June 06, 2017

VIDEO: Secretary Kelly Commits to Exploring DHS Bug Bounty Program Proposed by Senators Hassan and Portman

Senator Hassan Also Pushes Secretary Kelly on Trump Budget that Overlooks Northern Border, Maritime Security Needs; Requests Update on Work of Trump Administration’s Opioid Commission

HSGAC Hearing 6.6.17

Click here for video of Senator Hassan’s questioning during the committee hearing.

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) participated in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, where she urged Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, to commit to exploring the implementation of a bug bounty program at the Department of Homeland Security through the bipartisan Hack DHS Act, which Senators Hassan, Rob Portman (R-OH), and others introduced last week to strengthen cyber defenses at the Department of Homeland Security.

Senator Hassan urged, “A little over a week ago, Senator Portman and I, along with others on this committee, introduced the Hack DHS Act. That bill would instruct DHS to hold a pilot program to allow hackers to probe DHS’ systems for vulnerabilities and report them to DHS. In return, DHS would pay the hackers a small sum of money for each vulnerability they discover and report…would you just commit to taking a hard look at those bills and seeing what the Department thinks of them?” Secretary Kelly responded, “Senator, absolutely we will.”

Senator Hassan also discussed her visit last week to the U.S. Border Patrol Station at the Northern Border in New Hampshire, stating, “The men and women at the [Border Patrol] Station are working overtime and on a shoestring budget to secure our Northern Border, including intercepting human traffickers and preventing narcotics smuggling. I think they’re doing an incredible job with truly limited resources, but they really need more support,” Senator Hassan explained. Secretary Kelly’s response downplayed the security needs of the Northern Border and declined to commit to provide further resources for shoring up the Northern Border. 

The Senator also emphasized how President Trump’s reckless budget proposal slashes funding for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Coast Guard, both of which are essential to keeping Granite Staters and Americans safe and secure. Senator Hassan said, “This budget tells me that your priority is to secure the Southern Border and that fighting off all other threats is secondary. I certainly support securing the Southern Border and reducing narcotics trafficking, but this budget presents really, I think, a false choice. We can and should secure the southern border, and also secure our other land, sea, and air borders as well.”

Senator Hassan also requested an update on the work of the President’s Opioid Commission of which Secretary Kelly is a member. While Secretary Kelly’s comments underscored the severity of the problem, Senator Hassan made clear that the policies put forward by the Trump Administration so far would hurt efforts to combat the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis.