Several House committees want an unclassified report from President Barack Obama on the damage to U.S. spy operations wrought by the historic breach of federal employee background investigations.
The U.S. government has committed to spending $330 million on anti-fraud protections for the 21.5 million victims whose Social Security numbers were compromised. Agencies have warned about risks to these individuals’ financial security. But little has been said about the national security threats posed by the unprecedented exposure of personnel records.
The House version of the 2016 Intelligence Authorization Act would change that within four months of enactment.
Under the bill sent to the floor on Monday, the president must deliver a report covering the effects of the cyber intrusion “on each element of the intelligence community.”
The rundown must include U.S. operations overseas that have been “entirely suspended” or disrupted as a result of hacks at the Office of Personnel Management allegedly perpetrated by China-sponsored cybersnoops.
Obama would have to explain how foreign agents might use the stolen data to put federal employees, their families and their friends in “compromising” positions that could expose sensitive national security information.
The report also must describe the impact of the hack on U.S. foreign policy decisionmaking.
In addition, it would lay out how foreigners can exploit the stolen files for “recruiting intelligence assets” — in other words, for turning U.S. operatives into traitors.
The proposal allows the administration to submit a classified annex to the unclassified report.
The legislation also calls for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to brief congressional intelligence…