Jeff Seldin Profile picture
Mar 8 60 tweets 38 min read
Happening now: US Senate's Annual Worldwide Threats with:

@ODNIgov Dir Avril Haines
@CIA Dir William Burns
@DefenseIntel Dir LtGen Scott Berrier
@CYBERCOM_DIRNSA Gen Paul Nakasone
@FBI Dir Christopher Wray…
"We are increasingly seeing rising competition in the technology space with authoritarian regimes that are challenging democratic norms at home & around the world," per Senate Intel Committee chair @MarkWarner
#China's communist party "is now a near-peer competitor with the United States in its economy, technology & military capabilities" per @MarkWarner
"Today you will undoubtedly be asked about the IC’s assessments on the origins of #COVID19" per @MarkWarner

"It is entirely fair for us to ask whether the virus that has killed 6.8 million people – so far – might have been accidentally released from a lab in #Wuhan"
#Russia-#Ukraine: "I hope that we will hear from the IC assessment the trajectory of this bloody conflict, what we think the end game will be, while preserving Ukraine’s indisputable right to exist as a sovereign nation" per @MarkWarner
Warning from @MarkWarner to US intel leaders: "We still have unfinished business regarding the classified documents that we need to see in order for this Intelligence Committee to effectively oversee its job on intelligence oversights"
"It's clear there's not going to be any convergence of values. It's clear that globalization led to the rise of #China" per Senate Intel Committee Vice Chair @marcorubio

"But it also deindustrialized America, created long & vulnerable supply chains"
"Threats - there are no shortages of them: #China #Russia #Iran #NorthKorea global terrorism, narco terrorists operating just off, across our border"
per @marcorubio
"The greatest threat facing America is not another country. It is whether or not we have the ability & the willingness to adequately asses & appropriately adapt our foreign & domestic policies" per @marcorubio
"We've relied on our power advantages & we've forgotten what its like to live in a world with near-peer competitors" per @marcorubio
The annual worldwide threats report is live:

"The United States & its allies will confront a complex & pivotal int'lsecurity environment dominated by 2 critical strategic challenges that intersect w/each other & existing trends to intensify their nat'l security implications"
"Great powers, rising regional powers, as well as an evolving array of non-state actors, will vie for dominance" per the report "Shared global challenges, including climate change, & human and health security, are converging..."…
"The Peoples republic of #China, which is increasingly challenging the #UnitedStates economically, technologically, politically, & militarily around the world remains our unparalleled challenge" per @ODNIgov Dir Avril Haines Image
#China "will continue efforts to achieve [President] Xi's vision of making China the preeminent power in East Asia & a major power on the world stage" per DNI Haines
"The CCP is increasingly convinced that it can only do so [achieve Xi's vision] at the expense of US power and influence" per @ODNIgov's Haines
"We assess that during the course of #Xi's 3rd term they will together attempt to press #Taiwan on unification, undercut US influce, which they perceive as a threat, & drive wedges between the US & its partners" per @ODNIgov's Haines on #China
.@ODNIgov assesses recent speeches by #Chia's Xi reflects "growing pessimism" abut relations with the US, per DNI Haines

BUT US also assesses "#Beijing believes it benefits most from prevent a spiraling of tensions & preserving stability in its relationship w/the UnitedStates"
President #Xi "wants a period of relative calm to give #China the time & stability it needs to address growing domestic difficulties" per @ODNIgov's Haines
#China's domestic economic development "not assured" per @ODNIgov's Haines

"China's long-term economic growth will continue to decelerate bcs China's era of rapid, catch-up growth is ending..."
#China now "our most serious & consequential intelligence rival" per @ODNIgov's Haines

Haines also warns of China's "deepening collaboration w/#Russia"
#Russia-#Ukraine: "On the battlefield there is currently a grinding, attritional war in which neither side has a definitive military advantage" per @ODNIgov's Haines

'The day-to-day fighting is over hundreds of meters currently focused largely in #Donetsk ..."
"The #Russia|ns are making incremental progress in #Bakhmut is which is a particularly strategic objective but are otherwise facing considerable constraints, including personnel & ammunition shortages... morale challeneges" per @ODNIgov's Haines
#Russia "suffering high casualty rates" per @ODNIgov's Haines

"Putin is likely better understanding the limits of what his military is capable of achieving & appears to be focused on more modest military objectives for now"
"If #Russia doe snot institute a mandatory mobilization & identify substantial 3rd part ammunition supplies it will be increasingly challenging for them to sustain even the current level of offensive operations...." per @ODNIgov's Haines
#Russia "may fully shift to holding and defending the terroritory they currently occupy" per @ODNIgov's Haines

"We don't see the Russian military recovering enough this year to make major territorial gains"
Despite problems, "#Putin most likely calculates that time works in his favor & that prolonging the war, including w/potential pauses int he fighting, may be his best remaining pathway...eve if it takes years" per @ODNIgov's Haines
#Ukraine facing challenges-"The extent to which Ukrainian forces having to draw their their reserves & equipment, as well as suffer further casualties, will all likely factor into Ukraine's ability to go on the offensive later this spring" per @ODNIgov's Haines
#Russia's nuclear saber rattling: "Out analysts assess his current posture is intended to deter the West from providing additional support to #Ukraine" per @ODNIgov's Haines
#Russia's #Putin "will still remain confident that Russia can eventually militarily defeat #Ukraine & wants to prevent Western support from tipping the balance & forcing a conflict w/@NATO" per @ODNIgov's Haines
"#Russia & its proxy groups are almost certainly using filtration operations to detain & forcibly deport tens of thousands of #Ukrainian civilian to #Russia" per @ODNIgov's Haines
Bcs of the war, "#Moscow has suffered losses that will require years of rebuilding & leave it less capable of posing a conventional military threat to #Europe & operating assertively in #Eurasia & on the global stage" per @ODNIgov's Haines
"#Russia will become even more reliant on asymmetric options such as #nuclear, #cyber, #space capabilities - and on #China" per @ODNIgov's Haines
#Iran - "no longer constrained by #JCPOA limits & has undertaken research & development activities that would bring it closer to producing the fissile material necessary for completing a nuclear device following a decision to do so" per @ODNIgov's Haines
#NorthKorea "a proliferation concern as it continues it efforts to steadily expand & enhance its nuclear & conventional capabilities" per @ODNIgov's Haines
"Throughout the world, countries are struggling to maintain democratic systems & prevent the rise of authoritarians, in some cases bcs #Russia & #China are helping autocrats take or hold power" per @ODNIgov's Haines
Threat from tech - "New technologies particularly in the field of AI & biotechnologies are being developed & proliferated faster than companies & gvts are able shape norms governing their use...& prevent dangerous outcomes" per @ODNIgov's Haines
.@ODNIgov's Haines urges lawmakers to reauthorize #FISA Section 702

"Section 702 is relied upon in gathering intelligence that was used to put together this assessment & is hard to overestimate the importance of this authority or our work across the board"
"Technology & economic security have become inextricably intertwined w/nat'l security" per @FBI Dir Christopher Wray

"if you look at what the Chinese are trying to steal-that's where it is"
"Too many of our corporate world still believes that these collaboration inside of #China are benign" per Senate Intel Comm Chair @MarkWarner

"This is an ongoing challenge"
Senate Intel Comm's @marcorubio asks if #China thru #TikTok owner ByteDance, "control data on millions of users"

@FBI's Wray: "Yes"

Rubio: "...control the software on millions of devices..."

Wray: "Yes"

Rubio: " drive narratives to divide Americans..."

Wray: "Yes"
"On the last one, in particular, we're not sure we would see many of the outward signs of it" per @FBI's Wray
"I would argue its probably one of the most valuable surveillance tools on the planet" per @marcorubio on #TikTok

"And we've invited them in..."
#COVID19-"The @FBI has long assessed going back t the summer of 2021 that the origin of the pandemic was likely a lab incident in #Wuhan" per Dir Wray
"There's a board consensus in the intelligence community that the outbreak is not the result of a bioweapon or genetic engineering" per @ODNIgov's Haines

But no consensus on whether pandemic started as lab leak or exposure to infected animal
"We've been trying to collect additional information" per @ODNIgov's Haines

Notes #China has not been cooperative
#Afghanistan - "Based on what we know right now from the threat of #alQaida, they're trying t survive basically without a real plan or intent to attack the West anytime soon" per @DefenseIntel chief LtGen Scott Berrier

#ISIS-#Khorasan "poses a bit of a larger threat..."
"But they [#ISIS-#Khorasan] are under attack from the #Taliban regime right now & it's a matter of time before they may have the ability & intent to attack the West" per @DefenseIntel's Berrier
"We do see a challenged #ISIS-K" in #Afghanistan, per @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA, agreeing with @DefenseIntel assessment
.@SenTomCotton takes issue w/US intel assessment that Transnational Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists "continue to pose the most lethal threat to U.S. persons and interests"

"Are you serious?" he asks @ODNIgov's Haines Image
"You seriously think that Racially & Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists are the most lethal threat that Americans face" @SenTomCotton asks

"Yes, sir" per @ODNIgov Dir Haines "In terms of the number of ppl killed or wounded as a consequence"
.@SenTomCotton says hasn't #fentanyl killed more Americans - over 100,000

DNI Haines replies, Racially & Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists are "not being compared against fentanyl in that statement. It's in the context of terrorist threats"
#China-supply chain threat: "It's not just simply abt China trying to create indigenous supply chains but actually to control global supply chains' per @ODNIgov's Haines
"You can see it also...not only in their decisions abt what they're purchasing & how they're managing it but also the laws they pass..." per DNI Haines
"... that give them the capability, for example w/rare earth elements, to actually turn the dial on they're export & import policies so they can actually create that pressure" per DNI Haines
#Russia - #China relationship, "It is continuing to deepen" per @ODNIgov's Haines

"There are some limitations on where we see they would go in the partnership-we' don't see them becoming allies they way we are with allies in @NATO"
NEW: #China aid for #Russia in #Ukraine - "We do see them providing assistance to Russia in the context of the conflict" per DNI Haines

"We see them in a situation where they've become increasingly uncomfortable abt the level of assistance & not looking to do it as publicly"
DNI Haines says she can talk more about #China's aid to #Russia during the classified/behind closed doors part of the hearing
#China in #cyberspace-"We see an increasing degree of risk taking that they've undergone in regards to stealing our intellectual property, even increasing heir influence operations" per @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA "These are concerning"
#Russia in #cyberspace: "We still see them & we see them very accurately & being able to warn & being able to counteract some of the things that they're doing around the world" per @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA

"We know them very very well... We still are able to stay ahead of them"
Interesting - @CIA Dir William Burns says #FISA Section 702 "has helped us in some successful actions recently" against the #Sinaloa Cartel & against #Fentanyl production

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More from @jseldin

Mar 7
#Russia #cyber ops in the war on #Ukraine - "We continue full spectrum operations w/a series of partners to include Ukraine to provide them assistance as they battle the Russians" @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA Gen Paul Nakasone tells lawmakers
#Russia "a very capable [#cyber] adversary" per @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA "We continue to work very tightly w/our other partners within the US gvt -CISA, @FBI- to ensure our US critical infrastructure is protected, and @NATO in general"

“If the conflict continues to not go well for #Russia, there is some chance that Russia will be increasingly brazen in its cyberattacks” an NSA spox told @VOANews “...will increasingly look outside of Ukraine's territorial borders"…
Read 22 tweets
Mar 2
NEW: 2 US citizens arrested for conspiring to evade export laws & provide #Russia|n companies with aircraft electronics aka avionics

Per @TheJusticeDept, 59yo Cyril Buyanovsky & 55yo Douglas Robertson of #Kansas even did repairs for Russia's Federal Security Services (FSB)
"The defendants concealed the true end user & end destination by providing a fraudulent invoice to the shipment company identifying the end destination as Germany" per @TheJusticeDept on the repairs done for #Russia's FSB
Per @TheJusticeDept, Buyanovsky & Roberston used their company, KanRus Trading Company, to evade the laws prohibiting the export of certain technologies to #Russia following the invasion of #Ukraine
Read 4 tweets
Mar 2
#China's spy balloon - "This was a surveillance balloon is equipment that is inconsistent w/weather balloons" per @ASD_IndoPacific Ely Ratner, speaking at @HudsonInstitute

We "have not heard a plausible explanation for this activity" from the PRC, he adds
US deterrence vs #NorthKorea "is to deter agression & deter conflict" per @ASD_IndoPacific

"It's not to deter Kim Jong Un from killing a bunch of fish with his missiles"
"We're focused on readiness. We're focused on deterrence. We're focused on ensuring that Kim Jong Un doesn't take risks that go way beyond his capacity" per @ASD_IndoPacific

re #DPRK
Read 9 tweets
Mar 1
BREAKING: US intelligence concludes "very unlikely" a foreign adversary is responsible for so-called anomalous health incidents (#AHI), aka #HavanaSyndrome, per just-released assessment

Assessment based on of 7 key US intelligence agecnies, noting various levels of confidence
Per just released US intel assessment ruling out foreign adversaries as cause of #AHI / #HavanaSyndrome:

2 - moderate to high confidence
3 - moderate confidence
2 - low confidence, calling it "unlikely" but noting some intelligence gaps
"There's no credible evidence that a foreign adversary has a weapon or a collection systems that caused AHIs" per an intelligence official familiar w/the report who spoke on the condition of anonymity
Read 11 tweets
Mar 1
NEW: @FBI believes the origins of the #COVID19 #coronavirus pandemic "most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan" per Director Christopher Wray
This first public comments from @FBI's Wray on the origins of #COVID19 comes just days after the @WSJ reported the @ENERGY Dept concluded with "low confidence" the virus spread as a result of a lab leak
The @FBI's assessment of the origins of #COVID19 are in line w/one of the two main hypotheses from the US intelligence community - first shared in August 2021
Read 8 tweets
Feb 28
US cybersecurity officials are calling for tech & software companies to step up

"The risk introduced to all of us by unsafe technology is frankly much more dangerous and pervasive than the [#China] spy balloon" @CISAJen said Monday…
While speaking at @CarnegieMellon, @CISAJen praised some companies for making security - & the use of multifactor authentication a priority

But she said MFA efforts by @Microsoft @Twitter were "disappointing"
@Mircosoft Tuesday pushing back on the @CISAgov narrative

"Advancing the security posture of our customers is one of Microsoft’s top priorities" the company said in a statement to @VOANews

"We provide MFA defenses at no additional cost for our consumer & enterprise customers"
Read 4 tweets

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