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WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) was joined by Committee Vice Chair Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for a joint interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, where the Senators discussed the Committee’s bipartisan oversight efforts and how the U.S. needs to tackle the rising threats posed by the Communist Party of China.  

On the need for access to classified material found in the residences of Presidents Trump and Biden:

“This committee has had a long bipartisan history of doing its job. And our job here is intelligence oversight. The Justice Department has had the Trump documents about six months, the Biden documents about three months, our job is not to figure out if somebody mishandled those, our job is to make sure there's not an intelligence compromise. And while the Director of National Intelligence had been willing to brief us earlier, now that you've got the special counsel, the notion that we're going to be left in limbo, and we can't do our job, that just cannot stand. And every member of the committee who spoke yesterday and I wanted the director to hear this, regardless of party said, we are united in we have to find a way to do our job. That means we need these documents, we need that assessment.”—U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner

On the Intelligence Committee’s priorities:  

“I actually think if there's one issue that still is extraordinarily bipartisan, it is a growing concern about China, and a recognition that in this technology race, second place is not good enough for us.” —U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner

On TikTok:

“I want to have an approach that says, we need to look at foreign technology investments, foreign technology development, regardless of country, if it poses a national security threat and have some place that can evaluate this. We need a frame to systemically look at this… 138 million users in America use TikTok on a regular basis. Average about 90 minutes a day. The fact is, the algorithms that determine what you see on TikTok is determined out of Beijing by China. And the proof is, if you look at what Chinese kids are seeing on their version of TikTok, which emphasizes science and engineering, versus what our kids and the kids around the world are seeing, it is dramatically different. So, both from a data collection and from, frankly, a propaganda tool, it is of huge concern.” —U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner

On social media regulation:

“I've been saying for years, and we may not fully agree on this, but on all these social media companies, a lot of good, but there is a dark under belly. And the fact that the United States historically, we would have set some rules of the road for these entities in terms of standards, in terms of protocols, in terms of appropriate behavior, in terms of questions like even like basic privacy. But our failure to do so has mean we have ceded that leadership, oftentimes to the Europeans, or to individual states, and I think that's, frankly, a loss of American leadership.” —U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner

Video of Sen. Warner and Sen. Rubio’s full interview on Face the Nation can be found here. A transcript follows.

CBS’s Face the Nation

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you have any timeline in terms of when you will get visibility into the documents of classified material that both President Biden and President Trump had in their residences?

SENATOR MARK WARNER: Margaret, unfortunately, no. And this committee has had a long bipartisan history of doing its job. And our job here is intelligence oversight. The Justice Department has had the Trump documents about six months, the Biden documents about three months. Our job is not to figure out if somebody mishandled those, but our job is to make sure there's not an intelligence compromise.

And while the director of national intelligence had been willing to brief us earlier, now that you've got the special counsel, the notion that we're going to be left in limbo, and we can't do our job, that just cannot stand.

BRENNAN: But the intelligence community would say their hands are tied, because this is an ongoing, active Justice Department investigation.

So what would meet the level of -- of addressing your concerns without compromising that?

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: Well, I don't know how congressional oversight on the documents, actually knowing what they are in any way impedes an investigation.

These are probably materials we already have access to. We just don't know which ones they are. And it's not about being nosy. You know, the -- here's the bottom line. If, in fact, those documents were very sensitive, materials were sensitive, and they pose a counterintelligence or national security threat to the United States, then the intelligence agencies are tasked with the job of coming up with ways to mitigate that.

BRENNAN: Does the director even know what the materials were?

SEN. WARNER: Well, we got a bit of vagueness on that, because, again, I believe you want to make sure the intelligence professionals and not political appointees were making some of that.

That makes sense to me. But I would even think that, if the -- President Trump and President Biden would probably want to have this known, if they say there's no there there. Well, there may still be violations on handling.

SEN. RUBIO: Let me tell you how absurd this is.

There isn't a day that goes by that there isn't some media report about what was found where, what -- some sort of characterization of the material in the press. So, somehow, the only people who are not allowed to know what was in there are congressional oversight committees.

So, it's an untenable situation that I think has to be resolved.

BRENNAN: The idea that some of these documents go all the way back to when President Biden was a senator, does that suggest that there's something more than a problem in the executive branch?

SEN. WARNER: Agreed. That's why the notion of, we're not going to give the Oversight Committee the ability to do its job until the special prosecutor somehow says it's OK doesn't -- doesn't hold water. We have a right, as not only members of the Intelligence Committee, but as part of the leadership, to read virtually every classified document. We got a problem in terms of both classification levels, how senior elected officials, when they leave government, how they handle documents. We've had too many examples of this.

And, again, I think we've got the bipartisan bona fides to say, let's put them in place on a going-forward basis, a better process.

BRENNAN: So, you -- you threatened to withhold some funding to some of the agencies yesterday.

SEN. RUBIO: I'm not in the threat business right now.

But we certainly are -- there are things we need to do as a committee every year to authorize the moving around of funds. I think the director of national intelligence and other heads of intelligence agencies are aware of that.

You know, at some point, I would prefer for them just to call us this morning or tomorrow or whenever and say, look, this is the arrangement that we think we can reach, so that the overseers can get access to this. I would prefer not to go down that road. But it's one of the pieces of leverage we have as Congress.

SEN. WARNER: We're going to figure out a way to make sure that we get that access, so that we can not only tell the American people, but we've got another 85 U.S. senators who are not on the Intelligence Committee who look to us to get those assurances.

BRENNAN: What is it that you, as lawmakers, can do? Is it new regulations when it comes to transitions?

SEN. WARNER: The director of national intelligence is the individual that's the chief officer for intelligence classification.

I think -- and there's been a number of other members of the Senate, both parties, have been working for years on the notion that we overclassify.

BRENNAN: Right.

SEN. WARNER: The number of things that we read in a SCIF that somehow then appear in the newspaper begs the question.It's kind of been an issue that's been bubbling for a long time.

BRENNAN: Overclassification.

SEN. WARNER: I think that this -- I think this series of events pushes it to the forefront.

And, again, we have the power to write legislation, which then executive agencies have to follow.

BRENNAN: In terms of record-keeping.

SEN. WARNER: In terms of record-keeping, in terms, literally, of at least guidance on classification issues. I mean, there has been -- and again, this director of national intelligence, I'm going to give her credit. She has been at least acknowledging and, long before this issue came up, said, we need to work on this issue of declassification, overclassification. Every director says it, and then it kind of gets pushed -- pushed back. I think one good thing that may come out of this is that we're going to find a way to resolve this issue on a going-forward basis.

BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. For all the division on Capitol Hill, one subject that invites at least some bipartisan unity is the threat posed by China. For more, we return to our interview with the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner and Marco Rubio.

BRENNAN: President Biden is reportedly close to issuing an executive order when it comes to restrictions on U.S. investments in - in China. But there's concern about risking further escalation. What's your view on how far that action should go?

SEN. RUBIO: The Chinese have found a way to use capitalism against us and a - and what I mean by that is the ability to attract investment into entities that are deeply linked to the state. The military commercial fusion that exists in China is a concept that we don't have in this country. We have contractors that do defense work, but there is no distinction in China between advancements in technology, biomedicine, whatever it might be, and the interest of the state.

And then the second is, obviously, the access to our capital markets.

And the third is the risk posed. We don't, up to this point, have not had levels of transparency in terms of auditing and the like on these investments of the -- into these companies. When you invest in these companies and U.S. exchanges, you don't have nearly as much information about the bookkeeping of those companies as you would an American company or a European company because they refuse to comply with those restrictions. So, there's systemic risk to our investments and then there's also the geopolitical reality that American capital flows are helping to fund activities that are ultimately designed to undermine our national security.

SEN. WARNER: Beginning of the 20th century, I was a believer that, you know, the more you bring China into the world order, the more things will all be copacetic.

BRENNAN: Right.

SEN. WARNER: We were just wrong on that. The communist party, under President Xi's leadership, and my beef is, to be clear, with the communist party, it's not with the Chinese people or the Chinese (INAUDIBLE), wherever it is in the world, but they basically changed the rules of the road. They made clear, in Chinese law, that every company in China's ultimate responsibility is to the communist party. Not that their customers. Not to their shareholders.

We have actually, in a bipartisan way, did over -- didn't get a lot of attention, over the last seven years, have been out and we've done 20 classified briefings for industry sector after industry sector about these risks. Frankly, pre-Covid, we kind of got nods.

BRENNAN: Right.

SEN. WARNER: But, you know, some pushback because a lot of companies were making - were making –

BRENNAN: Because companies just wanted access to the market regardless of the risk.

SEN. WARNER: Were making a lot of money off Chinese tech companies.

BRENNAN: Exactly. Exactly.

SEN. WARNER: Now, post-Covid, I think there is an awakening that this is a real challenge. And I think the good news is that not only is there an awakening, you know, in America, but a lot of our allies around the world are seeing this threat as well.

SEN. RUBIO: I - I think there was a -

BRENNAN: So you want restrictions on biotech, battery technologies, semiconductors, artificial intelligence?

SEN. WARNER: I want to have an approach that says, we need to look at foreign technology investments, foreign technology development, regardless of country, if it poses a national security threat and have some place that can evaluate this. We need a frame to systemically look at this. And, frankly, if it goes just beyond the so-called CFIUS legislation about inbound or outbound investment.

BRENNAN: That's a committee looks at the national security risk.

SEN. RUBIO: But understanding that for, you know, 20 years ago everybody thought capitalism was going to change China. And we woke up to the realization that capitalism didn't change China, China changed capitalism. And they've used it to their advantage and to our disadvantage. And not simply from an old Soviet perspective to take us on from a geopolitical or military perspective, they've done so from a technological and industrial perspective. And so you have seen the largest theft and transfer of intellectual property in the history of humanity occur over the last 15 years. Some of it funded by American taxpayers.

BRENNAN: They have the biggest hacking ability program than any other nation. The intelligence community says they're the world leader in surveillance, in censorship. How restricted should their ability to access this market be?

SEN. RUBIO: I think it is nearly impossible for any Chinese company to comply with both Chinese law and our expectations in this country. Chinese law is very clear, if you're a Chinese company and we ask you for your data, we ask you for your information, we ask you for what you have or we ask you to do something, you either do it or you won't be around.

BRENNAN: You want to ban Chinese companies from investing in America?

SEN. RUBIO: Well, I think there are certain investments where there's no way we can protect the country from doing it. Do you - you know, we go back to TikTok, people say, who - you know, why do we care about what some 16- year-olds are doing.

BRENNAN: Right.

SEN. RUBIO: I don't think the threat is that some 16-year-old likes these cool videos that are on there, which I admit are - are attractive, obviously, because of the artificial intelligence makes it so. It's the massive amount of data that they're collecting, not on one 16-year-old, not on 1,000 16-year-olds, but on millions and millions of Americans that give them commercial advantage, potentially the advantage of being able to shape American public opinion in a time of crisis, that - that just give them extraordinary insights that allow them to steer the conversation in this country in any direction they want.

BRENNAN: But this has been talked about for three years now.

SEN. WARNER: But - but let's -

BRENNAN: The Trump administration tried to ban it. The Biden administration still hasn't pulled the trigger.

SEN. WARNER: Maybe we were all a little bit slow to recognize the challenge here. You know, it is both a data collection entity. Now, it may not collect as much data as some of our American platforms, but it is very much, at the end of the day, still responsible to the communist party.

But think about this, Margaret, 138 million users in America use TikTok on a regular basis. Average about 90 minutes a day. The fact is, the algorithms that determine what you see on TikTok is determined out of Beijing by China.

And the proof is, if you look at what Chinese kids are seeing on their version of TikTok, which emphasizes science and engineering, versus what our kids and the kids around the world are seeing, it is dramatically different. So, both from a data collection and from, frankly, a propaganda tool, it is of huge concern.

BRENNAN: Yes. CBS spoke to TikTok about their plans and the company said they had come to an agreement over the summer in terms of how they could structure things to separate and create a wall to protect against some of these concerns. They said they can continue operating in the U.S. by offering data protections.

Do you both know what they are offering. And you're laughing so I'm guessing this isn't sufficient?

SEN. RUBIO: I don't know what the data protections are. And there's a technical aspect to it. But it's beyond the data protections. I filed a bill to ban it last year.

BRENNAN: Right.

SEN. RUBIO: We're going to re-file it again this year.

BRENNAN: You are?

SEN. RUBIO: It's bipartisan. It's bicameral. Some people are not willing to go that far, but I certainly think it's the right place to be. But, in the end, we've got to do something about it, whether it's a ban or something else.

I - I honestly don't know - I -- as I sit here with you today, I don't know how our national security interests and the operation of TikTok in this country, as long as it's owned by ByteDance, can coexist.

SEN. WARNER: And I'm - and - and --

BRENNAN: You want to force the sale?

SEN. RUBIO: I - I want -- I've been wanting to do that for three years.

SEN. WARNER: I may have a slightly different approach. I'm going to sit down and see how we can work through this. But I've been hearing - and I've been trying to give the Biden administration now more than two years to see, is there a technical solution here? And I'd be willing to take a look at it.

The Biden administration has not announced that. And I think the problem is, this is technically extraordinarily hard to do. TikTok has repeatedly said, oh, America's data, not being seen in China. And repeatedly we've seen Chinese engineers having access to American data.

BRENNAN: But it's already been downloaded 200 million times.

SEN. WARNER: This is -

BRENNAN: How do you convince a 16-year-old to delete the app and get rid of the phone? I mean is -- isn't this very hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube?

SEN. WARNER: This is - this - this -- absolutely. But this is one of the reasons why I think Congress has been horribly unsuccessful at this. I've been saying for years, and we may not fully agree on this, but on all these social media companies, a lot of good, but there is a dark under belly. And the fact that the United States historically, we would have set some rules of the road for these - for these entities in terms of standards, in terms of protocols, in terms of appropriate behavior, in terms of questions like even like basic privacy.

SEN. BRENNAN: Right.

SEN. WARNER: But our failure to do so has mean we have ceded that leadership, oftentimes to the Europeans, or to individual states, and I think that's, frankly, a loss of American leadership.

You know, for most of my lifetime we led virtually in every innovation area. We suddenly woke up with, you know, 5G or wireless communication where China was, you know, setting the standards. We - we woke up an industry like semiconductor chips and woke up -

BRENNAN: Yes.

SEN. WARNER: We used to own this and we've lost it. We've seen now the solar industry where it's all migrated to China.

If -- think about, you know, this notion around quantum computing, the ability to break any kind of encryption, or artificial intelligence, those technologies are driven by an authoritarian regime out of China. You know, I don't care where you fall on the political spectrum in America, that's not good news or for free people anywhere in the world.

BRENNAN: Aren't you - aren't you going to run head long into business interests here in the United States? I mean just look at Elon Musk. The U.S. government relies on his company SpaceX. He has a majority in car company Tesla. He has control over the internet connection in Ukraine via Starlink. And he now owns Twitter.

You said there's no one in the world more dependent on the communist party than Elon Musk.

SEN. WARNER: Exactly (ph). My concern is, you know, if you look at Mr. Musk's public statements, they're almost all supportive of the oversight regime in China, and they're almost all derogatory about the oversight regime in America and in Europe.

And part of that, I think, whether it's knowingly or not, is, where does he get all his batteries that go into all these Teslas? They are, you know, built in China, mostly, frankly, with a lot of Uyghur labor. And Senator Rubio has been the leader on trying to make sure that the Chinese communist party's treatment of the Uyghur people is prohibited. And, you know, I've yet to hear from Mr. Musk how that kind of contradiction about comments about the CCP in China and what he's dealing with Uyghur labor, how that's not going to influence some of his decisions.

SEN. RUBIO: It goes beyond Elon Musk. I mean business interests have invested, both in access to the Chinese market, but also in the means of production. And it's allowed them, in many cases, historically, to be deputized, include - and that includes the finance and investment world -- to come to Washington and argue for things that are against the national interest but in favor of their short and midterm profit line for their investors for their company.

BRENNAN: Senator Rubio, as a conservative you have to feel a little bit uncomfortable with talking about government intervention in private industry. But that has been the U.S. solution in some ways to the semiconductor issues you were raising, the subsidy, to try to bring chip making back to America.

SEN. RUBIO: Well, I would argue this, that I don't believe in government intervention in the private sector, but I do believe in government intervention in our national security. So, capitalism --

BRENNAN: These are subsidies.

SEN. RUBIO: Well, so capitalism is going to give you the most efficient outcome. But sometimes what do you do when the most efficient outcome is not in our national interest, because it's more efficient to buy rare earth minerals from the Chinese, it's more efficient to have things built over there in many cases, but is it in our national interest to depend on them for 80 something percent of the active ingredients in our pharmaceuticals? I could argue it was not. And in those instances, where the market efficient outcome is not in our national interest, it is my opinion that we default to the national interests because without our national interests and our national security, the other things won't matter.

We are not a market. We're a nation. And the market exists to serve the market, not the nation to serve the market.

BRENNAN: The $50 billion that taxpayers just pumped into to the chips bill and semiconductors, that's just the start. That you think other legislation is coming like that?

SEN. WARNER: I'm saying - what I'm saying is we need - you know, one of the reasons that it took us $52 billion and that was for most semiconductors and next generation wireless, was because candidly I think we went asleep at the switch for a long time and we had to suddenly play catch-up because we'd seen China advance and we had also seen Taiwan, our friend and one of the reasons why we need to be supportive, where, frankly, every advanced chip in all of our satellites and - and sea craft are made in Taiwan.

We were chasing after the fact. If we can get ahead on - on some of these key areas, I don't think we will need that kind of investment. But we are going to need to make sure that we've got a plan in place to make sure that these new technology domains don't all end up in China.

SEN. RUBIO: We need to identify, what are the critical industries and capacities that our country needs to be able to have without being leveraged or having to go through the Chinese to get it. And then we need to figure out what government's role is.

Now, I want to make sure that we're not turning this into a lobbyist trial where every industry comes here and gets money. And we have to make sure that if we're going to invest in research, that that research is protected, that there's sufficient safeguards, because what's the point of putting billions of dollars to innovate something they're going to steal anyway?

But I do think, again, this is not about government running or owning these companies. We're not going to rely on the Chinese or someone else to make it for us because we'll be denied that capability in a time of conflict.

BRENNAN: Can you get that through a divided Congress?

SEN. WARNER: I actually think if there's one issue that still is extraordinarily bipartisan, it is a growing concern about China and a recognition that in this technology race, second place is not good enough for us.

BRENNAN: We actually haven't had a bipartisan interview like this in about three years. So, to see a Democrat and a Republican sit down and talk about issues of substance is great to see.

SEN. WARNER: Thank you.

BRENNAN: Thank you both.

BRENNAN: We'll be right back.

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WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) applauded the final passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation passed through the Senate yesterday by a vote of 83-11, after being approved by the House of Representatives last week. The IAA authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community.

“I am pleased the House and Senate have passed the Committee’s bipartisan Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 as part of our nation’s defense authorization bill,” said Committee Chairman Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA). “This year’s bill will enhance the country’s ability to confront our adversaries, including the growing threats to our national security posed by China and Russia.  It also takes significant steps to promote U.S. technology leadership, including by accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies and increasing our ability to compete with China.  Finally, I am pleased that this year’s bill drives serious improvement to the IC’s hiring and security clearance processes, so that the IC can attract and expeditiously on-board a talented, diverse, and trusted workforce.”

“This year’s Intelligence Authorization Act ensures that the Intelligence Community (IC) has the resources, authorities, and personnel to protect America’s national security and counter the growing threats from autocracies like China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba,” said Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). “This bill further enhances U.S. counterintelligence screening, foreign intelligence collection and analysis, and emerging technology capabilities to focus the IC on addressing our primary national security threat in the 21st century – countering Communist China.” 

Background:

The IAA for Fiscal Year 2023 authorizes funding and ensures that the Intelligence Community (IC) has the resources, personnel, and authorities it needs to protect our country and inform decision makers, while under robust Congressional oversight, including in the following key areas:

  • Confronting the growing national security threat posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) by increasing hard target intelligence collection and analysis, as well as by identifying and exposing corruption, forced labor camps, global infrastructure financing, and malign economic investments in telecommunications and semiconductors;
  • Bolstering intelligence support for Ukraine as it fights to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty against Russia’s unprovoked aggression, including by increasing oversight of China’s support to Ukraine, assessing the effects of sanctions on Russia and its allies, and evaluating opportunities to mitigate threats to food security due to the conflict;
  • Establishing IC Coordinators to account for Russian atrocities and for countering proliferation of Iran-origin unmanned aircraft systems;
  • Driving improvements to the IC’s hiring and security clearance processes by keeping the IC accountable for progress, including timeliness in bringing cleared personnel onboard, ensuring that key management and contract oversight personnel in industry can obtain clearances, and establishing personnel vetting performance measures;
  • Accelerating and improving procurement, adoption, and integration of emerging technologies across the IC;
  • Establishing counterintelligence protections for IC grant funding against foreign-based risks of misappropriation, theft, and other threats to U.S. innovation;
  • Establishing measures to mitigate counterintelligence threats from foreign commercial spyware;
  • Strengthening oversight of national security threats associated with the regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela;
  • Ensuring continued support to the victims of anomalous health incidents (“Havana Syndrome”) and maintaining continued oversight over the IC’s investigations into the causes of anomalous health incidents; 
  • Enforcing cybersecurity enhancements and cybersecurity minimum standards across the IC, including for classified systems; and
  • Enhancing oversight of IC and Department of Defense collection and reporting on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena.

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Earlier this month, Apple publicly acknowledged that it is considering procuring NAND memory chips for future iPhones from Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), a state-owned company with extensive links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its armed wing, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). 

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter to U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines calling for a public analysis and review of YMTC and the risks it presents to U.S. national security. 

  • “[W]e write to convey that any decision to partner with YMTC, no matter the intended market of the product offerings developed by such a partnership, would affirm and reward the PRC’s distortive and unfair trade practices, which undermine U.S. companies globally by creating significant advantages to Chinese firms at the expense of foreign competitors. Last year, the Biden Administration described YMTC as China’s ‘national champion memory chip producer,’ which supports the CCP’s efforts to counter U.S. innovation and leadership in this space.” 
  • “Policymakers have for several years now conveyed to the American public the importance of a competitive semiconductor industry to U.S. national and economic security. A partnership between Apple and YMTC would endanger this critical sector and risk nullifying efforts to support it, jeopardizing the health of chipmakers in the U.S. and allied countries and advancing Beijing’s goal of controlling the global semiconductor market. Buoyed by a major contract with a leading global equipment vendor such as Apple, YMTC’s success would threaten the 24,000 American jobs that support memory chip production. More broadly, such a partnership would also threaten the opportunities this market provides for research at U.S. universities and further development of memory chips for civilian and military uses.”

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) also signed the letter.

Full text of the letter is available here and below. 

Dear Director Haines:

We write to convey our extreme concern about the possibility that Apple Inc. will soon procure 3D NAND memory chips from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-owned manufacturer Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC). Such a decision would introduce significant privacy and security vulnerabilities to the global digital supply chain that Apple helps shape given YMTC’s extensive, but often opaque, ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and concerning PRC-backed entities. In addition, we write to convey that any decision to partner with YMTC, no matter the intended market of the product offerings developed by such a partnership, would affirm and reward the PRC’s distortive and unfair trade practices, which undermine U.S. companies globally by creating significant advantages to Chinese firms at the expense of foreign competitors. Last year, the Biden Administration described YMTC as China’s “national champion memory chip producer,” which supports the CCP’s efforts to counter U.S. innovation and leadership in this space. 

In July 2022, we wrote to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to warn of the threat YMTC poses to U.S. national security and to request that it be added to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Entity List. We made these arguments based on the company’s central role in CCP efforts to supplant U.S. technological leadership, including through unfair trade practices. YMTC also appears to have strong ties to the PRC’s military-civil fusion program, as shown through its investors and partnerships; its parent company, Tsinghua Unigroup, allegedly supplies the PRC military.

The PRC has heavily subsidized YMTC for several years, enabling the company to rapidly expand production and sales in China and internationally. Since its formation in 2016, YMTC’s nearly $24 billion in PRC subsidies triggered explosive growth, helping to prepare the company’s plan to launch a second plant in Wuhan as early as the end of this year. At a time when overcapacity is potentially disrupting the market for chipmakers, these subsidies could enable YMTC to distort this often highly cyclical market, selling memory chips below cost in an effort to push out competitors. In addition, in April, reports alleged that YMTC may have breached the U.S.’s foreign direct product rule for supplying smartphone and electronics components to Huawei.

For these reasons, we request that you coordinate among the relevant intelligence community (IC) components a comprehensive review and analysis of YMTC and the threat that a suppler partnership arrangement between it and Apple would pose to U.S. national and economic security. The review should consider, among other issues:

  • How the CCP supports the YMTC as part of its plan to bolster and indigenize China’s semiconductor industry and to displace chipmakers from the United States and allied and partnered nations;
  • YMTC’s role in assisting other Chinese firms, including Huawei, to evade U.S. sanctions;
  • YMTC’s role in the PRC’s military-civil fusion program and its linkages to the People’s Liberation Army; and
  • The risks to U.S. national and economic security of this potential procurement.

Policymakers have for several years now conveyed to the American public the importance of a competitive semiconductor industry to U.S. national and economic security. A partnership between Apple and YMTC would endanger this critical sector and risk nullifying efforts to support it, jeopardizing the health of chipmakers in the U.S. and allied countries and advancing Beijing’s goal of controlling the global semiconductor market. Buoyed by a major contract with a leading global equipment vendor such as Apple, YMTC’s success would threaten the 24,000 American jobs that support memory chip production. More broadly, such a partnership would also threaten the opportunities this market provides for research at U.S. universities and further development of memory chips for civilian and military uses.

We once again request that you convene the relevant IC components to review and assess YMTC’s ties to the CCP and produce a comprehensive public report on YMTC, which can be used to inform federal agencies and the public as to the nature and risks associated with YMTC and similar companies.  

We look forward to your attention to this critical matter and request a response by October 1, 2022.

Sincerely,

###

 

WASHINGTON – Today, on the 21st anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation to discuss evolving threats facing our country as well the recent request by the Intelligence Committee to assess the damage of the classified documents potentially mishandled by former President Trump.

On the national security threats facing our country:

“The stunning thing to me is, here we are 20 years later and the attack on the symbol of our democracy is not coming from terrorists but it came from literally insurgents attacking the Capitol on January 6th. So, I believe we are stronger. I believe our Intelligence Community has performed remarkably. I think the threat of terror has diminished, but I still think we have new challenges in terms of nation and state challenges, Russia and longer term a technology competition with China. But I do worry about some of the activity in this country, the election deniers, the insurgency that took place on January 6th. That is something I hope we can see that same kind of unity of spirit.”

On the Intelligence Committee request for a damage assessment of the classified documents potentially mishandled by former President Trump:

“The vice chairman and I have asked for a briefing of the damages that could have arisen from mishandling of this information. And I believe it's our congressional duty to have that oversight. Remember, what's at stake here is the fact that if some of these documents involved human intelligence, and that information got out, people will die. If there were penetration of our signals intelligence, literally years of work could be destroyed. We talk about the enormous advances our Intelligence Community has made helping our Ukrainian friends. That comes about because we share intelligence. If there's intelligence that has been shared with us by allies and that is mishandled, all of that could be in jeopardy.”

Video of Sen. Warner’s interview on Face the Nation can be found here. A transcript follows.

CBS’s Face the Nation

MARGARET BRENNAN: We begin with the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner of Virginia. Good morning to you, Senator. 9/11 introduced to many Americans for the very first time this sense of vulnerability at home and it launched the global war on terror. I wonder how vulnerable you think America is now. Are we paying enough attention to the Middle East and to Afghanistan?

SEN. MARK WARNER: Well Margaret, I remember, as most Americans do, where they were on 9/11. I was in it is middle of a political campaign and suddenly the differences with my opponent seemed very small in comparison, and our country came together. In many ways, we defeated the terrorists because of the resilience of the American public, because of our Intelligence Community—and we are safer, better prepared. The stunning thing to me is, here we are 20 years later and the attack on the symbol of our democracy is not coming from terrorists but it came from literally insurgents attacking the Capitol on January 6th. So, I believe we are stronger. I believe our Intelligence Community has performed remarkably. I think the threat of terror has diminished, but I still think we have new challenges in terms of nation and state challenges, Russia and longer term a technology competition with China. But I do worry about some of the activity in this country, the election deniers, the insurgency that took place on January 6th. That is something I hope we can see that same kind of unity of spirit.

BRENNAN: As you're pointing out, America came together after 9/11 and we are incredibly divided right now. One thing that is potentially quite explosive is this ongoing investigation by the Justice Department of the former president and his handling of classified information. You've asked for a briefing from the Intelligence Community. Given how sensitive this is, why should anything be shared with Congress given that this is an ongoing investigation?

SEN WARNER: Because as the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and I'm very proud of our committee, we're the last functioning bipartisan committee, I believe, in the whole Congress. The vice chairman and I have asked for a briefing of the damages that could have arisen from mishandling of this information. And I believe it's our congressional duty to have that oversight. Remember, what's at stake here is the fact that if some of these documents involved human intelligence, and that information got out, people will die. If there were penetration of our signals intelligence, literally years of work could be destroyed. We talk about the enormous advances our Intelligence Community has made helping our Ukrainian friends. That comes about because we share intelligence. If there's intelligence that has been shared with us by allies and that is mishandled, all of that could be in jeopardy. Now we don't know what's in those documents, but I think it is incumbent, as soon as we get approval -- let me be clear, as soon as we get approval, my understanding is there is some question because of the special master appointment by the judge in Florida, whether they can brief at this point. We need clarification on that from that judge as quickly as possible because it is essential that the Intelligence Community leadership at least gets a briefing of the damage assessment.

 BRENNAN: That damage assessment, it has been paused, as has the classification review, and it will take some time. So, A, I'm assuming in your answer there you're saying, there have been no promises of a briefing to be scheduled, is that right?

SEN. WARNER: I believe we will get a briefing as soon as there's clarification whether this can be performed or not in light of the ruling of the judge in Florida.

BRENNAN: Why should that happen? Because I want to get o something you said, which was the “last bipartisan committee”. You and Marco Rubio, your partner in this request for a briefing, put forth this letter asking for the damage assessment. But lately your colleague has been making some comments that don't sound quite as bipartisan. He's compared the Justice Department to corrupt regimes in Latin America when it comes to this investigation, he's accused DOJ of leaking sensitive details. He says the only reason to leak it is to create a narrative for political purpose. When information gets shared with Congress, as you know, the accusation is, it will get leaked. So, A, it looks like you're losing that bipartisanship and, B, if you brief Congress, isn't it going to leak further and worsen?

SEN. WARNER: The record of our Intelligence Committee of keeping secret, secret, that's why the Intelligence Community shares information with us. Remember, this was the committee bipartisan that did the Russia Investigation

BRENNAN: But you know your oversight capability, many would argue, including former heads of counterintelligence, FBI, the line is drawn when it's an active investigation. They don’t owe you a briefing.

SEN. WARNER: We do not -- I do not want any kind of insight into an active investigation by the Justice Department. I do want the damage assessment of what would happen to our ability to protect the nation. Here we are 21 years after 9/11. If classified secrets, top secret secrets are somehow mishandled, I pointed out earlier, people could die, sources of intelligence could disappear, the willingness of our allies to share intelligence could be undermined, and I think we need that assessment to make sure –

BRENNAN: Which you will get, but it’s going to take some time.

SEN. WARNER: But I think we need it sooner than later.

BRENNAN: To that point, because it's so sensitive, because the country is so divided, because you already have in many ways a target being put on the back of law enforcement, isn't it more important to get it right, to be deliberate and not to be fast here? I want the details just as much as you do.

SEN. WARNER: Listen, I do not think we should have as the Intelligence Committee, a briefing on the ongoing investigation. What our responsibility is, is to assess whether there's been damage done to our intelligence collection and maintenance of secrets. That is a damage assessment that frankly, the judge in Florida has said can continue.

BRENNAN: Before November?

SEN. WARNER: Listen. Once we get clarification from the judge in Florida, and again, I don't think we can cherry-pick what part of the legal system we like or dislike. I have trust in our legal system. I may not agree with the decision the judge in Florida but I respect our Department of Justice. I respect the FBI. I think they are trying under extraordinarily difficult circumstances to get it right and we owe them the benefit of the doubt.

BRENNAN: Senator, thank you for coming on and I know we are going to continue to track this and any potential impact to national security. 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released the statement below after the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced a critical step in enacting a Warner-authored law that would require companies who are responsible for U.S. critical infrastructure to report cybersecurity incidents to the government. 

“I’m excited to see CISA move forward with implementing this cybersecurity law, which will help us counter the growing threat of cyberattacks against our institutions and allies. This is an important effort to shore up our nation’s information security and I’m glad to see CISA act with the urgency it merits. I encourage stakeholders to participate in this process and look forward to seeing CISA continue to move expeditiously to adopt these vital safeguards.”

Specifically, CISA announced a series of public listening sessions as well as a Request for Information (RFI) – both of which seek to collect input from the public in order to help develop proposed regulations required by the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022.

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri:

“Al-Qaeda has been responsible for brutal attacks in not only the U.S., but Asia, Africa, and Europe. I commend the efforts of our intelligence officers and servicemembers for finally – 21 years after the horrific 9/11 attacks – bringing one of its last remaining leaders to justice.

“I applaud the tireless work of the intelligence community and the bravery of our military personnel in continuing to counter terrorism abroad. In my capacity as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I will keep working to support the IC’s counterterrorism efforts and keep Americans safe.”

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WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to formally investigate TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance. The call comes in response to recent reports that the social media platform has permitted TikTok engineers and executives in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to repeatedly access private data of US users despite repeated claims to lawmakers and users that this data was protected. This includes instances where staff based in the United States had to consult with their China-based colleagues for information about U.S. user data as they did not have access to the data on their own. These revelations undermine longstanding claims by TikTok’s management that the company’s operations were firewalled from demands of the Chinese Communist Party.

“We write in response to public reports that individuals in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been accessing data on U.S. users, in contravention of several public representations, including sworn testimony in October 2021,” the senators wrote in a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan. “In light of this new report, we ask that your agency immediately initiate a Section 5 investigation on the basis of apparent deception by TikTok, and coordinate this work with any national security or counter-intelligence investigation that may be initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

The report also highlights TikTok’s misrepresentation of the company’s relationship to ByteDance and its subsidiaries, including Beijing-based ByteDance Technology, which is partially owned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

The senators continued, “TikTok’s Trust and Safety department was aware of these improper access practices and governance irregularities, which – according to internal recordings of TikTok deliberations – offered PRC-based employees unfettered access to user information, including birthdates, phone numbers, and device identification information. Recent updates to TikTok’s privacy policy, which indicate that TikTok may be collecting biometric data such as faceprints and voiceprints (i.e. individually-identifiable image and audio data, respectively), heighten the concern that data of U.S. users may be vulnerable to extrajudicial access by security services controlled by the CCP.”

As Chairman and Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sens. Warner and Rubio have been vocal about the cyber and national security threats posed by the CCP. In 2019, the senators introduced legislation to combat tech-specific threats to national security posed by foreign actors like China.

A copy of the letter is available here and below. 

Dear Chairwoman Khan:

We write in response to public reports that individuals in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been accessing data on U.S. users, in contravention of several public representations, including sworn testimony in October 2021. In an interview with the online publication Cyberscoop, the Global Chief Security Officer for TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, made a number of public representations on the data security practices of TikTok, including unequivocal claims that the data of American users is not accessible to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the government of the PRC. As you know, TikTok’s privacy practices are already subject to a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission, based on its improper collection and processing of personal information from children. In light of this new report, we ask that your agency immediately initiate a Section 5 investigation on the basis of apparent deception by TikTok, and coordinate this work with any national security or counter-intelligence investigation that may be initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Additionally, these recent reports suggest that TikTok has also misrepresented its corporate governance practices, including to Congressional committees such as ours. In October 2021, TikTok’s head of public policy, Michael Beckerman, testified that TikTok has “no affiliation” with another ByteDance subsidiary, Beijing-based ByteDance Technology, of which the CCP owns a partial stake. Meanwhile, as recently as March of this year, TikTok officials reiterated to our Committee representations they have previously made that all corporate governance decisions are wholly firewalled from their PRC-based parent, ByteDance. Yet according to a recent report from Buzzfeed News, TikTok’s engineering teams ultimately report to ByteDance leadership in the PRC. 

According to this same report, TikTok’s Trust and Safety department was aware of these improper access practices and governance irregularities, which – according to internal recordings of TikTok deliberations – offered PRC-based employees unfettered access to user information, including birthdates, phone numbers, and device identification information. Recent updates to TikTok’s privacy policy, which indicate that TikTok may be collecting biometric data such as faceprints and voiceprints (i.e. individually-identifiable image and audio data, respectively), heighten the concern that data of U.S. users may be vulnerable to extrajudicial access by security services controlled by the CCP.

A series of national security laws imposed by the CCP, including the 2017 National Intelligence Law and the 2014 Counter-Espionage Law provide extensive and extra-judicial access opportunities for CCP-controlled security services. Under these authorities, the CCP may compel access, regardless of where data is ultimately stored. While TikTok has suggested that migrating to U.S.-based storage from a U.S. cloud service provider alleviates any risk of unauthorized access, these latest revelations raise concerns about the reliability of TikTok representations: since TikTok will ultimately control all access to the cloud-hosted systems, the risk of access to that data by PRC-based engineers (or CCP security services) remains significant in light of the corporate governance irregularities revealed by BuzzFeed News. Moreover, as the recent report makes clear, the majority of TikTok data – including content posted by users as well as their unique IDs– will remain freely accessible to PRC-based ByteDance employees.

In light of repeated misrepresentations by TikTok concerning its data security, data processing, and corporate governance practices, we urge you to act promptly on this matter.

Sincerely, 

### 

WASHINGTON – The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (IAA) today on a unanimous 16-0 vote. The bill authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community.

 “The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 reflects the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan commitment to ensuring America’s intelligence agencies have the resources they need to protect our country,” said Committee Chairman Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA). “This year’s bill will enhance the country’s ability to confront our adversaries, including by providing support to Ukraine and strengthening sanctions against Russia.  It also takes significant steps to promote U.S. technology leadership and cybersecurity, increasing our ability to compete with China. Finally, I am pleased that this year’s bill drives serious improvement to the IC’s hiring and security clearance processes, so that the IC can attract and expeditiously on-board a talented, diverse, and trusted workforce.”

“This year’s Intelligence Authorization Act directs action and resources in the Intelligence Community where they are needed most – to counter the ever-increasing threats from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as well as rogue states in our hemisphere including Cuba and Venezuela,” said Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). “Additionally, this bill protects America’s national security, technology, and innovation from multiple foreign adversaries, while increasing our foreign intelligence collection and analysis, as well as enhancing personnel talent and expertise.” 

Background:

The IAA for Fiscal Year 2023 authorizes funding and ensures that the Intelligence Community (IC) has the resources, personnel, and authorities it needs to protect our country and inform decision makers, while under robust Congressional oversight, including in the following key areas:

  • Confronting the growing national security threat posed by China by increasing hard target intelligence collection and analysis, as well as by identifying and exposing China’s  online influence operations, leadership corruption, forced labor camps, and malign economic investments in telecommunications and semiconductors;
  • Bolstering intelligence support for Ukraine as it fights to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty since Russia’s second unprovoked invasion, including by assessing the effects of sanctions on Russia and its allies and opportunities to mitigate threats to food security at home and abroad;
  • Driving improvements to the IC’s hiring and security clearance processes by keeping the IC accountable for progress, including for timeliness in bringing cleared personnel on-board, ensuring that key management and contract oversight personnel in industry can obtain clearances, and assessing the utilization rates and accessibility of government and contractor secure facilities;
  • Establishing counterintelligence protections for IC grant funding against foreign-based risks of misappropriation, theft, and other threats to U.S. innovation;
  • Strengthening oversight of national security threats associated with the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela;
  • Establishing an Office of Global Competition Analysis to ensure U.S. leadership in technology sectors critical to national security;
  • Ensuring continued support to the victims of anomalous health incidents (“Havana Syndrome”) and maintaining continued oversight over the IC’s investigations into the causes of anomalous health incidents; 
  • Maintaining strong congressional oversight of, and protections for, IC whistleblowers who come forward to report waste, fraud or abuse;
  • Promoting cybersecurity enhancements and establishing cybersecurity minimum standards across the IC, including for classified systems;
  • Enhancing oversight of IC and Department of Defense collection and reporting on Unidentified Aerospace-Undersea Phenomena; and
  • Increasing transparency and promoting efforts to reform the declassification process.

 

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WASHINGTON – In an effort to combat money laundering and sanctions evasion, a group of six Senate Committee Chairs including Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the Treasury Department urging the agency to revise and reissue proposed rules from 2015 that would have imposed anti-money laundering (AML) and suspicious activity report filing requirements on investment advisers, including advisers to private equity funds and hedge funds.

Advisers to private funds have enjoyed an exemption from requirements to maintain AML programs, verify the identities of their customers, and report suspicious transactions to the U.S. government.  This exemption has made private funds a potentially attractive avenue for money launderers and sanctioned persons to hide their wealth, and the Senators urge Treasury to move as quickly as practicable to address this weakness in the AML system.

In addition to Sens. Warner and Jack Reed (D-RI), Chair of the Armed Services Committee and a leading Congressional champion for transparency and accountability for financial intuitions, the letter is signed by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chair of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chair of the Finance Committee; Richard Durbin (D?IL), Chair of the Judiciary Committee; Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee.

“Requiring advisers to establish AML programs, report suspicious activity, and file currency transaction reports, among other requirements, would go a long way towards deterring [politically exposed Russians]—and other illicit actors—from using private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds, credit funds, real estate funds, and other private pools of capital to enter the U.S. financial system.  Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the United States has worked with its allies and partners to find the assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs. However, loopholes and vulnerabilities in our financial reporting laws have made it increasingly challenging for federal investigators to identify where oligarchs and other criminal actors are placing their assets.  Holding investment advisers to the same AML standards applicable to other financial institutions would help achieve this important national security objective,” the Senators wrote.

Full text of the letter is available here and below.  

We write to urge the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to revise and reissue, as necessary, proposed rules from 2015 on anti-money laundering (AML) and suspicious activity report filing requirements for investment advisers. In doing so, we urge FinCEN to use its discretionary authority to include investment advisers in the definition of “financial institution” in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which would require them to file currency transaction reports and keep certain records related to the transmittal of funds. Finally, we urge FinCEN to work with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ensure adequate examination of the industry for AML purposes.

Investment advisers are exempt from requirements to maintain AML programs, verify the identities of their customers, and report suspicious transactions to FinCEN. Other financial institutions like banks, broker-dealers, mutual funds, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers in commodities, and insurance companies, among others, have been subject to these requirements for decades. According to the SEC’s Investment Adviser Information Reports, during just the last ten years, assets under management attributed to registered investment advisers has ballooned from approximately $44 trillion to approximately $113 trillion, raising fresh questions of whether FinCEN should eliminate these special exemptions.

The private funds segment of the asset management industry may be particularly attractive for money launderers and sanctioned persons due to existing regulatory gaps. In an Intelligence Bulletin from May 2020, the FBI indicated with high confidence that “threat actors likely use private placement of funds, including investments offered by hedge funds and private equity firms, to launder money, circumventing traditional AML programs.” Press reports have confirmed the FBI’s assessment. According to an article in Buzzfeed, a prominent Russian oligarch has used opaque corporate structures to invest at least $1.3 billion with private funds managed by U.S. investment advisers. And according to the New York Times, this very same oligarch made up to 100 investments in hedge funds and private equity funds managed by the nation’s largest asset managers, which allegedly did not confirm the source of these funds.

While the largest advisers to private funds may voluntarily implement AML programs, those advisers are not subject to regular examinations to test the adequacy of their programs. No government agency currently holds advisers accountable for adhering to their voluntary AML and sanctions compliance commitments. By contrast, banks, broker-dealers, and insurance companies are subject to periodic examinations to spot violations of the BSA and any compliance weaknesses.

Last month, FinCEN issued an alert warning financial institutions to be vigilant against attempts by politically exposed Russians to launder money, evade sanctions, and hide their assets. Requiring advisers to establish AML programs, report suspicious activity, and file currency transaction reports, among other requirements, would go a long way towards deterring these individuals—and other illicit actors—from using private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds, credit funds, real estate funds, and other private pools of capital to enter the U.S. financial system. Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the United States has worked with its allies and partners to find the assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs. However, loopholes and vulnerabilities in our financial reporting laws have made it increasingly challenging for federal investigators to identify where oligarchs and other criminal actors are placing their assets. Holding investment advisers to the same AML standards applicable to other financial institutions would help achieve this important national security objective.

In August 2015, FinCEN proposed rules to do just that. The proposal would have closed existing regulatory gaps by requiring investment advisers to implement and maintain AML programs. In the preamble to the proposal, FinCEN noted that “[a]s long as investment advisers are not subject to AML program and suspicious activity reporting requirements, money launderers may see them as a low-risk way to enter the U.S. financial system.” The recent FBI assessment, press reports of potential sanctions evasion by Russian oligarchs, and FinCEN’s own alerts to financial institutions demonstrate that these concerns may have become more acute in the years since FinCEN proposed these rules. We are pleased that the Administration shares these concerns as described in the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption in December 2021, which commits Treasury to re-examining the proposed rules from 2015. President Biden has rightly proposed additional funding for FinCEN to address the growing regulatory and enforcement demands on the agency, and we look forward to working with our colleagues to provide expanded resources in the fight against financial crime.

Investment advisers have an important role to play in safeguarding the U.S. financial system from crime. They can be valuable partners for FinCEN as it seeks to meet our enormous challenges to combat not only money laundering, but also fraud and other financial crimes. Such a partnership is also important to ensure the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions programs, which have expanded significantly during the pendency of FinCEN’s rulemaking. Accordingly, it is critical that rigorous AML and sanctions compliance standards be extended to investment advisers.

For these reasons, we respectfully request that you move as quickly as practicable to address this weakness in the AML system. We appreciate FinCEN’s efforts this year on a variety of fronts and amid competing priorities, including drafting and publishing several new rules to implement the Anti-Money Laundering Act and Corporate Transparency Act of 2021. Thank you for your attention to this critical matter, and we look forward to your reply.

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WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) applauded the Senate’s passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (IAA) as part of the omnibus spending bill. The House of Representatives passed the legislation earlier this week. The IAA authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community.

“The Intelligence Authorization Act ensures that the men and women of our Intelligence Community have the resources, personnel and authorities they need to keep our country safe while operating under vigorous supervision and oversight,” said Committee Chairman Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA). “The funding and authorities provided in the IAA will increase the Intelligence Community’s ability to detect and counter cyber threats, ransomware attacks, and other emerging threats, including those from adversaries such as China and Russia. This IAA will also reinforce oversight of the IC by strengthening protections for whistleblowers, reforming the security clearance process, and mandating a robust response to reported cases of ‘Havana Syndrome.’”

“Our annual Intelligence Authorization Act provides critical authorities and funding for the U.S. Intelligence Community and its dedicated personnel, who provide our first line of defense to protect our nation,” said Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). “This year’s Act provides increased capabilities to confront the multitude of threats facing our nation, including the Chinese Communist Party and other autocratic states like Russia, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela; the dispersed terrorist and cyber threats; and also provides the tools for leveraging the commercial sector’s innovation to address intelligence challenges.”    

Background:

The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 ensures that the Intelligence Community (IC) can perform its critical mission to protect our country and inform decision makers, while under robust Congressional oversight, including in the following key areas:

  • Increasing oversight and investments to address the growing national security threats and challenges posed by the Chinese Communist Party and its related influence operations, including in technology, infrastructure, procurement, and digital currencies; 
  • Improving the IC’s response to the anomalous health incidents (AHI), known as “Havana Syndrome,” by establishing an independent medical advisory board at the CIA, ensuring benefits eligibility and access to expert medical advice and facilities, and requiring protocols on testing, information safeguards, and reporting mechanisms;
  • Improving the IC’s ability to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies;
  • Bolstering investments in commercial imagery and analytic services to provide more unclassified collection and analysis to policymakers and warfighters in a more timely manner;
  • Continuing the Committee’s commitment to reform and improve the security clearance process, including mandating a performance management framework to assess the adoption and effectiveness of the Executive Branch’s “Trusted Workforce 2.0” initiative; more accurately measuring how long it takes to transfer clearances between Federal agencies so it can be shortened; and creating IC-wide policies to share information on cleared contractors to enhance the effectiveness of insider threat programs;
  • Ensuring strong congressional oversight of and protections for IC whistleblowers who come forward to report waste, fraud or abuse;
  • Addressing intelligence requirements in key locations worldwide, including in Latin America and Afghanistan to confront foreign adversaries’ efforts to undermine the U.S. abroad;
  • Strengthening the IC’s ability to conduct financial intelligence; and
  • Supporting the IC’s efforts to assess unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), further building upon the work of the UAP Task Force.

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released the following statement regarding President Biden’s executive order on ensuring responsible innovation in digital assets:

“Today’s executive order does a commendable job of balancing the potential opportunities and benefits of digital assets in financial innovation, economic inclusion, and global payments modernization against the risks and challenges they present to core U.S. interests. I applaud the executive order’s recognition that maintaining the centrality of the United States in the global financial system – and, in particular, the role of American governance standards and the primacy of the U.S. dollar – is absolutely fundamental to our efforts with regard to digital assets. The EO’s urgency with respect to a strategy for a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is especially welcome, and I look forward to working with the administration on further steps to engage on international norms and standards related to CBDCs.

“Today, we face a highly motivated adversary that is actively searching for opportunities to evade the substantial sanctions imposed by the Biden administration and our allies around the globe. We must ensure that all participants in the digital assets marketplace are actively complying with sanctions, and we need to develop clearer guardrails and improved enforcement to address fraud, illicit finance, and insecurity in the wider digital assets industry.”

Last week, Sen. Warner sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raising concerns regarding the potential use of cryptocurrency to evade sanctions imposed on Russia after their invasion of Ukraine.

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DENVERToday, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), chair of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, met with leadership from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Intelligence Community (IC) at Schriever Space Force Base and Buckley Space Force Base.

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and violation of international rules and norms demonstrates the urgency of the U.S. maintaining a stable space domain. The senators’ meetings highlighted the defense and intelligence elements in Colorado key to U.S. space missions, including U.S Space Command, and underscored the central role Colorado maintains in both space and national security innovation. 

“Amid Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and an increasingly congested and contested space domain, it’s more important than ever that the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense work together to protect and defend against threats to our nation’s space assets,” said Warner. “Today’s visit further demonstrates the need to keep Space Command in Colorado, where the IC and DoD are working in concert on a number of critical national security programs.”

“As Russian aggression threatens the international norms that have kept Americans safe, U.S. leadership and stability in space is more critical than ever, and I’m grateful Chairman Warner joined me today to see first-hand Colorado’s extensive space and national security assets,” said Bennet. “We should be spending money to build on investments that have already been made to our space mission, not on moving Space Command and starting from scratch. Our visits today, once again, reinforced that Colorado is the most strategic choice for the permanent home for USSPACECOM.”

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WASHINGTON– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Senate Republican Whip John Thune, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Jack Reed and Jim Inhofe, Senate Banking Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown and Pat Toomey, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Robert Menendez and Jim Risch, and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman Mark Warner and Marco Rubio today released the following joint statement that the U.S. Senate stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine:

“In this dark hour, we are sending a bipartisan message of solidarity and resolve to the people of Ukraine, and an equally clear warning to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

“Should Vladimir Putin further escalate his ongoing assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty, Russia must be made to pay a severe price. We are prepared to fully support the immediate imposition of strong, robust, and effective sanctions on Russia, as well as tough restrictions and controls on exports to Russia, and we will urge our allies and partners in Europe and around the world to join us.

“In the face of Russian escalation against Ukraine, we will continue to support robust security, economic, and humanitarian assistance for the people of Ukraine. The United States and our partners should also move quickly to ensure that the Government of Ukraine receives sustained emergency assistance to defend against an illegal Russian invasion.

“Make no mistake: the United States Senate stands with the people of Ukraine and our NATO allies and partners most threatened by Russian aggression. Our troops stand ready to reinforce the defenses of our Eastern European allies and we are prepared to respond decisively to Russian efforts to undermine the security of the United States at home and abroad.  We also call upon our allies to join us in bolstering NATO’s eastern flank.

“The international order established in the aftermath of World War II has not faced such a grave threat since the Cold War. This order, which protects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, has enabled an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity for the United States and its allies. Unfortunately, Russia is threatening this system, and the United States is prepared to meet this challenge with bipartisan and unified resolve.”

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WASHINGTON – The bipartisan members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL), today urged President Joe Biden to make sure that the United States is sharing as much intelligence as possible with Ukraine as the country faces a Russian military build-up on its border.

“Vladimir Putin is threatening the freedom and security of the Ukrainian people, and they have shown their eagerness to take action to defend their sovereignty, freedom, and democratically elected government,” the senators wrote in a letter to the president. “To this end, we request that the United States share intelligence with Ukraine to the fullest extent possible. Russia is the aggressor, and we need to arm Ukraine with critical information needed to defend their country. This is in the interest of U.S. national security, as well as that of our allies and partners in the region. Russia’s threats to Ukraine are a threat to democracies around the world, and we urge you to do as much as possible to support Ukraine at this critical moment.”

In addition to Sens. Warner and Rubio, the letter was signed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ron Wyden (D-OR), James Risch (R-ID), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bob Casey (D-PA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Ben Sasse (R-NE).

A copy of the letter is available here.

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement today:

“It’s only a matter of when, not if, we face another widespread cyber breach that threatens our national security. I was glad to see this NTSB-like function included in the President’s May 2020 executive order on cybersecurity, and this is a good first step to establishing such a capability.  I look forward to monitoring how this board develops over the coming months.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement regarding an interim assessment conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on anomalous health incidents (AHIs):

“Reports of anomalous health incidents among intelligence, diplomatic and military personnel emerged as early as 2016 but were not always taken seriously in the past. CIA Director Burns has appropriately made this issue a top priority for the agency, seeking answers as to the cause of these mysterious symptoms, and whether they can be attributed to work of a foreign government. There is no question that members of the intelligence workforce have suffered from conditions requiring a medical response. I am heartened that there are now procedures in place to ensure that those who are affected by these anomalous health incidents finally have access to the world-class care that they deserve. In a briefing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA leadership emphasized that there will be no changes to the seriousness with which they investigate AHIs, process for reporting AHIs, or eligibility for care as a result of these interim findings. We’re going to continue to take care of our folks and treat them with the empathy that they deserve.

“While Director Burns has earned the trust of the Senate Intelligence Committee that he is taking this challenge seriously, it’s important to note that today’s assessment, while rigorously conducted, reflects only the interim work of the CIA task force. The Senate Intelligence Committee will continue pressing for answers on a bipartisan basis, and we look forward to robust engagement with the intelligence community, as well as the conclusions of the outside experts panel that has been assembled to seek answers to these very urgent and difficult questions.”  

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement today:

“Vladimir Putin’s aggressive rhetoric and actions are a threat to the peace and stability of Europe and the world. From Russia’s continued occupation of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, to its weaponization of gas supplies to Europe, its ongoing malign campaign of misinformation, disinformation, and cybercrime, its support of Belarus’ dictatorship, its crackdown on dissent at home, and its latest armed buildup around Ukraine, Russia’s government is playing a dangerous game. The Biden administration must work with our allies to demonstrate to Mr. Putin that further actions to destabilize Europe’s security will bring about devastating consequences for Russia’s economy and its further isolation from the civilized world.” 

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 WASHINGTON – Today, the Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act—legislation authored by Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to support American public servants who have incurred brain injuries likely from directed energy attacks—was signed into law. The legislation, which passed Congress unanimously, authorizes additional financial support for injured individuals. 

“Havana Syndrome” is the term given to an unknown illness that surfaced among more than 40 U.S. Embassy staff in Havana, Cuba, beginning in 2016.  Since then, dozens more U.S. diplomats and members of the intelligence community have suffered symptoms that a study by the National Academy of Sciences found are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed, radiofrequency energy.

Symptoms have included severe headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, visual and hearing problems, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties, and many affected personnel continue to suffer from health problems years after the attacks. 

“Every day, American diplomats and intelligence officers around the world put themselves at risk to keep our nation safe. In return, we have an obligation to provide ample support when these brave men and women are injured in the line of duty,” said Chairman Warner. “As the Senate Intelligence Committee continues to look into the mysterious and debilitating attacks on U.S. personnel abroad, I’m proud to know that these officials will now be able to count on the compensation and care they deserve, thanks to President Biden’s signing of our Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act.”

“As American diplomats and personnel continue to be targets of directed energy attacks by malign actors and rogue states, I’m proud to see my bipartisan initiative become law,” said Vice Chairman Rubio.  “We need to stand in support of our diplomatic corps, and their relatives, as they face long-term health challenges and demand that those who are responsible face justice.”

“I have spoken personally with Havana Syndrome victims who were forced to battle the bureaucracy while dealing with their own health challenges.  These Americans who experienced traumatic brain injuries from likely directed energy attacks while serving our country should have been treated the same way we treat a soldier who suffered a traumatic brain injury on the battlefield,” said Sen. Collins.  “Now that the HAVANA Act has been signed into law, Havana Syndrome victims will finally receive the financial assistance and medical support that they deserve.  As we continue our efforts to support victims, we must also redouble our whole-of-government approach to identify and stop the heartless adversary who is harming U.S. personnel.”

“For far too long, U.S. public servants and their loved ones who’ve suffered from directed energy attacks have been denied the care they need and deserve. That’s unacceptable, and is why I’ve partnered with Senator Collins and this bipartisan group of lawmakers to ensure affected Americans have access to long-term, emergency health benefits,” said Sen. Shaheen. “By removing barriers to critical medical attention and paving the way for personnel with brain injuries to recover, the HAVANA Act is an important step forward. I’m very pleased President Biden has signed our bipartisan legislation into law, and I’ll continue to fight to get to the bottom of these attacks and protect our national security.”

The HAVANA Act authorizes the CIA Director, the Secretary of State, and other agency leaders to provide injured employees with additional financial support for brain injuries.  Both the CIA and State Department will be required to create regulations detailing fair and equitable criteria for payment.  This legislation also requires the CIA and State Department to report to Congress on how this authority is being used and if additional legislative or administrative action is required. 

Full text of the bill is available here

 

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter urging the Biden Administration to make technology policy a priority at the upcoming ministerial meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In the face of unprecedented advances by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia and other authoritarian regimes, Sen. Warner has stressed the importance of U.S. leadership on issues such as 5G telecommunications and semiconductors. In today’s letter to Secretary of State Blinken ahead of the meeting October 5-6, Warner highlighted the new threats facing democratic nations as a result of the PRC’s efforts to dominate next-generation technologies through a variety of tactics.

“Many countries have woken up to the risks of having a PRC-linked entity serve as the telecommunications infrastructure for their citizens and the risks of PRC access to the security and integrity of their citizens’ data and communications,” Sen. Warner wrote. “These risks extend to other next-generation technologies that rely on, and transmit, sensitive data and communications.”  

“In addition, governments are building – and exporting – integrated systems relying on these technologies to conduct large-scale surveillance and censor speech,” Sen. Warner continued. “Efforts by the PRC and Russia to institute robust, scalable firewalls, preventing the free flow of ideas and commerce across the internet, have become the envy of authoritarian leaders across the world.” 

Sen. Warner has long been a leader on U.S. technology innovation and has previously led bipartisan efforts to encourage U.S. advancement in the race for 5G, providing over $1 billion to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE. 

The OECD has a strong record of coordination around technologies such as artificial intelligence, wireless communications, semiconductors and bio-technology. It also released a report in May 2021 entitled, “Standard-Setting Review: Five-Year Report (2016-2021),” which reviewed existing OECD legal instruments and made recommendations on how to improve the OECD’s standard-setting activity.

A copy of the letter can be found here and below.

The Honorable Antony J. Blinken

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20520

 

Dear Secretary Blinken:

I am writing to urge you to bolster the administration’s efforts to coordinate U.S. technology strategies with democratic partners and allies. As seen with 5G telecommunications and semiconductors, authoritarian governments seek to undercut U.S. leadership and dominate strategic and emerging technologies, frequently using them to advance anti-democratic objectives domestically and globally.  The upcoming ministerial for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) offers an important opportunity to build upon the OECD’s existing work on standards for emerging technologies and to advance additional norms and practices related to technology policy alongside countries whose democratic values we share. 

In the face of this rising threat from authoritarian governments, I have pushed for cooperation on technology policy with democracies through the creation of an International Democracy Technology Partnership.  In May 2021, as you know, the U.S. Senate also passed the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, which, among other measures, included an International Technology Security and Innovation Fund to advance these efforts.

Your recent establishment of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, as well as the inclusion of technology issues within the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue structure with Japan, India and Australia and the AUKUS agreement – a security pact with Australia and the United Kingdom--  are important steps in ensuring closer alignment around the development and deployment of strategic technologies and the accompanying policies and standards.  However, we must do more to utilize existing international fora and a broader set of international partners as part of a well-resourced technology diplomacy strategy. 

The OECD, an economic grouping largely made up of likeminded democratic countries, provides a forum for collaboration on rules and norms across a set of emerging technology issues in the face of growing challenges from authoritarian governments.  In particular, the world is witnessing the People’s Republic of China’s efforts to dominate next generation and cutting edge technologies through a variety of tactics. For example, it works to influence standard setting bodies and multilateral bodies and organizations, subsidizes the participation by domestic firms in standardization efforts, provides government directed funds and subsidies to strengthen Chinese companies, and supports exports by preferred domestic firms through the government’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

The PRC government’s push for the adoption of Huawei technology and Huawei-led standards for 5G has been the most prominent example of this trend.  The PRC’s national champion, Huawei, strives to export 5G networking equipment globally, along with its standards. Many countries have woken up to the economic and security risks of having a PRC-linked entity provide the telecommunications infrastructure for their citizens and the risks of PRC access to the security and integrity of their citizens’ data and communications. These risks extend to other next-generation technologies that rely on, and transmit, sensitive data and communications.  

Moreover, authoritarian governments are working to embed anti-democratic values into the standards and norms surrounding these technologies.  We have seen this practice most acutely with artificial intelligence-related and facial recognition technology, as the PRC government is using these new technologies to facilitate massive surveillance and social control of its citizens, most prominently in Xinjiang. In addition, a number of governments are building – and exporting -- integrated systems that rely on these technologies to conduct large-scale surveillance and censor speech.  Efforts by the governments of PRC and Russia to institute robust, scalable and impenetrable firewalls, preventing the free flow of ideas and commerce across the internet, have become the envy of other authoritarian leaders across the world.

The OECD has a strong record of coordination around technologies such as artificial intelligence, wireless communications, semiconductors and bio-technology. For example, the OECD recommended principles and guidelines for AI in 2019, and established an AI Policy Observatory in February 2020 for governments to share best practices in AI policy. It also released a report in May 2021, entitled, Standard-Setting Review: Five-Year Report (2016-2021), which reviewed existing OECD legal instruments and made recommendations on how to improve the OECD’s standard-setting activity.  It has also provided important guidance on government guidance funds and state subsidies in the semiconductor supply chain.  

I urge you to use the OECD’s upcoming ministerial meeting on October 5-6, 2021 to work to establish rules and norms around strategic technology issues, including development and governance strategies and best practices for communications applications, AI-enabled products and services, next-generation networks, Internet of Things devices, blockchain and fintech products, and renewable energies. 

These technologies and their associated standards and norms are being developed now across various markets and international standards-setting organizations, with immediate repercussions for the economic competitiveness and national security of democratic nations. I urge you to leverage multilateral frameworks such as the OECD to advance coordination and establish norms surrounding these technology areas in concert with our likeminded allies and partners.

I stand ready to support these efforts in Congress. 

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today celebrated the 25th anniversary of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution this week recognizing the milestone for this critical intelligence agency, which collects, analyzes and distributes a variety of imagery and geospatial information to service members and policymakers across the U.S. government.

“As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I’m pleased to recognize the 25th anniversary of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, headquartered in Springfield, Virginia,” said Sen. Warner. “For 25 years, employees of the NGA have provided warfighters and policymakers with the intelligence needed to protect Americans and our national security. I want to express my gratitude to all the men and women of the NGA for their past and continued efforts to provide timely and accurate geospatial intelligence in defense of the United States.”

The bipartisan resolution recognizing the NGA’s 25th anniversary on October 1 was also co-sponsored by Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Committee member Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO).

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WASHINGTON – The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (IAA) today on a bipartisan 16-0 vote. The bill authorizes funding, provides legal authorities, and enhances congressional oversight for the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).

“The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 authorizes the funding for America’s intelligence agencies, and ensures they have the resources, personnel and authorities they need to keep our country safe, while operating under vigorous supervision and oversight,”said Committee Chairman Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA). “The funding and authorities provided in this bill will increase the Intelligence Community’s ability to detect and counter cyber threats, ransomware attacks, and other emerging threats, including those from near-peer adversaries such as China and Russia. This IAA will also reinforce oversight of the IC by strengthening protections for whistleblowers, reforming the security clearance process, and mandating a robust response to reported cases of ‘Havana Syndrome.’”

“Today the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to report legislation that rightly increases Intelligence Community resourcing focused on the threat posed by the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party,” said Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). “The bill also reaffirms the Committee’s critical role in overseeing of the Intelligence Community through provisions that protect Americans’ First Amendment rights, ensure expenditures are made judiciously, and hold the intelligence agencies accountable for their activities.  In addition, the bill prioritizes the Committee’s ongoing oversight of China’s malign influence operations, unidentified aerial phenomena, and importantly, the safety of the men and women of the Intelligence Community, by expressly addressing the likely directed energy attacks that have inflicted brain injuries and the associated symptomology known as the ‘Havana Syndrome,’ as well as other physical harms, on American personnel around the world.” 

Background:

  • The IAA for Fiscal Year 2022 ensures that the Intelligence Community can perform its critical mission to protect our country and inform decisionmakers, while under robust Congressional oversight, including in the following key areas:

  • Ensuring strong congressional oversight of and protections for IC whistleblowers who come forward to report waste, fraud or abuse, including the ability of whistleblowers to directly contact the congressional intelligence committees, and prohibiting the disclosure of whistleblower identities as a form of reprisal;

  • Improving the IC’s response to the anomalous health incidents (AHI), known as “Havana Syndrome,” including by establishing a joint task force to address AHI, establishing a panel to assess the CIA’s response to AHI, requiring reporting on interagency AHI efforts, and providing affected IC employees and family members with access to expert medical advice and health facilities, including Walter Reed Medical Center;

  • Increasing investments to address the growing national security threats and challenges posed by the Chinese Communist Party and its related influence operations, including in technology, infrastructure, and digital currencies;

  •  Improving the IC’s ability to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies;

  • Continuing the Committee’s commitment to reform and improve the security clearance process, including mandating a performance management framework to assess the adoption and effectiveness of the Executive Branch’s “Trusted Workforce 2.0” initiative; more accurately measuring how long it takes to transfer clearances between Federal agencies so it can be shortened; creating IC-wide policies to share information on cleared contractors to enhance the effectiveness of insider threat programs, and codifying the appeals process to increase its transparency and accountability; 

  • Codifying the National Counterintelligence and Security Center’s role and authorities regarding counterintelligence programs;

  • Addressing intelligence requirements in key locations worldwide, including in Latin America and Africa to confront foreign adversaries’ efforts to undermine the U.S. abroad;

  • Bolstering investments in commercial imagery and analytic services to utilize the increasing capabilities offered in the commercial space sector, including through theestablishment of a GEOINT data innovation fund;

  • Strengthening the IC’s ability to conduct financial intelligence; and

  •  Supporting the IC’s efforts to assess unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), following up on the work of the UAP Task Force.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Vice Chairman of the Committee, and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a senior member of the Committee, today led several colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation requiring federal agencies, government contractors, and critical infrastructure owners and operators to report cyber intrusions within 24 hours of their discovery. The legislation is in part a response to the hack of IT management firm SolarWinds, which resulted in the compromise of hundreds of federal agencies and private companies, and the May 2021 ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which halted pipeline operations temporarily and resulted in fuel shortages along the Atlantic seaboard of the United States, as well as a recent onslaught of ransomware attacks affecting thousands of public and private entities.

Under existing law, there is currently no federal requirement that individual companies disclose when they have been breached, which experts have noted leaves the nation vulnerable to criminal and state-sponsored hacking activity. The bipartisan Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021 would require federal government agencies, federal contractors, and critical infrastructure operators to notify the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) when a breach is detected so that the U.S. government can mobilize to protect critical industries across the country. To incentivize this information sharing, the bill would grant limited immunity to companies that come forward to report a breach, and instruct CISA to implement data protection procedures to anonymize personally identifiable information and safeguard privacy.

“It seems like every day Americans wake up to the news of another ransomware attack or cyber intrusion. The SolarWinds breach demonstrated how broad the ripple effects of these attacks can be, affecting hundreds or even thousands of entities connected to the initial target,” said Sen. Warner. “We shouldn’t be relying on voluntary reporting to protect our critical infrastructure. We need a routine federal standard so that when vital sectors of our economy are affected by a breach, the full resources of the federal government can be mobilized to respond to and stave off its impact.” 

“Cyberattacks against American businesses, infrastructure, and government institutions are out of control. The U.S. government must take decisive action against cybercriminals and the state actors who harbor them. It is also critical that American organizations act immediately once an attack occurs. The longer an attack goes unreported, the more damage can be done. Ensuring prompt notification will help protect the health and safety of countless Americans and will help our government track down those responsible,” Sen. Rubio said. 

“Having a clear view of the dangers the nation faces from cyberattacks is necessary to prioritizing and acting to mitigate and reduce the threat,” said Sen. Collins. “My 2012 bill would have led to improved information sharing with the federal government that likely would have reduced the impact of cyber incidents on both the government and the private sector.  Failure to enact a robust cyber incident notification requirement will only give our adversaries more opportunity to gather intelligence on our government, steal intellectual property from our companies, and harm our critical infrastructure.  I urge my colleagues to pass the Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021, which is common sense and long overdue.” 

In addition to Sens. Warner, Rubio and Collins, the legislation is co-sponsored by Senate Intelligence Committee members Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), James Risch (R-ID), Angus King (I-ME), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

“After years of talk about how our nation needs a real public-private partnership for better cybersecurity, we finally have concrete and critical action -- the introduction of the bipartisan Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021. We can't track, or have any hope of stopping, foreign or domestic sources of cyber maliciousness unless we can find out about cyber problems quickly. This bill goes a long way in starting to solve the problem,” said Glenn Gerstell, former National Security Agency (NSA) General Counsel. 

“It's encouraging to see continued bipartisan Congressional recognition of CISA’s critical role as the front door for industry to engage with the U.S. government on cybersecurity,”said Chris Krebs, former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“This bill significantly advances the discussion around the need for mandatory notification of significant cyber activity to provide greater common situational awareness, better defend networks, and deepen our understanding about the scale and scope of the threat,” said Suzanne Spaulding, former Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for Cyber and Infrastructure Protection.

A copy of the legislation is available here.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following after the U.S., European Union, and NATO allies and partners publicly attributed the Microsoft hack to Chinese state-sponsored actors: 

“Today’s news makes clear: state-sponsored cyberattacks that threaten our national security and economic stability will be traced and found. Cyberattacks aren’t a uniquely American problem; our allies are also grappling with a barrage of cyberattacks coming from our foreign adversaries. It’s why I have long called for building international cyber norms to confront our shared cyber vulnerabilities and why I’m pleased to see joint recognition from our NATO and EU allies about this threat. I applaud the Biden administration for publicly exposing the actions of these Chinese state-sponsored actors, pursuing diplomatic cooperation on these threats and for taking additional steps to bolster our cyber defenses. As we take these first steps in an international effort to confront these challenges, there’s still more work to do to address our cyber vulnerabilities.” 

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WASHINGTON — Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Intelligence Community Workforce Agility Protection Act of 2021 (S. 2341) with fellow committee members Vice-Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jim Risch (R-ID), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Tom Cotton (R-AR). Currently, active duty members of the military can deduct certain moving expenses from their federal taxes, but that benefit does not extend to intelligence community professionals. The Intelligence Community Workforce Agility Protection Act would expand the treatment of moving expenses to employees and new appointees in the intelligence community who must relocate pursuant to a change in assignment.

“Like the men and women of our armed forces, our intelligence community professionals go to extraordinary lengths to serve and protect their country,” Warner said. “They often uproot their lives to go serve where they are needed – no matter where that may be. This commonsense legislation will ensure that these brave Americans are not forced to pay out of pocket for the costs of their relocations.”

“We ask a lot from the men and women who serve our nation, especially those in the intelligence community,” Rubio said. “Extending this benefit to those who sacrifice so much in defense of our nation is common sense.”  

“The work done by the men and women of our Intelligence Community is vital to our national security,” Burr said. “This commonsense benefit will allow us to continue building an agile and vibrant IC workforce.”

“This legislation won’t take away from our active duty military men and women, but it will return this benefit to those serving in the intelligence community,” Sasse said. “These men and women work hard to keep our country safe, the least we can do is make sure they have this benefit.” 

“Members of the intelligence community devote their lives to serving our country and they deserve our support,” Gillibrand said. “Enabling the intelligence community to deduct moving expenses from their federal taxes is a simple, but important, provision that honors their dedication.”

“The men and women in our nation’s intelligence community work incredibly hard to keep our country safe,” Blunt said. “This bill helps address one of the significant challenges that comes with a career in the intelligence community and I’m proud to support it.”

“Rank and file Intelligence professionals do the hard work to keep our country safe from foreign threats,” Wyden said. “It’s common sense to provide this benefit that other national security professionals receive to IC workers.”

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WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement regarding the investigation into attacks on U.S. personnel in Havana and elsewhere:

“For nearly five years, we have been aware of reports of mysterious attacks on United States Government personnel in Havana, Cuba and around the world. This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this. We have already held fact finding hearings on these debilitating attacks, many of which result in medically confirmed cases of Traumatic Brain Injury, and will do more. 

“As the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, we welcome CIA Director Burns’ renewed focus on these attacks. Our committee will continue to work with him, and the rest of the Intelligence Community, to better understand the technology behind the weapon responsible for these attacks. We will focus on ensuring we protect our personnel and provide the medical and financial support the victims deserve. Ultimately we will identify those responsible for these attacks on American personnel and will hold them accountable.”

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