Cyber Tops List of Threats to US, Director of National Intelligence Says

Glen Norman
February 14, 2018

North Korea's nuclear program poses a potential "existential threat" to the United States, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Tuesday. "But we still do not have a plan", the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said in his opening statement.

So the next milestone in the inquiry into Russian election interference - at least in the Senate - could be the release of the intelligence committee's long-awaited report finally giving the full story about what happened in 2016. Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray noted that such "non-traditional collectors" are common in academic institutions, and that some Chinese students may indeed be taking advantage of the various research and development programs at American universities.

Leaders of the intelligence community said the United States is "under attack" as it relates to the nation's cybersecurity posture heading into the 2018 midterm elections.

It further warned that Pakistan's "eroding position relative to India", persisting economic weakness and domestic security issues will "exacerbate" its long-held fears of worldwide isolation and drive it to actions that run counter to U.S. goals in the region. Rogers said he thought information was being shared on events as they occurred, but suggested the door swung both ways and the government needed more info from the private sector.

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo warned late last month that Russian interference has not stopped and can be expected to continue heading into the 2018 midterm elections - a view unanimously endorsed by his fellow intelligence chiefs at yesterday's congressional hearings. US' intelligence chief has issued a warning that these weapons include short-range tactical missiles that bring more risks to the whole region.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Russian Federation has determined that cyber operations to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign was "successful", and this year's midterms is the next likely target. "The United States is under attack - now". He also said social media needs to better police itself.

Coats argued that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un believes his regime's security depends on retaining nuclear weapons and developing missile technology.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said it's been more than a year since the 2016 election, but the USA still has no plan to battle foreign interference in elections.

Also, the reports are suggesting that the United States chief said, Pakistan's perception of its eroding position relative to India, reinforced by endemic economic weakness and domestic security issues, nearly certainly will exacerbate long-held fears of isolation and drive Islamabad's pursuit of actions that run counter to U.S. goals for the region.

FBI Director Wray confirmed to Senator Heinrich that the FBI has grave concerns with the accuracy of the Republican memo authored by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and pushed back on claims of inherent political bias at the FBI.

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