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tv   Election Assistance Commission Summit - DHS Deputy Under Secretary Bob...  CSPAN  February 7, 2018 1:22pm-1:32pm EST

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c-span's history series landmark cases returns this month with a look at 12 new cases. h historians and experts join us behind these decisions beginning monday, february 25th live. 9:00 p.m. eastern. we have a guide written by tony mauro. to get your copy go to c-span dos organize/landmark caseess. >> this portion including keynote remarks.
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>> we'll go ahead and start back up. i appreciate you all trying to get back from lunch in an hour in d.c. is difficult even in the food court is downstairs. we are at the time in the program for the keynote remarks as you saw in today's program, acting department of homeland security scheduled to join us but was pulled away from washington on business. we are grateful that the department dispatched, i guess that's what happens at the department, the acting deputy under secretary for the national protection and programs commonly known in the election as mppd. to deliver remarks. as acting secretary t bob oversees infrastructure protection, federal protective service and cyber. he works with the cyber security
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to find a -- protection against physical and cyber risk activities. prior to serving he was appointed as the deputy infrastructure protection in january 15 as deputy he helps to lead efforts to reduce the risk to the nation's critical infrastructure posed by acts of terrorism and strengthen response and rapid recovery in the event of an attack. with more than a decade of service in federal government, bob thought he seen it all until he met the elections community and i've had the pleasure to sit next to him at a meeting and bob it's been a pleasure to get to know spu get to work with you, i appreciate you sitting there and taking the bullets and having the conversations that need to
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happen and i look forward from hearing from you today about the eft and what is coming about in the coming months preparing for 2018. with that i invite you up and thank you for being here. >> thank you. so one of the things we've accomplished over the last year and a half. the department of homeland security and organized and perhaps others of you in the room. i'm here to talk about elections security of the national security issue. i'm here to talk about things we have been doing in partnership and support of the state and local elections community to take and elevate the importance of your security of elections in the face of a national security challenge. this is something that we talked about a lot collectively over the last couple of years but let
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me just start with and take you backwards for a second. clearly, what we saw in the department of homeland security in the spring of 2016 what we saw working with the u.s. intelligence community, the fbi, other folks involved in national security. there was an elevated threat to your election system. in 2016 we were not fully aware of where the threat was coming from and what else was going on but we saw during that period there was an elevated threat to the election system. during the run up to the 2016 elections working with others and the intelligence community and the fbi worked hard to get out as much information as we could. that's when the partnership with the u.s. election assistance commission started when we started working regularly to get out as mush as we could about what was going on with the elections there. we took it seriously and we
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tried to share the information wed at the time. now we're sitting here with a benefit of hindsight. you have seen that the government has and the department of homeland security affirmed that what we saw during that period that the russian government was interested in at least taking exploratory activity to see what was going on and cause duress. that judgment was made in january of this year and made public of january this year and you know, when asked has that judgment changed where do we think the threat to u.s. election systems comes from, i would say that we've seen no evidence that the russian government has changed its intent or capability to cause duress to our election system. that may not be the only concern we have in the future, you know,s the way the security things tend to happen it could
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be one -- coming from somewhere else and then see another nation or state or actor take activities to do similar things. that in my mind makes this is national security issue. there is a threat out there in speaking with experts that we have done over the last couple of years. there are vulnerables in our system. perhaps few we are that are assumed and opportunities to close the vulnerabilities, there are threat that we need to address. with that in mind, in january of this year, secretary johnson as he was leaving the department of homeland security declared critical infrastructure, that separation was a recognition that our elections are an asset and essential systems function that enable our democracy to work. it's something that we need to
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as a country collectively take seriously to protect that there's a national security challenge to our election. recognizing that by designating the creation of an election infrastructure sub sector, we put renewed attention and more attention on taking steps to secure that election infrastructure in support of very clearly in support of the state and local officials who have the responsibility for administrating those elections. so with that charge over the last i would say over the last nine to ten months the dhs, in partnership with others has been deliberate in taking activities to strengthen, to put our resources and capabilities and information the federal government's information and make those available and put
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them in support of enhancing state and local government officials as they execute elections and working with them n. particular we have taken steps in three errors. building partnerships, sharing information, and then building and making available tools to support state and local election officials. solet me talk about those three areas separately. in the realm of partnership, there's a truism in i think, disaster response disaster management that the time -- you do not want to be exchanging business cards in the middle of a hurricane. you should know each other and work with each other so that when something happens or a disstary hits relationships have been built. unfortunately, in 2016, there was a little bit of having to build relationships at the same time that we were in the middle
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of a certainly, a bit of a hurricane as it pertains to russian activity with u.s. elections. and what we have done and able to do over the last year is we changed that. we exchanged the business cards and built the relationships and the department of homeland security is in a better position to work with the inner agency partners and the election community to respond to any threats lingering threats or any threats that emerge going forward. we've done that through pretty structured means within dhs. our secretary who matt mentioned stood up at the election task force. she leads the election task force that's our belly but ton within dhs. working closely with the fbi to promote a front within that. we gone through process of working with particularly the national association of secretary of state,

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