tv Senate Intelligence on Foreign Influence on Social Media CSPAN August 2, 2018 12:01am-2:35am EDT
a i have nav leader that under the right policies that provide economic opportunity and freedom and incentives we can grow the american economy at least at its historical rate switch since world war ii from more or less 1950s we grew 3.5% a year after inflation and i see no reason why we can't replicate that with policies.
>> the senate panel looks how social media is being used in information campaigns by foreign actors. witnesses were asked about efforts to manipulate social media platforms to try to affect elections, business outcomes and global markets. the committee is chaired by north carolina senator richard burr. [inaudible conversations]
director of the alliance for securing democracy at the marshall fund and doctor phil howard the director of the internet institute welcome to all of you for your willingness to share your expertise with the committee and the american people. we take this seriously as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and instability. today we talk about how social media platforms have been made to influence operations against the united states. for the electoral process meet election interference from a broad representing intolerable assault on the democratic democc foundation republic was built on. the committee in a bipartisan fashion has addressed this issue head-on.
today's hearing is an extension of that effort that highlights something far more sinister. the use of our own rights and freedoms to weaken the country from within. it's also important to know these activities neither began or ended. as you can see on the one graph on display the kremlin began testing this capability on their domestic population several years ago before using it after the 2016 election they began the influence of the campaign against the united states of america. nothing underscores that more than yesterday's announcement by
facebook that they've identified over 30 new accounts that are not only causing chaos in the virtual domain but also creating events on the streets with real americans unknowingly participating. you are usinthey are using socia platforms to spread misinformation, provoke societal conflict and undermine faith in the democratic institutions. there doesn't seem to be much debate about that. i think it is also the case that social media isn't going anywhere anytime soon. it binds us as a community and gives voice to those that are voiceless. social media is the modern public forum and it's being use to divide us. this was never about elections is about the integrity of the
society so how do you keep a good while getting rid of the bad? that is the fundamental question in the committee and in front of the american people. and it's a complex problem that intertwines the freedoms and responsibility, regulation and the rights of innovators to prosper from their own work. 60% of the population uses facebook to influence how americans see and think about one another is as much a public policy issue as it is a national security concern. crafting elegant policy solutions that effectiveve but t overly burdensome demand good faith and partnership between social media companies and this committee. we hope to hear from those innovators in september because you can't solve a problem like this by imposing a solution from 3,000 miles away. thisbe requires a thoughtful
policy debates and the committee is positioned to fosterti the debate. i stressed and then wha than whe is and is not about. it isn't about litigating the 2016 u.s. presidential elections. it's about national security and corporate responsibility from the manipulation of the american people by agents off a foreign hostile government. i thank you for being here for the work that yo you have done,r analytic and her technical expertise is indispensable to us getting this right. we cannot possibly force the solution without knowing the extent of the problem and i'm hopeful this morning as you offer your insights and findings that you also share your
recommendations. we can't afford an effective half measures that alone nothing at all. while it's shocking to think foreign actors use the networking and communication mediums that are central to our lives in the effort to interfere in the core of our democracy, what is even more troubling is that it's still happening today. nothing less than thet' integriy of the democratic institutions, process and ideals is at stake and with that i turn to the vice chair. the committee has invested a significant amount of time, focusing energy in public and behind closed doors. uncoveringnt and exposing russin information warfare in our own backyard. it's clear our efforts have increased americans understanding over what theta russians did in 201 2016 and how they sought to attack uss throuh the use of social media.
it was pressure brought by this committee that let facebook, twitter and youtube to uncover malicious activity by the russian backed internet research agency. these revelations resulted in the indictment of 13 russian individuals and three russian comeee needs a specia by the spl counsel'sby office in february f this year. social media oversight hasn't typically been a function of our committee for that matter any committee and i have no problem acknowledging the terminology of the world doesn't always come naturally to all of us but thanks to the bipartisan determination to understand what happened in 2016 and the commitment to stop it from happening again, we've been able to accomplish a lot. we helped reveal the russian playbook and we have raised a public awareness regarding the
threat and succeeded howeverre incrementally in pressuring the companies to take steps to address the problems on their platforms. that iss the good news. the bad news is we have a lot more work to do. 21 months after the election the russian backed operatives continue to infiltrate and manipulate social media to hijack the conversation and the americans against each other. they were doing it in 2016 and still today. that was made evident yesterday as the chairman noted when facebook announced the takedown of the new pages and accounts that have connections to the operations and those have hundreds of thousands of followers. we outlined the russian playbook
stand the thrust of the russian operatives set up thousands of fake and automated account on facebook come into graham, twitter, youtube and others to build networks that pushed an array of misinformation including stolen e-mails from a state led propaganda, fake news and divisive content onto the news feeds of as many americans as they could and he would know to be from the experts that they were extremely successful in that effort. these measures have two things in common. first, they are effective and second they are cheap for just pennies on the dollar they can wreak havoc in our society and in our elections. even after eight teen months of studying we are still only scratching the surface when it
comes to russia as information warfare. much of the initial focus was on paid advertisements but it quickly became clear they represented a tiny percentage of the activity compared to the hundreds of thousands of free facebook and instead ran pages and groups and millions from the accounts. becoming clear the activity represents a small fraction of the total effort on social media. in reality, the operatives were just the incompetent ones that made it easy. who else is still out there actively attacking us and are there others, what about the actual russian intelligence services? i hope we will hear how much further out they think this information goes. i'm also concerned the united states government i has not well positioned to detect the
detractor counter piece types of influence operations on social media. these type of attacks that include foreign operatives appearing to be americans engaging in a online public discourse almost by design slip between the scenes of our free-speech guarantees and our legal authorities and responsibilities.ta again, i hope our witnesses will recommend ideas for better tackling this problem while alsu protecting our constitutional rights as americans. all the evidence this committee has seen today suggests the platform companies namely facebook, twitter, google and youtube still have a lot of work to do. before i went into politics i spent more than 20 years in the business and i have tremendous respect for these companies and what they represented whe repren they are at the best they are a symbol of the country does the best, innovation, job creation, change in the world.
i know they can do better to protect our democracy. they have the creativity and expertise, resource and technological capability to get ahead of its malicious actors. that's why is the chairman mentioned we will be hosting senior executives from facebook, twitterth and google for a hearg on september 5 to hear the plans they have in place to press them plto do more to address this challenge. that's because it is only going to get harder. as it continues to improve and the new advances in technology and artificial intelligence one that i'm particularly concerned on continues to spread the magnitude of the challenge that will only grow.
the same tools to spread misinformation can negatively impact other aspects of our lives. beyond recognizing the problems of the policy ideathe policy id. i'm interested in hearing the policy options that might help us address the broader challenges of the growt growth d dominance of a few social media companies. do they have the right to know interacting with the person online. if the response ability to ensure more transparency of how they collect, use and secure the users data. they have enough control over their own personal data. i hope is a panel of experts here youei can help to begin to shape a bipartisan this ongoingy to national security threat. thank you mr. chair.
>> before i moved to the testimony from the witnesses, some committee housekeeping. i will hold up to five minutes today. i will make sure the members today are asked. i would ask members that when you need to leave to vote, would you be expeditious and coming back if you were in the queue to ask questions and the chair ovel work with each one of you to let you know where we think you'll be in the sequencing of the chair will now seek first votes to stay here and keep the continuity of the hearing going so that we can get through as many members as possible and with that i will recognize you.
>> chairmanchairman burkman vice chairmachair member, vice chaire committee, thank you for the invitation to testify this important hearing. russia is engaged in the worldwide propaganda campaign. one particular focus of the campaign is in their own backyard and the former soviet states of eastern europe. in addition to the propaganda war in ukraine and russia is disseminating to the russian speakers of the baltics and other national states. the goal principally is to drive a wedge between the russian speakers and their host nations the north atlantic treaty organization and european union. to do this, russia uses the social media accounts and synchronize with their online news portals and army of regional proxies that some calll useful idiots. the study i will talk about abot today talked about the understanding of the nature and effectiveness of the pro- russia
outreach on social media. our research team sought toou hp advance the defense of the baltic states and shed light to combat this issue on the globe. we will focus on the recommendations. first there's a need to the analytic methods to track getting the efforts to take any actions against the operations is critical to identify the accounts and track their activity in real-time. this will require to the advancement so they can distinguish between the campaigns that are to come. second it's important to highlight and tag the propaganda and the approach that the organizations involved websitese
or a words that reach collectivists were members of the community. instead, the research team argues that it's importantio to inhlight russian propaganda ways that are faster and target at-risk audiences. one example is a google ad to help improve the speed of the counter messaging into the approach for th could useve andr search results to educate people that search for the fake news. third expand and improve access to local and original content. one challenge particularly as controlled media is a dominant source of information for many speakers in the region. policies shoul should insomuch r the negative ads to displace it with more entertaining and accurate content.ar thee team argues we are training for journalists and increasing access to the television programming such asre current te and highlighting the authentic voice of local influences.s. fourth, u.s. nato and the eu must do a better job of telling
their story. they should, for example, offer a compelling argument for russian speaking petitions to align with the west or individual nationstates which they belong. belong. nato should also more effectively communicate the purpose and the intent of its infantry battalions stationed in the baltics. this will include long-term efforts to implement media literacy training and integrate search into classrooms. public information campaigns that immediately convey the concepts of the media literacy and brisk may also be necessary. thank you once again for inviting me and i look forward to taking questions. >> think you. >> think you members of the committee for giving me the opportunity to address the body today. i'm the director of research an i study the propaganda.
this information, misinformation and hoaxes have evolved from a nuisance into high-stakes information war. more. the frameworks have not evolved. we discuss counter messaging treating thimessagingtrading tf false stories rather than an attack on the ecosystem if we ar in the thin arms race in which responsibility for the integrity is largely in the hands of private social platforms and determined adversaries continually find new ways to manipulate and circumvent the measures. the propaganda and disinformation is not about this or free speech. its information warfare is the cyber security issue and must be addressed in cohabitation between the governments responsible forpr the safety of theirhs citizens and private industry responsible for the integrity of the platforms. americans have existed for a long time but i time but his ine operations arthese implementopey different because the propaganda is shared on social platforms and is amplified by algorithms on an unprecedented scale. they leverage that ecosystem to manufacture the appearance of
popular consensus and the content is created and hosted on platforms such as youtube and interest to the scope interest and it's targetedco at the most receptive. trending algorithms make the content go viral and thisit is e added benefit of mainstream media coverage on the traditional channels including television is an operation if the content gets wide distribution recommendation that search engines will continue to serve it up. we are here today because the research agent playbook operation began around 2013 and continued through the election and even increased on some platforms. the operation reached hundreds of millions of users across facebook, twitter, youtube and mediumedia made websites were cd to th concerns about the environment and twitter accounts masquerade as the station's white house co-opted a facebook event ar were promoted in fact s contacted to take the operation to the streets.
streets. streets. flickr account to face the pages associated remain active today. despite the claim that it's not targeted to any sector of the population, the majority was related to the officer involved shootings. mentioned the candidates in 2016 the small but unified in its negativity towards the candidacy and this included messages and depressing but ar that are not particularly among the voters. they were not the only two target citizens onlintargetcitie co-opting of the networks mainstream awarenes awareness is the established virtual caliphate across all social platforms. the debate around s what to do no one wasious that
in charge. that confusion continues even as it expands the. as the platform tactics and professions changeprofessions ce the adversaries that will develop new tactics. we should anticipate the use of social platforms and increase the use of the messaging services for future campaigns will likely be compounded by the use of avoiding the persons for whom statperson forwhom state ar the propaganda. we anticipate the incorporation of newe technologie technologyo and audio produced to supplement these operations making it increasingly difficult for people to trust what they see. implement operations exploit the
society using vulnerabilities in the information ecosystem. they take advantage to the freedom of speech free flow of ideas and the social media platforms cannot and should not be the defenders of democracy and public discourse so we recommend action to rectify and eliminate the influence campai campaign. they do their most big problem and are privately owned public squares and oversight is the k key. we need information sharing between the public and private sectors and formal partnerships between security companies and researchersrs will be essentialo defending the values and democracy and society. thank you for the opportunity to participate in the conversation.
>> thank you for the opportunity to discuss the weaponization of the social media platforms resulting in harm to democracy. they don't make it available the efforts are directed against one election, one party or even one country. we are facing a sustained campaign organized manipulation coordinated attack on the trust we place in institutionsin and media social and traditional. these attacks are sophisticated and complex in the committee's bipartisan work to end dangling and exposed an example for the country. it began years ago at the center for internett and society. in this work we observed the online political discussion of law from a vigorously free and open forum for the wide variety of organic voices and viewpoin
viewpoints. the academic researchers from ngos and grassroots organizations conducted a personal risk. techniques include the personas to infiltrate communities in those red antheveteran radical n both sides to enhance the mutual distrust targeting both sides of the country's most divisive issues with the references and radical political discourse to influence young minds using these controls for the amplification watching cyber attacks in conjunction with information. again each of these features
attack against the public was first tested and deployed against their own people had been refined to target the chosen enemiesme abroad. thanks tost the work of the committee and the cooperation of the platforms the data documents u.s. focused improvementch in 25 has been released to the public. many dissertations will be written on the data but today i want to highlight just a few points. first, it didn't stop the 2016. the russian government stepped onul the gas and accounts operad became more active after the electionel confirming again the result of the democratic process is much bigger thanti the attack of single elections. they are targeting both sides of the political spectrum simultaneously, both before the election and right now. the false personas and amplification on the left and right and attempt to exploit the
political landscape. in our estimate of 80 automated accounts from the far left and far at extremes of the political spectrum. they are screaming while the majority whispers. they have accounts on multiple platforms decided by over 40 u.s. journalists before being unmasked. the russian activity seems to turn the normal differences of opinion of americansr and two headline the political divisions to harden itself to these manipulations. in the debate about how to strengthen our democracy in the face of these threats there are
significant challenges ahead of us and unfortunately, none of the other playbooks do not mean you're going to win the game. to understand what they did a retrospect detecting these efforts before they have already had their intended effect and agreeing on how to address them remains a formidable challenge. on the technological front or field is making progress on disarming technical markers that distinguish true grassroots movement from fabricated campaigns and research from the campaigns before they gain momentum it is equally important to keep our values front and center in this work notably our dedication to the freedom of expression and protecting user privacy. it will take skilled women and men professionally dedicated to this task and an investment in t development of tools and methods to first catch up and stay ahead in the race to defend america's locyber fabric from a new form f warfare. civil society or institution to this sector can only do so much in the face of it.
it faces consequences for their actions and it is not just those that are attacking us and algorithms that must protect us the efforts of the committee represent a tremendous step forward in what will undoubtedly be a long and challenging process in the bipartisan spirit thank you for participating today. thank you chairman, vice chairman warner had established members of the committee. i submitted my statement for the record let me highlight a few key points on a national securitthe nationalsecurity cone activities and steps we need to take to address them. the health and strength of our democracy depends on america's ability to engage freely in the political will to a vibrant debate free from manipulation and to obtain reliable information about the issues of the day i come at this issue ass of the professional who's launched social media and online
platforms to be witness to protect the foundations of our democracy. i watched from outside of the council and russia test drove these approaches in ukraine is a struggle to understand and respond. and i watched from the trail as the government was surprised that these tools were used against american democracy. the 9/11 commission characterized the failures that preceded the attack is failure of imagination. i believe the failure to detect and disrupt the russian government's weaponization of to be a similar failureli through. thanks to the bipartisan work of the committee we now know that the russian government actors use a range of needs to manipulate the online information race using nearly every social media and online platform. to amplifyre extreme content and promote polarization to manipulate the search results and encourage action against
off-line undermine faith in institutions can insinuate themselves to the target audiences in order to influence public names on geopolitics and spread the information. to manipulate public opinion outside of its borders. they are using the platforms because controlling the information space as a powerful need to undermine the pathetic institutions and alliances and advance their goals. we are missing still what is happening and what will happen again. what we have once been a failure to imagine is now a failure to act. fundamentally this is not a content problem. this is a manipulation of the
space by actors with malicious intent engaging in deceptive behaviors. transparency and exposure of the position is critical to its effectiveness of deterring it. the companies remain defensive and reluctant to share information and the focus cannot be on public relations campaigns and needs to be on what they are seeing and curtailing. facebook's announcement is what we need more of and researchers need greater access to data in m manner that protects the user's privacy. users also need more context of the origin and why they see it including the disclosure of automated accounts while protecting anonymity. the actors and patterns require mechanisms for sharing data between the public and private sectors and among technology companies.
they are broken and need. to be streamlined in institutionalizing to protect privacy and speech. we also need to identify the new technology before they are exploited. tools to combat the problem as well as ways to make it work. those that are being exploited by that remark such as this act applies the same standards to political ads online to play off-line. the evolution of social media is one part of the larger strategy to weaken the democracy. my bipartisan program released a policy blueprint for the interference of the democracies and endorsed by the bipartisan and trans-atlantic group of the former national security officials. the recommendations include sendingg clear warnings to foreign actors about the consequences for such activities and identifying our own advantages. the governmentrs also needs to expose for an intricate publicly and legislating the requirements for the branch would ensure that politics are not a considerati
consideration. we also need to harden the act as they remain a core part of the arsenal. more broadly the government needs a unified integrated approach including through the interference coordinator at the national cicada counsel and center. finally this is a transnational challenge and it's essential that we work more closely with allies and partners to share information about the threats and collaborate our responses. there are steps we can take today to make our democracy more secure. we need to come together across party lines and between the public and private sector to address this challenge. the strategy is to divide americans from one another to weaken us asd a country in the face of this threat standing together as americans has never been more important. thank you. >> thank you, chairman and vice chairman warner for the opportunity to testify on the operations and the use of social
media platforms. i'm a professor at oxford university and the director of the internet institute at the department at oxford. my area of expertise includes communication andit internationl affairs and at the institute i've been leading a project on constitutional propaganda currently funded by the europeah research council and something the initiative started with support from the national science foundation in this country. i began working on the questions in 2010 but the project gre 201n the summer of 2014 when the malaysian airlines flight was shot downn over ukraine and in hungary where i was based at the moment at this time many of my hungarian transcript multiple ridiculous stories about what had happened. wwe knew these came from russian sources. there was one story that democracy advocates have shot the plane down because they thought putin was flying on commercial from amsterdam to malaysia.an there was another story that
americansti have shot the plane down because the u.s. has stationed troops in ukraine and finally my favorite waser the story of a lost tank from world war ii that had come out of the great forests of ukraine and was confused and shot the planeth down. it's at that moment we realized the thrust of the propaganda wasn't so much about creating one counter narrative and placing that story among the public cricketing multiple sometimes equally ridiculous stories in the public. what we didn't expect is that russia would turn this campaign strategy on the th other great democracies in the west. i will say a little bit about what we have learned the last few years about these propaganda campaigns and give you a sense of what i expect for 2018 and the years ahead we coined the term computational propaganda because this information is unique. it makes use of automation into
the social media algorithms that the technologyd for instance he built and it makes use of this algorithms to distribute targeted propaganda that includes costly packaged news, misinformation, illegal data harvesting. there's a rangthere is a range s that goes back into the propaganda. there's three kinds of campaigns that tend to target the voters, campaigns to polarize on particular issues for example knowing russian social media campaigns simultaneously promote political action by groups like the united muslims of america and the army of jesus or encourage african-american political activity around black lives matter and encourage others to support the blue lives matter movement. the goal is to get the groups to confront each other not just over social media but in the street. second, there are campaigns to promote or discredit the the senators, presidential candidates and other political
figures it isn't new but it's targeted in a way tha is new. third it promotes the campaigns to discourage the voters from voting. voter suppression is a common messaging aimed at those whose support for the candidate a that foreign government might find them a little. for example they ar they often e voting had been postponed or that they can textte message thr voting or that the polling station has moved when it has notpo. these campaigns are ongoing. months aftermo the main election in the u.s. the team demonstrated the disinformation of the national security issues including information from russian sources was being targeted at the u.s. military personnel, veterans and their families. during the presidency to the union address, we demonstrated the junk news some of which originates from the government and is particularly appetizing to the far right white
supremacist and trump supporters, so notably not small conservatives. our team has completed recently a global inventory at a number oof a numberof governments manae campaigns and while many of us talk about russia i would say the original rhythm of the research wast, to track with the russians and chinese are doing in this domain. so far we haven't documented much and we know they spent time working in taiwan and the chinese diaspora and they have the capacity though they have not set up american voters and their site. have we found that there are 48 countries in the world with large political parties or government agencies running the campaigns either on their own or voters inr other countries. thercountries. there icountries. there are seven authoritarian governments aside from russia that spend money in thisre doman and overall, is would say that it's time for democracy to
develothe democracy todevelop ty strategy. time for the industry self-regulation is probably passed, and i am grateful for this opportunity to discuss the possibility going forward. >> thank you. i am reminded o after listeningo a testimony to the 1960s strategies were simple. what's bad for america must be good for us and it seems like this is rooted in the same foundational strategic vision that they had been. the chair would recognize himself for five minutes. >> i'm going to ask al to ask au to follow my chart i just want to give your comments relative to whether this is accurate or not. the red line represents the russian activities of the twitter activities and relatives outside the united states the blue line is the less focused activities. with that showwhat that shows ie
of in the 14-15 timeframe which was the invasion of ukraine. the next two jobs of th at the p are between 15 and 16 and that is the crimea propaganda and the politics and other groups specifically. then all of a sudden you see this spike in the blue line in then united states. i think the fascinating thing here is that the spike is in 17th and 18th which tells us,coe and correct me if i'm wrong it was much more intense than the effort and 15-16 in the lead up to and election. am i misreading that? so, let me ask you this, is it
possible for the mainstream media today to run a story that was the creation of a game effort by the ira that have no factual basis but over the transition of how their strategies work it gained enough coverage of the belief that it got so big that it has to have been real, is that possible tax >> i believe it is possible. the goal of these operations in the long-term is to condition the public and leave the network so to speak the later you can use it to move any story. the key propaganda if you are running a propaganda outfit most of what he publishes factual sympathies are taken seriously and then you can slip into the wrong thingng at exactly the rit time. i believe that's wha what they s
cultivate a set of sources as authoritative with content that is often just about kim kim car- ian and then those people become and cited in the media and at that point they can start to move anything they wanted through. >> is it the individuals that contribute to that theme that's on the social media platform in many cases americans responding that gives credibility and are they knowing or unknowing what they are participating in? >> i certainly agree that there's no borders on social media certainly content by one source could easily get picked up by another. it's our observation looking at eastern europe that this fundamental issues with journalism and training and quality that can certainly lead to and exacerbate that type of
issue of bringing viral content that is otherwise false or untrue into the perceptions of reality. >> you said come and correct me if i'm wrong, they stay active today? >> guesser thayes sir that is te accounts they also appear to be dormant today with a potential to be turned back on at some point. so, with all the efforts by the justice department in targeting the public acknowledgment and the indictment of individuals, the ira hasn't gone away? the capabilities come and comment if you will, the capabilities relative to the latest disclosure may have gotten significantly better. >> one thing that is a challenge as attribution.
we can attribute this and i also read the same news you read yesterday and i don't have any inside information my understanding is they believe that it wasn' based on the image similarities with the date change is they paid in u.s. dollars and canadian dollars so they are no longer paying for using these addresses that are tied toon russia. slight increases in operational security that will make them more difficult to detect. the other thing that is going to go along with that is as add this to patients with difficult for those that don't have access to that kind of account level of the people will be up to run the same playbook perhaps making it look like an ira operation when it was conducted -- to the individual or nation state. >> thank you all for your testimony. a couple of things. one, we're mostly just talking about the ira activity as
opposed to what we don't know in terms of other russian service activities and we do know the ira revelations of yesterday has gotten better and we are still going to need to figure out their tradecraft and one of the things we need from expertise like you is i feel like even whenhe the platform companies ae moving in the right direction they are only doing and looking at their own universe, their own platform, not the inner relationship. >> you said something that was stunning in terms of the political content particularly on the extreme, 25 to 30 times more of that content is being generated by automated accounts rather than individuals is that correct? >> if you look at the spectrum and say they are along an axis where on one side you've got those that talk t that do the pf
their own stripe and on the other the other strike and most americans are in-between connected to some on the right and the left, those on either extreme of that network are shopping with automated amplification. >> let me state for the record we had some of this conversation in the past. a very appropriate and effective role for the automated accounts in certain cases, but i guess what i would start with, shouldn't we as human beings have the right to know, maybe not negate judgment that the right to know whether the content we are receiving is coming from a human being this is an automated accounts, recognizing those good value packs >> yes the context about information is absolutely critical for consumers to be able to evaluate. when we talk about critical thinking this takes on new
characters when we talk about online content and for having information about the origin of information and about whether or not that content is being served up through an automated process why the users are seeing that information i absolutely believe that is critical. one can i do think i it's impos we ensure we protect the anonymity for the activists and authoritarian states but i believe deeply that there are ways to identify the automation without compromising the ability for the users to be anonymous. >> we have to recognize automation is performing a lot more functions online than simply supporting russian agenda, and the fact it's doing so many different things some of our green things we like and read things we don't which makes it hard without being able to knoknow who's running this robot and using it for good or bad. >> is there some level -- could
be analogized the markets where the huge advances are in high-frequency traders the market in terms of making sure things didn't get totally away to put certain speedups in place and if the market jokes one way or another with the 25 to 30 times more automation if there are stories that are trending up an enormously rapid rate that might be trending because they've got this enormous amount of automation driving the story could there be some kind of timeout so that you could accompany or someone could evaluate whether this is actuall or not actual, something looks
fishy -- any of you o on.com an? >> i think the parallel is that it's spot on. i think it's an issue of information integrity, and one of the challenges is believing they need to addresshaha the cof the narrative and what he should be looking for is addressing the dissemination patterns you were mentioning. >> something to keep in mind is automation is running all kinds of things so it's not just pushing propaganda that it's pushinbut it'spushing the legith and p also pop music elements marketing around music so automation is doing a lot of things. >> and i make the comment it doesn't come with good or bad attached but i think as a human being i ought to have the knowledge of whether that message is being promoted to me by a human being or by automation. i know my time is that i just ut to come back and ask on the next
round could be deal with the protection of anonymity and still put some coding so someone says [inaudible] thank you mr. chair. >> did you have something you wanted to add to that? >> the possibility is to have these accounts self identified and caught in the nam brought ie disclosure to help users separate the content from the bad. >> thank you all for coming today.e i think the take away from this after listening to this is something that has troubled me from the beginning and that is how difficult this is. we know of the problem and we have bad actors putting out bad information. the difficulty is how you segregate those people who are doing this from americans who have the right to do this. i've looked at this stuff that has everybody has that is part
of this, the yet if you took any one of those pieces individually and said we just discovered who is doing this, there's nothing illegal about it. it may be disgusting or untrue or with a bad motive, but there's nothing protected by the first amendment of the constitution, so how do you separate fact person from someone who is doing the same thing but coming from russia but whose motives are to enhance russia by pulling down america -- how do you police that? and i think the question senator warner asked about putting a speed bump in so that somebody can evaluate this, that kind of put -- i want to be the
evaluator, i think most everybody does and that's the problem. then you talk about predicting anonymity. how can you protect anonymity if you are actually going to do something against someone who is doing something we don't want complex these are extremely difficult questions and i appreciate all of the kind of things you've saidll about this. we'll need to come together etc.. we all agree with that. but how in the world do you do this? to take away is that there's got to be an enormous if not impossible thing. >> i absolutely agree that is the fundamental question. in our research, we identified upwards of 40,000 accounts .-center-dot ukraine that are putting out vociferously anti-ukraine content. ultimately if these bad actors doing this or other actors
practicing what might be their free speech. so that is challenging there are some ways an ways it doesn't oco those on the committee but there are detectors available that can detect some type of content that mimic the characteristics but it's an arms race and developers develop ways to detect based either on the human levels of content, their timing or what have you. the producers of those will then identify other ways of circumventing back and staying covert so it is an arms race and would t require constant researh and evaluation to develop and update new techniques. >> what you're describing is a significant problem for the researchers on small and we look to try to gauge attribution whether this is organic or not. >> what do you do about it when you do get the activation?
>> we try to look at the content, has appeared elsewhere and is it affiliated with the past operations or is it coming from somewhere else to look at the origin. we look at the voice actors pushing the content. is there something off about a number of signatures and then we look at the dissemination pattern doesn't look like it's been amplified and run through accounts or groups or pages that seem dubious and we tried to flag things for the social platform as well and we believe in transparent communication where we say this is what we are seeing they have access to the account information and e-mail addresses and phonee numbers and things people have registered. that's also a significant part of the investigation of the operation. there is no easy answer to the question is a primary challenge and where we see implement operations going towards wandering narratives either
through the unwitting or participants. >> v. and analysis you are talking about as you look at all these things you will find i assume some actors that we consider bad actors to have some we would consider good actors, whether it was a u.s. government operation or some one who makes the determination who is a good actor and a bad actor? that's what i really struggle with. why don't you get your 2 cents in. >> thank you senator. to tell what's fake it's hard but doable to figure out who's behind it. then you need to understand who's behind it tracking the landscape of threat actors that were summaries making the determination who is against the interest and who doesn't matter. then once you have that, it's up to the government and other folks to figure out response. to do the detection of the first
place requires an enormous amount of data and methods of analysis and it's not just data from one platform to happen internally but it also has multiple sources which then gets to your extremely important question of who makes these determinations and has the right to see that data. we have to look at a model like cyber security firms with trusted industry partners everybodagreedthat the trust thw are going to be secure in the way they handle that data. we need a facility like that. ..
>> and i hope that other social media platforms continue to actively counter the campaign i have no question it is going on and that it is more than just election interference. let me ask this question since 2016 election ended, how many ira accounts have any of you found that are still active? >> we had the doing work on that. a list of the cows is extremely valuable we found a
great deal of accounts directly that were active across numerous platform platforms. >> can you put a number on it? the sample was roughly 20% was connected to another platform. they are also connected to other twitter accounts. what we have is the tentacles of the octopus. we don't know how far out it goes. >> what about russia's account? >> presumably use our ira account and they have a tentacle in russia as well but i do know how much that represents. >> anybody else have a
comment? >> it is the social media has that it mom -- information we ccd our best and they occasionally slip to the giveaways but they have the best data. >> facebook has alleged ira tiffany reached 26 million people that does not include 3m or twitter. what can you say about the extent the ira activity reaches real americans? >> it was significant and also concentrated in swing states. >> i'm sorry. what?
few months. no. >> can you estimate the number of americans touched by russian linked activity in this area? >> no. that is very difficult to do. >> can anybody? >> i want to add a small data point we spend a lot of time talking about facebook and twitter but this is a problem of the entire interest of across the system. tumbler and reddit that was used to target the african-american community in particular that is why it is so difficult to quantify the reach of these activities because this is across thehe entire ecosystem not to mention how it is picked up and amplified to media outlets.
>> when information becomes a weapon does anybody see any need to change the environment to prevent this from happening? >> i believe many of us were advocating isis to get into a weapon unfortunately the dialogue between the government and the platforms is not necessarily where needed to be. remember not sure of the status and to that isis operation the global internet form into the best of my knowledge it is in taft as a repository of hashed content. but to answer the earlier question we did see and the
house data set that they were demographically and geographically targeted of the number of people who saw it only the platforms have access but we could gauge the followers that did follow the russia pages that was in the neighborhood of 100 couple hundred thousand. >> doctor kelly you have a profound statement in your testimony and said russian efforts are not directed against one election or one party or even one country. what are russia's ultimate goals? is it to undermine the public's faith in western democracies to weaken the bonds that unite us that there
are opportunities from russia? make yes i believe that's correct with long-termrm strategic goals of the in democracy and traditional sources of information and then the a lot of short-term tactical goals without have to information sway the election in doing that around upper free. both of you emphasize russia manipulation did not stop in 2016 in fact dr. kelly said russia stepped on the gas to increase its activity. now those russian efforts increased postelection to promote racial tension.
we impose sanctions on russia that seem to have done no good with this type of activity. what can we do beyond educating the public? >> of the things we to do is evaluate the information doctrine. this was alluded to in the recent policysi proposals that addressing the sophistication is something as a government we have not looked at that in quite some time and that's a good place to start. >> to make that attribute that activity and then you have a toolkit of foreign policy measures to take action.
>> doctor howard. gave several compelling examples from your gary inexperience where they received with those that were intended to explain downing of the malaysian airline. and what's interesting to me is based on doctor kelly's testimony, it is just the hungarian press that is manipulated or infiltrated or controlled. we have seen evidence where america's media is also targeted and doctor kelly pointed out the russian persona had accounts on
multiple platforms was cited by more than 40 u.s. journalists how could the media be more aware over en garde. in this way. >> the most professionalized media in the world it is learned to evaluate the sources in this country they are already on the defense of the quality of the product is shaped by this campaign so that greater concerns among the media institutions and the democratic allies the russians of from targeting us in particular to brazil and india
and then running elections in the next few years to see significant russian activity those countries have immediate. institution that they too learn and develop. >> this is not a problem that we have overcome we have one example of an ira created twitter account that was tweeting in particular to african-americans focused on the nfl take the need to bait also those are on both sides but that account in particular active through earlier this year was more than two dozen new stories such as bbc usa today thehe huffington post. this was four months ago. we really do need to make sure that this information is not getting laundered into the broader ecosystem which is
part of the strategy. >> the issue is when we read that from a credible source you're likely to believe estimate that gives more credibility. >> thank you to all of you. it seems to me for now and in the foreseeable future protecting america's private data will be a national security issue. just like the russians exploited facebook's lax protections to abuse americans information i believe a significant part of failure that they don't have their 30 or the resources to be a tougher cop on the beach. i will roll out a plan to fix that in the weeks ahead. but to reference the russian facebook pages and 2016 that
you noted the pages targeting left that included the not only the content to appeal to its audience but also content intended to suppress the vote to be critical of secretary clinton does the content that is released yesterday by facebook resembled the content the russians used last time to attract the audience with racial minorities that was used to suppress their vote? yes. there is a strong component targeting minorityn voters. pride related content. and that reflects what lisa
yesterday. >> i appreciate that. content targeting is clearly a big part of the challenge. but americans are inevitably particularly if it is consistent with what they already believe. and to a repeat of the playbook to attract an audience to discourage from voting and attacking democratic candidates pushing the line so they try to make it possible that her folks don't matter. is that your concern. >> you sir. there is a push for intraparty connections on the left.
so as this concept known as down ranking. that is just a mismatch of incentives. they want users and impressions and clicks and false content. even when the companies can't or have not decided to identify a certain account as forward or nefarious they can still downgrade the post to limit their exposure. this is even with junk news as foreign influence. my question is do you think these down ranking programs are effective that should be considered the toolbox?
>> the three facets is remove and reduce or reform to add additional contacts that is the framework, reduce is down ranking so to inject some friction this is where it could be a tool as integrity is established. but that is the most extreme. >> to talk about down ranking up ranking as part of the process. >> that is way too logical. >> information is not being served up without some kind of algorithm deciding the platforms. to basically decide what is
served up at the top. so start with the premise it is baked into the cake so start with the premise it is baked into the cake prioritizing that melissa will -- malicious information? to game these out rhythms whether getting content to trend or to rise to the top of google search. >> i'm overtime but i want to be clear as the author of section 230 the day that these are considered neutral are over. so to have a shield or a sword. >> so much of the charge,
largely with the ira what percentage of russian linked activity would you anticipate the ira represents? is half? 10%? who has a sense of what were not looking at? >> but in the minority? >> that is the case here as well? >> we don't know how much of the ira this is. we know from the indictment of the g are you one section notes as operatives utilize social media accounts and fake
website to spread have to information and the g are you is better than the ira but that speaks to how that is one chip of the iceberg. >> yearly discussion as to what the russians were paying for. that is a small fraction of the impact they were having. does anybody disagree? our own -- hiring activity with the 17 and into 18? so the indictment said that with millions of dollars
involved in that effort with $100 million, what amount of money i invested in this effort? with mueller indictment? he uses the term million of dollars any idea of the activity you have looked at the investment of money and how many people involved? >> we have done that with half a billion dollars has been spent by those 40 governments and we think it is around 200 million over the extended. for the full set of organizations behind the various campaigns. >> in the other countries you have looked at, who do we look
at after russia likely impacting our daily conversation? you are the top three or four countries you believe are most actively out there doing what russia is doing? >> in research we look at turkey, china, hungary and iran. >> doctor kelly? we believe there is a growing black market for people skilled in the employee them on their own countries and hired to work in others. it is a critical challenge because the russians could effectively do this and then you have a black market that can be hired by any actor mimic these for the countries you have looked at for outside
activity that are participating in this activity? >> they have organized disinformation campaigns with that stable personnel with family benefits. formal organizations that do this work. >> and are they trying to influence activity? >> seven countries there are separate authoritarian regimes with dedicated budgets to target voters in other countries. o and many other countries? we cover 40 it is usually the u.s. and canada and u.k. and germany that are the target. >> doctor kelly's comment about determining attribution and then to focus on defense
no administration has figured out what the offense should be and to determine the cyberattack that is a different kind of cyberattack that is a different infrastructure from social media infrastructure that every bed is critical as any of the other infrastructure we try to protec protect. >> i would note that russia plays to the asymmetric advantage with a low cost high we were kind of tactic we have to evaluate our own advantages sometimes that is not responding symmetrically or in the same domain. when it comes to russia that
is why imposing costs in the financial space in particular that putin cares most about his power and not rest with his money. looking at ways to enjoy the sources of funding for these activities and for the regimes using them is incredibly important coming to china and reputational cost. to put it on the national security front to identify our own advantages. >> i believe you said with a p or phrase we have moved from the failure of imagination to failure to act. despite the current risk in the midterms and then to be
scheduled for a vote in the united states senate. complex problems are clear steps we can take when he to take urgently. some of these things are sitting right in front of us and make it a priority. so the analysis of that research agency campaign focus focusing on divisive issues but with that racial division was the single most targeted category of effort. is that unresolved racial tensions as a weapon in the united states? >> yes i believe they are. do you see that ongoing exploitation as a direct
threat to national security for our cohesiveness as a country? >> you could think of this to drive intoer the public and in the past is exploited make it look like 1950s america. >> i agree. >> we now know much more about the 2016 campaign and it is far broader than we originally thought. as we have testified to that no single entity by itself. not civil society to affect foreign influence operations on social media. but have we extracted that penalty or price to deter
vladimir putin from acting in this wayn or have they gotten a pass so far that the administration has chosen to extract. but one thing i would note in ntassic deterrence theory it is two prongs. and it is incredibly important on the credibility front to have clear consistent messages from across the government starting with our leadership all the way down. including the white house that this is not tolerated and would be consequences going forward. and there is a role to tea up
those triggers that are automatic and there is consideration and a welcome that would also the credibility peas but vladimir putin cannot see from one place that there is a potential for consequences but overhear getting a mixed message. to have credibility coupled with the capability to act. >> you mentioned financial cost as the asymmetric advantage what you foresee is the potential cost we could extract for the ongoing misbehavior? >> one is a targeted designation heather thinks more broadly how our financial system frankly is used for putin and his cronies to hide the money they have stolen from the russian people.
just as we have vulnerabilities in the information domain but in the financial system. i colliding transparency or extending and legislating those orders that the treasury department has been using in the report i mentioned earlier. >> i will read that. you mentioned the broader ecosystem can you just confirm these are music apps and video games. much broader than twitter and google. >> with every small platform that comes along. >> and to thank you for the information that you have shared.
but there is a massive sophisticated persistent campaign is that accurate? >> that is incredibly important because with all of this russia active measures that there was going into campaigns and elections and collusion. this is an warmest part to lose side of this. and it is still happening. is that correct. and in 2016 learning to hide their tracks and we would have
thought they figured not to pay in rubles but and then finally what you are suggesting is we are asymmetrically vulnerable because of the first amendment and democracy. whole system is based on information. to have a principle of open access information thomas jefferson said we can tolerate as long as truth can combat but he never met facebook. but because of the nature of their society this is for the record there are three ways to combat this. technical solutions and things mentioned today we can do that facebook could do to identify those bought please give
specificity and that you think we might be able to do without violating the first amendment. >> i don't want to do that but there are things that are helpful. >> the second thing is mentioning it in your testimony we need to do a better job. i had a meeting just before in the fall of 16 and said bloodied about this problem? you cannot unplug the internet everybody knows it's happening and therefore when it comes online essay it's the russians. is that what you mean by improved media literacy? be make precisely to recognize
when they appear w to process to minimize the impact. >> it is deeper than a hearing. not necessarily taught to be manipulated. and then digital literacy. and then to ask those questions.ms spirit that includes online literacy. one of the things that has impacted me with those older populations not growing up with technology may be more vulnerable to manipulation. >> that's because they grew up with newspapers with the
unspoken assumption with editors and fact checkers. >> so the final point is deterrence. ultimately we cannot rely exclusively on defense. that the russians in this case the css achieved day as an easy target and i hope we can take for the record and it is important it doesn't have to be cyberor deterrence in a number of areas including sanctions there has to be a price to be a paid.
so give some thoughts torrents for the rectum -- deterrence on the record. >> thank you. this is a critical topic i hope all americans are watching. that voting society needs to be informed. and with ao sound democracy unfortunately russia tries to undermine the foundation. the soviet union specifically openly criticized before world war ii. and with the ussr and at the end the founder sells an adversarial relationship known as the cold war lasting decades.
but now brescia specifically seem to be adversarial's. with that propaganda everything we have heard to polarize the voters to discourage citizens to vote. which country poses the greatest threat with the social media platforms and which are making strides to do the same? >> i agree that russia is the most innovative to develop these techniques but is it safe to say dictators learn from each other. as they see successful campaignsar they sing their own resources with that capacity some test military units with
social media campaigns. now there are seven different countries of authoritarian regimess. >> which one has the greatest potential to do harm? >> china has the next best capacity. we have not seen thatnk yet directly. >> any country that has been successful to deter russia or any other attackers from other countriess? >> not that i'm aware of. >> it's hard to know the counterfactual in different cases there is some evidencede that in the german and french elections that detour messaging from the top those consequences may have reduced.
>> what about the current election in france? as soon as they saw the attacks made in russia. >> and somebody could learn. >> and then to be aware of it with quick and decisive action in terms of speech by the leadership. >> fake news is the real news depending where they get it from. can i ask each one of you where'd you receive your news
you think it is factual? and then to to decide for themselves. >> pbs and bbc and canadian broadcasting company. >> i am old-fashioned i like newspapers i like having publishers and editors involved to fact check. >> i am the fact checker i go the old gray lady. >> washington post. >> major newspapers. >> not one of you mentioned social media. none of you mentioned where you trust your news to come from and that speaks volumes. i have no further questions after that.
>> i just want to add what happened in france they did some things constitutionally we cannot do so recognize the fact they had allowed blessed and big stick. we might not get the same results. >> nobody mentioned tmz. there is good stuff there [i am often on there as much as i can. so talk about the terminology that we use. and get your insight. w everybody's pies on everyone. it isn't just espionage traditionally. twoo half-day computers to steal the e-mails that this is
a tan espionage situation but collusion and ongoing efforts to answer those questions. and collusion with that candidate or party to do this. and it isn't quite clear with that psychology and to fight against each other. and with that collusion focus. and left with the term interference is generic that it sounds benign. from the leadership of another country then to actively engage somebody get elected.
and it is nothing less than informational warfare. another type of an adversary. and how continues his united states of america with a military strike to take out anti- air defense it would weaken the air defense. and if you do this willingness and capacity to fight to come together as a nation. as part of the broader doctrine on how to confront an adversary. and it works because all the things happening in the world today unitedes states senate has spent inordinate amount of
time on this topic with other issues to be focused on. it has worked is this assessment right? it is informationnd warfare designed with those doubt because it changes the database in the future what we see now all of that is designed for chaos instability. we already fight but it is just storing that up even more. is this informational warfare? >> yes. >> 100%. >> to that extent wouldn't one of the best things that could happen to focus on facebook and twitter and instagram these were used for informational warfare.
those disclosures are faster but by a large it is used. so enemies that road that they built. so there are things they could be doingn to improve the way they operate that we should be focused on what t is done and not only who they used to do it. why don't they be ine a position to alert all of their users but actively send out alerts every time they remove something so they are conditioned to the messages driven by warfare operations. >> i believe senator blumenthal would do so back in september. they did push notifications they have seen content e-mails
that were affected that disclosure is necessary because one thing that it does is come from the platform that is somewhat trustworthy because then you see those polarized echo chambers. looking at the history of active measures across stern europe is that it is one of the most effective anecdotes and exposure is critical for building resiliency going forward so i concur that more t information and to the information about these activities is critical. >> i promise the vast majority will never see a single one of these images because there is a lot going on.
>> and then looking at 2016. when russia attacked our country during the election and are continuing today. and then attack one of the most sacred democratic values which is a free and fair election but also the american identity. we as americans about other race or religion or f region has so much more in common. and to solely be responsible for the choosing of our elected leaders and who is the president of the united states.
and so of those issues and they run deep and provoke potent reactions. with a history of slavery in the country. with segregation and discrimination. and we have a lot to do to repair and recover from the harm of the past and what continues today. let's be clear someone came into our house and into the house of this country of who we are as americans. they manipulated us. they are an adversary. and they provoke us and try to turn us against each other. the russian government came into the house of the american
family and manipulated us. and we must take it seriously inry that context that when we debate as we do in 26 who was the leader of our country the russians exploited the discourse to play into the deepest fear. it is incumbent to speak to the american people first we must act urgently to bolster defenses like election infrastructure and cybersecurity. and many of the colleagues with a more secure elections act but we need to make sure the american public recognizes
and so that the american public can rightly identify to attempt the exploit our vulnerabilities for the purpose of weakening our country and democracy. and with that i would like to ask, in your written testimony say the russian internet research agency to target americans was unified in its candidacy as secretary clinton andd in those pages targeting the left is included content to depress voter turnout. this seems to hurt the campaign. in the 2016 election and help the other. so tell us more what research has found regarding the nature of the political content the russian ira was pushing during
the 2016 campaign. >> those that were not unified so they were targeted and they were anti- trump. we did see one with the evidence can you during the primaries. there was anti- rubio and anti- cruise content that appeared in the substantial amount of secretary clinton content w on the right in the left. on the left there were narratives african-americans should not vote and do not waste the vote and there was support for candidates senators -- sanders. >> you published a report to
counter that democracy and described an event on may 21 where two groups were protesting in houston texas and one was called the heart of texas and then the united muslims of america were rallying in these were confrontational. so were they aware of the manufacturer the conflict what enforcement was present and could keep them separate. one of the things we believe may have been part of those named day same place opposite sides of the street and attempt to promote violence.
>> and how they can inform law enforcement and frankly officer safety. >> also that announcement yesterday says it may haver been intended to be along similar lines with the protest to have very high emotions. >> and we appreciate this very much. and with those recommendations team has made. you made some very specific recommendations without discovering that retribution
and that reputational cost and with those cyberoperations what do you consider that to be effective? it is a complex problem in this context. so there are instances in which the u.s. government is able to identify the servers used based on with the damage assessments there are instances that could be an appropriate course of action. and to set up a server that does not impose a cost
sometimes for those transnationall operations they could be using a server in the united states are in the domain of one of the allies. er isn't super simplistic but there are instances we should consider it. >> i'm not sure there is anyone left on the planet what type of reputational cost to expose theirid activities? >> that recommendation is aimed at china and to have those abilities and has a longer-term strategic interest about generating affinity and it model.
i concur when it comes to russia the cost is difficult but it is important to hear clear and consistent messages to show as a threat to the nation. >> talk about multiple times to say they are used by an adversary another to show the images. and then to say it looks like russia here are the images they are putting out with a tremendous amount of data that is much improved from where we were two years ago when they say we are not sure. that is helpful around traditional media that helps us us to get the message out. and with the european allies faced from russia and push back immediately.
one of the questions is that to make sure there is transparency passing legislation to know the source of political ads and much of what happened was not an ad but to develop that so if it is just a profile to develop quite a following. >> i concur that political advertising piece is a small one. my own view of national security perspective as we identify the vulnerability to close it off even if not significant to apply those same standards online as off-line is essential. and cannot be convinced that it will that is why we have
conspiracy measures to provide context whether automation is involved to acquire that authenticity to protect anonymity. these are the steps that can help mitigate those broader concerns. >> is there a level with cell phone companies and others? and then in cooperation for that content and to say help us with the data with there's another level of information coming from the es mode -- isp where it originates. >> and the information from the intelligence community is the different pieces of the puzzle.
>> thank you very much. we all appreciate what from a timely response that what is very important to bears repeating is basically the company is beyond self-regulation. can you elaborate? much of what is discussed today is evidence released slowly over a two-year period. but when i say social media industry the more public open data through public life the faster we can catch those
manipulations because as individuals impact on our democracy my face just faith-based charities it is under attack and it is distinct to democracy and part of the organizations to help defend us. >> the vice chairman has done a remarkable job. and they have to move. legislatively to have disclosure.a companies in order to set the terms for the debate. by being absent from this computation not taking that to figure out these issues are
right now what's happening is other countries and other governments are setting the rules for this space. that is in many cases not in the interest of united states by some the ideas that senator warner put forward in this paper earlier this week are serious conversations about the things we need to be doing. >> one of the ironies you point out is not only don't we get to make the rules but our companies have to follow the rules in china and follow the rules in europe do not follow the rules here leaving us much more vulnerable. >> i believe it's critical to have access to data from all the platforms in order to detect this kind of the 70. that's sophisticated analytic capabilities that need to be created and it's going to mean a lot of time and effort from a
lot of smart people. i think our concerns about privacy and the first amendment does suggest we have to think about industry consortium's are things that allow without moving it to far to the industry let them at least have the first at it. >> again i think it's very consistent with the views of most americans that if we are still waiting for a robust response or haps facebook to see it as a good sign that the industry is coming around. >> i think the proactive transparency we site yesterday from a shows real leadership and i think we need more of that. >> we do in my concern is that again there are other disincentives culture etc. that could inhibit that.
>> i think we spoke about finance a little bit earlier. there were two sets of regulators. there were regulatory bodies to step down for the exchanges and the exchanges are able to see what's happening immediately before the regulatory process happens. i think that's an interesting model for combination of regulatory and self-regulatory exchanges acting independently and oversight looking to make sure -- >> i will just say our research shows it's important to tag this information so we can know the source of it. appropriate place. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> senator cornyn. >> i can't help but recall the words of h. h. l. mencken who said for every complex problem there is a solution, a clear,
simple and wrong. i think we need to be demonstrating humility when we approach this from a public policy perspective with our response but i also want to ask you about my impression which is it would be a mistake to think this is just about elections. one of the reasons i say that, i came across an article recently entitled when the stranger decides to destroy your life where somebody used the fabricated story about a woman that posted on line on a web site called she's a homewrecker. basically ruined this woman's life or at least challenged it in a dramatic way. and then i thought well, this is a tool that could also be used by somebody who wants to thanks todd price by disparaging the
reputation of a company. and then perhaps sell it short and reap a significant reward or if you are a chinese telecom that wants to get rid of some of the competition particularly when it comes to developing 5g technology or some other cutting-edge technology this is also. useful in using this is information warfare. all of this leads me to wonder if by focusing solely on the election which is dramatic and of tremendous concern and i share the concerns of all of you and all of the committee, that if we just focus on that and not the rest of the picture whether we are missing the right picture ms. diresta do you have any observations quite.
>> we do look at misinformation disinformation. we have seen evidence of campaigns targeting our culture and energy as do industries of interests of foreign powers. on energy we have seen anti-fracking box with countries affiliated with strong oil interests and spreading fear about gmos. >> ms. rosenberger? >> in russia we know they have use these operations to try to shape our views on political issues especially those with russia. for instance one the ira sponsored posts on political activists asked how would we feel of another country on this for brutality? i was posted in the immediate aftermath of the trump administration strikes on syria after the chemical attack in 2019 so that account criticizing
the trump administration using emotional issues like the flat flynt water crisis and police brutality is an avenue to shape the geopolitical issue of russia. >> dr. kelly. >> i completely agree there's a commercial and of this is underreported in there's a lot more going on in the commercial state. renee rené discussed some of them. we have seen others with our customers and sometimes there are tax on corporations were corporations will be punished with falsely amplified boycotts and similar measures for doing something which is politically not what russia would like to see. >> dr. helmus the psychologists in a speech as on line recently called the age of outrage at the manhattan institute or he basically describes a narrative where there a lot of things
conspiring to manipulate us and invoke outrage for whatever is going on whether it's cable news, social media or the like. what can regular americans do to protect themselves against those whether they are stayed at jars or individuals with malicious intent, what can they do to protect themselves? there's one thing for the government to do what we can do from a policy standpoint but what can average consumers of social media and blind due to protect themselves from being manipulated by fake information or misinformation? >> our work as was mentioned earlier, people in those areas are very well aware of russia's intentions. russia looks closely to those nations and people know what's
going on. i think obviously the united states is the need to know your sources of information to be able to adjudicate and assess truthfulness and the potential biases of that information and try to make your own decisions. ultimately it's about being a careful consumer of information. >> thank you senator cornyn. the chair is going to recognize himself for question and then will recognize the vice chairman we will see if we have many members that return after the second vote. my intention is try to wrap up as close to the end is a kamprad affor it a lot of phrases to describe what went on in the last few minutes, disinformation campaign, misinformation campaign, societal chaos campaign. dr. at the used one that struck
me earlier confrontational propaganda. my suggestion is that we not come up with a single one because we are dealing with a generational issue and somebody alluded to it earlier. it's much easier to think of the generation that grew up with these vices and accomplish some type of change than it is for somebody who struggled like me to learn how to use the device and found the most useful tv ad when somebody different did somebody they took their picture off the wall. you remember that post-it note. >> i think it's important that we speak to as many languages on this because the task we have before us is penetrate the entire population. it's not limited to the united states. i hope there's a take away for the media. this is going on everywhere. it's not limited to politics.
it's much more intrusive in the economic global economic picture today than it is in the political. it's just that we like to write about politics. so i want to point you to this chart i have over here. looks like something that would be used in a psychiatrists office to describe it that i'm going to ask you dr. kelly in our analysis we went through and we tried to connect the dots. who generates a downward is to go? doesn't go to the right? does a good the left? what my staff determined and i am looking for your agreement or disagreement is in a lot of cases the same person sitting somewhere in the world generating, initiating this propaganda both initiated in part on the right and impart on the left and different individuals said this was a well
or and well choreographed plan. what is your comment on that? >> it's very interesting and it tells a deeper part of the story you don't just have one roomful of people who are running right-wing trolls and one room running left-wing trolls. sex with the same computer and that's a real lesson into how we need to worry about how they are starting to play us like marionettes. >> is it safe to say that it's so easy that russia uses existing views inside of american society. all they do is try to make the gap bigger between the two by claiming both sides. >> i agree. they are not creating issues. they find in the society what where the vulnerabilities and one of the groups that oppose
each other and it's like arming two sides of the civil war before you go. >> ms. rosenberger is the different than what we face in the 1960s with the campaigns by the soviet union against their adversaries? >> it is and it isn't. the playbook in some ways is the same that the tools that they can use to run those plates are very different. what we have seen is a digital platform has supercharged the ability to take that playbook and to really reach a much broader audience more quickly and at a much more targeted kind of way than what we would have seen in the 1960s. there's a difference between hand cranking out leaflets in the basement of passing them around then there is from putting information on line using automated techniques and authentic personas to watch a go
viral. >> i will say the vice chairman it is outspoken about how technology allows this plan to be on steroids, words like bots and they come up with new ones every day. many on the committee and most in the country either didn't understand what in the beginning are still don't understand. i'm sure that we can emphasize the intent but more importantly the capability and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit. i recognize the vice chair. >> thank you mr. chairman. it's a nice thing you said about me and he said it with no members here. [laughter] >> i can repair the record. >> i want to start with senator cornyn said. i think the political piece is really a relatively small compared to the overall threat and one of the things we have
not talked about today is the marrying of cyber attack's with misinformation and disinformation so somebody goes out and say for example the equifax hack was done by a foreign actor and it has personal information on americans than that actor contacts you with your personal financial information hoping that you open that message and behind that message comes a live stream video of what appears to be mark zuckerberg or jay powell as chairman of the federal reserve. the ability to wreak havoc in the markets almost overwhelms what we have seen. i appreciate when we are talking earlier and recognized and you have really helped me recently even something that seems so
obvious should have the right to know poor being contacted by a human being but i think we have to continue to explore that. ms. rosenberger two points. one is you have rightfully said we want to make sure that we protect anonymity of particularly a foreign agent in egypt and the ability to hide sourcing gets easier and easier with the use of networks. even with those challenges shouldn't we have some of those that say if an american has the ability to put some geolocation so somebody says they are posting a message from michigan or north carolina and its originating in macedonia or russia we ought to at least have that information. the we just need to know that
there ought to be a second look because the words in that post may not be what is described in the post. is that a possible tool? >> i think there are ways. that's one thing that can be investigated. there are friday of ways to acquire authenticity without requiring disclosure. a platform and in fact some do require confirmation of authenticity. some of them require you include a verified check to put another label, another level of authenticity on top of that. but i think that there are ways that authenticity can be confirmed or at least we can do a lot better to try to confirm it while still ensuring that we do have anonymity protected. >> let me follow up. we heard today some members talk
about section 230. we have heard some members talk about gpr and the whole privacy bucket and referred issues about bots and talking about geocoding. one of the areas we haven't talked so much about and i appreciate the chairman giving us extra time, are there market forces that could help if we ensured more competition? for example they used to be really hard to move from one telco to another until we implemented requirements of non-affordability. the facebook googles and twitters dominate the markets. there may be with people increasingly have concerns about the safety of the data in their ownership of the data and fake accounts being used. the notion of that would say if
to affect your objectives. those are something you have to think about how that concerned leads through this. they are part of the army so by solving that problem even if you force them to identify you force them to put a flashing light on the archers. there's a lot of other folks out there that are playing a more direct role they still have to worry about and those high-value assets in this battle are a little bit harder to find and you can just fire up another drip of them. >> we have a lot of recognition we should also recognize twitter in the last two months has taken down in a fake accounts.
is there any possibility of adding more competition to the market place as a way to help us sort through this regulatory or competitive approach? >> if you fragment where people are then there are more to watch. that's not to say that it's not an appropriate course of action because one of the reasons that there is a massive consolidation of audiences that is more decentralized on a small handful of platforms. people like that comes obligation have all their friends on one platform so this is kind of a chicken and egg problem that we are happ we aree the conversation. >> my last comment would be each
of these platforms even as large as they are where they only look after their own content or usages so that ability to see across the whole ecosystem is mostly lacking. you feel like the government is trying to get a handle on this but has a lot of work to do as well. so i want to thank all of you and one of the things we might be able to find a consensus on is there more ability for us to urge the platforms in an anonymous way to because you can give us that systemwide view that they can't give us the complete picture. >> i think we need two different
kinds of information sharing that can be combined. one is between the public sector and private sector bringing together the capabilities of the intelligence community with the capabilities into the platforms that are happening in their ecosystem but there are mechanisms to do that and to cross the information sharing so i would think about this as a vertical and horizontal challenge then you have the question of outside researchers which is critical. that's one model to look at in this space and there's others including from the financial integrity world as well as the cybersecurity were where you've been able to bring together different parts of the industry and government to ensure the full picture is put together to best go at this problem.
he did get this beyond the note that he has moved the committee forward on a host of technology issues and this is one where there is no democratic or republican answer to its want to wreak havoc in split decisions in this committee under your leadership is trying to take this on in an appropriate way. >> a lot of good has happened since we started this over a year ago. a lot of changes have happened twelve-month psycho we would have said they never do. a big ship is not turned around overnight. it takes a while but they've now given an opportunity to work with them and i hope when we
have three of the platforms in people see a willingness to collaborate with us to come up with a solution that fits both legislatively and from a standpoint of their corporate responsibilities so i am optimistic that we are headed towards the solution. it's this committee that took on legislation for cybersecurity when everybody said it couldn't happen. was a good first step as a guesg part of the challenge we are the filter for technology changes in the world. all dumps into our lap and we have a perspective nobody else has and technology will drive for the next ten years the way we do things and communicate their ego and how we do it.
it's appropriately would be talking about a new architecture for social media for the relationship between the government and private sector and i hope if there is a take away from today's hearing this is the last time we are going to associate propaganda effort that we see with an election cycle. there's been no interruption from 14. this was planned out before we know who the candidates were into the differences between the two parties were where the american people's button was. it humbled tit's flexible and nh that they want to initiate and i can't thancan't thank all of yoh for your canon did and
insightful testimony you've given us a lot to think about as we wrestle with how to counteract the problem of foreign influence and achieve social media i want to summarize what we've heard today from the american people the russians conducted a structured influence campaign using us-based social media platforms and others to target the american people using devices issues such as race, immigration and sexual orientation. that campaign is still active today. they did and it is because they have political leanings to the right or left but because they care that our elections rather because a weak america is good for russia. some feel he as a society are sitting in a burning room calmly drinking a cup of coffee telling ourselves is fine. it's not fine and that's not the case. we should no longer be talking about if the interfere in the
american society. they've been doing it since the soviet union and they ar they'rl doing it today. are we going to do about it? it won't be an easy answer. the problem requires all of us, sector, civil society to come to leverage and pay our strengths and resources to develop a strategy to counteract these attacks. we heard about the problem today and have considered recommendations and solutions the next step is to hear from the companies themselves and i'm certain they learned a fair amount today while watching the hearing and look forward to their responses. but they view their role to be and what they are doing to combat foreign influence operations as i mentioned
senator from florida. mr. rubio: madam president, this -- we are now halfway through my eighth year in the united states senate and in my time year, i have never once spoken against, voted against, or opposed in any way any of the national defense authorization acts that have come before the senate. and the reason being that despite whatever flaws one might find on most owequations in any -- occasions in any piece of legislation, the defense of our country is the fundamentallologies of our federal government. -- fundamental obligation of our federal government. it comes before anything else. state governments run schools and build roads and do all sorts of activities at the state level. communities do all sorts