CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

Intelligence: In Depth

As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), I conduct oversight of the 17 separate federal agencies that make up the U.S. Intelligence Community, including the CIA and National Security Agency (NSA). I serve as the Ranking Member of the NSA and Cybersecurity subcommittee, and on the CIA subcommittee. Since joining the committee in February 2013, I have worked to ensure the federal government strikes the right balance between respecting the privacy of American citizens and protecting our nation from acts of terrorism.

Russian Investigation

The Intelligence Committee’s work has never been more important as we investigate Russian interference in our election and potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. And while we’ve experienced distraction and turmoil, we remain dedicated to the task at hand: gathering evidence, speaking with intelligence experts and interviewing witnesses until we piece together the truth. As a senior member of the Committee, I will continue leading our current investigation into all of these allegations. The American people deserve and expect nothing less.

Security and Privacy

More than 15 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, we are still seeking a sustainable balance among security, privacy and civil liberties.

For example, I joined a bipartisan majority of the Intelligence Committee in passing the USA FREEDOM Act that was signed into law in June 2015. This bill modified the contentious USA PATRIOT Act, which after 9/11 gave the federal government sweeping authorities. The USA FREEDOM Act ended bulk collection programs and made improvements in FISA Court reforms, and greater National Security Letter transparency.

During my time on HPSCI I have had the opportunity to put my stamp on legislation that was passed into law including two important amendments to the annual Intelligence Authorization Act to improve oversight of the NSA and ensure intelligence agencies are taking Americans’ privacy into consideration. The first amendment provides for an independent and Senate-confirmed Inspector General. The second amendment closes a reporting loophole by requiring an annual report on violations of law or executive order. 

I have introduced legislation to improve oversight of the intelligence community by requiring certain entities to send annual reports, compliance assessments, and FISA court procedural rule changes, decisions and pleadings to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. 

Cybersecurity

The threat caused of cyberattacks is one of the greatest our nation faces.

I have long promoted the idea of international norms to guide countries in their behavior and responses to attack.  Nonproliferation agreements were negotiated to curtail the exponential growth of nuclear weaponry during the second half of the 20th Century. Now is the time for the international community to seriously respond with a binding set of international rules for cyberwarfare: an E-Neva Convention.

I championed legislation that requires the President to develop and deliver a report to congressional committees that describes the types of actions carried out in cyberspace against the United States and to create policy on the use of cyber weapons by the United States.  I am also working on better coordinating state and local governments, non-federal government agencies and private entities in order to make our country more secure. 

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