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Kirstjen Nielsen
  Homeland Security Secretary on 2019 Priorities  CSPAN  March 18, 2019 3:25pm-4:31pm EDT

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are a thing, but c-span's big idea is more relevant today than ever. no government money supports c-span. it's nonpartisan coverage of washington is funded as a public service by your cable or satellite providers, on television, online. your unfiltered view of government so that you can make up your own mind. homeland security secretary kiersten nielsen outlined her department's 2019 priorities at an event here in washington hosted by auburn university. following her speech, secretary nielsen sent out for a conversation on cyber security protecting critical infrastructure in the 2020 election. >> good morning. war eagle.
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i know you all don't hear that very often up here. [laughter] well, on behalf of the arbor university president dr. steven lee and arbor university board of trustees, i want to welcome each and everyone of you here this morning. i would also like to thank george washington university for allowing us to use this venue for this morning. it's my pleasure to welcome you to the 2019 state of homeland security address by secretary nielsen. the opportunity to facilitate this important discussion is a real privilege. thank you for being here. more importantly, thank you, secretary nielsen, for taking time out of your schedule to join us. my colleague is director of harvard university's macquarie institute for cyber and critical it security and our center for cyber and homeland security. he has hosted secretary nielsen
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and each of her predecessors for this event since the department was created. lucky to have him at the helm of the macquarie institute. usesacquarie institute research and scholarships to develop practical solutions for real-world problems. the institute's mission is to use theory and practice and policy with technology to protect and advance u.s. interests in the areas of cyber and critical infrastructure security. he approaches solutions and he designs those to enhance security across the public and private sectors. is institutes policies work driven by the center for cyber and homeland security based here in washington, d.c. the center is a nonpartisan think tank that develops innovative ideas and solutions to current and future threats to .he united states it accomplishes its mission by convening events such as this
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one, by publishing policy relevant analysis, and by providing expert testimony to congress on critical issues and challenges that are related to cyber security, critical infrastructure, counterterrorism, and homeland security. andther, the institute center help advance auburn's mission and our ambition to be a national leader in cyber infrastructure, and homeland security. they also innovate in those areas that matter most. turning now, though, this morning to secretary nielsen, it's my honor to introduce her. she was sworn in as the six secretary of homeland security 2017.ember of she previously served as white house deputy chief of staff. she joined the trump administration in january 2017 as chief of staff to then secretary of homeland security john kelly. in that position, she advised
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the secretary on all operational, policy, and legal matters, including counterterrorism, cyber terrorism, cyber security, and border security. secretary nielsen has also served in the private sector, focusing on a range of homeland and national security matters, including preparedness, strategies, and policies to prevent, protect against, and respond to catastrophic events with a focus on critical infrastructure and interdependencies that go with that. 2004, she was commissioned by president bush to serve as a special assistant to the president for prevention, preparedness, and response on the white house homeland security council where her responsibility's included the development, coordination, and oversight of u.s. government homeland security policy. she has also served as the chair of the world economic forum's global agenda council on risk and resilience. she is an attorney by training
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and in the past has served as a senior fellow with the center for cyber and homeland security. in other words, she has walked the walk in many different facets that we will talk about today. please join me in welcoming our moderator, frank, and secretary. [applause] >> thank you, general. i will be exceedingly brief. i think you have covered all the bases. it is a true privilege to be able to host sec. nielsen on campus. she is a rock star and has one of the most difficult jobs in the u.s. government or even beyond, given last week's events in christchurch, you can see things are morphing and changing.
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privileged to have a secretary like secretary nielsen at the helm. madame secretary, the floor is yours. thank you for coming back on campus. i look forward to moderating the q and a with you afterwards. [applause] sec. nielsen: good morning, everyone. thank you to general burgess. congratulations on a champ in ship. -- on your championship. i would be remiss if i did not mention that. i'm grateful to you for your leadership and public service. i would like to start quickly by giving both of them a round of applause. thank you to them. [applause] sec. nielsen: i would also like to thank the auburn center and george washington university or hosting me today. much like frank, i can go on and on and on these topics. i will try to limit it. i do want to cover what has changed and where we are headed.
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i want to extend my appreciation to the many friends, colleagues, and distinguished guests joining us today. in this room are men and women who have built the department of homeland security from the ground up. others who have followed in their footsteps by taking up a call to service, others who support our missions by executing theirs so well. thank you all for being here today. we are gathered here today at a pivotal moment. life is changing faster than at any point in human history. as a nation, we face a choice. shape the world around us or be shaped by it. we cannot hide from the future. history will judge us harshly. the threats are greater than any time since september 11, 2001. the ground beneath us have shifted and enemies and adversaries have evolved.
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armies and government are simply -- the arms of government are simply swinging too slowly to protect the american people. we are more secure than ever against the dangers of the last decade but, we are less prepared than ever for those that will find us in the next. that is why under this president and this administration, we have made a decision to shape the world around us, to create an environment that is favorable to u.s. interests. to put america's security first. and to dramatically enhance the way we defend the homeland. [applause] sec. nielsen: in short, we are going from being highly reactive to highly resilient. we are not wasting any time. last year, i used this platform to announce a policy of relentless resilience. today, i am pleased to say we are implementing that agenda at
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breakneck speed. in the past 12 months, there has been more change at dhs than any single year in its history. this morning, i will tell you what we have accomplished, where we are going, and why it matters. i will preview our bold new strategic plan by walking you through a few of overarching goals. dhs was created to fight one primary generation defining struggle. the war on terror. we now find ourselves defending against emerging threats on new battlegrounds. not only are we still facing the insidious threat from global jihadists, that we are under siege from transnational criminals, cyber thugs and hackers, and resurgent nationstate rivals. the battle state is constantly in flux. from the physical to the virtual world and back again all in the blink of an eye. today, i am more worried about the ability of bad guys to
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hijack our networks than their ability to hijack our flights. i am concerned about them holding our infrastructure hostage, doing our money and secret, is waiting children online, and even hacking our very democracy. money andg our secrets, exploiting children online, and even hacking our very democracy. these are not wars we can fight in slow motion through meetings, memos, and endless discussions. if we don't anticipate, adapt, and move quickly, we will lose. period. the idea that we can prevail with government efforts is now an outdated concept. it is not enough. we need a whole of society approach to overcome today's threats. because it is not just u.s. troops and government agents on the front line anymore. it is our schools and gathering places. it is ordinary, everyday americans. they are mercilessly targeting networks. they are co-opting and controlling them. and they are weaponizing our own
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innovations against us. america is not prepared for the spirit your average private citizen or company is simply no match against a nation state such as china, iran, north korea, or russia. it is not a fair fight. until now, our government has done far too little to back them up. president trump made homeland security his number one priority. not number two, number three, were number four. he is pillar one in the u.s. national security strategy. the homeland security are running with the mandate to obtain the resources and security authorities and to execute the changes we need to fully transform homeland security and give the american people the protection they deserve. [applause] sec. nielsen: our new dhs strategic plan integrates our
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mission across agencies and offices to reflect a unified approach, no longer mired in the individual authorities of a given component. the first goal is to come that terrorism and homeland threats. our department was built in response to a complex coordinated and catastrophic terrorist plot, and we continue to do all we can to ensure we know who is traveling to the u.s. and to prevent the series -- nefarious actors from carrying out attacks on the homeland. to thwart terrorist plotting dhs , has recently put in place some of the most sweeping security enhancements in a decade. we have instituted tougher vetting and tighter screening in a travel system to prevent terrorists from infiltrating the united states, in addition to instituting the biggest aviation security enhancements in years.
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this includes explosives and insider threats. this year, our new national vetting center will become fully operational. law enforcement data and intelligence from across the government will be fused to detect dangerous individuals trying to reach our territory. i am pleased today to announce dhs has worked with the state department to notify all countries in the world of more stringent information's sharing to crack down on terrorist travel. governments who work with us will make the world safer from extremists and while those who fail to comply will face consequences. these major improvements are not enough. fanatics have innovated. they have realized terror can be done on the cheap and spread virtually. using simple online instructions and household tools. with the rise of isis, the phenomena of doing -- do-it-yourself mass destruction was born and homeland security hasn't been the same ever since.
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two years ago on halloween, i remember receiving a white house situation room report that down a bike path in new york city, mowing down cyclists as it went. nearly 20 pedestrians were killed or injured before that ended that afternoon p or the driver claimed inspiration from isis and followed the terror group's instructions to the letter. if you cannot join us overseas, stay in your homeland and kill using any means possible. despite losing territory to group -- the group remains global. just last week, the fbi arrested a georgia woman tied to the united cyber caliphate, a hacking and propaganda wing of isis. the women allegedly helped the group promote online kill list featuring u.s. soldiers, government officials, and private citizens.
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one posting, which included personal information of potential targets, offered a simple and schilling instruction. kill them wherever you find them. my department assesses that the primary terrorist threat in the united states continues to be from islamic militants and those they inspire. but we should not and cannot and must not ignore the real and serious danger posed by domestic terrorist. they are using the same do-it-yourself mass murder tactics we saw with the horrible assault last week in new zealand. against muslim worshipers. attacks on people in their places of worship are important -- abhorent. we have seen the face of such evil in places such as charlottesville, pittsburgh, and charleston. in the wake of the new zealand
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tragedy, i want to make one thing very clear. we will not permit such hate in the homeland. there is no room in this great nation for violent groups who intimidate or color's americans because of their race, religion, sex, or creed. we will counter extremists with full authorities of the department and work with law enforcement partners to bring domestic terrorists to justice. that dhs, we have launched new terrorism programs against all forms of violent hate. we are sharing more information with local authorities. we have worked with social media companies to crack down on terrorist propaganda online and have ramped up soft target security nationwide.
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with a focus on protecting schools, large events, major gatherings, and places of worship. as noted earlier, we need a whole of society approach to turn the tide, which is why 2019, dhs will host the first ever national summit on terrorist prevention. this will bring together tech companies, engineers, immunity leaders, law enforcement, in an effort to better crowd source. this is to come that emerging threats or last year, with the help of congress, was good -- set up a new office of countering weapons of mass destruction. this office is set to better protect americans against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear dangers. we also fought for legislative authority to disrupt dangerous jones -- drones so they are not used in our homeland to cause destruction. in 2019, we will focus on executing these authorities. the fullest of our forms as much
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longer but rest assured that dhs is more committed than ever to keep getting one step ahead of those who would dare to do us harm. we will be vigilant, continuous, and we will address emerging threats. [applause] sec. nielsen: at the same time, we cannot lose sight of our most basic obligations to the american people reflected in the second goal of our strategic plan to defend u.s. borders and sovereignty. there is no more fundamental responsibility for a nation. and yet the american people have
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been let down by a government again and again. there is no manufactured crisis on our southern border. there is a real-life humanitarian and security catastrophe. late last year, we were apprehending 50,000-60,000 migrants a month. last month, we apprehended more than 75 thousand. the highest in over a decade. today, i can tell you we are on track to interdict nearly 100,000 migrants this month alone. the situation at our southern border has gone from a crisis to a national emergency to a near systemwide meltdown. i say this with the utmost sincerity and urgency. the system is breaking. our communities and law enforcement personnel and migrants themselves are paying
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the price. what is different is not just tell me people are coming but who is arriving. historically, illegal aliens crossing into the united states were predominately single adult men from mexico with no legal right to stay. we could detain and remove them within 48 hours. but in recent years, we have seen the volume of vulnerable populations, children, and families, skyrocket. over 60% of the current flow is now families and unaccompanied children and 60% is non-mexican our system was not built to handle this type of flow. because of outdated laws, misguided court decisions, and a massive backlog of cases, we are usually forced to release these groups into the united states. we have virtually no hope of removing them in the future. despite the fact that the vast majority who apply for asylum today did not qualify for it
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under our laws as determined by a judge. smugglers and traffickers have caught on. advertising a free ticket into america. as a result, the flow of families and children have become a flood. -- has become a flood. fake families are popping up everywhere, and children are being used as pawns. uncovered child recycling rings, truly child revictimization rings, a process by which innocent child are use multiple times to help migrants gain illegal entry. as a nation, we cannot stand for this. the humanitarian situation cannot be ignored. in one study, more than 30% of women reported being sexually assaulted along the dangerous journey. 70% of all migrants reported experience in violence. . we give pregnancy tests to girls as young as 10 to ensure that we can offer appropriate medical
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support. smugglers and traffickers are forcing people in humane conditions, demanding large sums of money and putting lives in of money danger there they are not humanitarian spirit they are within the five -- they are swindlers. -- they are not humanitarians. they are swindlers. and they are making it harder for us to identify those who actually need our protection. given the brutal journey conditions, children are arriving at the border's sick or -- sicker than ever before. make no mistake. this is also a security crisis. criminals are using this situation to line their pockets while gangs are exploiting loopholes to bring in new recruits. we see the spread of violent crime and drugs. the majority of which come into the country the other southern border both at and between ports of entry.
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what is worse, last year, we identified tens of thousands of convicted and wanted criminals attempting to cross. those, of course, are just the ones we know about. so what are we doing about it? dhs has built the first border wall to go up in a decade. we are building more and have plans for hundreds of new miles to block illicit goods, illegal entry, and help ensure a safe and orderly migrant slope and we -- migrant slope. -- migrant flow. we have worked with the pentagon to employ thousands of troops to the southern border. we have what with the justice department to prosecute single adults who cross illegally. we have engaged the northern triangle country to address the challenges at their source. this month, i am happy to report that we expect to sign an historic, first ever regional compact with these nations to counter human and drug trafficking, smuggling, this is something i have been pushing for years and it is long overdue.
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we have stepped up efforts to protect women and children from being abused, kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and exploited on the journey and provide support to survivors. we are doing more to dismantle transnational criminal organizations and have intensified operations to seize illegal drugs, especially opioids. i am looking for ways to help at ask migrants apply for u.s. asylum from with in central america. rather than embarking on the treacherous track to our border. we must find ways to help vulnerable populations sooner in their journey north. but it is simply, my friends and colleagues, just not enough. our laws are not keeping up with the migrant flows. until they are fixed, the situation will only get worse and more heart aching. we need congress to stop playing politics and do what is right.
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we need congress to change the law to allow us to keep families together throughout the immigration process. to ensure the safety and prompt return of the company children -- unaccompanied to their home countries, and to reverse the ruling that directs dangerous criminals to be released into our community. this is a complex and emotional issue. no matter which side of the isle you are on, we have common cause. to uphold our sovereign responsibility to secure our borders. to facilitate legal trade and travel. to prevent drugs from poisoning our communities. and to help vulnerable populations all at the same time. while we wait for congress to do its job, i must say that i could not be prouder of the men and women of dhs who continue to do theirs with professionalism and compassion. despite the politically charged atmosphere and the dangers of the job, our agents, officers, and enlisted personnel, whether they're from cvp, ice, uscis, coast guard, or beyond, have
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done an extraordinary job staying focused on the mission. they are seizing drugs on the high seas. they are identifying fraudsters applying for visas. they are investigating vast criminal networks across the country in the physical world and on the dark web. they are taking down gun runners, sex slavery rings, and child exploiters. they are helping bring in more legal immigrants each year than any other nation on earth, and so much more. they all deserve our respect and the thanks of a grateful nation and i ask you to join me in thanking them now. [applause] sec. nielsen: i want to briefly tell you about someone who exemplifies these efforts. homeland security investigation special agent alicia mcdonald. just last april, asian mcdonald
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-- agent mcdonald and her colleagues executed high risk arrest warrants against gang members tied to the mexican mafia. they apprehended individuals linked to at least seven homicides. because of her meticulous police work, these violent criminals are now off the streets. the pit of my thing the dedication of -- epitomizing the dedication of dhs employees, agent mcdonald was eight months pregnant when she let a search and arrest mission and during her three months of maternity leave, she continued to work from home on her own time and on her own volition to ensure these gang members were brought to justice in the courts. special agent mcdonald is here with us today. i think she is right -- there you are. please stand. [applause] sec. nielsen: you represent the best of dhs. we thank you for represent all
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-- representing all of us so well. on top of my list of threats many of you can guess the word cyber is circled, highlighted, and underlined the cyber domain is a target, a weapon, and a vector all at the same time. that is why another goal in the strategic plan is to secure cyberspace and critical infrastructure. criminalates, syndicates, they're all building capacity to infiltrate and undermine our networks. they are weaponizing the web. for instance, in the past two years, we witnessed north correia's ransomware spread to more than -- north korea's ransomware spread to more than 150 countries. holding health-care systems hostage and bringing factories to a halt. we sell russia probing our energy grid, compromising thousands of routers around the world and unleashing malware, which wreaked havoc is one of the costliest cyber incidents in history.
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i could go on for hours. what worries me is not what these threat actors have done, but what they have the capability to do. stealing our most sensitive secrets and deceiving us about our own data, distracting us during a crisis. launching physical attacks on infrastructure with a few keystrokes, or planting false flags to embroil us in conflicts with other nations. the possibilities are limitless. but the time we have to prepare is not. to get ahead of adversaries, we released the first dhs cyber security strategy last may. this is only step one. step two is partnership. i said it many times but it bears repeating. in our hyper connected world, if we prepare individually, we will fail collectively. dhs held the first of its kind national cyber security summit
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in new york city last summer. we brought together ceo's from some of the largest companies in america. hundreds of senior risk and security officers, multiple cabinet members, and vice president pence, to take a clear eyed look at american cyber security posture. the gathering produce real results. participants took action to deepen partnerships, break down barriers, and better integrate our collective risk management efforts. we announced the formation of the national risk management center, a premier forum for government and industry to collaborate against evolving digital dangers. in the months that followed, we took an even bigger leap. we consolidated and strengthened federal efforts to protect our nation's digital efforts. -- networks. with congressional authorization, we established the landmark cyber security and infrastructure security agency at dhs. [applause]
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we can now retire our jokes the name. this was long overdue, and will be at the front of the fight in cyberspace for years to come. strategies, partnerships, and organizational change will still only get us part way. we have ramped up operations to keep intruders out of our networks. first and foremost, we have driven a change in u.s. policy to replace complacency with consequences. we have made clear we will no longer accept malicious cyber interference. we are fighting back in the seen and unseen ways including publicly attributing cyber attacks to the perpetrators. -- perpetrators levying , sanctions, and delivering other consequences. this has sent a powerful message to all my adversaries especially nationstates.
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america has had enough and we will not hesitate to punish you for compromising our networks. [applause] we have also instituted a next-generation risk management approach to identify and assess critical functions, not only specific assets and systems. we are wielding dhs abilities to get dangerous software such as branded products out of federal systems and taking swift action to patch newly discovered vulnerabilities. alarmingly, and laboratories -- our adversaries are using state run systems to attack us within our own supply chain so we are working with industry partners to identify and delete these bugs and defects from our system. all of the digital threats, the one we take most seriously are those aimed at the very heart of our democracy. in 2016, at the direction of vladimir putin, russia launched a concerted effort to undermine
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our elections and their -- our -- our democratic process using cyber enabled means. they didn't stop there. they have continued to interfere in our public affairs and have attempted to sow division online among americans on hot button issues. unfortunately, other state nation rivals appear to be following suit and are, in various ways, looking to influence u.s. policies and discourse. let me send one less message to last message to our cyber adversaries -- you cannot hide behind your keyboard and computer screens. we are watching you. no matter what malware you develop, i promise you, the engines of our democracy are far stronger and far more resilient than any code you can ever write. [applause]
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last year, we applied our lessons learned from 2016 to prevent hacking in the 2018 elections. it was a full-court press. we worked to support all of the states in a variety of ways including technical assistance, security assessment, planning exercises, sharing threat data, incident response, and so much more. on election day, more than 90% of american voters lived in an area covered by our network sensors, vastly more than 2016. and it worked. thanks to dhs cyber defenders of many partners nationwide, i can say with confidence that 2016 election was the most secure in the modern era. some of the people who made that happen are with us here today. matt masterson and jeff hale were road warriors who spent weeks and months across the country away from their
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families, building partnerships and most importantly, establishing trust. by election day, the team had convinced 50 states and 1400 + local jurisdiction to join our election security efforts. i think they are also over here. can you please stand? [applause] now have our eyes on the next election and are launching protect 2020. a new initiative designed to get all states to a baseline level of election infrastructure accepted -- cyber security while before the next about. dhs is in the process of bolstering its approach of countering influence to ensure we are prepared to zoom out and see the full scope of adversary attempts to undermine our networks, and donations critical infrastructure and our homeland
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security. it is not just bad guys we are focused on. mother nature has been extremely active. when disaster strikes and a family loses everything, dhs and fema are some of the first to lend a helping hand. our hearts still great for those who lost loved ones and livelihoods. whether it is puerto rico, the thefire in california, disasters have affected almost every state in the last two years. we have opened 138 major since the beginning of this administration. i want to provide assurances that dhs is there for the long haul. we have your backs and he will not be forgotten. -- you will not be forgotten. [applause]
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>> we had to -- delivered record-breaking disaster relief in the past two years, including seven billion in the hands of disaster survivors, more than the previous decade provide desk in mind. they are implementing a new vision focused on making america better prepared for the worst. fema is investigating substantial resiliency for communities. deployments personnel nationwide so they're working side-by-side with state and local officials while before disaster strikes. we are expanding alert systems so that we can one citizens faster and more completely. areas covered only a few of our forthcoming strategic plans but i can't assure you in ways large and small that we are undertaking transformations to build dhs for a new age. whether it is the work with you
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don't -- to stop unfair trade practices, to protect our nation's leaders or to defend our waterways against criminals and foreign powers, dhs is foring aside stagnation adoption, convention for nimbleness. expand the unity of effort. we will be rescuing wayward migrants. we are overhauling our support components so that our front-line defenders get what they need more quickly. including timely intelligence and cutting edge technology. i want to announce a major milestone. dhs agencies have operated in temporary stasis in offices
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scattered throughout d.c.. a relic of our early days. .t is hard for me to believe this has made it extraordinarily difficult for our 240,000 employees to work together as one team. you may have noticed that a large construction project is across the river. one of the largest government construction projects since the pentagon. this is the saint elizabeth campus. announce this morning that in less than a month, it will serve as the base of operations for a more focused, unified and more effective and consolidated department of command security. -- homeland security. [applause] secretary nielsen: when we moved next month, we will take stock of all that has changed in the
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16 years since dhs was created. a moment to remember the brave souls. this ultimately gave led to a department charged with protecting the american people. the department of homeland security was born from bravery. our forefathers and mothers are firefighters who rushed into burning buildings. who are first responders carried victims out of skyscrapers that crumbled around them. who are airline passengers rushed into pockets to save the lives of strangers who they would never now. these are the people who truly founded dhs. i am proud to say that the men i will lead are worthy of this heritage. many of the successes i discussed this morning and our plans to the future -- for the future are due to the
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department. many of whom are sitting in the front row here. let's give them a round of applause. [applause] secretary nielsen: i think they would agree with me that the real credit looks to each one of the men, women and their amylase they would defend our homeland at the tip of the spear to all of our employees, i want to say thank you. you arer forbearers, brave, your patriots and you are an inspiration to the entire country. thank you all for being here today. may god bless each of you and may god bless the united states of america. [applause] >> madame secretary. secretary nielsen: thank you. >> thank you for the awesome
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overview of the risks we face and what the women and the men of the department are doing to ameliorate the threat and build resilience is our community. it is a whole gamut of issues. i think the department possible is one of the most difficult in the united states. i would like to start with some of the most recent threats we saw play out in new zealand. ancan use that as opportunity to discuss a little bit more of what the department to help the problems that they are facing. maybe a little bit on how important the five guys relationship is from a dhs perspective. beyond just the intelligence community but also from the security community. then, to add a third question that, a bit of a preview of the terrorism summit you will be
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hosting later this summer and how it all comes together. secretary nielsen: in no particular order, the relationship with the five eyes is strong. we spend more and more time talking about domestic terrorism and more and more time talking about different threads in the cyber realm. anduding child explication the new ways predators can exploit them. we also talk about the importance and what it means freedom. freedom together, freedom to whether that be at church or sporting events or in a mosque. sharing, we are working on best practices. we are working very closely with the private sector to pulldown content from the internet.
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this is the whole of the society that we mentioned. how do we break down everybody together? multidisciplinary, every walk of life to understand perspectives not only prevent radicalization but to perhaps provide off ramps to find other ways that those who might otherwise choose violence to be able to express themselves. those partnerships are key but i hope everyone will join us, we want to hear from everybody and learn from the different insights and experiences. >> i will use that as a launchpad to look at the elections and some of the lessons we learn from 2018, what that could mean for 2020. you discussed the partnership on counterterrorism related efforts in terms of working with social media. how does that playing with foreign interference? you seem countries other than
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moscow or russia where the head? are they engaging themselves? secretary nielsen: i think the unfortunate downside of the publicity, what the russians did in 2016 with respect to foreign interference -- other nations have adopted a more visible approach to doing the same. we see china during that, we see iran doing that. it is depending on where you are in the globe. there are differences there. it is a real and pernicious threat. we are working with the private sector on that. education area where for citizens is also very important. to helpnew initiatives
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americans become more media savvy. if you know your news is from sputnik, you should think twice. that has been directed directly from the kremlin. you should put that in perspective as you want to weigh how you interpret it and believe it. >> looking at that particular set of issues. looking at how they are handling all of the various forms, i think you rightly said it in your remarks, they are trying to get inside the supply chain to influence events. where do you see the nationstate particular, and in i would be very curious, the department of all that security took a very strong position on conspiracy. --
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when i look at 5g, that seems to be at the heart of it all. and on butn is on there are some legitimate risks. secretary nielsen: here's what i would say. the nationstates may have slightly different motives than china and russia but they are approach.fferent with china it is not just technological. it is cannibalistic in nature. they come, they offer a cheap opportunity but the goal of that loan is to hold that country hostage. it's a very different kind of threat we -- then we have seen in the past. when it comes to the technology, they are using companies as a forward deployed force to actually eat away at our security from the inside,
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from the supply chain. we have a variety of programs underway like the ict task force, we are working on a new federal acquisition council. we are really trying to assess where the risks are and make sure they are owned. each individual has to make their own judgments but because we have a weak link in ciber, what we hope to do is to identify these vulnerabilities, take them out whenever we can within dhs a 30 ensure the average consumer, average american really understands what they're up against which is a nationstate. frank cilluffo: let's use that theme to jump to emerging threats. when we think of some of the new authorities the department has to counter uas or vehicles and the like, what should we be worried about
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their? what is the department doing to enhance some of our security protocols and measures? particularly, some lessons learned for maybe the most national security special event with the super bowl in atlanta, whether or not you sought to experiment with new technologies, new procedures and how successful they have been. crowded spaces in stadiums will always be at the top list of risk and threat whether it's an pace -- in places of threats or rock concerts are stadiums. what should we be thinking about there? dir. nielsen: drones are a great example of where technology itself is not good or bad. we use drones in the department. we use them for disaster response. we use them to help us understand threats on the southern border. many states use them to help fight fires. the flipside is that an interfering
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actor can take an otherwise ubiquitous technology and use it against us. we see them dropping phones into prisons, we see them smuggling drugs across the border, we see them surveilling, disrupting our technology. you have seen the cases out of asia where drones fly by a multistory building, mimic their printer and so everything you print is captured by the drone. a difficult threat to cover because of our open society in the united states. we are working closely with the fbi and defense department to make sure we have the technology to address this in a civilian arena. we did try out some new defenses during the super bowl and we saw drones over the super bowl. great credit to the city, to the nfl for partnering closely with us. i think all would say we had a very good effort but continuing to understand how that threat is being used and to develop particular mitigation and
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countermeasures is important. as far as 5g, i could say the same and we don't yet understand what it will be. it is truly a next-generation technology. it will enable automation, smart cities, capabilities we cannot yet conceive of. there will be a huge positive side to that but we have to understand the potential vulnerabilities. frank cilluffo: and the attack surface growth exponentially. that could be a problem. i will ask one more cyber question and get to some of the northern triangle border questions. where do you see the department of homeland security fitting into the broader deterrent question? it is a pet rock of my.
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there are consequences for bad behavior, you will see more and more bad behavior. i think we are starting to levy consequences in terms of prosecutions and indictments and naming and shaming which i think is very important in limiting people's ability to travel. i sometimes feel we don't have the offense of coordinator community -- communicating with the defensive coordinator. where does the department fit into that and more broadly speaking, the u.s. government approach to dissuading, disturbing just a touring and capturing bad cyber behavior. dir. nielsen: without consequences, there is no deterrent. that is the basis of law enforcement. as you say, we are using financial, we are using diplomatic, we are using any sanction and the toolbox. at dhs, we will use finding operational directives when needed to take particular companies or technology out of
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the federal system. then we will do all we can to encourage the private sector to do the same. i think it needs to be coordinated, as you describe. i signed the first ever mlu department of defense that has really helped us smit together -- knit together and leverage each other's capabilities -- help us connect together and leverage each other's abilities. we help bring what the department knows to the private sector as well. should anything happen, we're right there ready to respond search identified and ready to go. frank: i think the last stop between dhs and dod is already yielding some positive results so kudos on that. let's go to the northern triangle and if you can give sort of a snapshot or situation report of what playing -- what is playing out there in the western hemisphere. and also, where do you see the
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threat going from here? is it going to get worse? is it going to improve? on the counter narcotics side, illegal immigration is a concern. you have been leaning forward and i would be curious to hear what your thoughts are. dir. nielsen: i think what we are trying to do is lean forward on drugs, on trafficking, and smuggling and exploitation of the vulnerable populations. unfortunately we see all of that , growing. the tco smugglers are not humanitarians and business is booming so we have to find ways with our partners to take them down. it involves removing their marketplaces from the dark web, it means eliminating the middleman who provide id's, travel patterns, information and the actual contraband itself. it's a very decentralized approach these days. we need to take down the entire network.
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triangle countries are willing to help and they see the threat perhaps in a more pronounced way than we do. whenever i speak to them, the two main things they raise is what they refer to as extra continentals. we might refer to them as special interest aliens but those who have patterns, travel patterns that are suspicious like that of a terrorist. they are from the middle east or from africa to the northern triangle countries. it does not make sense why they would be traveling to a country in south america and then traveling all the way up for the purposes of seeking asylum. it's very concerning to them. we are working closely with them and through this compact where we share information so we all know they are traveling and hopefully understand what their intent is. the other half of the humanitarian side, the focus in
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particular for them is women and children. the governments have said that they want their children back. they want to welcome their children home to their families and their communities. if you are a non-mexican child, the law does not allow the department of homeland security to send the children home. we have to keep them in the u.s., put them in hhs care and hhs does the human work of providing a suitable and six sponsor. the countries themselves want their young to come back and build their countries. they have asked us to change our laws, so we do not put children at risk. frank: madam secretary, i think we have time for another question. in terms of some of their cooperation with the private sector for my critical infrastructure perspective, you mentioned the new national risk management center and i think the focus on lifeline sectors is
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a very smart way to go, not to suggest that if everything is critical, nothing is but the reality is, they are all very important. but some from a public safety/national security and economic security perspective are more critical than others. i would be curious where you see that going and ultimately, they are on the front lines of this war. in addition to sharing more information, do you see more combined cooperation between some of the most critical infrastructure owner/operators in the department? sisa is also yielding fruit, it's more than just a name change and i would be curious where you see that going? you come to the job with amazing expertise on the cyber side. what surprised you on that side? dir. nielsen: we really need to do more, we need to take it to
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the next level. i think we have been through the let's partner. we have been through the work share information. we even have built the countermeasures to mitigate the vulnerability of the information we provide but now we need to operationalize this partnership. we need to stand shoulder to shoulder and not just in response which we often do in many of but on the front and. =-- end. tsa, coast guard, most of our components already have substantial presence throughout united states and the world. we have 2000 dhs deployed around the world. we need to be with them to understand what our partners need best. it needs to be requirement driven in the best way to partner is how to prevent, assess, identify. i
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believe, sometimes faster than we, they can identify the emerging threats. this is what's emerging from a logical -- technological perspective. this is how we can use it but here are the security vulnerabilities that open up. how do we build that him? and -- build that in? even private citizens. in this day and age, every citizen is on the front line. it's so much more than sandbagging. you now have to think about how you use your data and how it's stored. don't fall for a phishing attack. frank a vast majority of attacks start with phishing. dir. nielsen: they go to extreme relax to look like just to make an email look like one that your daughter received.
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frank: i have two more minutes. i would be curious on the fema front. obviously, you have seen a rash of devastating events including on the auburn campus and its often general burgess who welcomes you. his home was one of those and fortunately it was safe but many others not so. where do you see fema retooling themselves? you talk about strategic resilience, i would be curious what that looks like. -- preventrmit mother nature but we can build more resilient communities, families, and individuals. i would be curious where you see that going. dir. nielsen: i think with fema
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has been doing, kudos to administrator long, pete now. the vision is very strong within fema and it's truly about how we can prepare citizens, how can we make them resilient will. that's -- resilient. that's a different way than just doing with the response. we do the response quite well but it's pushing it all left so how can we better prepare? to prevent and mitigate, how can we think about the assistance, the tools, the training to ensure that is also pushed to the left. when we think of school safety which fema along , with much of the department is involved in, it's giving tools to those who live in a school environment to not only understand different options for hardening the building but for techniques and stop the bleeding. let's train people who we think will be first responses so that they are better able to help their neighbors. resilience is comprehensive. it's not just one thing. it's thinking through
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raising the baseline. security and resilience, to ensure that you've opted into the alert warnings in your environment. do you know which school officials to listen to during an emergency? do you know what threats will happen in your area? get smart, spend the time and be ready. mr. cilluffo: the very last question on the aviation side to -- you're a very original plank holder, where do you see the aviation threat going? looking ahead, what would tsa be doing to lessen the burden also technology changes in human nature remains consistent, understanding where these pieces come together. dir. nielsen: there are so many components. because the tsa did
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their job so well, they're often not recognized for it. they have done so much to enhance security over the last two years. >> it really is night and day. dir. nielsen: to meet the emerging threats and not just within the united states but the partnership and effort that has gone into ensuring the security enhancements were shared throughout the world have been astonishing. a lot of modeling, a lot of r&d and understanding the new threats as they of all. we are deploying -- as they evolve. there is a lot of next generation. you can really understand what you are looking at. insider threats, dogs, looking at his traveling. -- who is traveling.
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dir. nielsen: everyone loves the dogs. madam secretary, thank you for a phenomenal overview of what keeps you up at night and the rest of us can sleep a little better since you are on the job, on the ball. we at auburn university i think have an opportunity but more importantly, a responsibility to contribute to our national ourrity, to contribute to homeland security and stan way to help anyway we can. madam secretary, thank you for your leadership and thank you for joining us. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> coming up this afternoon on c-span, we believe your from the president and ceo of the federal reserve bank of new york. he addressed the economic club of new york earlier this month. from capitol hill, top executives of t-mobile and sprint discussed the impact of the proposed merger. first, let's check in on the road to the white house. earlier today, democratic presidential hopeful beto o'ro urke announced his campaign raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of the campaign. it sets a record for the cycle, "topping the $5.9 million one day total senator bernie sanders announced after he announced his campaign." over the weekend, kirsten gillibrand also entered the 2020 race. here is a look at the video her campaign released online.