Mike Rogers and Jason Grumet on Cybersecurity, Shifting Digital Economy

May 23, 2016

P.O.T.U.S. host Tim Farley sat down with BPC President Jason Grumet and former Representative Mike Rogers to explore the opportunities and challenges of the digital economy, as well as the shifting landscape of cybersecurity.

BPC partnered with the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs to host The Global Digital Challenge forum, which brought together leaders in the policy, business, and technology communities to discuss critical issues facing the United States and the global digital economy.


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ICYMI Mike Rogers & Bipartisan Policy Center host Global Digital Challenge

May 19, 2016

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Click on the photo above for video from the event. 

Washington D.C. – The Bipartisan Policy Center and the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs this week hosted “A Global Digital Challenge: Aligning the Economy and Cybersecurity” featuring keynote speeches from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

“Over the last four months we’ve had some tremendous conversations. It was about how do we mitigate risk moving forward? How do we protect the economy going forward? We think we’re onto something innovative. When you get senior executives staying for hours with their sleeves rolled up to get these answers, that’s how we determine that we’re onto something different,” Mike Rogers, former House Intelligence Committee chairman, said.

“We have seen the kind of mistrust and toxicity – geographic, cultural, political – that has festered in this debate for the last several years. The ultimate goal here is to figure out how to align prosperity and security,” Jason Grumet, BPC president, said.

AP: US Intelligence: Foreign Hackers Spying on Campaigns

WSJ: U.S. Intelligence Chief Says Hackers Are Targeting Presidential Campaigns

CNNIntel chief: Presidential campaigns under cyber attack

POLITICO ProMichigan’s Rogers, Bipartisan Policy Center team up on industry-government cyber challenges

POLITICO Morning Cybersecurity: WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS? – It’s conventional wisdom in cyber circles that the best answer to all the heated debates over subjects like encryption and surveillance is just getting government and industry together to talk it out.

The latest bid to unite the two sides comes via the Bipartisan Policy Center and former Rep. Mike Rogers, who are launching a Global Digital Challenge Initiative that’s modeled in part on a similar effort almost two decades ago. The idea is to get the private and public sectors on board with a common economic and security agenda and produce a Framework for the Global Digital Economy by next year.

But they’re not going about it exactly as you might expect, and they contend that’s the key to solving some of the most difficult issues in cyberspace – a challenge they relish. “We like hard problems,” Rogers told POLITICO in an exclusive with your MC host. Pros get the full story on how they intend to do it here. The piece coincides with a public event this morning featuring Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and other luminaries.


US Intelligence: Foreign Hackers Spying on Campaigns

May 19, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States sees evidence of hackers, possibly working for foreign governments, snooping on the presidential candidates, the nation’s intelligence chief said Wednesday. Government officials are assisting the campaigns to tighten security as the race for the White House intensifies.

The activity follows the pattern set in the last two presidential elections. Hacking was rampant in 2008, according to U.S. intelligence officials, and both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were targets of Chinese cyberattacks four years later. Nevertheless, cyber experts say Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaign networks aren’t secure enough to eliminate the risk.

“We’ve already had some indications” of hacking, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said Wednesday at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. He said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were helping educate the campaigns.

Of the attacks, Clapper predicted, “we’ll probably have more.”

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Michigan’s Rogers, Bipartisan Policy Center team up on industry-government cyber challenges

May 19, 2016

By Tim Starks

Former Rep. Mike Rogers and the Bipartisan Policy Center want to capture the spirit of 1997 as they develop a partnership to help industry and government short-circuit today’s most difficult feuds in cybersecurity and the digital economy.

The intent is to echo 1997’s Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, a government-private sector union from the Internet’s dial-up era. That alliance aimed to bolster online business while demonstrating a commitment from industry and the feds to tackle the technology’s emerging problems.

The new partnership, first shared with POLITICO, has been quietly working for four months to lay the groundwork. Its inaugural public event will be Wednesday, when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will be among the speakers at the center. On Tuesday, the initiative is bringing in 40 leaders from industry for discussions, followed by a congressional dinner.

The goal is to eventually develop a new Framework for the Global Digital Economy by next year, the 10th anniversary of the earlier effort. At the outset, the initiative will address subjects such as cyber insurance, legal liability, a standard for attributing attacks and a unification of conflicting regulations.

It won’t be the first time someone has tried to get government and industry, particularly the tech sector, on the same page amid today’s bruising court battles over encryption and surveillance. But Rogers said he thinks their approach is different from others.

“The only thing we ask of everybody that comes in is to leave their advocacy position, your pre-established advocacy position, you’ve got to leave outside,” Rogers said. He figures his own background serving as House Intelligence chairman, when he advanced an agenda that tech companies didn’t always like, gives him credibility on that, since he is demonstrating that he is coming in open-minded during those meetings. Additionally, as a private citizen he has a broader agenda and a different perspective.

But the so-called Global Digital Challenge Initiative isn’t directly taking on the topic that generates the most headlines and friction these days – encryption. At least not yet.

And the initiative hasn’t yet been aggressive about reaching out to Silicon Valley or civil liberties advocates, focusing on sectors like finance and energy first. Nor has it included government officials in those closed-door meetings, in part because it wants industry to lead the way.

Both Rogers and BPC President Jason Grumet view encryption as a symptom of a larger challenge to align industry and government on a broader set of questions.

“The current incentive structure is that no good deed goes unpunished,” Grumet said. “There’s very little incentive for these private companies to extend themselves into the broader debate.” By addressing questions like the threat and legal liability first, it will create more incentive to participate, Grumet reasoned.

The 1997 initiative didn’t tackle encryption as directly as some would have liked, either. “That happens to be one of the most difficult issues the government and industry is wrestling with right now,” then-IBM CEO Louis Gerstner said at a 1997 news conference after a White House meeting on the framework, which he observed touched on encryption in some small ways.

The immediate agenda for Rogers and the BPC is to stop “the bleeding,” Grumet said. Its private workshops have led to a short-term agenda to do that, and the plan is to form industry task forces to delve deeper on those cyber topics.

Those include subjects like cyber insurance and figuring out how to give providers the missing actuarial data they need to form polices that can make it an effective tool. “Currently, it’s like a drunken monkey in a backroom with a dart, and we hope it turns out all right,” Rogers said.

In a connection to the 1997 effort, Tara Lemmey, CEO of LENS Ventures, will speak at Wednesday’s event. She also spoke at the 1997 news conference as head of an online advertising company, Narrowline.

Plans for the current venture include a mix of public and private events. In private, companies might share their checklists for what kinds of security practices they expect from vendors, Rogers said, while in public a “performative” aspect can sometimes deepen conflict. But public events also ensure engagement with people who want to get involved and might have good ideas.

“Democracy only works when you have combination of private generative experience and public engagement,” Grumet said. And the pair knows it won’t be easy. “We like hard problems,” Rogers said.

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American Leadership and Global Stability

April 12, 2016

by Mike Rogers

While the President and Congress agreed to dramatic military budget cuts, the threats against the U.S. and our interests continue to grow.

As we’ve drawn back our forces in recent years, cutting troop numbers and whittling funding, Russia has invaded Ukraine, China has illegally claimed islands belonging to its neighbors, and built new ones out of thin air, and ISIS has committed 70 terror attacks in 20 countries, including here in the United States.

President Obama recently told a reporter, “very little is accomplished in international affairs without U.S. leadership.” That is a change in mantra from leading from behind during the Arab Spring in Libya, or watching as Russia took an outsized role in the Syrian conflict.

It is time for the U.S. to act on the president’s declaration, and lead. We need a strong, trained, funded, and modernized military force to do that. We have seen what happens when the U.S. military, the most powerful force for good in the world, perhaps in history, withdraws as a global presence; just turn on your television. When we disengage, our enemies and adversaries see a vacuum and exert their own interests, to the long term detriment of the U.S., and usually to other peace-loving democracies.

A stronger military and broader U.S. presence is in fact a way to ensure peace, not destabilize it. As we attempt to save funds by cutting our military, we in fact empower forces that will cost significantly more to deter or combat in the future.

The Taliban now controls more of Afghanistan than at any point since the U.S. invasion. Iraq collapsed without U.S. guidance, pressure, and force protection. Troops in Syria were the first overt use of Russian military forces outside the former Soviet Bloc in twenty-five years. Iran signed a favorable nuclear deal, and immediately seized U.S. sailors at gunpoint and then tested ballistic missiles against U.N. resolutions.

It is estimated that by 2020 China will have 350 naval vessels, while the U.S. Pacific Fleet currently numbers only 80 surface ships. Today we are seeing the South China Sea regional nations boost their own defense spending to counter Chinese growth, purchasing hardware they have never had before. A stronger U.S. presence in the area is needed to prevent dangerous miscalculation that could spark an escalation in hostilities.

Toe-to-toe, U.S. military capability is unmatched, but we have yet to invent a ship that can be in two places at once. As Admiral Scott Swift, head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said at a conference in Southeast Asia, there is a “palpable sense that might makes right.” As we have seen in recent years, it not just in the Pacific that might is making right. We are now less able to deter our adversaries than ever.

General John Paxton, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps testified before Congress saying “I worry about the capability, and the capacity to win in a major fight…” He argued, as did other services, that after military budget cuts, training has suffered for those units not deployed to action. Paxton also said that “all of our intelligence and communications battalions… would be unable to execute their full wartime mission requirements if called upon today.” He worried about the state of Marine aviation, a department that has suffered from funding problems, with 80 percent of units lacking the training and response aircraft they need to fulfil their mission. Paxton was not alone in his concerns.

Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said the Army is ready to fight terror threats, but added, “when we talk about risk, we’re talking about great-power war with one or two countries: China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.” The Acting Army Secretary recently said that the budget for next year was minimally adequate: the Army has lost fourteen combat brigades in the last five years.

The Secretary of the Air Force testified that she has 79 fewer fighter squadrons than were available twenty five years ago. This comes at a time when Russia has flown more bomber aircraft patrols outside Russian airspace at any time since the Cold war, and while flights in the English Channel surpass those of even the old Soviet Union, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command.

With the budget deal this past fall, Congressional Armed Services Committee chairmen McCain and Thornberry have said the military is still operating $18 billion under budget, cutting, among other systems and programs, 24 Blackhawks, 50 Joint Strike Fighters, and five Navy cruisers.

A strong defense should be our nation’s number one priority and the U.S. must return its military to its proper footing. We are at war with ISIS abroad while it attacks us at home, and we are being tested by our greatest adversaries and other rogue nations. Nations that do not align their national security interests with the U.S. or our allies will fill the void we leave in global leadership. This will only further destabilize the world- something dangerous to our security and our prosperity.

It is the responsibility of Congress to increase defense spending to at least the baseline proposed by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in his Fiscal Year 2012 defense budget, and ensure those funds are used appropriately. The ancient Roman maxim still holds true today: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

National security is too complex and too important to boil down into a brief list, but I propose we start with the following ten items for immediate action:

  1. Strengthen military pay and retention programs to retain our servicemen and women, ultimately leading to a larger, stronger standing army, rather than letting our forces continue to decline.
  2. Expand the Navy’s fleet by a few dozen ships, including more attack submarines and a new aircraft carrier, to keep pace with the growing tensions in the Pacific, and to meet the mission set by military and civilian leaders.
  3. Expand and modernize the Air Force’s aging aircraft assets by funding additional Joint Strike Fighters.
  4. Prioritize upper tier missile defense systems: increase interceptor inventory and build upon current hit-to-kill technology as North Korea threatens us with nuclear annihilation and Iran laughs off U.N. sanctions to perform its own ballistic missile tests. With these dangers, the president’s plan to cut more than $600 million in Missile Defense Agency funds does not make sense.
  5. Restore funding for cruise missile defense technology at home and abroad through airborne aerostats with sensors and radars that improve interceptor capability, like the Joint Land Attack Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS).
  6. Halt to using Overseas Contingency Operations funding for non-emergencies.
  7. End the type of Congressional pet projects that support home district military facilities, but don’t necessarily provide realized security, wasting limited defense dollars that could be better allocated to more vital assets.
  8. Boost training, modernization and maintenance budgets to prevent a lull in troop and equipment readiness, post Iraq and Afghanistan. For years now we have been on a war footing, but not matching that stress on our troops and equipment with proper war readiness.
  9. Modernize and grow the National Guard and further expand its training to provide the Guard and the Reserves more flexibility in filling resource gaps in specialized areas like cyber, information operations and infectious disease outbreak management.
  10. Prioritize hardening of our capabilities and infrastructure vulnerable to cyberattack from adversaries like Russia and China, including our GPS infrastructure, as well as building and outfitting the Department of Defense Cyber Mission Force.

One Year After the Iran Nuclear Deal

April 4, 2016

Saturday marked one year since the framework agreement for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the nuclear deal with Iran—was announced. At the time, President Obama said this agreement would make “the world safer.” And perhaps it has, but only in the short term and only when it comes to Iran’s nuclear-weapons proliferation.

Read the full story here.

Mike Rogers hosts The Frank Beckmann Show on WJR

March 14, 2016

On Monday, March 7 and Tuesday March 8, Mike Rogers, host of Something to Think About and CNN commentator and former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, hosted The Frank Beckmann Show on News/Talk WJR Radio 760 AM.

Listen to each interview below:

Apple says FBI seeks ‘dangerous power,’ files motion opposing court order to help unlock iPhone

February 26, 2016

Former security officials, though, say that law enforcement’s duty to protect the public is challenged by Apple’s stance.

The court order to Apple was “very specific to one phone,” said Mike Rogers, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former FBI agent. “This notion that it opens up a privacy issue for every device out there is nonsense.”

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Apple vs. FBI is a sign of a dangerous divide

February 24, 2016

By Mike Rogers and Jason Grumet

Apple’s decision to fight a court order to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the terrorists involved in the San Bernardino, California, attack last year is just the latest example of the dangerous divide between Washington and Silicon Valley.

The FBI was unable to access the encrypted smartphone to map the terrorist’s connections to ISIS and find any other accomplices in the United States, so the government sought help from the tech giant. While details of this specific phone are not known, the iPhone in general has built-in security features that will erase the phone’s data after a certain number of unsuccessful log-in attempts.

This case highlights how Washington needs the private sector in the fight against terrorism and how the private sector still has to work through questions about the effect to its business when helping the government. We must find a way to bridge this gap so we can protect both our citizens and the economic interests of our technology sector while adhering to our founding principles.

In rejecting the court order, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated, “We have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help,” adding, “but now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”

What is truly dangerous is the divide between our security needs and the economic interests of industry.

It is time for Washington and Silicon Valley to realize that it is to their benefit to get along and work together on shared interests. Bridging this gap is not just an exercise in overcoming differences; it is critical for America’s continued international competitiveness, economic growth and national security. The U.S. economy will not grow if the nation is unable to protect its assets.

For example, everyone can agree that preventing hackers from infiltrating networks to steal intellectual property or personal information is imperative. No one is going to argue against stopping terrorists from recruiting online and hiding other activities on the Internet. The government and private sector must become more closely aligned if we are to continue to protect our country from growing threats in an increasingly technological world.

Similarly, encryption advocates have a strong case; as encryption is necessary to protect political dissidents in authoritarian countries and civil liberties for everyone. The American people and the business sector clearly need reassurances that their data will be protected from illegal intrusions, whether from digital theft by criminals or unwarranted access by government officials.

Mozilla chief: FBI snooping at  Apple 'back door' makes you less safe
FBI snooping at Apple ‘backdoor’ makes you less safe
Privacy and security are not mutually exclusive, nor are the aims of business and government. There are, or should be, legal mechanisms to provide for both.

Sadly, the debate has reached a stalemate with each side retreating behind their ramparts and raising their drawbridges. It has been less of a dialogue than one side “talking at” the other, issuing demands or expectations without offering much in return.

The current struggle between the FBI and Apple is a clear example of how this distrust is becoming a vicious cycle. By turning to court orders to compel Apple’s cooperation, the FBI is perpetuating Silicon Valley perceptions of the government as a heavy-handed bully. But by refusing to comply, Apple is making it more likely that Congress will resort to the very sort of blunt force regulation that the technology industry fears the most.

It will take time for the government and Silicon Valley to find an agreeable balance, but it can be done.

An alignment of interests can be found if both are able to sit down and engage in a meaningful dialogue that seeks to resolve challenges rather than impose the will of one over the other. By working for a basic set of principles, from the broad to the specific, we should be able to find avenues of alignment within the privacy and security debate.

Washington and Silicon Valley need to get along to navigate the shoals of government and economic interests to ensure they don’t collide but rather find a mutually beneficial way forward.

Otherwise, the growing divide between the government and technology industry may become an unbridgeable chasm between the East and West coasts. And that would unnecessarily endanger both the security and prosperity of our country.

CNN Commentator Mike Rogers is the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Jason Grumet is president of the Bipartisan Policy Center. 

Originally appeared on CNN: