Skip to main content

tv   Election Security  CSPAN  June 16, 2018 10:02am-12:11pm EDT

10:02 am
>> ahead on c-span, testimony from justice and homeland security department officials on protecting election infrastructure from attack. later, an interview whiskey police -- an interview with steve scully's one year after he was seriously injured in a shooting during a baseball practice. that is following representative shift on the russia investigation. , a senate hearing on securing election and the social media platforms run the tax. deputy assistant attorney general foreign a national
10:03 am
security testified before the senate judiciary committee. this is just over two hours. think everybody -- thank everybody for being here today. i am sorry for the long lines outside. i hope my staff has accommodated some ways. for many months now we have been aware that foreign actors attempted to interfere in our democracy by spreading false and inflammatory rhetoric to the electric. and by attempting to hack our electoral system ourselves. we will focus on what actions we can take to help prevent that from happening again. particularly what tools we can provide law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those
10:04 am
who seek to interfere with our elections. the great threat posed by foreign meddling in our elections as led to many responses from within our government. first and foremost homeland , security has been on the frontlines trying to bolster state and local election infrastructure. january 2017, dhs designated our electoral system as critical infrastructure. that designation supported two cyber security related purposes. one, election officials upon request would be a top priority for the receipt of dhs services. and election infrastructure would receive the benefit of various domestic and international cyber security protections. moreover, department of homeland security has worked to feed classified and unclassified cyber security risk information. with state and local officials.
10:05 am
dhs has formed several working groups and task force developing plans for election infrastructure security. working not only with state and local election officials, but also the private sector to help generate best practices and solutions. the department has continued to work to strengthen partnerships with state and local election officials. nevertheless, elections are controlled by states. that means these partnerships are completely voluntary. that puts the onus upon states to seek help from and cooperate with our federal government. if they don't, of course, it is impossible for the department to step in. other responses from government include president trump's decision to levy sanctions
10:06 am
against russian organizations and individuals that participated in election interference. year, treasurys department targeted five entities and 19 individuals. including the internet research agency and the individuals associated with it. in april, the administration imposed additional sanctions on seven russian oligarchs and top government officials for interference in the 2016 election and other aggressions. among the individuals sanction ed was an individual who had close ties to former trump campaign manager paul manafort. also in march of this year, president trump expelled 60 russian diplomats from the u.s.
10:07 am
i am told from history that is the largest explosion on the criminal front. this past february, special counsel charged seven russian entities with an effort to interfere in our election process. congress has devoted substantial attention to the issue. some have complained about the alleged inaction, particularly within our own committee. so you would expect me to say to the contrary. in the judiciary committee alone we have held no less than five hearings addressing this issue. this will be our sixth hearing regarding russian or other foreign interference in our elections since the last election. on the legislative front, there have been no fewer than 18 pieces of legislation proposed to combat different angles of the foreign election meddling issue.
10:08 am
in this body a loan, meaning the ,ntire senate -- body alone meaning the entire senate. however only one has been , referred to the judiciary committee. i have cosponsored the disclosing foreign influence act, as well as the show company abuse act, with senator whitehouse, urban, and graham. the second bill if it acted in law would criminalize concealing activities of a foreign national in connection with contribution or donations to campaigns or an election hearing. in addition to the bills offered in the senate, 16 have been offered in the house. there have been many hearings and many other committees. the homeland security and our justice department have been working hard to formulate the best response to this challenge. to investigate and prosecute those targeting our elections.
10:09 am
experts and academics have also weighed in with thoughts of how best to protect our elections as we move towards this midterm election this year. we will hear from some of those people. as i mentioned earlier, our team is focused very squarely on this issue. are there additional steps that we can take within the jurisdiction of the judiciary committee that will prevent and punish foreign actors who seek to meddle in our elections? it is important to note that the ,ederal election campaign act which is not even within our jurisdiction of this committee, is a comprehensive framework
10:10 am
illegal to address campaign and election-related activities .jurisdiction of the -- related activities. the molar- as indictment suggests, many statutes address this behavior. we can name wire fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft. the fairer act, the computer fraud and abuse act, just to name a few. call forems sometimes new solutions. sometimes they can be addressed by existing law. ultimately, the answer may the no new laws need to be created, or only a few small changes are necessary. these are perfectly acceptable answers. that does not mean we should not
10:11 am
ask the questions. so, here we are today. senator feinstein? feinstein: thank you for holding this hearing. we know that russia orchestrated a sustained and coordinated attack. interest ine is future attacks in future elections, including this november. statesunited intelligence committee unanimously concluded, the interference in our election landed covert intelligence operations, such a cyber efforts byith over russian government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users, or trolls. over the last year and a half, we have come to better
10:12 am
understand how pernicious these attacks were, particularly -- attacks were. particularly unsettling was we were so unaware. we were unaware that russia was sowing division through cyber warfare and working with malicious actors to tip the scales of the election. 13 russian nationals and three organizations, including the russian-backed internet research agency have been indicted for their role in rush's vast conspiracy to defraud the united states. defendants about political advertisements on social media. they staged political rallies inside the united states. they did this while posing as ited states persons and without revealing their russian identities. from special counsel
10:13 am
indictments, we know unwitting americans assisted in these indictments. we don't know if any americans knowingly helped the russians. this is extraordinarily sobering. our country is built on free and fair elections. we are a government of the people, by the people, for the people. when our election is called into question, our government is called into question. --s was rush's goal, to rush's goal, to attack the foundations of our democracy. russian efforts to influence the 2016 u.s. presidential election represent the most recent expression of moscow's long-standing desire to undermine the u.s.-led liberal democratic order.
10:14 am
, we must do all we can to on our future attacks elections. we have to be clear eyed about the threats we face and put aside politics and act decisively. to be clear, there are laws on the books to prosecute those who interfere in our elections. indeed, as mentioned, special counsel kim jong-un has an -- special counsel mueller, has of thed 13 members internet research agency. these individuals were charged with defrauding the united states in violation of section 371 of title 18 of the united states code. this is a valid charge against those who interfere in our elections. in fact, there are questions if this same charge can be brought against americans if they are
10:15 am
found to have accepted election assistance from foreign entities or coordinated with wikileaks about when to release emails stolen from the democratic national committee campaign and enter john podesta. i hope these witnesses will be able to offer their own assessments about whether those charges could be validly brought. has alsoounsel mueller charged former trump campaigned chair paul manafort with fraud and violations of the foreign agent's registration act, commonly called fara. is to ensuref fara the united states government and its people are informed of the andce of information identity of people seeking to influence united states public
10:16 am
opinion, policy, or law. by failing to register as a foreign agent, mr. manafort allegedly concealed his efforts foreign-policy, including while serving as campaign chairman for the republican candidate for president. in fact, the special counsel's office has charged mr. manafort with obstructing justice by trying to conceal the true nature of his work for the government. to avoid conviction, mr. manafort has allegedly urged past associates to lie about his lobbying for ukrainian government interests. this is another example of how there are laws to address collusion. i hope the witnesses can tell us how to make these laws better. lookingcular, i'm
10:17 am
forward to hearing from the witnesses today about the scope of the problem, the steps that are currently being undertaken by the government to hold malicious actors accountable, ird, ways we can act to prevent future attacks. esther chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. several members of the committee have requested a hearing like this and have introduced legislation to deal with foreign interference in our elections. i know all of us have a strong belief and commit that to act before our democracy is undermined again. i hope this hearing will lead to this committee passing legislation and conducting the relevant oversight to help protect our future elections. thank you.ssley:
10:18 am
i will give a short introduction of our witnesses. mr. hickey is deputy assistant for national asset protection in the department of justice. mr. hickey was the acting deputy chief for cyber and national security divisions. before that he served as deputy, chief of appeals in the southern district of new york. second witness, mr. masterson is a senior cyber security advisor within the national protection and programs director that the department of homeland security. prior to this role, mr. masterson served as commissioner of the u.s. election assistance commission. along with several other positions in that agency. and also he served as chief of staff for the ohio secretary of state. both of you probably know that if you have a very long statement beyond your five
10:19 am
minutes that statement will be put in record. we will start with mr. hickey. and then mr. masterson. then we will have a round of questioning for anybody that wants to ask questions. mr. hickey? gooddelury --mr. hickey: morning chairman grassley and distinguished members of the committee. the department appreciates the committee's interest in making sure law enforcement has the tools we need. the committee has my written testimony. i will not repeat it. i will cover key points. the attorney general identified this issue is a priority when he created a cyber digital task force this year. he specifically direct to be a force to direct our
10:20 am
report is due to him by the end of this month. i anticipate the department will then issue a public report in mid-july. i expect that report will provide additional insight into how the department intends to apply long-standing principles and policies and the sensitive context of foreign influence operations. when i say forms influence operations i am referring to , covert actions by foreign governments intended to affect u.s. political sentiment and public discourse. so divisions in our society, or -- sow divisions in our society or undermine confidence in our democratic institutions. these can run the gamut from cyber operations that target election infrastructure or political organizations and seek to alter the confidentiality, availability, or integrity of influencevert operations designed to assist or organizations or officials. the department's principal role
10:21 am
in combating election interference is the investigation and prosecution of federal crimes. they require more than law enforcement responses alone. recognizing that we approach , this national security threat the same as any other. with an eye toward supporting not only our own legal tools, but the tools and abilities of others. first, as a threat-driven organization and member of the intelligence community, or the ice, the fbi can pursue tips and leads and investigate illegal foreign activities and share information from those activities with others to help them detect, prevent, and respond to computer hacking, espionage, and other criminal activities. the fbi can also share information with social media providers, helping them with their own initiatives to track foreign influence activity and to enforce terms of service that prohibit the use of their platforms for such activities.
10:22 am
last fall, the fbi formed a toeign influence task for us ensure that this kind of information -- including to our relationships with other nations and those who seek to avoid justice in u.s. courts will find their freedom of travel significantly restricted. our investigations can support u.s. government agencies by using diplomatic, military, and tools. u.s. government agencies by using diplomatic, military,for example in severalt , cases the secretary of treasury has imposed financial sanctions on defendants abroad. information can be used to alert individuals and the public the foreign activities. the exposure of foreign influence operations may be one
10:23 am
of the best ways to counter them. victim notifications, defensive counter intelligence briefings, and public safety announcements are traditional department activities, but they must be conducted with particular sensitivity in the context of elections to avoid even the appearance of partiality. in taking these actions, we are alert to ways in which current law may benefit from reform. we welcome the opportunity to work with congress to combat foreign influence operations, including those to influence our elections, by clarifying or expanding our laws to provide new tools or sharpening existing ones if appropriate. the department plays an important role in combating foreign efforts to interfere in our elections, but there are limits to the departments role and the role of the u.s. government more broadly in combating foreign influence operations. doing so requires a whole society approach that relies on coordinated actions by federal, state, and local government agencies, support from the
10:24 am
private sector, and the active engagement of an informed public. i want to thank the committee for providing me this opportunity to discuss these important issues on behalf of the department. i'm happy to answer any questions that you may have. senator grassley: thank you mr. hickey. mr. masterson. mr. masterson: thank you for today's opportunity to testify regarding the department of homeland security's ongoing efforts to assist state and local officials those who own , and operate election systems with improving the resilience of elections across america. for over a decade i've worked , with state and local officials to advance the use of technology to better serve american voters. for the last three years i served as a commissioner and chairman of the united states election commission working to modernize the standards used to test voting systems and provide best practices to help support election officials and since 2016 responded to the threat against our nation's election systems. now i serve as a senior advisor
10:25 am
at dhs, focused on the work of the department to support the thousands of election officials across the country. in this decade of work, i can tell you the best part is working with a dedicated professionals that administer elections. in the face of real and sophisticated threat, these officials have responded by working with us, state and local resources, the private sector and academia to mitigate risks and improve resilience. election security is a national security issue and a top priority for the department. our mission at dhs is to ensure the system owners, in this case the state and local officials across the country, have the necessary information to assess risk and recover from those risks. the support can come in many forms, whether it is no cost voluntary technical assistance, sharing best practices for securing voter registration databases, or ransomware and malware. dhs stands ready to help and offered taylor support based on state and local officials needs.
10:26 am
through these collective efforts, we have made significant progress. state and local officials and those private sector partners who support them are at the table working with us to improve the resilience of the process. for example, we have created government and private sector councils who share information, promote best practices, and develop strategies to reduce risk to the nation's election systems. this is our fastest growing sector. we are sponsoring up to three election officials in each state for security clearances, which allow officials to receive classified threat information if or when it is necessary. we increased availability of free technical assistance across the sector. dhs has been leading an inter- agency federal effort to support state and local efforts. this election task force brings
10:27 am
together our federal partners, the fbi and doj, the intelligence community dod and andher dhs partners, modeled our work and other critical infrastructure sectors. the purpose is to ensure that information is timely and actionabley shared broadly across the sector. the progress being made is clear. as i traveled across the country working with election officials it is evident. last month, i traveled to iowa to meet with secretary of state. level of engagement and coordination happening at all levels of government. while there, i was impressed by the level of a gauge met and coordination happening at all levels of government to secure iowa's elections. officeretary of state's engaging with us as a member of their elections task force and upgrading the statewide voter registration system. to the local auditors themselves and meticulous
10:28 am
preparation and implementation of this practices. we have seen firsthand the progress being made at the local level. acting under secretary chris crabs walked through their defensive defend, detect, recover. they have systematically mapped every system, identified known vulnerability points, and built commiserate defenses and recovery plans. elections are run by state and localities across the 50 states and five territories. there are 10,000 election jurisdictions. the systems, processes, and procedures vary greatly. what works for florida may not work for california. the election empowers voters to engage with the process and those who run it. for those voters who have
10:29 am
questions or concerns regarding the security of the process, i implore you to be involved. worker, check your registration information, engage with your local election official, and most importantly, go vote. the best response is to participate and vote. conclude, i want to thank congress for the legislative process and strengthening dhs' cyber security and critical infrastructure. we support final passage legislature to secrete the cyber security and infrastructure agency, which would rename and reorganize thcppd> . i look forward to your questions. grassley: thank you. we will have five rounds of questions. .tart with mr. hickey
10:30 am
title 18 already imposes several tools for law enforcement to target individuals attempting to illegally influence american elections, including but not limited to wire fraud laws, bank fraud, identity theft, computer fraud and abuse, federal agents registration act violations, money-laundering. our own review does not suggest clearing holes in authority available to investigate and prosecute these crimes. two questions for you. in your opinion what, if anything, needs to be fixed or added to the criminal toolbox? specifically referring to title law enforcement to
10:31 am
prosecute those who try to influence our election system through fraud or cyberattack? we have a fairly robust set of tools and are committed to using all of them as well as we can. at the moment, i'm not here to call for additional tools. it is important that the department and its investigations consider the limits of those authorities. looking, and in this context are examining if there are statutory gaps. we will be pleased to work with congress and breaking them to your attention and be willing to work with this committee and its members and staff as you seek to explore additional authorities. grassley: second, what authorities typically guide these investigations? it will depend on what we mean by these
10:32 am
investigations. foreign influence activities can run the gamut from cyber operations, computer hacking. all the way to other covert influence efforts which could implement the foreign agent's registration act if they involve undeclared act 70's in the united states, campaign law violations, and the like. it depends on the flavor of foreign influence you are referring to. sec. grassley: mr. masterson, in march congress approved millions to safeguard american voting systems. her is a patient offered by the department to states is voluntary. it depends entirely on cooperation of state and local governments. two parts to this question. collaborative effort and cooperation are you receiving from individual
10:33 am
secretaries of state? maybe, let me add the second does it compare to cooperation received in previous elections? mr. masterson: thank you, mr. chairman. andlevel of collaboration cooperation is fantastic. it is at a high level. we are engaged with the most every state in some way.we share information with all 50 states , should we need to, with points of contact available. secretaries are appropriately skeptical of federal roles in the space, so it is incumbent to engage so they see the value of services and information we are providing and respect for our role in the process. sec. grassley: i do not think you touched on the comparison with previous -- maybe there is nothing to compare? mr. masterson: in my prior role
10:34 am
ac we experience the same skepticism. secretaries and state and local election officials appreciate those who support and bring value to the process to help them do their jobs. the secretaries in prior iterations have expressed their the federalect to government, but also engaged with us. sec. grassley: mr. hickey, in february this special console and died at the internet research agency and others interfering in the last election. specialges in the console's indictment included conspiracy to defraud the and united states, wire fraud, bank fraud, identity theft. ltsse are the nuts and bo charges we would see in garden variety criminal cases. is the conduct we have seen in the past unique or different
10:35 am
from other criminal investigations? in other words, is the conduct such we need to think of a new way to prosecute these cases and design a new framework to do so? hashickey: i see my time expired, but i will answer briefly. we look to leverage the framework now, it is fairly robust, but we should be alert to how the framework can be improved. election interference activities by foreign governments have a lot of investigations of that, have a lot of the challenges as other national security cases. one example, the evidence is often located abroad. they are in jurisdictions unwilling to assist with the investigation. investigating is a challenge, apprehending the defendants can be a challenge. it is a challenge we work through across the spectrum of cases we handle.
10:36 am
bothgrassley: thank you for answering my questions. i would liketein: to talk about what the department of justice is doing soprevent and/or investigate the upcoming election will not be affected by wrongdoing? mr. hickey: thank you, senator. one of the most important things we are doing is ensuring there is connectivity between the other departments, and the private sector to identify information that matters. that we open and investigate cases where we learn of potential threats. that we put others in a position to defend and protect themselves. we have done that by setting up -- sec.feinstein: do you have any open investigations relating to the upcoming election? i could not confirm
10:37 am
or deny, i'm speaking programmatically. sec. feinstein: are you working with the intelligence community and examining this and looking out for it? mr. hickey: the fbi has an ongoing relationship as a member of the intelligence community to do that. the type of information, the we could bemation looking out for. priorityit is high pe for the department. sec. feinstein: three months ago, the director of the cia, odi, and fbi warned the american from usingefrain products or services from the chinese telecom company zte. chris ray stated we should be
10:38 am
deeply concerned about the risks of allowing companies beholden to foreign governments gaining positions of power inside our telecommunications network. he said doing so, this is a "provides capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. it provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information and provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage." do you agree with this assessment from three months ago regarding the threat provided by -- posed by zte? mr. hickey: yes. sec. feinstein: what can you tell us about what the department is doing?
10:39 am
mr. hickey: never a pending matter in texas that allows us to examine and make recommendations to prohibit the transaction. those are the kinds of tools at our disposal to address supply chain threat. cornyn,nstein: senator i happened to be his cosponsor, led antohange this to make it more inclusive. is that going to be helpful? mr. hickey: the department supports. sec. feinstein: can you tell us more about this one situation with zte? mr. hickey: there is a pending matters i do not want to characterize it outside the record. do. feinstein: let me ask,
10:40 am
you think justice should be involved with trade negotiations that have a direct bearing on zte? mr. hickey: i think the justice department seeks to exercise our enforcement authority according to the law and independently seek to enforce the laws written and hold folks accountable based on the evidence and facts. sec. feinstein: is justice involved in the negotiations or discussions? mr. hickey: i cannot comment. there is a pending prosecution. zte pled guilty some time ago, but it is an ongoing matter. we are involved in that, obviously. sec. feinstein: thank you, mr. chairman. sec. grassley: senator lee? lee: it seems like the
10:41 am
russians have been attempting to interfere for some time. they have attempted to do that presumably in an effort to undermine public confidence in our electoral system and the voting process in america. we should be concerned and looking for appropriate ways to guard against it. as i see it, there are important questions we should address. one involves the integrity of our election infrastructure, the machines, the equipment, are those secure? seeking to actors disseminate false information in an effort to affect the outcomes of elections is a great concern. there is the question of remedies, what do we do about each of these things? let's talk about the integrity
10:42 am
of our election infrastructure? we will start with you, mr. masterson. heir known breaches of our infrastructure in the 2016 election? wasmasterson: yes, there publicly known breaches of infrastructure, particularly involving voter registration database. sen. lee: either confirmed incidences of votes being changed from one candidate to another? mr. masterson: no. sen. lee: were individual voting machines hacked? mr. masterson: not that i know of. sen. lee: prior to the 2016 election cycle, at least prior to the election itself, the department of homeland security saw preparations teeing made for hacking by the russians -- being made for hacking by the russians. can you explain what procedures the department undertakes once it has identified a potential
10:43 am
threat to a state's election infrastructure? mr. masterson: sure. the department of homeland security's perspective, the number one goal is to ensure sharing of that information to system owners and operators. 2016 moving forward, we made sure we got specific technical information to those owners and operators to look for possible incidents and respondent recover. we offer that incident response as well if necessary. sen. lee: in your opinion, how best can the federal government help? are primarily a creature of state and local governments, typically it is not the federal government running elections. there is a national interest in protecting the integrity of our system, particularly against those who would try to interfere from outside.
10:44 am
foreign powers would certainly be cause for concern. how best can the federal government tried to help state and local governments to ensure the integrity of their system? mr. masterson: there are three primary focus is. the timely sharing of whether we getete information from state or locals, or the intelligence community, the fbi, others, we share that information to allow the system's owners and them.ors to protect services, we provide a variety of free services on a voluntary basis to allow system owners and operators to identify and and improveks resilience to possible incidents. the third is to coordinate the federal government's response to targeting attacks on infrastructure. the election task force helps to coordinate fbi, doj, eac, and
10:45 am
others to make sure information at the federal level is used and provided to those who have to run elections. sen. lee: what approach to the machines beingg hacked from the outside is going low-tech. some states have started making moves back towards paper ballots so they cannot be hacked. is this helpful, something that is necessary that other states ought to consider? papersterson: having records is critical to the security of the systems. those states that have moved in that direction have implemented means by which to audit the vote to give confidence to the public on the results of the election. states that have a non-paper system have indicated a desire, pennsylvania, to move
10:46 am
to audible systems. resources are necessary to help them move in that direction. sen. lee: a paper ballot system or a system that creates a paper trail? mr. masterson: correct. sen. grassley: senator lee? i agree with senator feinstein having this hearing. i was worried, as many vermonters are, about the president refusing to criticize president putin on anything. whether the invasion of crimea -- what concerns us is the blatant attack on our elections. the real problem is the 5 million fraudulent votes cast in the last election according to president trump.
10:47 am
the national security division, ofwe have a threat interference from hostile foreign actors? mr. hickey: forum where i sit, my focus is on foreign states and terrorists, principally foreign states. i know thespective, attorney indicated election security is a priority. that is why he tapped the cyber digital task force. sen. leahy: do consider there is a threat from hostile foreign actors? mr. hickey: as recently as friday, there were reasons to be concerned, yes. sen. leahy: have you seen evidence of millions of noncitizens voting? mr. hickey: i have not in my portfolio, sir. sen. leahy: if millions of wouldn't theoted,
10:48 am
department of justice being investigating and bringing prosecutions? it is easy to say there are millions, but if there were millions, at least a few hundred thousand would be prosecuted. we have not had a few thousand, a few hundred, a thousand, four, two, or one. so, this is where we are with the 5 million. appear everything we have had from the intelligence community, mr. masterson, a threat to foreign interference in our elections, the election assistance commission has 2 commissioners vacant.pots
10:49 am
until recently you are a commissioner recommended by the former republican house speaker john boehner. you are highly regarded by state officials, certainly the secretary of state of vermont for both democratic and republican governors praises you as professional and nonpartisan. your seat remains vacant at a time when the security of our voting system is facing unprecedented challenges. how does the election assistance commission have only 2 commissioners impact it ability to secure election security? you,asterson: thank senator. i would refer you to the eac for specifics. my experience, they are able to
10:50 am
carry on many functions without a quorum, including the testing of voting systems, the distribution of funds, and sharing best practices with state and local election officials. the key item i worked on when i was at eac that continues to progress and would need a quorum is approval of the voluntary voting system guidelines. sen. leahy: private homeland security to the hackers believed to be linked to russia targeted 21 state voter registration 2016.in most of them had no idea they were being penetrated until dhs notified them. we have another major election in five months. are you concerned these states are not moving fast enough? i am not.son: every state i travel to, state
10:51 am
official i talked to, is taking this seriously most of working with multiple levels of government and the private sector and other resources in order to respond. it is incumbent on us to build those partnerships and ensure they have the support they need. sen. leahy: i appreciate the comments about a paper trail, we do that in vermont. i hope we use some of the money, use more of the money through the appropriations committee. chairman and mr. the witnesses here today. if i were in moscow thinking electionaging in more interference in the united states in the coming election, i might consider the following factors. it has been 19 months since the last election which russia interfered in. it has been 17 months since
10:52 am
every major intelligence agency in the united states reported on this interference. it has been 12 months since there was an appointment of a special counsel. i understand, mr. hickey, you aomise to months from now task force you are referred to by the attorney general will give us a public report on what they recommend in terms of the interference. guess the question i would ask is how seriously are americans taking this threat? is it worth it to go after this coming election 19 weeks away? 19 weeks away? we do know special counsel mueller has aggressively gone after russian interference. he has indicted 13 russian nationals and three russian corporations and seven others who may have been complicit in the effort. when we look at the money given $380 million, i think
10:53 am
illinois has $13 million and we were hacked by the russians, i wonder if we can point to a record where we have aggressively gone after russian interference, set upefenses and deterrence so they will not do this again in november. are you confident we have been, under this administration, aggressively pursuing this russian interference in our last election? beenickey: i think we have trying to raise costs on russia for a range of its malign activities. in doing so, we have brought charges against officers not related to election interference but in connection with hacks of yahoo! and others. individuals have been sanctioned by this administration. dozens of diplomatic officers have been kicked out of the united states will stop russian facilities has been closed. we have been clear in
10:54 am
attributing malicious cyber activity to the russian government. we have done so sometimes in coordination with our allies. we continue to look for ways to raise costs of malign behavior and including influence operations that are illegal. in fairness, we have a president that has referred to the mueller investigation as a hoax and witchhunt over and over again. just this last weekend called for recognition of russia in the g8, to give them full partnership act into that organization. it is a mixed message at best. let me go to a specific, i agree with the chairman, in one to try to area determine russians who are seeking visas to come into the united states for these malign purposes, we know from the
10:55 am
indictment of special counsel mueller of these 13 russians in february of this year that there were specific activities by several of them. at they came to the united states and started casing the joint, looking us over, getting ready for the attack on the last election. they even visited my home state of illinois, which they did hack. do you believe the bipartisan legislation we propose that would deter people from receiving visas if they are coming to the united states for the purpose of election interference is a good idea? mr. hickey: i cannot take position of particular legislation, but it is important to look at in payment and measured them against the authorities that exist and look for ways we may improve or sharpen that will set exist. that is an ongoing effort at the department. sen. leahy: i was put off by
10:56 am
your statement, we need no additional tools. i quote you in saying that. if you found statutory gaps he would let us know. i would hope you would be more theessive in terms of department of justice looking at tools that would discourage the next generation of russian trolls trying to interfere in american elections to know that we are serious in terms of deterrents and persecution -- and prosecution. nation ofllion for a this size in his selections, we had $38 billion that was given to help america vote. we made that investment a few years back. i do not think we have shown and intensity of focus and purpose to let the russians, or any other country, no we are serious enough when it comes to the next election and we are only a few weeks away. whitehouse: i concur there
10:57 am
is a rift of cyber hacking and interference with our actual election and voting mechanisms. do not both agree in the last ofction the primary vector malign russian influence came through information operations rather through technical cyber hacking? mr. hickey: it seems to have been a broad campaign. i agree that disinformation is one of the principal fragments. perhaps theuse: principal one. mr. masterson, do you agree? mr. masterson: i would agree. sen. whitehouse: one of the ways the russians, or any other foreign actor, couldn't secure their role in information operations is by operating through corporate shells that don't look like the government of russia. is that not correct?
10:58 am
mr. hickey: that seems fair, senator. sen. whitehouse: it is pretty obvious. you nodded, i want to make sure it is on the record. mr. masterson: i don't have enough background. i would refer to the doj. sen. whitehouse: we have facebook's ceo here, we their authentication procedure for determining who was buying political advertising time on facebook. the ceo disclosed they were only going one half with withntication -- hop authentication. so if delaware llc or nevada llc was the nominal buyer of the political time, they would have no way to look behind it to see if it was putin, or oligarchs, or someone associated with foreign election than the
10:59 am
duration. .- election manipulation how big is a liability is our present inability to know who the beneficial owners are of when thoserations shell corporations engage in election influence operations? perspective ie take is from being responsible for fair enforcement, where we are very engaged in trying to determine whether an entity is actually a legitimate commercial entity or a cutout or proxy for a foreign government or foreign political party. that which makes that more transparent makes it easier for us to enforce -- sen. whitehouse: that only applies to bury specific fara activities. at the moment, would you not agree it is a u.s. vulnerability that foreign actors are able to take advantage of particularly american shell corporations and
11:00 am
effectively obscured their hands in information or campaign finance operations? mr. hickey: i'm a law enforcement perspective i would agree transparency and ownership or control is helpful to me for statutes i'm responsible for enforcing. sen. whitehouse: that is part of why the department supports the grassley white house bill -- house thoughte for more transparency? mr. hickey: take but i know the department would be eager to work with you and your staff in pending legislation. >> it is a serious phone or ability, whether it is kleptocratic being able to hide resources in the united states of america or for election interference. all of those are vulnerable. law enforcement's
11:01 am
ability to stand behind -- to understand who stands behind a corporate entity is critical. >> at the moment, it is far from adequate? mr. hickey: i do not know the answer. sen. whitehouse: you ought to. thank you very much mr. chairman. we have learned we were not prepared for the last election and we were not prepared for what russia did. do you believe the following what we saw in 2016, the administration is prepared in 2018? mr. hickey: we know a lot more now and we have organized ourselves better to what we know and what we may learn in the future. >> do you think we're going to continue to see foreign interference and it may not be from russia, from other countries? mr. hickey: i defer to the intelligence community on that.
11:02 am
that there has been testimony that there is reason to think operations will continue. >> i think it was stricter codes who said that russia would get bolder in this next round of elections. senator langford and i have introduced the secure elections act and to members of this committee are involved in this. $380 millionto get in the last budget. it is going out to the states to shore up election infrastructure. both leaders supported this and we were able to get this done. we have a number of states that do not have backup ballots. illinois has had issues. got as far as their voter files. do you think these resources will be helpful?
11:03 am
i think they have already been helpful. the department worked with our government coordinating council to great guidance for state and local officials to use to help inform the use of that money on a short and long-term basis, focused on addressing no boehner abilities as well as long-term issues like auditability training as well as defensibility. the money is important. >> now we have the secure elections act which we have put in the form of amendment. i am the lead democrat. we have worked hard with the secretary of state who has met with them from all over the country and we'll got an agreement to get this through. it is supported by senator burns and senator warner. theakes it clear information sharing, the work you're doing with homeland
11:04 am
security, it puts it into law about the clearances for local election officials. i'm wondering your thoughts? this is on the floor. it is being blocked and we are surprised by that and we are trying to get it attached to this ndaa. can you talk about how you think that would be helpful? have met with i your staff and senator langford's staff to talk about the role and will continue to do so to contribute to the bill. the department's focus some provisions in the bill, like establishing communications protocols and having a means i ofch we can ensure sharing information with state and local officials. we will continue to work with your staff. >> do you have any idea why this is being held up? mr. masterson: i do not. act ishonest as
11:05 am
something we are also trying to get done and we are getting increasing support from the tech community. llion was spent in online ads in 2016. -- 1.4 billion dollars was spent in online ads in 2016. do you see a way where more transparency would be helpful to catch bad actors? standpoint,to my understanding who is controlling and directing an actor is critical to enforcement. >> very good. that is helpful. is last thing i bring up what senator whitehouse mentioned, is the way this cash flow happens. i are going to
11:06 am
start a series of hearings with the rules committee. we are back in business. taking back some of our jurisdiction. i am pleased where going to be starting to work on elections and where having two hearings coming up. we introduce the stop foreign donations influencing our referringact, by federal campaigns to using existing credit card verification protocols. they will verify credit cards come directly from the u.s. source comment on the foreign actors may take to conceal money? mr. hickey: i cannot comment on pending legislation. we would be happy to work with you. >> my less common is to my friends across the aisle. comment is to my friends across the aisle.
11:07 am
senator langford and i have been working on this. we have an opportunity with the new warfare. as you see people moving, other countries are moving toward this when it comes to warfare and for us to not update our laws seems like a big lost opportunity. i hope we are able to get this on the bill. senator langford did terrific work on this. i want to commend her for her hard work and her advocacy for the authorizing statute here it -- statue. i also work with senator langford to ensure the $380 million got out and are being distributed. mr. masterson, given your former role as chair of the election assistance commission, what are the most urgent reforms you
11:08 am
think states should be implementing? you mentioned there is a need for additional resources. we have some of the oldest election machinery in the country and we have got dozens of states that are not prepared for an election. it is less than six months away. i am concerned about the lack of a sense of urgency. please give us insight into how the grants are being distributed and whether there are more resources needed and to what you would put those if made available, federally? mr. masterson: this was the focus of the work we did, looking at the funding. we were asked by the council members to help provide insight as far as where the money could be used to address risks to the process. on addressing those common i.t. vulnerabilities that exist across systems, regardless
11:09 am
of elections. things like patching and training, as well as manpower. several states, florida, illinois, have looked at cyber navigators to the local level to provide a level of expertise on i.t. support that is not available to county election officials. those are short-term improvements at that states are looking at using the money for. longer-term, it is improving overall resilience, ensuring auditability, defensibility of systems. long-term investment in training and i.t. management. one of the things i do is travel to do training with state and local officials on i.t. management and understanding risks. >> forgive me. do you think $380 million is sufficient? how big of a gap do you think
11:10 am
there is given assessments by the director of national intelligence and other leaders that russia and other actors will interfere again? experienceon: in my in over a decade of elections, resources, whether it be money or expertise, are hard to come by for state and local officials. investment at the state and local level is necessary. million wasthe $380 viewed as an important step by the federal government to support what they do. >> thank you and i look forward to following up with you. thank you to the senator for her leadership on this. mr. hickey, based on special counsel mueller's investigation, we know this three senior trump officials failed to register your -- register. manafort,ynn, paul
11:11 am
given rush's interference in the ofction and the statements the several senior intelligence officials, they will attempt to interfere again. are you concerned about undisclosed foreign agents going forward and what steps are you taking to make sure the department has the tools you need? mr. hickey: increased and enforcement is one of my priorities. we have been more aggressive in educating agents about how to investigate and prosecute violations. we have stepped up our efforts toidentify registrants, compel or urge the registration of entities who should have registered. one example relevant to this hearing is the agents of russian sponsored media organizations, who registered as agents of a
11:12 am
foreign principal. >> i appreciate your focus and urgency. i wish the president conveyed a similar level. a last question. remarks, you note how the department of justice maintains relationships with social media providers. it is those providers who bear the primary responsibility for securing their platforms from this threat. do believe social media -- doies are doing enough you believe the media companies are doing enough? doing need to provide them with more tools? mr. hickey: it is evolving. it is trending in the right direction. there is more work to be done. we are following the model we used with the internet. we are comfortable with social media companies making decisions about social media content dissemination.
11:13 am
where more comfortable with that than we are about the government interceding. identifyying to situations where users are violating terms of service and bring that to their attention. whether they are taking the right action is beyond the department's expertise. that is a congress question. is that we fail to grasp how big of a potential threat there was to our elections through social media. disappointed at what we're for it from testimony of leaders of facebook and others. i'm concerned with the next election six months away, we have got unresolved work. in regard to the last point, we have legislation improvings committee the foreign agent's registration act.
11:14 am
i'm not asking you a question. i'm asking you to look at something. oppositioning into from business groups in this country that do not have a legitimate reason for opposing it. i wish you would take a look at our bill and see if you can help us move that along. i do not know whether the administration, i'm not asking you to take a position. there are shortcomings. most of it has been lack of enforcement, going back to 1938, little enforcement of it. you said it is a top priority of yours. i am glad. we need to get additional legislation. senator blumenthal? just second the sentiment expressed by the chairman that what has been lacking in many of these areas is enforcement.
11:15 am
you have said you do not need new tools. i would submit enforcement has been abysmal. this is a bipartisan failure. it is not meant to be critical of you as officials but the chairman is right that enforcement has been lacking. you,e begin by asking there is no doubt in your mind, is there, that russia interfered or sought to interfere with the 2016 elections? mr. hickey: no sir. mr. masterson: no, sir. in fact, russia attacked the united states of america. a committed an act of war. i have made this statement. will continue, will it not, unless the united states makes russia pay a price? mr. hickey: it warrants a strong
11:16 am
response. ways to --find it is not only: a matter of protecting our systems but also deterring that attack byroactively making russia pay a price, correct? mr. hickey: you have to raise the costs, correct. the defensehal: lawyers, in a recent memo, that was published widely, assert it fbi"corruption within the and the department of justice which appears to have led to the alleged russia collusion investigation. in march, president trump also expressed a similar view when he
11:17 am
tweeted "there was no collusion between russia and the tru campaign. there was leaking, line, and corruption at the highest levels of the fbi, justice, and state. ." president trump also tweeted that mueller' as probe was based on fraudulent activities. you aware of leaking within the fbi and the department of justice? mr. hickey: no, senator. are you awarel: that it led to the russia collusion investigation? mr. hickey: no, senator. sen. blumenthal: are you, mr. masterson? mr. masterson: no, senator. james comey has alluded that the president knew about lying at the highest levels of the fbi.
11:18 am
his defense lawyers said the firing of mr. comey has led to the discovery of corruption in the fbi within the highest levels. is it accurate to say that mr. comey's firing led to the discovery of corruption within the fbi? i do not know what that refers to. mr. masterson: i have no knowledge of that. sen. blumenthal: there have been statements about there being no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and the russian attempt to interfere in our election. put aside whether collusion has been proved. on the question of whether there is evidence, would you agree with me that there is some evidence that has been solicited and presented by the special
11:19 am
counsel's investigation? mr. hickey: as you've recognize, it is ongoing. it is not appropriate for me to comment on what evidence may or may not have been discovered. sen. blumenthal: let's talk about facts, whether we characterize it as evidence or not. we know that candidate trump called for russia to hack his opponent's emails, correct? withickey: i am familiar public statement you are referring to. involvedenthal: which his calling for that hacking. , inre aware that his son anticipating and asking for a meeting with russian agents, ove" to get dirt on hillary clinton from vladimir putin. mr. hickey: all i know about
11:20 am
that is from media reports. sen. blumenthal: if those were true, wouldn't it be evidence of collusion between the campaign and the russian interference? mr. hickey: it is not appropriate for me to comment in any respect on a pending matter. you are the last one. >> thank you. i appreciate that. sunday,erson, this said it is 2018 and we continue to see targeting of our midterm elections. you may have discussed this. i will go on with my question. russia attacked the heart of our democracy when they interfered in the election. this is why the secure elections act that we're working on and
11:21 am
believe it is important. you may be familiar with the act. mr. masterson: i am. >> i held a demonstration for colleagues at the capital, where , beforeht in folks who our eyes, hack election machines. those a bit are being used in many states but are not state-of-the-art. -- those that are being used in many states but are not state-of-the-art. do you agree that funding should be prioritized to upgrade systems based on need rather than the size of the population? mr. masterson: thank you for the question. i think there is a need for resources across the state in a variety of ways. the way to prioritize that can a number ofd on approaches, including risk-based
11:22 am
decision-making, to help inform where the largest risk star. -- largest risks are. >> can you outline some of the risks you reviewed? mr. masterson: as we've worked with state and local officials, orhave looked at paradigms structures that states used. things like online registration , have a items like that broader threat profile from the exposure side. the risks to the integrity of the process may be less. identifying those and identify what can be done to mitigate to those systems that have less concerns about the integrity of the vote are there. simple steps like putting audibility in place builds up resilience and ensures the ability to recover. >> have you published a the list
11:23 am
of risks for the states and the public to see? mr. masterson: we have worked with the government coordinating council. >> has it been published? mr. masterson: it includes information around risks and mitigation. >> has it been published? mr. masterson: i believe there's something on our website. i can get information. and if it islow up not there, please follow up with what you believe are the risks to various systems in terms of vulnerability to hacking. congress passed a spending bill to help states protect their infrastructure. what is the status of getting the guidelines and the guidance official came before
11:24 am
homeland and said that would be produced on how that money should be spent? can you tell me what the status is? mr. masterson: the council approve that i believe two weeks ago and release it to the states and locals. it has been distributed. >> is that available to the public? mr. masterson: it is. >> thank you. will you talk about what you have seen in terms of the risk assessments you have been doing, i believe 14 states have been completed. is that correct? mr. masterson: 17 have been completed. >> what have you seen as being the vulnerabilities? mr. masterson: thank you. within the elections areastructure sector, we seeing the same vulnerabilities across the i.t. system, outdated equipment or hardware, as well
11:25 am
as upgrades that need to take place as far as what configuration management to limit the damage that can be done if something were to take place. >> their resilience? mr. masterson: their resilience. thank you. this sector is no different in what we see and the work we are doing. >> thank you. sec. grassley: we are done with this panel. a lot of members do not come so the member -- so the record will be open for a week. you'll get questions in writing. please answer as soon as you can. >> i have another question. i want to reiterate what senator harris was saying. we have this opportunity, when you go back to the office, to get this in as part of the amendment to the nda, being held up on the republican side.
11:26 am
it seamen's some of the work -- it cements some of the work we've talked about today. i do not know how we can pass a bill and not include something like this. we would like to get it done. sec. grassley: for mr. hickey, i want to correct something i said. i inferred that the foreign agents registration act amendments i have been, that they were in this committee. they are in foreign relations. i have been informed that your department is helping with that. you are dismissed. now, while the other group is coming, i will start to introduce mr. wangstein. in 2008, he was named homeland security advisor by president george w. bush.
11:27 am
prior to his white cells -- white house service, he was the first assistant attorney general for national security. before that, he served as u.s. attorney in washington, d.c. he has served as general counsel of the fbi. is a founding publicationchief of "just security" a form focused on national security, at new york university school of law. is a professor of law, policy, and sociology at new york university. prior to this, he served as special counsel to the general counsel of the department of defense. is a globalki fellow at the wilson center in washington, d.c.
11:28 am
she focuses on eastern europe and russia. she served as a fulbright clinton public policy fellow and worked in government relations at the national democratic institute for international affairs. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the imitation to appear before you. i believe you're doing a service by holding this hearing. what hasighlighting gotten lost in the controversy about the 2016 election. we are facing a growing threat to our institutions.
11:29 am
january, 2017, the committee of assessed the russian government directed a campaign to influence our election, that included cyber intrusions, penetration of the dnc and other groups and release of material to influence the election and the spread of information that supported the narrative the russians were propounding. with the committee having established we face a growing the government has a number of tools it can use. first, it has the nasa ineffective -- effective courts, like fisa and national security level -- letters, as well as full range of tools they can use to detect and investigate influence activities. second, it has the ability to bring a critical prosecution under perpetrators, under for example, the computer fraud protection and abuse act,
11:30 am
or under the foreign registration eight act, for those who engage in political activities on behalf of a foreign party without registering themselves as foreign agents. they can also be achieved through the application of trade policies, such as when president trump and president obama imposed sanctions on individuals, and the tariffs can also be an objection to the country to get official staff such as when both president's ejected russian intelligence operatives in this country. another option is the enforcement of campaign finance laws, to prevent foreign nationals from contributing to u.s. political campaigns. last year's supports a russian funding for the french far right party residential candidate, allegedly in part as a reward for supporting russia two activities in crimea, raises the concerns the russians may make similar temps to sway american politics with campaign funding
11:31 am
and contribution. and final area of focus is on the protection of electoral systems themselves, which is the purpose behind dhs' announcement last january that the election processes will henceforth be designated as critical infrastructure, like the energy grid, telecommunications networks, and other critical sectors that receive federal assistance and protection. so, those are the tools and capabilities being used to meet this threat today. in light of recent events, however, we need to think of ways we can strengthen those tools and i'd like to flag such recommendations. the first is to give the justice department statutory authority to get a junction against operators of botnets. botnets take over networks and computers and launch disruptive attacks. and, we saw that very clearly when russia attacked estonia through botnets in 2007. a second proposal is to enhance the effectiveness of the foreign agents restriction act, by given authorities though she suspected proposal is to enhance the agents to turn over records that
11:32 am
show whether they are or are not acting on behalf of foreign interests. a proposal is to consider an altogether statute that specifically addresses this threat. although as you discussed in the earlier panel, these statutes provide a basis for prosecuting much of the russian misconduct we saw in 2016, congress should consider crafting a statute that specifically targets foreign interference in election activities, thereby highlighting both our severity of this threat and condemnation of such activity, as well as providing prosecutors a tool that can be directly and effectively used against these influence campaigns, which will become only more prevalent and insidious as our editors continue to hone their skills and use new technologies for subversive purposes. another proposal in the lessons learned in the run up to the 2016 election, when the obama administration struggled with the election to provide the public -- they were detecting. torn between a desire to inform the public and need to refrain
11:33 am
from public announcements that could be seen as an attempt to affect the outcome of the election. some have recommended that congress passed legislation reporting intervals leading up to federal elections. we do have a number of effective tools which can be used to meet the threat. do weest for today is have the focus on a will to do so. we are slow to mobilize in the sucht of a looming threat as the one with al qaeda in the
11:34 am
my hope thatt is we will not be slow in responding to this threat. the threat israel and it is not an overstatement to say there is a lot at stake. thank you committee for having me here today. >> thank you, mr. wainstein. now professor goodman. >> i want to start by thinking chairman grassley and ranking member feinstein and distinguished members of the committee for holding such an important hearing on such an important issue. it's an honor for me to be here to testify before you. the russian organization that used social media tools to interfere in our most recent election called its mission, quote, information warfare against the united states of america, and court. like the terrorists on 9/11, our enemies used are systems against us. al qaeda use commercial air transportation systems, the kremlin used our social media and communications systems.
11:35 am
moscow hijacked platforms such as facebook, twitter, and youtube, and the attack on the united states. the operations wreaked havoc on the election that began long before donald trump or hillary clinton announced their runs for the presidency, code-named, or referred to as the translation project. this specific russian operation to influence the 2016 election began around may 2014. it was initiated with a stated goal to quote, spread distress toward the candidates in the political system in general. by 2015, they. the social media operation with a cyber espionage operation. 2015 is an important time period to remember. even though the dissemination of stolen emails during the general election is highly salient, it's vital for the public to understand that the common began this espionage be for the primaries, favoring some primary candidates for president and undermining others in both major political parties. as a january 2016 election stated, collected
11:36 am
on some disclosure campaigns and collected against u.s. primary campaigns, think tanks, and lobbying groups debuted as likely to shape future u.s. policies. nbc reported that the kremlin's efforts to steal emails and other data had gotten underway in 2015, and included, quote, top republicans and staffers who were republican candidates for president, and court. at a certain point, the russian operation also included the objective of favoring the trump campaign and undermining clinton's candidacy. those objectives also began before the general election. special counsel robert mueller's criminal indictment of three russian criminal organizations and 13 russians for election interference states quote, they engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about hillary clinton to denigrate other candidates such as ted cruz and marco rubio, and to support bernie sanders and then candidate donald trump. in
11:37 am
addition to senator cruz and rubio, former fbi special agent clint watts, who has testified before the senate intelligence committee, also identified russian efforts to undermine the presidential campaigns of senator graham and florida governor jeb bush. he ensure the kremlin did not and does not simply help to shape the outcome of a general election. the kremlin also hopes to shape the outcomes of primaries, thereby denying americans their right to choose, their own political leaders, free of interference or coercion from foreign powers. the kremlin is interested not only in a candidate who stands the best chance of winning, it would be valid for moscow if it can influence how campaigns are framed, what direction a party takes in from letting its platform, and undermining public trust in those who win the election. the threat to future american elections is of course not limited to russia, or even to state actors. the foreign threat is broader and the danger is even greater if americans are willing to encourage support, coordinate, or conspire with
11:38 am
foreign agents, being willing is not a crime. but, acting on the willingness could be. that raises the question whether some americans did intentionally coordinate or conspire with russia's election interference, what we might ever know could be placed on a spectrum from no evidence, too weak and moderate evidence, still strong evidence to prove. i'm summoning for the record in my written testimony a detailed analysis of the many pieces of information that are now publicly available. part of that is an effort to show how current law does apply and where we still may need to fill in some gaps. i do not use the word collusion anywhere in the analysis. the real question in my mind is whether any americans engaged in a conspiracy to work with russians who intentionally supported the russian operation in violation of campaign finance laws. from the trump tower meeting to i think it iss -- fair to say that the record
11:39 am
there is evidence of violations of federal law, not approved, but evidence. a key question is how to prove our system of government, to safeguard our elections from at the stories -- adversaries. some of the most promising cases of legislation are coming out of this committee. loopholes removed a that foreign agents registration act. regimealso enhance our which senator grassley's legislation does as well. takes an important step by requiring campaigns to disclose campaigns. this hearing itself is another
11:40 am
significant step forward to address future and national security risks. thank you for giving me the opportunity to use the. >> i apologize for mispronouncing your name the first time. >> that's okay. chairman grassley, senator klobuchar and distinguished members of the community, it's an honor to testify before you, and heartening to see continued bipartisan interest in the election interference, as it is truly a challenge that knows no political party. throughout my career, i worked on the front lines of russia's information war, through work on the national democratic institute, as a communications advisor to the ukrainian government and most recently as i work on the book of the deponent and responses to the russian influence operations. my experiences have led me to a conclusion that may surprise you. even if we were to walk out of this hearing room today and secure beyond a shadow of a doubt the country -- country's election structure, even if we feel the -- from false or misleading information, and even if social media companies
11:41 am
finally put forth a good faith effort to put users and our democracy first, even then, we would still not successfully dispel the threat our democracy paces from the line actors political influence operations. if our democratic processes are to remain secure, we must think beyond knee-jerk reactions and punitive measures. the u.s. government must put citizens at the heart of our response to election interference and address the issues that make our society so susceptible to outside influence in the first place. european countries that have been most successful in countering malign influence have in common one key point. their governments recognize that they cannot simply fact check, or label their way out of the crisis of truths that they faced. for example, in estonia, despite a large russian ethnic population and near constant barrage of kremlin sponsored media, moscow's messaging is finding fewer footholds than it did 10 years ago, when russian influence caused riots in the center of the capital. this is
11:42 am
probably because the estonian government is conducting proactive outreach to the russian population including russian language, educational, and media initiatives. similarly in ukraine, since 2014, there has been a growing demand for media literacy training. in response, american ngo trained 15,000 people in critical thinking, source evaluation, and emotional manipulation. the program measured a 29% increase in participant to double check the news they consume. while both countries battle with russian interference and they are far from finished, the long-term investments will be the future cornerstone of their democracies. solutions based responses to election interference are not a panacea. they must work in concert with structural measures, designed to protect our institutions. so far, they have been all but absent from our discussion of election interference. in addition to the stipulations provided in the honest ads and secure elections act which i support, congress must pursue and encourage citizens based
11:43 am
solutions and its work both in the -- social media regulation and dedication. social media companies have so far played whack-a-troll and must move toward empowering social media users. first, platforms should be required to inform -- most users have no idea what they are signing up for. this ignorance as well as emotion is what russia exploits through its online influence campaigns. second, terms of service should be easy to understand, clearly defined what content is permissible on platforms, and should be actively enforced. this is costly, of course, and will require human content reviewers, and the establishment of a complaints and appeals process. but, civil discourse and democracy are priceless. third, social media companies have near ubiquitous access to americans' lives. they should embrace their role as educators and focus on practices that
11:44 am
focus on behavior change, rather than simply raising awareness. to that end, the investment that will best protect democracy for generations to come is decidedly more no -- low tech. education. first, we must embrace broadband literacy, civics, and critical thinking programs to fight election interference. citizens who understand how government works are less likely to buy into the falsehoods and conspiracies that are harmful to democracy. second, congress should encourage cooperation and coordination across governments, particularly between the national security and department of education both at the national and local levels. finally, adults should also be a target audience for these skill building programs. moscow will continue to attempt to influence our democracy now that the kremlin has written the playbook for how to do so other bad act as will imitate russian tax.
11:45 am
russia in ourhe democratic process. >> is there any thing in eight teen u.s. 371 that you think needs to be changed or fixed to address this issue? >> red light on. >> there we go. thank you. so, 18 usc 371 is a federal conspiracy statute and has a prong to it that provides that the government can prosecute somebody if they defraud the united states. and, that prong has been used as a basis for prosecutions up against people and entities that mislead the government for their own advantage. maybe mislead the government about taxes and the like. that is one of the
11:46 am
statutes that is used by the special counsel and his indictment. alleging that the russian entities had defrauded the government by misleading them about the disclosure requirements for the state department, the justice department, et cetera. that is an effective tool to go after foreign parties who are pretending to be americans in order to get involved in u.s. elections. i can't think of a specific change to that specific statute. however, the broader question goes to my earlier comment which was, this might be an occasion, and i understand the concern with not over criminalizing things in the law, but, the severity of this thread, and the fact that we are going to have this threat, with this increasing form for years to come, suggests that this might be an area where you might consider a statute or set of statutes focused specifically on florida election interference and disinformation campaigns. i can think of a number of different areas, burdens of proof, that kind of thing, which
11:47 am
might make it easier for prosecutors to go out and do this work. >> let me also ask you that we understand the criminal value of prosecution can be a deterrent for both foreign governments, and their opportunities, charging individuals openly, prevents those individuals from traveling . and of course, when we do get our hands on an individual, we bring those actors fully to a count. first question, despite these benefits, can you describe the limitations or downsides of criminal prosecution in this area? >> sure. i can do that briefly. to start off, there are benefits as you pointed out. one of the examples goes back to 2015 when doj indicted several members over in china, for trade secret violations. actually, that helped to push the chinese to reach an agreement where they have now scaled back some of
11:48 am
those efforts. so, prosecution can have efforts going back to -- parties. some of the problems like we said in the last panel are chronic. you laugh at foreign actors were often acting on behalf of foreign governments who are not incentivized to help you get those people. so you can't get them unless you have to travel, for instance. you can't get some of the evidence because it's in the hands of a foreign government that does not want to be helpful. and often times it's a problem because this activity takes place over the internet. and, attribution of the wrongdoers over the internet is a very difficult thing. so, sometimes it's hard to actually identify the person who is doing the keystrokes that results in the activity over the internet causing the interference in our elections. >> ms. jankowicz. i'm sorry. jankowicz. from your studies in other countries, about russian
11:49 am
disinformation, we have the estonia example, where it was diminished by a government outreach to its citizens. fake news has spread by russia, civil society groups, fact checking. so, in terms of equipping citizens to fight foreign election meddling, what approach has your research led you to believe might be affecting in our country? >> it has to be a holistic approach, senator. that is an excellent question. it's not just about literacy or teaching people to second check sources, it's about critical thinking and engaging in discourse and debate which i think sadly, social media has polarized us so much that we are not doing anymore. it's about building these critical school thinking, and also civics. i was a member of the debate team in high school. i think that led me to the work that i'm doing today, and gives me a greater understanding of the world. we need more stuff like that happening in our
11:50 am
schools, but also for adults as well. an understanding of the system is integral to trust and government. >> senator klobuchar? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you. these are excellent witnesses. i want to thank you and i'm glad there is some general agreement with republican witnesses and democratic witnesses, which i just think shows how important it is for us to act. meanwhile, i just learned fee at ccc is deadlocked on an issue yet again for the third time on foreign contributions. and i appreciate your words, mr. wainstein, about possibly going forward with legislative changes, and our secure elections act is hung up as an amendment on the ndaa for reasons i do not understand, given that the intelligence committee has had five hearings. we've had several here with the germans leadership, center white house leadership, and others. i think we need to get this added to the bill and i appreciate your words, ms. jankowicz, in support of that bill. do you
11:51 am
want to talk about why it's so important that we see this as a kind of warfare which professor goodman so that way, and by putting it in the nda to me is so important to the rest of the world? >> absolutely. i think both bills are important steps toward getting on the record that this is a threat we are serious about. to this point, i don't think the u.s. has done enough of. i've heard conversations in europe over the past 2 to 3 years, the conversations that we are having now happened there 2 years ago. we are very far behind. but, in addition, the structural measures that we are putting forward send a signal to the american people that our systems are secure. that we are taking care of them. that rebuilds the trust that has eroded over the past few months. >> right. because we have always been a leader on elections and free elections across the world and we need to get that back. the -- act is now picking up support for some reason, by the
11:52 am
social media companies. and i think right now, what we are seeing is a patchwork of laws starting to develop across the state. i'm glad because i'm going to push for action here. and you simply talk about the hazards of having different states regulate political ads, without any kind of action on the federal government? and only having voluntary measures which create another patchwork with facebook doing one thing and twitter to another thing. google decided not to do as in washington state anymore, political ads. because they have a different standard there. so, you have states doing different things, and then you have social media companies doing different standards, and you have washington doing nothing, when it's projected the $3 billion to $4 billion is going to be spent on online political as in the presidential election coming up. >> absolutely. that's a great point. i would say not only do we have a patchwork of laws
11:53 am
within the united states, but within the world with just coming into force in the european union last month. the social media companies are responding in different ways. but, i think they are doing it frankly, and, we have already seen some ads that are frankly not political at all being rejected, while others are allowed to go through. just last week, a facebook page governed by the ira was discovered. they have taken it down since then. but again, this enforcement is not uniform, and we do need that leadership on the federal level. >> can you, anyone, address this issue of privacy laws? as you know, senator kennedy and i introduced a bipartisan bill with the 72 hour require notice, and with allowing users to opt out of having their data shared, and how you think that could be helpful in the context of trying to protect people's information in elections? anyone?
11:54 am
>> i'm happy to comment on that as well. this is a common sense measure. i would like to see more informed consent among users from social media companies. it's like when you see a commercial on tv that you don't want to watch, you can change the channel. we don't have that option with social media. this is just putting power in the hands of customers which is what they call them in europe, oddly. we call them users of social media, we call them customers which is an interesting choice but speaks to the relationship. >> i agree with the same comment, that i think this is an important area, with the sense that users information is being taken up by these companies, and if they self regulate, i don't think we can trust what they necessarily will do over the long horizon. so that even if they are under the great leadership with whoever is in charge of the corporations now, we have no idea how they will react in the future, especially when there is no political future on them. one example is with respect to cambridge analytica using facebook
11:55 am
information, facebook then came before congress in part because of that. the idea was that they were going to be fully transparent. it's interesting that the story from the guardian said facebook try to threaten them with a suit before they published the story, so that we never heard from that whistleblower. that's an indication of why we need a better relationship between the companies in congress, and congress being in this area where we can regulate. i think the companies are recognizing this value. >> and at that hearing, mr. zuckerberg actually said he thought there would be reason to start regulating, and put in place. he said he was supportive of the 72 hour notice. and so, i think that we are at a point now, where if we just have certain platforms doing their own regulation, self regulations, we are going to have other ones moving in that are not doing it. and then have all of the slimy ads going to one thing, leading me to voter suppression efforts, you know, in the hearings we've had in
11:56 am
judiciary. we've had a number of ads displayed with african-american faces saying, hey, texas, during the trump-clinton election, and you will be able to vote without standing in line. to me, that is clearly criminal and is a voter suppression. and how maybe the russians have used this in the past. >> senator -- >> sorry. >> that's okay. i can maybe go back after senator whitehouse. >> go ahead, senator whitehouse. first of all, i'd like to welcome ken wainstein back who has been a very distinguished public servant, and also a very helpful witness before this committee before. in addition to the csis kremlin playbook which is a very helpful and authoritative source on election and other interference by the kremlin, and kremlin trojan horse report, the atlanta council's parallel effort, there
11:57 am
is a new report called moscow's gold, russian corruption in the uk, that was put out by the house of commons fornes affairs committee. i'd like to ask that that report be put into the record. and proceeding. and, i want to thank mr. wainstein for focusing on the botnet civil injunction legislation. senator graham and i have been working for a long time. we've been hoping to get it in the nda bill also. it seems pretty obvious to try to shut these damn things down in a way that has been proven to work. but what i want to talk about in my time is the problem of shell corporations. because, for all of the emphasis that the witnesses have put on policing and prosecuting, foreign influence in our elections, you can neither police, or prosecute what you cannot find. and at the moment, we have both a shell corporation
11:58 am
problem, which was emphasized by mark zuckerberg in his testimony, when he said the political advertisement authentication program would only go to the first show corporation, and not seek any information about who was actually behind it. i don't think putin is stupid enough to call it -- llc. it's going to sound more like americans for puppies and peace and prosperity. but it's a front group. and it's got putin or whoever else behind it. until we can know that, we cannot force effectively, period, end of story. similarly, when our election systems has these colossal channels for dark money, anonymous funding, if you can't find out what special interest is behind anonymous money, you can't find out if there is a foreign interest behind that money. darkness is darkness is darkness. and it hides malign activity, both foreign and domestic. and i like to ask each of you to comment on that. we are concerned about trolling. obviously, that's
11:59 am
facilitated by shell corporations. you talked about general propaganda campaigns. obviously, facilitated by shell corporations. campaign finance laws, you called out the need for effective disclosure. you can't have a disclosure if the only thing you are disclosing is a front corporation and you don't know who is behind it. if i could ask each of you three on that and that will be the end of my time. >> sure, i will go first. thank you for the kind words. good to work with you again. it always is. >> were good adversaries. >> we were. adversaries working for the same goal. as a former prosecutor, looking at this issue, of course, you want to know more about the corporations than last. there are always the first amendment issues and other concerns on the election contexts. but absolutely, there is no we have seen the use of corporations in a variety of contexts, whether it's money-
12:00 pm
laundering or otherwise. we've seen them in the election interference and disinformation context. and, a lot of that -- >> they are widely used in the criminal context. for money-laundering purposes, and to hide the proceeds of criminal activities, correct? >> absolutely. >> so to the extent that what putin is running is essentially a criminal enterprise of himself and oligarchs, why would they know look to what they do with as a model? >> meat and potatoes criminal conduct. absolutely. and, all intended to hide the fact of the source of this line activity. i i don't see how we get at those issues if we're operating with these. across the board,
12:01 pm
including legislation, so as long as we have the lobbying act loophole, it accentuates that problem, but even if we close the loophole, we still have the problem. it's a incredibly easy to get around it by not hiring a lobbyist and setting up a shell dorpgs and now you're waiting -- corporation and now you're operating. >> even the advisory that came out of the justice department yesterday about rt presenters although rt was not named in the advisories, they said that rt was exempt because of the fact that rt was registered in the united states. but regarding shell corporations and advertising on line i would also put forward the idea that's in my written testimony about recreating through third party or perhaps shell companies could do this themselves although i have reservations, a better business type of list or trusted political advertisers. then we kind of get around these issues of sloppy enforcement of
12:02 pm
political ads that are just saying, no, this has to do with president trump. therefore it's political and we're going to reject this ad. if there are trusted advertisers that are listed, that could be a way to circumvent these issues. >> and shell corporations is a real problem? yes, absolutely. thank you. thank you, chairman. >> thank you. i'll finish with one question for professor goodman and then i'll call on senator klobuchar. it's my understand that in addition to the federal elections campaign act, you see another need for a change to particularly section 371. can you explain why you think a change to that section is necessary and what about the existing statute is insufficient? for example, are there cases that can't be prosecuted unless the law is changed? >> thank you for the question. i also agree with mr. wainstein's comments that in this area, it
12:03 pm
might be better even for symbolic purposes to have a new offense which is about foreign interference or foreign government interference in our elections. in some senses that would be redundant with the existing statute. as we're seeing in the indictments with special counsel mueller's investigation. that's an area in which you could imagine it would be beneficial to have law that updates it to technology. so what would be the acts that would expose an american to liability for coordinating or supporting the russian scheme to interfere in the way in which they're being alleged or indicted for by the special counsel. that could be also helpful to prosecutors who would have something more specific as to whether or not they're going to bring charges, rather than something that's broader. but otherwise the existing law still handles that. >> senator klobuchar.
12:04 pm
>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i was asking about the voter suppression efforts and what you've seen historically with that. >> well, i went through all 3,500 ads that were released by the house democrats a couple of weeks ago and i can say the trends among those ads is certainly, as it is with all russian disinformation, to divide among societal fissures. a lot of those ads were targeted toward the african-american community and, as you said, clearly attempting to depress turnout. i think the way that they did this is really interesting, by putting forward positive messages first, things that were not disinformation, things about black identity and things like that to create community, to create a trusted messenger, and then the ira pages would go for bigger asks such as signing petitions or then putting through these disinformation messages about
12:05 pm
not turning out to vote or other types of voter suppression and things like that. so it's hard to regulate that because it starts with things that are not disinformation. >> but it ends up with ads that are criminal? >> yes. and when you don't know about it because there's no disclosure, and so you can't immediately see it for what it is, and the other campaigns don't see it, whether you're dealing on either political party, and i've always believed that the campaigns that have the most vested interest in winning, basically, on both sides, i believe in competition, if they don't see that kind of stuff, they are going to know what's what better than anyone, in addition to the press being able to see it. >> yeah, i would absolutely agree, and i'd say also that it worries me about what mr. zuckerberg said about ai doing this enforcement and early detection of these types of issues because how would artificial intelligence gather, you know, these positive messages and put out an identification that this is going to be a problem? i don't see that as a possibility and i think that's why they really
12:06 pm
need to invest more in human content reviewers. >> exactly, and, again, campaigns tend to say, well, where is this positive message coming from? what is this group? especially if you have disclaimers on it. they think well, maybe i can work with this group and then pretty soon they find out the group is a fraud. so then disclaimer, disclosure immediately i think is going to be very important. mr. wainstein, i have a bill with senator blunt co-sponsored with senators feinstein and warner to stop donations, to choose existing credit card verification protocols to help verify that online credit card donations come from u.s. sources. so could you talk just again about the importance of this, that people are going to start trying to find ways to get around this? >> absolutely, senator. they already are, and the russians are, and i mentioned, i think, in my earlier statement that the pretty blatant example of that is they made donations to the french far right candidate a
12:07 pm
year, year and a half ago. it was as a reward for her supporting their actions in crimea, and so that was a blatant example of them trying to fund their chosen candidate. no question they're going to try every avenue to do that here and they probably already are. >> i think one of the things, mr. chairman, that i've liked about this hearing that hasn't always come out in the other hearings, sometimes it's just about the general elections and what was going on with the hillary clinton v. donald trump campaigns, but the way that professor goodman and really all of you have directed some of your comments about the long haul here where they're actually getting involved in primaries, it was senator rubio who once said this isn't about one party or one election, and next time it's going to be about the other party and the other election. you have interparty involvement where they're actually trying to hurt certain republican candidates to help others. and i think the more we make sure the
12:08 pm
public understands that that is going on, the more this becomes what it should be, which is an effort to protect our democracy and just he said/she said and one side versus the other side. i really appreciate you calling these witnesses and the content of their testimony. thank you. >> i say thank you for this panel and then to remind you that several members weren't here, so you may get questions in writing. seven days to submit those questions, and hopefully you can get them responded quickly. >> thank you very much for a very important hearing that we've had. very good information from this panel. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you.
12:09 pm
sunday on american artifact and c-span3 tour the library of which showcases american ideas about the war through artwork, posters, films and documents. >> the idea of considering the war through labor.
12:10 pm
the idea of growing your own food so as to conserve larger quantities for the war effort. another individual rises to the surface during world war i. you see here also food i know we make everything out of corn today but this is kind of new. rationedwar ii we were food. they war i we believe that would rationed foods and selves and they did not need to impose it on them. watch on sunday at 6 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. it's been more than one year
12:11 pm
since steve scalise was shot and injured while tracked the for the congressional baseball game eric he talked about the shooting, his at sign gonzalez and his legislative agenda. this is 40 minutes. thank you for the energy coalition for making this possible. i'd like to remind everyone that is a you can we meet at #like book interview. best. do my please join us and welcome house majority whip steve scalise. >> all right. thank you so much. it's no coincidence those are purple, correct?

25 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on