By Mary O’KEEFE
Congressman Adam Schiff continues to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and has recently been named as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee of Technical and Tactical Intelligence.
The Technical and Tactical Intelligence Subcommittee oversees the workings of CIA and military spy satellites, and programs that intercept and decipher electronic signals.
Since being elected to Congress in 2000, Schiff has worked to ensure the safety of Americans by improving intelligence gathering.
Shortly after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York on Sept. 11, 2001 Schiff supported the creation of a 9/11 Commission and the implementations of the commission’s recommendations.
Schiff said the recent events in Egypt was an example of how technology has changed how information is gathered and shared. However that same type of technology can bring to light information that can put many in danger.
“The WikiLeaks [release] created a problem,” Schiff said.
WikiLeaks released highly sensitive State Department cables that gave a glimpse into the world of diplomacy and inside government discussions.
Schiff said he understood the line between freedom of the press and information that is sensitive to the country’s defense.
“I chaired the [Congressional Caucus for] Freedom of the Press,” Schiff added.
In 2006 Schiff co-founded the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press. The bipartisan bicameral caucus is co-chaired by Representatives Schiff and Mike Pence (R-IN) and Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN). It aims to advance press freedom around the world by creating a forum to combat and condemn media censorship and the persecution of journalists around the world.
“The information released [by WikiLeaks] can be very dangerous. It can cost people their lives,” he said. “It can be very devastating.”
Schiff said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Intelligence Committee and as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence.
“In the face of national security challenges of both today and tomorrow, good intelligence is the best defense. My top priority as Ranking Member will be ensuring that our world-class scientists, researchers, engineers, who work to improve our technological capabilities, area appropriately staffed, operating within the law and with maximum effectiveness when it comes to space and cyber security,” Schiff said.