March 17, 2018

USA senators ask vote machine vendors about Russian access to source code

10 March 2018, 06:06 | Megan Pierce

Report from the US Office of the Dir. of National Intelligence

Report from the US Office of the Dir. of National Intelligence

Russia has rejected playing any role in the US election, but the USA intelligence community has concluded it was personally directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We now face the most complex, volatile and challenging threat in modern times", said Coats.

As they did with Nakasone, frustrated committee members peppered Coats with questions about what the USA was doing to punish nations that infiltrate government networks, steal data from contractors or try to influence American elections.

The sanctions would blacklist "those individuals that have been complicit in this", Coats told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Some selections from the report outlining threats from China are presented for readers below.

"They are in a research-and-development phase", Ashley said, noting that any further details would need to be provided in a classified setting. Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, asked who should lead efforts to counter Russian Federation with this year's elections "right around the corner".

The administration was criticised for not imposing new sanctions in January when a list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 oligarchs was released to comply with a law passed to punish Moscow.

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Democrats also pressed Coats to explain why President Donald Trump hadn't authorised the intelligence community to do more to prevent Russian aggression.

Coats said that as soon as next week, he expects the U.S. Treasury to announce sanctions against 13 Russians accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of interference in the 2016 election.

Trump's nominee to lead the National Security Agency, Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone, told Senate Armed Services he did not think Russian Federation expected much of a USA response to cyber attacks.

Rogers told Congress last week that he's taken steps to respond to the threat, but that neither Trump nor Defense Secretary James Mattis has granted him any additional authorities to counter Russian efforts to sow discord in the United States. "He has said 'I assume you're doing your job, all of you who head up these agencies relative to cyber".

"State and non-state actors, including the Syrian regime and ISIS possess, and in some cases, have used chemical weapons in Syrian and Iraq and we continue to be concerned about other actors' pursuit of biological weapons", said Coats.

"We see this continuing influence by the Russians and we want to be not only defensively ready".

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