules of behavior are becoming further away? >> we have seen a positive trend in terms of professional interactions between our two forces and we do think these are important avenues to pursue. areas that we will continue to pursue with them in the military-to-military relationship. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> president obama will host leaders from norway, sweden, as part of a in orderic leaders summit. he's hosting a dinner for the in orderic leaders tonight.
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you can see that live here on c-span at 7:00 p.m. eastern. then, sunday on c-span, utah congressman rob bishop, the chairman of the natural resources committee, he'll talk about puerto rico's debt crisis, the u.s. territory is $70 billion in debt and has already missed millions of dollars in debt payments. congressman bishop will answer questions about efforts in congress to help puerto rico restructure its debt. "newsmakers" on 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span unday. >> book tv has 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend and here are some programs to watch for this weekend. on saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on "afterwards," don watkins, author of "equal is unfair." don: the reason i say unequality is not a problem, it's not a concern of how much money do you have but how did you get it? did you get it through
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something that is fair or through a process that is unfair? and when you try to equalize people that earn honestly, that's what we're challenging and saying that's not a fairway to treat people. >> in his book he says the dream is by limiting success. he's interviewed by manhattan institute diane. on sunday afternooning 4:30, afghanistan and iraq war veteran and c.e.o. of vets for freedom. he talks about president roosevelt's address and talks about his revisions for today. >> pete: it's not about roosevelt or litigating where he is on the political spectrum. it is a call to action. it to me is meant to enin speier, motivate and remind americans of every generation what americas america -- makes america special and it is worth fighting for. some carried a rifle and many in this generation still do but you don't have to carry a rifle to be in the arena. and we need to instill the
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principles to perpetuate what is as you all know is an experiment, an experiment in human freedom. >> then at 10:00 p.m. eastern, erin mchuge and her book "political suicide." it is instead filled with budgetary tight ropes and routines, costumes, ethical disappearing acts and clowns. instead, it becomes three rings of horror. we're so fatigued by the time the mud is slung, the schedule tons come out of the closet and election day is over that we're often exhausted by our new legislators. >> she accounts memorable missteps in american history. go to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. white house chief information officer tony scott testified before two house oversight subcommittees this morning about government security clearances and social media. currently the government is not -- does not look at facebook,
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twitter or other social media when doing background checks but that policy is about to change and the chief information officer answered uestions about it. mr. meadows:ted subcommittee on government operations and the subcommittee on national security will come to order and without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. we're here today to discuss incorporating social media into the federal security clearance and background investigations. having a security clearance means by definition you have access to information that would hurt our national security if it got out, and that is why we perform background investigations on individuals who want a security clearance. the goal of our background investigations must be to find out if an individual is trustworthy. back in the 1950's, that meant talking to neighbors and family. today, with more than a billion
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individuals on facebook, what a person says and does on social media can often give a better insight on who they really are. since 2008, various federal agencies have conducted studies on using social media data in investigations and they all find the same thing, that there is a wealth of important information on social media. this issue now facing the federal government is how to use social media information while respecting the legitimate privacy concerns that are often brought forth. the good news is that using social media checks in security clearance investigations does not have to be a by nairy decision between -- binary decision between big brother and an ineffective system. there are several reason options to us to use social media data in a responsible way. it is encouraging that -- to
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see that odni announced this morning in advance of today's hearing a new policy that will follow -- will allow federal agencies to review publicly available social media information as part of the clearance investigation process. we will continue to work with the agencies to ensure that social media data of people with security clearances is used in a safe and responsible way. i'd like to thank the witnesses for coming here today, and i look forward to their testimony. and with that i would recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee on government operations, my good friend, mr. connolly. mr. connolly: i thank my friend, the chairman, for holding this hearing to examine the usefulness of social media and other crucial enhancements to federal background investigation process. on january 22, the administration announced the federal investigative services, a former entity of o.p.m., would transfer its functions to
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a new background bureau. the department of defense was responsible for the design of the new entity. i think we need to task our national security experts while protecting the sensitive personal information of millions of clearanceholders. today, we're discussing another enhancement, the inclukes of social media in the background investigation process. the army has a pilot program which use publicly available data from social media sites to enhance information available to investigators during background check proseesees. currently, the department of defense is conducting a pilot program that looks at all publicly available information online such as news articles and commercial websites. i'm interested in learning the major findings and lessons learned from these pilot programs. while social media is a promising and valuable source potentially of information, i remain concerned that the
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government should not retain social media data of third parties who happen to engage with the applicant and have not consented to waiving their privacy rights. we must not forget to discuss other ways to enhance security clearance processees. the performance accountability council is establishing a law enforcement liaison office that will communicate with local governments to expedite the requests for local criminal records. that's a major enhancement. we must remember that on september 16, 2013, aaron alexus, a federal subcontractor with a secret level clearance, entered the washington navy yard and tragically killed 12 people and injured four others. he had a security clearance. the background investigation failed to identify that mr. alexus had a history of gun violence. the local police record of his 2004 firearms arrest had not been provided to federal
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investigators. improvements in communication between local law enforcement and federal background investigators could prevent -- could perhaps have prevented a tragedy like that that occurred in the washington navy yard. i welcome each of the witnesss' back from the committee's february hearing and look forward to hear on their plan to reform the federal background security clearance process while preserving privacy rights. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. meadows: i thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes the chairman on national security, mr. desantis, for his opening statement. mr. desantis: thank you, chairman meadows. i think it's important to say hat -- we got a directive last night that this will be an implemented policy. i'm sure that's partly the result of your oversight so thank you for doing that and i look forward to hearing the
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witnesses' testimony. i yield back. mr. meadows: well, chairman desantis, thank you for your leadership on so many of these issues and look forward to continuing to work with you. i now recognize the ranking member on the subcommittee on national security, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch. mr. lynch: thank you, mr. chairman, and i also like to thank chairman desantis and my friend, mr. connolly, for holding this hearing. it's important for a number of reasons which you both have touched on already. when an individual applies to receive an initial or renewed security clearance, the federal government conducts a background investigation to determine whether he or she is eligible to access classified national security information. every security clearance candidate is to complete a standard 486. i have one right here. it's lengthy. it goes into a number of very personal aspects of each person's life. this 127-page form already requests a variety of personal
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applicant information, such as criminal history, any history of alcohol use or illegal drug use, any mental health counseling. it does not currently request social media information, but as chairman desantis noted last night by 11:00, we got copies of this policy. and i want to say thank you. we have not always had information forthcoming in a timely manner. even 11:00 at time, that's timely around here. -- at night, that's timely around here. a few hours before the hearing. i appreciate you sending it. i thought it might be a mistake, actually, that you sent the policy over. did i have a chance to read it a couple times last night. it raises some questions, but i think it's a very good first effort. we appreciate it. in december, 2015, congress passed and president obama signed a bipartisan funding legislation that included a robust directive to enhance the security clearance process.
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the recent omnibus appropriations act also requires the director of d.n.i. to direct the federal agencies to use social media and other publicly available government and commercial data when conducting periodic reviews of their clearance holders. the law provides guidance on the types of information that could be obtained from social immediate & other sources and may prove relevant to a determination of whether an individual should be granted clearance at all. this includes information suggesting a change in ideology or ill-intent or vulnerability to blackmail and allegiance to another country. the main impetus, as mr. connolly noted, was the terrible situation at the washington navy yard and also, i would add, there has been exploitation of twitter, faceback, what is app by the islamic state and also at one
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point we had everyone who filled out a standard form 86 hacked by the chinese as well. so they have a list of everybody who filled out an 86 requesting security clearances which is very troubling. there's a lot that needs to be talk about here. we'll gather all this information on individuals in one place. in light of what has happened with the chinese hack, i'm concerned about putting medical information, all this about people who apply in one place where it might be accessed by hostile or nefarious actors so we'll talk a little bit about that this morning. as i said, i appreciate the security executive agency directive number 5 and i think it's a very good first effort and i appreciate your transparency with us. thank you.
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i yield back. mr. meadows: i thank the gentleman. and i will hold the record open for five legislative days for any member who would like to submit a written statement. will now recognize our panel of witnesses. i'm pleased to welcome mr. vania, the office of e director of national intelligence. ms. beth cobert, acting director of the u.s. office of personnel management, i might add, in her new role working incredibly well, in a bipartisan and very transparent way that is recognized by this committee. so thank you so much. mr. tony scott, the u.s. chief information officer at the u.s. office of management and budget. welcome to you all. and pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses will be sworn in before they testify. so if you please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm
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that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. please be seated. let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. in order to allow time for discussion, please limit your oral testimony to five minutes. you're very familiar with the process but your entire written statement will be made part of the record. and so mr. evaninia, you're now recognized for five minutes. mr. evanina: good morning. good morning, everyone. chairman meadows, chairman desantis, ranking member connelly, ranking member lynch, members of the subcommittee, thank you for having me here as part of this team that is participating in today's hearing. as a national counterintelligence director and -- i'm responsible for leading the counterintelligence and security activities of the united states government which includes the entire u.s. government and public sector throughout the intelligence community. i'm responsible for providing
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outreach to u.s. private sector entities who are at risk of becoming a target for intelligence collection, penetration or attack by foreign or other adversaries. i also support the director of national intelligence responsibilities as the security executive agent. the role under which the social media directive was developed. and i work close in partnership with the office of management and budget and the office of personnel management and my colleagues to my left. the department of defense also partners in this effort. agencies across the executive branch are also part of today's process and the discusses we have achieved with this policy. when i last appeared before this committee on february 25, we discussed the formation of national background investigations bureau and security clearance reforms. today i've been asked to discuss the administration's policy on the use of social media as part of the personal security background investigation and as interview
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process. mr. chairman, we've been steadfastly at work that addresses publicly available social media information during the contact of background investigations and adjudications. i want to acknowledge the partner made by our executive branch colleagues, particularly at office of management and office and o.p.m. and pliesed to reference that the director of national intelligence has recently approved this directive, which is being publicly released. the data gathered via social media will enhance our ability to determine initial and continued eligibility for access to classified national security information and eligibility for sensitive positions. i realize the federal in rnment's ability to -- the course of a security background investigation, adjudication, raises some civil liberties and privacy concerns.
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evertheless, let be -- me be clear, that gathering social media and other information available to the public is a capability to make sure those with access to our secrets will continue to protect them and the capability can be aligned with appropriate civil liberties and privacy protections. i would note to the committee that by the term publicly available social modia information we mean, social media information that has been published or broadcast for public consumption, is available by request by the public, is accessible online to the public, is available online by the public by subscription or lawfully accessible to the public. i believe the new directive on social media strikes this important balance. one under this new directive, only publicly available social media information pertaining to the individual under investigation will be
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collected. absent a national security concern or criminal reporting requirement, information pertaining to the individuals other than the individual being investigated will not be investigated or pursued. in addition, the u.s. government may not request or require individuals subject to the background investigation to provide passwords or log in to private accounts or take action that would close nonpublicly available social media information. the complexity of these issues has led to a lengthy and thorough review by the departments and agencies that would be affected by this policy. as well as coordination with different members of civil liberties and privacy offices, privacy act offices and office of general counsel. mr. chairman, the new guidelines approved by the director of national intelligence for the collection and use of social media information ensure this value avenue of investigation can be pursued consistent with subjects, civil liberties and privacy rights. the use of social media has
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become an integral and public of the fabric of our daily lives. it's important to use this to protect our nation's security. mr. chairman, i welcome any questions of you and your colleagues you have regarding this dresket. mr. meadows: thank you for your testimony. ms. cobert, you're recognized for five minutes. . cobert: thank you meadows, -- thank you, chairman meadows and lynch. o.p.m. plays an important role in conducting background investigations for the vast majority of the federal government. currently o.p.m.'s federal vective services annually conducts approximately one million investigations for over 100 federal agencies. approximately 95% of the total background investigations governmentwide. these background investigations include more than 600,000
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national security investigations and 400,000 investigations related to suitability, fitness or credentialing each year. as we discussed in february, we are in the process of transitioning to the new national background investigations bureau nbib, which will on sosh fibs. the department of defense with its unique national security perspective will design, build, secure and operate the nbib's investigative i.t. systems in coordination with the nbib. to provide some context for our discussion today, i would like to take a few minutes to review how the current security clearance process operates in most cases. first, an executive branch agency will make a requirement determination as to the sensitivity and risk level of the position. if an agency determines that a position requires a clearance, the employee completes an f.s. 86 and submits fingerprints,
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both of which are sent to o.p.m. along with an investigation request. o.p.m. through f.i.s. now and nbib in the future conducts the investigation by doing all of the checks required by the federal vective standards. the results of the investigation are then sent to the requesting agency for adjudication. the clearance decision is made from the information in the investigative report in conformance with the adjudicated guidelines that is the purview of the office of national intelligence, odni. hey send it back to o.p.m. who will keep this for periodic basis. agencies make security clearance meaning that available, reliable information about the person, past and present, favorable and unfavorable, should be considered by adjudicators.
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and one component in the 21st century is the topic of today's hearing -- social media. odni in its role as the security executive agent, has developed a social media policy that has undergone extensive coordination with relevant departments and agency officials. o.p.m. looks forward to implementing the policy as part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen its investigative processes. in april, o.p.m. issued a request for information seeking to better understand the market and the types of products vendors can provide to meet social media requirements. the r.f.i. is in preparation for a pilot that o.p.m. is planning to conduct this year that will incorporate automatic searches of publicly available social media into the background investigation process. this planned pilot will be conducted by o.p.m. in coordination with the o.d.i. the pilot will obtain the results of searches of publicly available electronic investigation, including public posts on social media from a commercial vendor for a population of security
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clearance investigations using pertinent, investigative and adjudicative criteria. this pilot is distinct from other pilots in that it will assess the practical assets of incorporated social media searches in the end-to-end process. the mechanics of adding this type of report to a back ground investigation and the effects on quality, cost and timeliness. in addition, the pilot will assess the uniqueness of the information provided through social media checks as compared to information provided through traditional investigative sources. supporting the implementation of the nbib and aiding its success in all areas will continue to be a core focus for o.p.m. as well as the performance accountability council, the pac. our goal is to have this officially established with a new leader in place by october, 2016, though implementation work will remain to be done after that date.
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on behalf of o.p.m., i am proud to be part of this most recent effort by the administration, and i look forward to working with my colleagues on this panel and with this committee in a bipartisan manner on this important issue. i'm happy to answer any questions you may have. mr. meadows: thank you for your testimony. mr. scott, you're recognized for five minutes. mr. scott: thank you. chairman meadows, chairman desantis, ranking member connelly, ranking member lynch, members of the subcommittees, i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. the administration recognizes the importance of gathering accurate, up-to-date and relevant information in its background investigations to determine federal employment and security clearance eligibility. as a government we must continue to improve and modernize the methods by which we obtain relevant information for these background investigations. since 2009, various government agencies have conducted pilots
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and studies of the feasibility, effectiveness and efficiency of collecting publicly available electronic information as part of the background investigations process. those pilots have informed the development of a new social media policy that has been issued by the director of national intelligence in his role as the security executive agent. i'll defer to odni on the federal details of this policy. but as you know, o.m.b. chairs the interagency security, suitability, performance council, p.a.c., to ensure coordination. and the new policy will reflect, i believe, an appropriate balance of a number of considerations, such as protecting national security, ensuring the privacy of and fairness to individuals seeking security clearances and associates of that individual,
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the veracity of the information collected from social media and the resources required to process the collection, adjudication and retention of the relevant data collected. as the policy is implemented, the administration will continue to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the policy. to do so, the government must keep pace with advancements in technology, to anticipate, detect and counter external and internal threats to the federal government's personnel, property and information. this need must also be considered with the full legal and national security implications in mind. i'm confident this new policy will strike the correct balance between all of these considerations. i thank the committee for holding this hearing and for your commitment to improving this process. we look forward to working with congress and i'm pleased to answer any questions you may
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have. mr. meadows: i thank the gentleman. the chair now recognizes himself for five minutes. this -- mr. desantis: i thank the gentleman. the chair now recognizes himself for five minutes. are you using commercial software to monitor -- to detect any cybertheft of these individual's personal information? ms. cobert: congressman, in the process of the investigations, we do work with commercial vendors of publicly available vetted information. that is sort of the core element. we use that and other methods to get the information in the investigative process. i'm not sure i answered your question. mr. desantis: there's certain off-the-shelf software they use and i want to ask if there is any type of prohibition on doing that or if you guys aren't doing that or are you trying to use all the tools
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that are potentially at your disposal? ms. cobert: we use a variety of tools to gather information from public sources, both governmental and nongovernmental. so there's a variety of tools we use to do that. those are used to, you know, gather some of the information, whether there's national -- you know, law enforcement database from which we get information. we do, for example, use electronic methods to gather appropriately gather information about financial history. so we do use some of those tools. i'd be happy to get back to more of the specifics if that would be helpful. mr. desantis: ok. thank you. >> sir, i concur with my colleague. i think we encourage the most robust and effective efficient tools that are processed for ensuring a speedy, effective, background investigation. mr. evanina: this process will be different pending which agency is doing the background investigation. the tools that are capable of,
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the expense and the volume of people applying for a clearance. we encourage odni the most effective off-the-shelf capability as long as it's within the rules and regulations set forth. mr. desantis: let me ask you this. in the years heading to edward snowden, he made several posts using a consistent user name complaining about government surveillance. these posts may have alerted authorities that he could be an insider threat. has any of the social media pilot programs evaluated to date been capable of detecting that sort of post where the subject is posting that is not explicitly the individual's name? mr. evanina: sir, i'm not specific to the exact nature of the depth of the particular pilot. i can tell you those particular posts from mr. snowden that he did would not have been caught in social media because it's not public facing and there was private chats beyond the password protected. mr. desantis: so if they're
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using semianonymous names to the extent there are public forums, would requiring the disclosure of any identities on the form be something that would be helpful? mr. evanina: sir, we're currently not providing asking ople anyone of emails or online persona. mr. desantis: so we'll look at social media if john smith applies for security clearance and you'll look for john smith know, e goes by, you jack scott, then you're just not going to require that, they can post whatever there and that's not something that would be considered? mr. evanina: not currently listed or provide that information to us. mr. desantis: what reason could allow extensive questioning of
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friends? the f.s. 86 is a very intensive investigation. i mean, you'll call up people's college roommates, you'll call up people's neighbors even if they lived in a place for a short period of time so there's a lot of extensive investigation. so why would you want to do that? and i'm not saying you shouldn't do that but why would you do that and not get the full, i guess, picture of their online identities? mr. evanina: well, i think if the additional information is obtained, that individual has a sued nim or that individual has an off-line persona that is not his name that could be pursued investigatively but that's not something we could ask or there's not a way to identify bob smith who is really dave jones online without someone telling us that. mr. desantis: since there's so much information in f.s. 86, what would be the negative
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saying, hey, do you post online under any type of sued nim? mr. evanina: i think when you get past the public facing of social media, you get to the border of privacy and lively liberties in terms of what are your practices beyond what you would do in the course of your daily lives. we don't look at their emails and we don't look at their telephone conversations as part of the background investigation as well. mr. desantis: ok. my time is up. i now recognize the gentleman from virginia for five minutes. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. chairman. welcome. help me understand how this works. because it's one thing for a private individual to be sort of trolling facebook. it's another for the government to be doing it. this work?does somebody in government gets on the internet and looks up your
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facebook history? you're harry houdini, you apply for a scluret clearance and we're looking through -- security clearance and we're looking through social media anything you use, twitter, facebook, youtube, hulu, whatever it may be? and so we go online and see what we can find harry houdini or sherry jones' name, is that right? if you could pull the mic closer. thank you. mr. evanina: sorry. congressman, i think when we set forth this policy we looked at it and tried to provide the most flexibility for investigative agencies and service providers to see what is the most practicable and reasonable for their individual agency. some of the bigger agencies may provide data service provided to aggregate this data for multiple people to go out and do the search. we are clearly acknowledging that the effort will be exhaustive initially to identify people's social media footprint.
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mr. connolly: ok. what are the red lights, though, flag for us, got to follow up on this? my facebook posting, we're talking about the block party or july, in my cul-de-sac, talking about maybe a family reunion and interspersed with all of that, you know, the president needs to die. how do we flag the serious from the trivial and how do we make sure that if it's all trivial that's the end of it? it's deleted, it's not retained, because there may be other names in that facebook, there may be pictures of other people who are not the suggest of the investigation unless that association is suspect, how do we make sure we don't have some enormous government depository of information of american citizens that's not relevant or parts of it may be, how do we do that?
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mr. evanina: it's a great question, congressman. to put this in context. the social media utilization is just one tool of many that we currently already use in background investigations. and the collection and retention of that data will be parallel to any other data that collected for the individual. for your for example of facebook, the examples you gave, the only relevant information that would be there for an investigative process would be issues of the president. all the other stuff would not be retained. we would collect and retain the presidential -- mr. connolly: let me interrupt, though. god forbid but should there be such a references, the other stuff is not being retained. actually, i might not want to take a fresh look at your associations because maybe they're involved. i mean, wouldn't we want to check that out? if for no other reason than to talk to neighbors and say, does harry houdini talk that way often? mr. evanina: so the social media application, like many at the ols that are
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disposal of investigators, would have a lead. that post would lead for an investigative lead to be furthered up with your colleagues, family, friends, neighbors as just another lead. no different than we would find in an anonymous financial disclosure. mr. connolly: in the time i have left i would be dir elect if i didn't turn to the o.p.m. security breach. if you could take some time to bring us up to date. this is identified. have they been addressed so they can't be a recurrence? how rewe coming into -- how are we coming to make people whole again in terms of their personal information? ms. cobert: in terms of improving the security of our systems, we have made significant strides in our ongoing effort and we will continue to do so worksing closely with d.h.s., d.o.d. we have staff from d.o.d. now
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on site working with us as well as ongoing working sessions. we've installed the latest versions of ion stifpblete we have a whole series improvements that we've made to our fire walls. we now have the ability to much -- donell donell einstein 3 isn't in place now? ms. cobert: we are one of the first agencies to put it in place. mr. connolly: it was not in place at the time of the breach, right? ms. cobert: no. so we have tried to put in place a whole series of tools. as well as strengthen, we have a new chief information security officer. i could go on and on and on, but we will still try to continue to work at that issue. in terms of the individuals whose information was taken, we have the identity theft, identity monitoring contracts in place. we continue to monitor those in terms of the quality of their customer service. we are also actively working to put in place the provisions to extend the identity theft insurance to $5 million. as well as being in the process
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of figuring out how to extend those to the 10 years that was approved by congress. so we continue to work this closely including with tony and the team from o.m.b. mr. scott: i would say, i have seen as much of beth since working on this project. and we meet regularly to review the progress that the teams are making in both the transition but also ensuring the security and integrity of the existing system. i'm pleased with the progress. mr. connolly: thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. des d.c. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. hice, for five minutes. mr. hice: thank you -- mr. desantis: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. hice, for five minutes. mr. hice: thank you. mr. evanina, we all know that in 2008 there was a commission study to -- in regard to the
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showing of benefits of examining certain aspects of social media. why has it taken eight years to implement this thing, to get it started? mr. evanina: well, congressman, i can't really answer the eight-year issue but i can tell you to get to where we are took a lot of extense of effort and interagency coordination to be able to strike the right balance of what should be obtained reasonably from social media and the ever growing internet age and balance that with the civil liberties and privacy of u.s. citizens. so that process was not only exhausted but the right thing to do. also, i think with the pilots that started and are continuing to move on, we haven't really identified the correct value or weighted measure for what the efforts of social media collection will be or has been so we're still efforting the
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pilot process to identify, is the effort resource allocation worthy of collecting other social media during the investigation process? number one. number two, in the beginning, middle or end because it will be resource intensive. mr. hice: it seems like eight years is an awfully long time to try to find a balance between privacy and that which is public information. this is not highly private information that people are publicizing out on social media like this and i understand we want to be very careful with that. we all do. but let me ask you this. from the -- it seems that the new policy that we saw this morning that within there -- and correct me if i'm wrong but it seems like finding information on an individual's
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background appears to be largely at the discretion of individual agencies. can you tell me why odni decided to leave that decision to individual agencies rather for all ng this up departments of our federal government? mr. evanina: it's a great question, congressman. i will say there is 22 investigations to conduct background investigations and they do that on behalf of other federal agencies, departments who require that. those individuals, the ones who are covered under this policy, the policy was purposely made flexible because from 2008 until two years ago the social media definition has changed dramatically and will continue to change. so in order to provide the agencies who conducted investigations, the maximum flexibility to go about utilizing social media as part of the process was paramount in this effort.
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i'm pretty sure a year from now the social definition may change. we want to make sure that each agency had the flexibility from a resource perspective to identify the best, most efficient way to implement this policy. mr. hice: do you believe those 22 other agencies will begin utilizing this? mr. evanina: i do. mr. hice: ok. ms. cobert, can you explain how o.p.m. plans to implement this policy? ms. cobert: thank you, congressman. as i mentioned in my testimony, we are working through this pilot process to figure out the best way to utilize social media as a standard consistent part of the process. as mr. evanina described, we are committed to its value. it's a question of how. we need a way to make sure when we gather information on social media it's accurate. it's not always accurate. what you find is not always the reality. we need to find a way to make sure as we do this that we're -- we have the resources to follow up on whatever
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information is revealed. how do we get those resources to follow up on those things? and so that is the goal of this pilot is to embed it into the operational process. are there places where by using social media or other tools we can replace some steps that exist today, duke those resources and deploy them to something else? are there other cases where the value of the information will merit adding additional resources? so that's the issue we're working through in the pilot process that we're starting. we'll be starting that pilot before the end of this fiscal year. we'll also continue through the p.a.c. and other forums working with d.o.d. and other agencies as they start to implement this so we all can learn from each other. we've got to figure out how to do this right and to do it at scale and we want to move expeditiously but cautiously as we do that. mr. hice: thank you. could you provide committee with a time frame for implementation besides just by the end of the year, more specific time frame? ms. cobert: we'll get back to you. the first piece is the pilot and then we will take that
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learning but we'll be happy to provide you more information on what we're doing next. mr. desantis: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes mr. lynch from massachusetts for five minutes. mr. lynch: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank everybody for holding this hearing. thank the witnesses for their help. you know, every once in a while my happy talk alarm goes off. i think i just heard some. look, i appreciate the idea that, you know, we got this eight-year continuum of improvement and we're trying to improve our systems. you know, there's this cautious progress of protecting and balancing private information versus, you know, doing these background checks. but the reality on this committee is 10 months ago, ms. cobert, your predecessor, ms. archuleta, sat there and told me that 10 months ago we were
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not even encrypting the social security numbers of the four million people who were hacked at o.p.m. that's the reality 10 months ago. we weren't even encrypting social security numbers. and she painfully had to admit that and her legal counsel with her and they confirmed that fact. so i'm very concerned about what's happening. i am very encouraged that d.o.d. is going to take over cybersecurity in your shop and you're going to help them with that. how is that going and what steps have you taken? be specific. that should give me some level of reassurance that we don't have another problem like that. ms. cobert: thank you, congressman. let me start with how we're working with d.o.d. in the standup of the nbib and then i can come back to some things we have under way and we will be
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doing in that context. we are working very closely with d.o.d., as mr. scott described, in a process -- you off.: let me cut have you encrypted all of the social security numbers for all of the employees at o.p.m.? ms. cobert: there are still elements of the o.p.m. system that are difficult to encrypt. we have a multilayered defense. mr. lynch: and you have all these different systems and i understand that. i've been at this a while, ok, and we have tried to get a hold of this and i've been here for years working on this problem and it's been very difficult. and there's no shame in admitting how difficult that is. what i don't want is happy talk that it's all going well. that's the problem. then we'll have another hearing. there will be a lot of gnashing of teeth and criticisms and there will be somebody else in your spot. so what i'm trying to get at is, what are we getting done and what are the obstacles?
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if there are obstacles here on what you're trying to do and i believe you are all trying to do the right thing. mr. scott as well. you're part of this. you know, what are we actually doing to try to protect the information that we do gather? mr. scott: well, i would say as beth was saying, there's been all kinds of work done in this area. penetration, testing, new tools deployed, multiple examinations and ongoing help from d.o.d., d.h.s. and so on. so i think o.p.m. actually is leading federal agencies right now in terms of, you know, their efforts and the amount of progress that they've made. they've applied tools to the limits that they can within the limits of current technology. but as beth said, there's some things that just can't be encrypted because the technology doesn't allow it. mr. lynch: d.o.d.'s funding in this area is much better than
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o.p.m.'s and some of the other departments. so are we using their personnel? have they come over and taken over this? mr. scott: absolutely. they're in there and side by side with the team at o.p.m. not only review but look at architecture and also build out the plans for the future nbib technology. so i'm pleased with where it's going. i don't think there's anybody who would say our job is done or that we're not, you know, interested in pursuing what else we can do. mr. lynch: the cost estimate. you know, we had some pilot programs that tell us it's somewhere between, you know, $100 and $500 per person for a private vendor to do this screening, this gathering of social media information. is that pretty close to what the -- in practice what we're finding? mr. scott: yeah, i would say some of the pilots that have
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run the estimates are within that range. clearly one of the things that will have to happen, and i think the pilots will inform this, some greater level of automation. as you can probably appreciate when you do a search, you get a ton of data that has to be sifted through and adjudicated and i happen to be a person who has a name that's shared with, you know, a professional baseball player, professional museum, a movie director and a bunch of other things. just a simple search would turn up a bunch of crazy stuff that wouldn't be relevant. so some degree of automation ultimately is going to have to help bring the cost down of that. mr. lynch: all right. i see my time has expired. mr. chairman, thank you for your indulgence and i yield back. mr. desantis: the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky, mr. massey, for five minutes. -- mr. massie, for five minutes. mr. massie: thank you, mr. chairman, for conducting this
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hearing. i have a friend that says they should outsource this to the consultants that do opposition research on us, the politicians, because they seem to find anything all the way back to junior high. but on a serious note, though, you know, i see edward snowden as an example here in our notes as somebody who maybe you would have known something about it if you had done social media research. that may or may not be true but one thing that does stand out is the political contributions are available online and they -- i suppose even before social media in the online availability of this they were available. so you already have an analogue or probably a way of considering where you should consider or not consider political contributions when doing background research. but now that you have social media available to you, there's another layer of transparency or layer of opaqueness that's
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been removed. you can see where somebody supports a political candidate or not. by the way, edward snowden and i have similar contribution histories. my colleague here suggested you should be suspect of anybody that supports me. my question is, mr. evanina, do you take into account political support when you're doing background research in social media? mr. evanina: we do not. it's important for committee to understand the investigators who conduct background investigations are very well-trained and they follow the federal investigative standards and there are plenty of policy they put forth in their rigorous background information and they conduct it on information that's relevant whether or not you're capable of obtaining and holding a security clearance. so a political contribution would not be one of those. mr. massie: if they encountered
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somebody who in their social media supported a candidate who was strong on the fourth amendment and believed very strongly in the right to privacy and there are different interpretations of the fourth amendment. i'm not saying that people don't believe strongly in the fourth amendment. that wouldn't be a consideration? mr. evanina: absolutely not. it wouldn't have any predcation on whether you could hold or maintain a security clearance. mr. massie: thank you very much. i yield back my time. mr. desantis: i thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. kelly, for five minutes. ms. kelly: thank you, mr. chair. many of us have become so accustomed to using technology in our day-to-day lives that it seems second nature to examine the social media accounts of individuals applying for security clearance. however, it's important to note social incorporating media into the background check process, a number of steps must be taken going far beyond reviewing friends, a facebook
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provial. s. cobert, o.p.m. does background checks governmentwide. the data collection of these investigations are completed by federal contractors in part because we must comply with the various laws governing what information can be collected, used and stored by a federal government. is that accurate? ms. cobert: congresswoman, we work with federal contractors in the investigative process to enhance our capacity to conduct background investigations. they have to follow the same federal investigative standards that mr. evanina referenced. the individuals from those contractors who work on investigations also have to go -- undergo thorough training against those standards and we work to ensure that is the appropriate training. ms. kelly: thank you. the incorporation of social media data is not as simple as it may sound to many people so i'd like to delve a little deeper how we get from a vendor running query from publicly available information to the
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point which we have valuable verifiable information for use in the adjudication process. again, to begin, contractsors must have social media checks on security clearance applicants based on information by you, correct? ms. cobert: we are going to start with the social media -- the social media efforts with the pilot i mentioned. that will help us understand what kind of guidance we should be putting in place when individuals are conducting social media, searches to verify that information to ensure we're focused on the pieces that are relevant to a security clearance, not the other issues that are not part of the process. that's why we're going to work through this in a pilot so we can create standards and processes that will get us relevant information, reliable information and protect information. ms. kelly: and your contractors will need proper training, proper guidance to do all of that? ms. cobert: they will need training, yes, they will.
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ms. kelly: once the information is collected, a human being will be needed to make a judgment and verify it does belong to the individual in question. ms. cobert: we are working to find the processes that will enable us to in fact match individuals. as mr. scott described, there are multiple tony scotts. so we are working through the pilot, and i think this will be an ongoing process to see where are the places we need human intervention? where is the area that technology will help with that? ms. kelly: mr. evanina, can you speak to the areas that need human beings for data? mr. evanina: this cannot be stated in terms of number one identity resolution, as my colleagues mentioned, the ability to identify bob from -- mr. scott mr. from scott and all that goes with it, the resources that will take to we're firmly in
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agreement that mr. scott is mr. scott. then if we find out about scott, is it investigatively and adjudicatedly relevant? if it does it will be put in the same box. i want to reiterate that social media identification of information is in the same box of all other tools and techniques velingtors have. ms. kelly: and even after we have verified individuals, additional manual processing is needed in order to analyze, interpret and contextualize information, particularly photographs. is there any way to fully automatic the analysis of -- automate the analysis of photographs? mr. evanina: i want to go back to the ability to maximize any time of automation we can to facilitate the effectiveness of this tool. i want to inform the committee at the end of the day no matter what we identify, the
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adjudicator is a fundamentally government role so the adjudicator will make the ltimate decision, it should be a value add to whether or not he should get a clearance or not. ms. kelly: thank you. i yield back. mr. meadows: thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. mulvaney, for five minutes. mr. mulvaney: i thank you for coming out. i have a couple random questions. mr. evanina, i want to go back to and you used the same terminology and maybe i just don't understand the issue and full disclosure, mr. massie and i are sort of the libertarian leaning wing of the party. you mentioned there were civil liberties concerns, i think, in doing this research in the first place. i don't get that. what civil liberty of mind could be at risk from you doing research on me? mr. evanina: well, i don't
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think in terms of the previous pilots and this particular policy, in order to get -- we had to negotiate strongly to ensure that each individual who applies for a security clearance we are going to protect their privacy and civil liberties at the same time collect the information we deem information to make sure they get a clearance. mr. mulvaney: again, i am not trying to split hairs with you. we had a very similar discussion when folks want to come into the country on vary yause visas. the lady who shot the people in san bernardino came on a fiance visa and we didn't do any social media on her and one of the arguments we got from customs enforcement it would violate her civil liberties to go and do that, ok. if i come to you and i'm asking for a job or i'm asking in my current job to get a security clearance, can't you get my permission to go look at everything? mr. evanina: yes, sir. when you apply on an f.s. 86, the first thing you get to do is consent for the government
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searching you, not only with regard to social media, but all your other financial, medical records you consent to on f.s. 86. mr. mulvaney: i have a right to waive that and do i, correct? mr. evanina: correct. mr. mulvaney: there is absolutely no privacy i shall unithe front end when you're doing your background check on me, correct? mr. evanina: as long as you consent to it. mr. mulvaney: good. we're all on the same page. the real privacy concerns comes with what mr. lynch mentioned which is, what do you do with the information on me after you have it? because while i consent to let you go and get it, i certainly don't consent with you going giving it to other people. so that's the question in civil liberties. what do you do with it? and i want to go deeper than social security numbers. what are you doing with mr. massie's medical records when ou're doing research on him.
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especially him. his mental health records. actually, i've got it right here, it's pretty interesting. but now everybody is hard wired to say, my social security number is important, i hope they're taking care of that. but what about stuff on its face that doesn't look leek it would be damaging to us. maybe mr. scott went to marriage counseling. not illegal and i don't know if that's true, i'm not suggesting that it is, i'm just saying as an example. it's not illegal but it's not the type of thing you want to have public. what are you doing to protect that information? not just the number data, but the meat of the stuff you might find on anybody you're looking at? mr. evanina: i'll pass this to my colleague, but i want to say, the only retention of data is
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what is relevant to completing the background investigation. if it's not related to you obtaining a clearance it won't be retained. mr. mulvaney: so let's focus on that one word. nothing is not retained. once you have it, it's someplace. even if you hit erase on the hard driving it's someplace. what are you making sure that the stuff you don't retain really isn't retained? ms. cobert: it is used for the investigative decision but there are very specific guidelines about how that information is used. we have specific tpwhrines about records retention, consistent with nara and their policies and a core element in the cybersecurity design of our systems particularly as we go forward is how do we make sure we've got appropriate protections in place for all that information, not just
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social security numbers. but there are very explicit policies around records retention, around records sharing. both externally, and within the government this information was fwathered for a specific purpose. that's what it was used for. there are guidelines around that in place. mr. mulvaney: just a quick question, i honestly don't know the answer. when the data was hacked that mr. scott mentioned before, was it just social security numbers or other information as well? ms. cobert: it included a range of information not exclusively social security numbers. mr. mulvaney: thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. meadows: i thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. lieu, for five minutes. mr. lieu: thank you, mr. chairman. my questions are for mr. evanina. thank you for your service and i support incorporating social media into background investigations.
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i have a broader concern, whether race or ethnicity play a role in security clearance denial or granting. recently, four american citizens were arrested and indicted for espionage and then all charges were drop. these were in different cases and it turned out the government got it wrong. and the one fact that was the same among these cases is the defendants looked like me, they happened to be asian americans. their lives were turned upside down because of what our government did. the "new york times" has asked our government to apologize. i wrote a letter signed by over 40 members of congress asking the department of justice to investigate. since i wrote that letter, our office has been contacted by federal employees who happen to be asian american, alleging that their security clearance was denied because of their race or ethnicity, so my question to you
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is, does race or ethnicity play a role in federal background investigations? mr. evanina: absolutely not. unequivocally not. i don't believe there's ever been a situation where an investigator used race or ethnicity for the determination of clearance. number two the situation you referenced , in 19 years in the f.b.i., i can assure you the f.b.i. does not conduct investigations relevant to whether your race or ethnicity comes to play. mr. lieu: thank you. let me ask you a question about how this policy will be implemented in terms of social media. let's say a japanese american federal employee has a facebook page and friends of this federal employee living in japan or relatives, post on that facebook page. does this federal employee become more suspicious because of that? mr. evanina: absolutely not. the only issue would be if on
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that public facing facebook page there's derogatory or negative information that is relevant to an investigation, will result in a followup lead. otherwise it would not. mr. lieu: thank you. the u.s. government under the obama administration runs something called the insider threat program, where federal employees are asked to report on other federal employees who may be suspicious. is race or ethnicity allowed to be taken into account under that program? mr. evanina: first of all, the task force is housed within my shop, and again, unequivocally race or ethnicity has no part in the insider threat process or the criticality we have across the government. mr. lieu: are federal employees, when they're given training on the insider threat program and how to report, are they given that training about race and ethnicity play nothing part? mr. evanina: any training crosses all boundaries, not just investigate i, that's part of
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our federal work force and fabric as americans. but in terms of the task force, race, ethnicity or other type of genre of covered classes is never a part of the task force. we are number one mission is to identify potential insiders. spies. espionage matters. or those who seek to to harm to others. mr. lieu: could you provide my office with guidance on how you train federal employees? mr. evanina: absolutely. mr. lieu: i've gone to a number of national security events and briefings and -- i think it's not a sket that our -- secret that our national security establishment looks very nondiverse. there's been rumors of the state department having trouble attracting minorities. i wonder if that has anything to o with security clearance.
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could you provide my office with who gets security clearance based on race or ethnicity? mr. evanina: i'm sure i can. mr. lieu: thank you. i yield back. mr. meadows: the chair recognizes himself for a couple of questions. let me follow up on a couple of clarifying things. you've put out a new policy, we applaud that and thank you for that. is there any practical reason why we would not p asking them for their online identities? mr. evanina: as part of the s-86 application, when you write your name, it's asked do i have any other names or aliases i go by. mr. meadows: but i'm talking online identities. twitter, facebook, i have actually twitter accounts that don't actually have my name associated with them and yet i would tweet out things based on
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that. so is there any reason why we wouldn't ask for those types of things? mr. evanina: i don't believe it's a legal issue. i think it's a policy issue. we have to have some clear differentiation between what is investigatively relevant and we can get to those areas. mr. meadows: but social media, that would be relevant. there's no expectation of privacy other than you could make the case if i'm wanting to be private about it, i'm not putting my name, but if you just ask for those online identities, would that, online identities be synonymous with an alias? mr. evanina: they could be. mr. meadows: so if there's no legal or practical reason not to do it why wouldn't it be part of your now policy? mr. evanina: the policy is a start. mr. meadows: are you willing to look at that particular component of asking for online
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identities mandplabe report back within the next 60 days to this committee? mr. evanina: i think we're willing to look at all aspects of social media. mr. meadows: but specifically with regards to that question, i'm not asking you to give me a definitive answer, just get back to this committee on what your opinion is on why you should or should not do that. mr. evanina: yes, sir. mr. meadows: ms. cobert i'm going to finish with you, it's something from in the past, il8d like to ask you work regard to the c.i.o. and i.g. relationship, how would you characterize that from where it has been and where it is today and if you could speak to that. s. cobert: thank youening -- thank you congressman. we have been working across the agency to strengthen our effectiveness of our dialogue with the c.i.o. and i believe we've made real progress in a number of different areas.
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we've set up a ka dense of regular communications at my level with the inspector general , currently acting inspector general. biweekly basis we meet and get an overview. we have specific working teams that meet on a periodic basis as well, both around the c.i.o., around procurement, we set up that same kind of mechanism around the standup o they have mbib, wanting to make sure we get those right. enge we've made considerable progress in terms of the dialogue, the clarity of the communications. we welcome their input on what we could be doing better as we welcome input from our colleagues here and elsewhere. >> so you would characterize it as much improved under your leadership. ms. cobert: i would characterize it as much improved. mr. meadows: the chair recognizes mr. lynch for a closing question or statement mr. lynch: thank you. i want to ask a question sort of off the grid here.
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i appreciate that you are making progress and that's a good thing. we're working together with d.o.d. to secure our systems. there's another issue, you know, these hackers have become so proficient, you know, this morning we got news that the swift commercial bank system, 11,000 banks and companies that handle international banking transactions, they were hacked, again. they were just hacked through bangladesh and the new york, which is troubling. to the tune of about $81 million. now we find out there's another hack going on similar to that one. so they're being breached. the fdic, chinese hackers, news again this morning that the fdic has been hacked. and these are entities that have fairly robust, you know,
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protections. and we're about to enter into, we're about to debate the transpacific partnership. one of the provisions in that transpacific partnership requires u.s. companies to establish databases in foreign countries, about 12 countries. one is vietnam, a communist country. so we would have to, the u.s. companies would have to establish physically databases in those countries, ma lay shah, vietnam, and a lot of the banks and companies involved here are very concerned about the security aspect of this overseas. and i just wonder, especially mr. evanina, you know, i know you worry about this stuff all the time, as well, ms. cobert you are dealing wit, mr. scott, you as well. what about that dimension of this? i know you weren't prepared this morning to address this question
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and i appreciate it if you want to take a pass but i'm worried about that. it's tough enough protect the data when it's in the united states and now we're being asked to deal ur companies in international trade to deposit their data in these foreign countries that don't have the security protections that even we have. mr. evanina. mr. evanina: i concur with your concern for cybersecurity and the need for us to be prepared to, at least meet where we are in the global economy. i'm not particularly familiar with requirements to contain -- contained within this new policy, so i can't speak to that. but in the purview of national security, the cyberthreat is real. i think we have to take that into consideration for anything we do moving forward, whether here, domestically in the united states or any of our businesses and government operations verseas.
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mr. lynch: mr. scott, ms. cobert, do you want to take a bite at that? mr. scott: one thing is that cybersecurity knows no bounds. concerns about cybersecurity are, you know, global. physical location is one element but probably in the case of ybersecurity, not the most important in terms of concerns, it's more about the secure by design sort of notion, you know what have you put in place and how well is it implemented. so those would be more my primary concerns, in some cases the physical location. mr. lynch: my concern is obviously the communist government of vietnam is going to require access. so that was my concern. you suffered enough. i want to yield back. thank you. mr. meadows: thank you. i want to thank all the bnses --
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witnesses for being here today and if there is no other business, the subcommittee stands adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
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>> president obama will host leaders from norway, sweden, finland, denmark and iceland as part of a in orderic leaders summit. he's holding a state dinner for the in orderic leaders tonight. see the arrival of the guests at the white house for the dinner live here on c-span at 7:00 p.m. eastern. then sunday, utah congressman rob bishop, chairman of the natural resources committee. he'll talk about puerto rico's debt crisis. the u.s. territory is $70 billion in debt and has already missed millions of dollars in debt payments. congressman bishop will answer questions about efforts in congress to help puerto rico restructure its debt. newsmakers on c-span at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern unday.
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>> book tv has 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend. here's some programs to watch for this weekend. on saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on "afterwords," don watkins, author of "equal is unfair." >> what we're concerned with is not how much money do you have or but how did you get it? did you get it through a process a that is fair or unfair? when you try to equalize people who got their money honestly that's not fair. >> he says the american dream is not limited by income inequality but by success. on sunday afternoon at 4:30, a former war veteran, he talks about citizenship and offers his revisions for americans today. >> this book is not about me, or
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roosevelt or litigating where he is on the political spectrum tavepls call to action. it to me is meant to inspire, motivate, and remind americans of every generation what makes america special. and that it is worth fighting for. and some of us carried a rifle and many in this generation still do. but you don't have to carry a rifle to be in the arena. it's our job to instill in every generation the principles that perpetuate what is, as you all here know, an experiment. an experiment in human freedom. >> then at 10:00 p.m. eastern, erin mchugh and her book, "political suicide." >> what should be a series of activity on which the future of the country rests is filled with sparkly partisan costumes and clowns. it becomes three rings of horror. we're sofa teagued by the time the mud is slung, the skeletons have come out of the closet and election day is over we're often exhausted by our new legislators before they've had a chance to
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start their jobs. >> she recounts memorable political missteps in american history. go to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. >> on american history tv on c-span3 -- >> there has never been a full public accounting of f.b.i. domestic intelligence operations. therefore this committee has undertaken such an investigation. >> on real america, the 1975 church committee hearings, convened to investigate the intelligence activities of the c.i.a., f.b.i., i.r.s. and the n.s.a. saturday night at 10:00 p.m. eastern, the commission questions committee staffers frederick schwartz and curt smoothers, detailing f.b.i. abuses including attempted intimidation of martin luther king jr. >> king, there's only one thing left for you to do, you know what it is. you have just 34 days in which to do it. this exact number has been selected for a reason. it was 4 days before the award.
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you are done. >> then associate f.b.i. director james adams admitted to some of the excesses while defending a number of other f.b.i. practices. then at 8:00 on lectures in history -- >> the rest of us may see a death or two. they see hundreds. and so they're the first to sort of see patterns or shifts in how people are going out of the world. so they are the ones who sound the alarm. >> university of georgia professor on the role of a coroner and how they shed light on the emerging patterns of death within a society as -- and spot potential threats to public health. sunday evening at 6:30, secretary of state john kerry who served in the vietnam war and later became a vocal opponent of the war shares his vunes vietnam at the lyndon b. johnson presidential library in austin, texas. >> our veterans did not receive the welcome miami nor the
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benefits nor the treatment that they not only deserved but needed and the fundamental contract between soldier and government simply was not honored. >> then at 8:00, on "the presidency." >> what other person sitting at home watching tv watched reagan deliver the speech. it was dwight eisenhower he called his former attorney general and said, what a fine speech ronald reagan had just deliver hesmed then called a former special assistant and said what an excellent speech ronald reagan had delivered. dwight eisenhower wrote back a multistep political plan for ronald reagan to follow. reagan would end up following eisenhower's advice to the letter. >> author gene copeleson examines the behind the scenes mentoring of eisenhower for reagan and the role he played in re began's political evolution in the 1960.
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for the complete schedule, go to c-span.org. and a look at "the washington times" reporting that the white house defended the obama administration's directive that school districts must allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with, saying the move benefits all students. here's white house press secretary josh earnest from today's briefing. >> we're going to start with the president's letter about bathrooms in school. the texas lieutenant governor, dan patrick, called the letter black mail and said that the administration is doing everything it can to -- he said this is about providing -- dividing the country and it has everything to do with keeping the federal government out of local issues. mr. earnest: i think that does
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underscore the risk of electing a right wing radio host to a statewide elected office. so let's just walk through the facts here. the first is, this is guidance issued by the department of education and department of justice. in response to requests for information and guidance from school administrators across the country. just last week, for example the national association of secondary school principals put forward a specific formal request to the department of education about how to create the kind of respectful, inclusive environment that school administrators across the country are seeking to maintain. these principals are also interested in making sure they're acting consistent with the law and they sought guidance because they're not interested in a political argument. they're actually interested in practical suggestions about how they confront this challenge
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they face every day. so let's just be clear about what's included in the guidance. the guidance does not add additional requirements to the applicable law. the guidance does not require any student to use shared facilities when schools make alternate arrangements. but what the framework does provide is advice. for how school administrators can protect the dignity and safety of every student under their charge. and that advice includes practical, tangible, real world suggestions to school dministrators who have to deal with this issue. they can't rely on political arguments that are framed as a solution to a problem that
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nobody can prove exists. they actually have to deal with the responsibility that they have to promote an inclusive, respectful environment for all of their students. and what the department of education issued today is specific trangable, real world advice and suggestions to school administrators across the country about how exactly they can do that. >> it seems the administration is also trying to paint this as , major political rights issue more than pragmatic evert guidance. the attorney general compared it to racial segregation. mr. earnest: i think the attorney general was speaking about a specific law passed by the state of north carolina. in this instance, this is not an
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enforcement action. as i pointed out, this does not add any additional requirements to any school district or state under the applicable law. this is in response to extensive requests for guidance and for nformation and advice that's been put forward by school administrators and teachers and in some cases even parents who are seeking practical solutions to this challenge. and the challenge here is not to isolate anybody, it's not to discriminate against anybody, it's not to make anybody unsafe. it's actually to ensure that our schools are as inclusive and respectful and safe as they can possibly be. and that's why the guidance that we put forward includes tangible, specific suggestions for how that can be achieved. so let me give you one example. there are some school districts across the country that have sought to enhance the privacy of their students by making
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relatively minor changes to shared use facilities. in some cases that means putting up curtains so people have more privacy when they're changing their clothes or taking showers in what had previously been shared use facilities. so that's something that benefits all students. that's what we're looking for. solutions that protect the safety and dignity of every ingle student in the school. >> congressman grayson of florida spoke about what he's calling the great american bathroom controversy. he started off with a picture thought to be the first to undergo sex reassignment surgery. i rise today to address great american bathroom controversy. this is a picture on my right of someone who may or may not be recognizable to many americans today. i'll say her name, the name may
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be more recognizable to some, jorgensen. christine christine was born in 1926, she grew up in the bronx like i sid. -- like i did. she went to triffer columbus high school, near the public housing where i grew up in the bronx. in fact, my father taught history at christopher columbus high school. i don't know whether he taught christine or not. but it is possible. in 1945, christine was drafted and served in the u.s. military. now that may be a puzzle to some of you listening to me right now, who say, i didn't realize that women were drafted. in the 1940's. well, at that time, christine ease name was george. george jorgensen. that's the name she was born. with she was in fact on her birth certificate male. something she struggled with
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greatly all through the time she was growing up, being a male. something she struggled with being in the military. and then after leaving the military service. in 1951, she heard about the possibility of changing her gender, so she went to denmark and underwent three or more surgeries, plus a very substantial amount ofest ro general treatments, came back to the united states, and then forever thereafter, after 1953, was known as christine jorgensen. christine jorgensen was out, she was well known in america, as someone who was transgendered. i knew about her story when i was growing up in the 1960's and 1970's. she made no effort to hide. she didn't feel any shame about it. she was proud of the fact that she'd been able to take
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advantage of what medicine had to offer and live the life that she felt she would have been able to hi if the beginning if she had the proper gender. she had some degree of fame. republican vice president spiro agnew referred to her once in a speech to mock one of his opponents and she performed both as a singer and as an actress all through the 1950's, through the entire 1960's and well into the 1970's. she was the most famous, if you will, transgendered person in america, probably to this day. now, i have to tell you, i don't know exactly where she went when she had to go. i don't know exactly whether she went into a men's room or ladies room, but here's the interesting
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thing. even though this is something new under the sun, even though america never had to address this issue before, no one ever even bothered to ask. i don't remember anybody saying, christine jorgensen, she ought to go to the men's room, she was born a male. or for that matter, christine jorgensen, she identifies as a female, she should go to the ladies room. isn't it odd that america in the 1950's seems to show -- seems to have shown a lot more maturity than america is showing today with our great bathroom controversy right now. where the cis jendered people of america try to dictate to the transgendered people of america where they can go to the bathroom. or at least, frankly, me more bigotted among us. we had a law pass recently in north carolina. i'm going to go out on a limb
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and say it passed almost exclusively with cis gendered republican vote, in which they tried to dictate which bathroom christine jorgensen would have to go if if she was alive today and had to relieve herself and amazingly enough they decided in their wisdom, christine jorgensen if she were alive today, like all other transgendered brothers and sisters, christine jorgensen would have to go to the bathroom she didn't identify as, but instead the bathroom on her birth certificate. this is particularly ironic, there was one form of discrimination that christine jorgensen did face in her lifetime. she was not allowed to get married. not allowed to get married to a man because her birth certificate says she's a male and she was not issued a marriage license on account of the fact that a male trying to marry a male. my goodness. here in america just in the past
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12 months or so, we finally managed to solve that problem and christine jorgensen could get married today to her lover. now we have a whole new problem. now, thanks to republicans, bigots, in north carolina, we have a law that would require christine jorgensen to go to the men's room. think about that. think about that. in fact, the natural consequence of that law is what i'm about to show you right here. hat. so you folks in north carolina who are obsessed with where the transgendered go to the bathroom, this is the result you've come up with. people who self-identify as
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women, people who look like women, people who act like women, they somehow are being driven into the men's room. and the same thing is true of transgendered who identify as men. you're going to force people po who look like men, act like men, you're going to force them into a ladies room. my god, what's wrong with you. that doesn't make any sense at all. now, let me tell you something. if i had been, back in the day, growing up in new york, and christine jorgensen happened to walk into the men's room, never happened, but let's say it did. i would have thought, that's odd, but i wouldn't have said a word about it. i wouldn't have gone over to her and said, excuse me, i don't think you're supposed to be here. on the contrary, i would have made an appropriate mental note, assume she probably found
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herself in the wrong men's room and would have let it go. i would not have felt any fear. i would not have felt hatred. i would not have felt anything that would indicate to me that somehow i should discriminate against this person. i would have thought it was odd. what this law does is guarantee that experience or worse. have people who identify and look and dress and act like women, forced to go into a men's room. that people identify and look and act and dress like men forced to go into a ladies room. are you nuts? listen, i have heard that the republican party is the party of small government. i've also heard that on the issue of abortion, the party of small government wants government small enough to fit into a woman's uterus. now it turns out the party of
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small government wants a government small enough to fit underneath the toilet seat. can't we all be adults about this? can't we all be adults about this the way we were in the 1960's and 1970's and 1980's? do we need a new law on this subject, much less a stupid law, a bad law, a ridiculous law? now you know, i understand that it's possible, even with the absence of this law, there might be some conceivable problems about this kind of situation. i'm not sure exactly what they are. i'm pretty sure if everybody acted as an adult we could get beyond them without having to litigate over it. and i'm wondering how do you even enforce a law like this? what are we going to do, have to give saliva samples every time we go to the bathroom to see what gender we were born with? bear in mind, there's a law against loitering.
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law against wide stances in a bathroom. a republican senator learned that a few years ago. there's a law against disorderly conduct. there's a law against voyeurism. there's a law against indecent exposure. in fact, in a really bad situation, there are laws against assault and even rape. so why do we need a law to dictate that people who identify as men have to go to the ladies room and people with identify as ladies have to go to the mens room. we had laws like that once. we used to say that we didn't want white people to have to be uncomfortable going to the bathroom with black people. i represent part of the state of florida. i can remember that when we had laws like that. and then somehow or other we pulled ourselves together, realized how ridiculous that was. how is this any different? thank goodness, the attorney general recognizes that it's not. people who are cis gendered have no right to dictate where people
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who are transgendered urinate any more than people who are white have the right to dick kate where -- dictate where people who are black to it. that's not america. let's show some common sense. now, if we did actually want to deal with real problems, we ould deal with this one. a little boy and a little girl both looking into their diapers. d the caption is, oh, that explains the difference in our wages. now, if we want to talk about gender in america in the early 21st century, we could start with that. why is it that women still make only 79 cents for every dollar that a man makes in countless occupations and professions even today? why is that?
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you want to get to the heart of what's really going on between the sexes in america today, why don't we do something to address that problem? and if we want to be more dramatic about it, let's remember the fact that in america today, 91% of the victims of rape are women. could we take our legislative energy and possibly apply it toward dealing with that problem which actually is a problem that affects countless women across the country. let's not protect them from having to go to the same bathroom as a transgendered person by insisting that people who look and act and identify as men go to the bathroom with them. let's instead try to pass wise laws that would equalize pay between men and women, oh, and if we possibly could, reduce the incidence, the terrible incidence of rape. but getting back to this north
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carolina law, there is a deep legal principlehat this law offends. it offends me, it offends a lot of people with a good conscience. and that deep legal principle is this. it goes by four letters. m.y.o.b. that's an even higher law than the law that was passed by the north carolina legislature. m.y.o.b. mind your own business. i yield back. this sunday night on "q&a," .istorian adam hochschild >> this coup attempt happened in spain when right wing army
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officers tried to seize power and in parts of the country succeeded in seizing power in 1936. it sent a shock wave of alarm throughout the world. here was a major country in europe, the right wing military quickly backed by hitler and mussolini who sent arms, airplanes, pilots, tanks, tank drivers and mussolini eventually eef was the troops, h spanish right making a grab for power. people thought it ought to be resisted. if not here where? otherwise we're next. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's "q&a." president obama hosting leaders from denmark, finland, sweden and norway. "the hill" writes there's a great number of reasons why he s now.
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that will all be starting at k eastern time. one of the leaders attending the in orderic summit is iceland's minister who took office after the previous prime minister stepped down because of information leaked in the panama paper. journalists spoke recently at the national press club in washington, d.c. and talked about how the 11.5 million documents came to light. this is an hour and a half.
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>> we want to be heard today. >> i am not the bernie sanders wing. [laughter] >> good morning everyone. i am thomas, the washington correspondent for the salt lake tribune and the 109th president of the national press club. last june in this room right next door to the press club, journalists held a secret meeting. honestly, we at the club had no idea what they were talking about. until now. that was one of the first meetings of the consortium of journalists who are investigating what we now call the panama papers. ast year some 11.5 million documents were leaked to a german newspaper. i am sorry. i got close. possibly the biggest leak in history. ossack fonseca, with 2.6 terabytes of data, the newspaper needed help and called in the journalism troops. with such a large number of
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people going to the database, they needed to agree on a common strategy for collaboration and for parsing out the research, as well as the joint promise of holding off on publishing until everyone was ready. this is something foreign to american media. we are not used to collaborating with come met tores. today i'm proud to be joined by editors to talk about their work and their findings. it is sponsored by the journalism institute, the nonprofit arm of the national press club. please welcome, from i left -- i'm sorry. from my right, will fitzgibbon, a reporter from the national consortium. irena walker rivera, nd kevin hall, the chief economics correspondent for mcclatchy.
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>> thank you so much tom and the press club for this invitation. what an honor to be here. so, yes, we're going to talk about collaboration across borders. when we think about investigative journalism, sometimes this is the image that comes to mind. that is some point we have all of these lone wolves. in our corner, doing our story, in isolation. and and coming out and scooping veryone. that is perfectly fine, right? but the problem with the lone wolf is that he is trying to investigate -- the challenges like you are seeing right now. the kind of stories we are ooking into. perhaps the 1% of mossack fonseca's network looks like. the company that where these panama papers come from. so, in response to that challenge, in 1997, the international consortium was
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created. basically, it is a collection of investigative journalists and more than 65 countries. and what we do is we work together. we collaborate on stories of international importance. we over time, have built trust, and that is however thing else works. we -- there's the trust. we, you know, sometimes it comes from us, and we call on other members of the consortium to help. sometimes in the case of the panama papers, they get the story and come to the consortium around the world, to help them uild the global story. before the panama papers, we have been working on this topic for about four years. there was a secrecy of the investigation. the leaks looking at the communist elite, how they were using tax havens. and there were leaks where we
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looked at how multinational ompanies were using, the grand duchy of luxembourg that pays taxes on billions of dollars of profits. and we were looking at hsbc, how they had colluded with criminals and helped them do business. we were already at a point where we said ok, maybe we have done enough. and then came the panama papers. and here is the comparison of size. this is to the left, you have the wikileaks investigation. which we were not a part of that. and the offshore leaks, luxembourg leaks, and to the right is the panama papers -- 2.6 terabytes of information. structured and unstructured data, you have a spreadsheet, and you also have everything lse, e-mails, contracts, pdfs,
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word documents, 40 years worth f information. basically, the life of this law firm and the relationship with clients, and more than 200 ountries around the world. so, when that happened, we're going to look at little bit at the origin. first of all, let me introduce these two from the german newspaper who first received this leak. and they came to us, so basically, they were contacted by an anonymous source. who asked them if they were interested in data. there was the condition that the source want it to remain anonymous. and there was going to be no meetings, and everything was oing to be done over
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encrypted communications. of course, the reporters asked about the motivation of the source. and the source said that he wanted to make these papers public. i say he, we do not know. t could be as she. but for simplicity and because he has chosen the name john doe, we are going to call him he. they asked how much, how big? the answer was more than anything you have ever seen. and that was absolutely right. and at that point, we had already been called on by the eutsche zeitung. the first batch ofing to be yumets was around three million files and we already felt like this. because we figured out, with what our one computer, if we were to process this information, because the information does not come all nicely organized in a readable format, we had to process it. we had to make it readable. we had to upload it to a cloud, or the journalists would be able
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to access it. that would take is one year, if we took six seconds per file. we deployed an army of 35 servers. and we were able to speed up the time, taking 11 days with the files. we did that with every bit of information we received. and that was the beginning of this collaboration. which of course, you know, not only had this technical challenge. ut the human challenges we needed to recruit journalist, not in 10 or 20 countries but in as many countries as possible to do justice to the data. all corruption is local. you need to interrogate the data from a local point of view. d it's those local reporters that know the process of powerful people are, who the intermediaries are, the lawyers
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and so on. you know, helping people communicate with one another. and facilitating this overall collaboration. we did not do that over e-mail or the phone, as you can imagine. we built our own virtual newsroom. we needed to create a space or the journalists would be a login every day and basically share their findings. what is the point if everyone were to access the documents and then go hide in the corner, be the lone wolf again? we said, we are going to create something that looks like a social media wall, that's what we're all used to. we call it sometimes the facebook of investigative journalism. it is open source, we tweak it to our needs. everybody had an avenue tar, you can post your status but most important you can post your find, you can see who sells looking at any particular point in time. you can chat with other members
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of the team. there are groups, as you can see here, people who are interested in politicians, latin americans, some people creating their own groups in their own language. when people ask how you managed to keep this whole thing secret for so long, we say one of the reasons is because the reporters had this forum where they could talk to one another, and break that isolation and say everything they needed to say that they covent tell their spouses or their colleagues. we also met in person. the first meeting was here in the room next door, there were about 60 -- no 40 reporters meeting in june. in 2015. that was followed by a meeting of more than 100 reporters in munich, then one in johannesburg, which we are going to talk about the training and working with great colleagues in africa. there was another meeting in london where we met with the reporters working on the russia
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story, obviously it was safer to do it that way. that was a very important and complicated story. so yes, meeting in person, there is no technology that can do what face-to-face meetings can achieve. so, now, what do we do with the documents? we also created a platform to upload all of these documents. you might be thinking, how crazy to do that. on the internet? but if you think about it, we would not have been able to do a collaboration this wide without taking that controlled risk of putting the documents online, of course in the most secure manner we managed to. and make it easily access to believe journalists. and this platform works like google. basically, you can put any word, filter by year, type of document, by many other ways. you can save your searches. you can also -- that was one the
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most interesting things -- you can create a list of names you are interested in. and then match it to a search against 11 million records. that was a very efficient way, instead of typing name by name or world by word. so that was the other plt form that journalists had act vezz to. just very quickly, the documents that we had in these leaks, we have power of attorney documents that were really interesting and important. because in many cases they revealed the real person controlling the company, the so-called beneficial loner. in this document, part of the power of attorney to the personal sec retir of the king of morocco for the purchase of a luxury yacht. that was interesting. we also had a lot of passports and other id documents, and of course they were very important to make sure they were accurately identifying eople.
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this is a client of hsbc and others, there's a lot of interesting communications and the communications about his connection to the offshore world and passport. there were lots of e-mails. in the e-mails followed the communications over time, sometimes over a year, they helped build the story. one of the top contractors for the mexican government, and he got in a lot of trouble last year when it came out that he had built a home for the wife of a president of mexico. in this e-mail, they are discussing how this person is trying to move $100 million abroad. so, these are like more traditional shareholding, you know, certificates. in this case, an italian
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fugitive who managed to get to former president -- i am blanking -- president erlusconi. he used these companies to buy and sell apartments in new york at a time when there was a reeze order on his properties. we also created a system that allowed journalists to look at the networks, because you need to welcome at the document bus you also need to understand in each company who are all the players that are involved. that's where network analysis really helped. and of course we did all of the traditional reporting, that we all do, not only looking into the leak but going outside of it using databases, lexus nexus, dow jones, everything we do get our hands on to confirm information. we did interviews, travel.
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sometimes there is a misconception that leaks are easy or that we just read the documents and wrote a story. this was really big-time detective work and working with a lot of public records alongside the confidential information. and if you remember, a story published all over the world, this is one of our main stories. we were able to trace nearly $2 billion that some of the associates of president vladimir putin had shuttled around the world. the president and said that the penama paper is correct. -- panama papers is correct. one of his friends, a cellist, was using money to buy instruments, musical instruments.

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