WASHINGTON (VR) – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a redacted, bipartisan assessment of foreign intelligence threats facing our country, in advance of an open hearing examining the topic featuring testimony from expert witnesses.
The redacted report, based upon two years of independent research conducted by non-partisan Committee staff, identifies challenges facing the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), and offers a range of solutions to ensure that the NCSC is positioned to respond to today’s foreign intelligence threats. The investigation assessed the mission, duties and authorities, resources, and structure of the NCSC.
“The United States faces a dramatically different threat landscape today than it did just a couple of decades ago,” said Chairman Warner. “New threats and new technology mean that we have to make substantial adjustments to our counterintelligence posture if we are going to protect our country’s national and economic security.”
“Foreign adversarial governments, including the People’s Republic of China, are now targeting all sectors of U.S. society,” Vice Chairman Rubio added. “This Committee aims to ensure that the American public, industry, and academia are aware of this, and also to ensure that the Intelligence Community has the authorities and resources necessary to effectively confront these new counterintelligence threats.”
Among the report’s key findings:
· The United States faces threats from a wide variety of adversaries, including powerful state actors such as China and Russia, regional adversaries, minor states aligned with U.S. adversaries, ideologically motivated entities, and transnational criminal organizations;
· Foreign intelligence entities are targeting the public and private sectors alike, including the financial sector, the U.S. industrial base, academic entities, U.S. government departments and agencies that are not part of the intelligence community, and national laboratories;
· Today’s adversaries have access to a much wider variety of tools for stealing information, influencing U.S. officials or inflaming social and political tensions than in the past, including nontraditional human, cyber, advanced technical, and open source intelligence operations to collect against U.S. plans and policies, sensitive technology, personally identifiable information, and intellectual property, as well as to influence U.S. decision-making and public opinion;
· The U.S. counterintelligence efforts are not postured to effectively confront the whole-of-society threat landscape facing the country today, with the NCSC lacking a clear mission, sufficient and well-defined authorities, and adequate resources to do so;
· The report recommends that Congress, in conjunction with the Executive Branch and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, develop a consistent U.S. government-wide definition of counterintelligence that reflects today’s threat landscape, and enact reforms to clarify NCSC’s mission, structure and responsibilities and determine what role it should play in traditional, strategic, and offensive counterintelligence operations.
Details on tomorrow’s hearing are available below.
WHAT: Open Hearing – Protecting American Innovation: Industry, Academia, and the National Counterintelligence and Security Center
WITNESSES APPEARING: Hon. William R. Evanina, Founder & CEO, Evanina Group & Former Director for the National Counterintelligence & Security Center (NCSC)
Hon. Michelle Van Cleave, Senior Advisor, Jack Kemp Foundation and Former National Counterintelligence Executive
Dr. Kevin Gamache, Vice Chancellor and Chief Research Officer, Texas A&M University System
Mr. Robert Sheldon, Director, Public Policy & Strategy, CrowdStrike
WHEN: Wednesday, September 21 at 2:30 PM
This hearing will be livestreamed on intelligence.senate.gov.