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February 13, 2018

King Presses Top Intelligence Officials on Cyber Defense Strategy

“I just don’t want to go home to Maine when there’s a serious cyber attack and say, ‘Well we never really got to it…’ That’s not going to fly.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) questioned top national intelligence officials on the lack of a national doctrine to deter cyber attacks.

“I am sick and tired of going to these hearings, which I have been going to for five years, where everybody talks of cyber attacks, and our country still does not have a policy or a doctrine or a strategy for dealing with them,” said Senator King. “…We are trying to fight a global battle with our hands tied behind our back…We have no doctrine of deterrence. How are we ever going to get them to stop doing this if all we do is patch our software and try to defend ourselves?”

“Deterrence doesn’t work unless the other side knows it,” continued Senator King. “The Doomsday Machine in Dr. Strangelove didn’t work because the Russians hadn’t told us about it…I believe this country needs a clear doctrine: what is a cyber attack, what is an act of war, what will be the response, what will be the consequences…I just don’t want to go home to Maine when there’s a serious cyber attack and say, ‘Well we never really got to it. We knew it was a problem, but we had four different committees of jurisdiction and we just couldn’t work it out.’ That’s not going to fly.”

Senator King’s questioning came during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats facing the United States, and can be watched HERE. Witnesses before the Intelligence Committee today were Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Christopher Wray, Director of the National Security Agency Adm. Mike Rogers, Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Robert Cardillo and Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley. 

***Note to Assignment Editors and News Directors: Click HERE to watch Senator King’s remarks and HERE to download broadcast-quality video***

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