Chairman Royce Announces Hearing on Russia’s ‘Weaponization’ of Information

Apr 9, 2015

Hearing to Focus on Russia’s Disinformation Strategy and the U.S. Response

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced the Committee will convene a hearing to examine Russia’s use of media to destabilize Ukraine, Eastern Europe and beyond, and the U.S. government’s inability to respond effectively.  The hearing, entitled “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information,” will be held on Wednesday, April 15th at 10:00 a.m. in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building.

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “For years, Putin has used the Russian media to consolidate power at home and divide societies abroad.  The strategies employed today by the Kremlin are highly sophisticated and well-funded with an estimated annual budget of more than $600 million.  Russia’s media machine has polluted the media environment, the truth is lost, listeners don’t know whom to believe, and fear divides society.  Unfortunately, the U.S. has been slow to respond to this challenge and the agency charged with leading the effort – the Broadcasting Board of Governors – has a well-documented history of dysfunction.  We need to reform the BBG if we are to have a chance against this ‘weaponization’ of information.”

Note: During the 113th Congress, Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel introduced “The U.S. International Communications Reform Act of 2014” (H.R. 4490) which passed the House unanimously.  H.R. 4490 proposed to overhaul the Broadcasting Board of Governors, create cost savings, and increase agency efficiency.  This legislation will be reintroduced in the coming weeks.   

What:
Hearing: “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information”

When:
10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 15

Where:
2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses:
Mr. Peter Pomerantsev
Senior Fellow
The Legatum Institute

Ms. Helle C. Dale
Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy
The Heritage Foundation

Ms. Elizabeth Wahl
Former RT Anchor
Freelance Journalist/Public Speaker

***See www.foreignaffairs.house.gov for updates.

***Coverage note:  All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.

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