As we near the 10-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and are keeping a close eye on countries across the Arab world undergoing significant changes in their quest for democracy, the House Intelligence Committee continues to be engaged in work critical to our nation's security.
In January, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was tapped to continue serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and today he was named Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical (T & T) Intelligence. T & T oversees the technical aspects of intelligence gathering, including space-based assets, as well as cyber security. T & T also has primary oversight over the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial Agency and other military intelligence programs.
"I am grateful for the continuing opportunity to serve on the Intelligence Committee, and I will be honored to serve as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence," Rep. Schiff said. "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, are appropriately staffed, operating within the law and with maximum effectiveness when it comes to space and cyber security."
Satellites play a critical role in our intelligence agencies, because their images can be used to track suspected terrorists around the world and stop future attacks. Satellites provide real-time data to our troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and allow us to monitor important global developments.
Cyber networks don't just power our cell phones and iPads; they keep our electric grid running, secure the banking world, protect our water supply, and operate our classified military and intelligence systems.
Since coming to Congress, Rep. Schiff has advanced efforts to ensure the safety of all Americans by working to improve our intelligence gathering, implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations, and working to revamp the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
In 2007, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Rep. Schiff to the new House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel. The following year, he was also appointed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which also drafts the laws that govern the intelligence agencies operations. That committee is also responsible for overseeing the 16 agencies that comprise the intelligence community, which include components of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State and Energy.