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DOJ establishes cyber-digital task force

In an effort to better understand how law enforcement can fight criminal cyber activity, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Feb. 20 ordered the creation of a cyber-digital task force at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The task force will canvass how the department is currently combating global cyberthreats, and will also identify how federal law enforcement can more effectively confront these threats and operate in this evolving area. The task force will be responsible for issuing its first report by the end of June.

Sessions specifically asked the group to look into efforts to interfere with U.S. elections; threats to critical infrastructure; the use of the internet to spread violent ideologies and to recruit followers; the mass theft of corporate, governmental and private information; the use of technology to avoid or frustrate law enforcement; and the mass exploitation of computers and other digital devices to attack American citizens and businesses.

The task force will be chaired by a senior department official appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It will consist of representatives from the department's criminal division, the national security division, the U.S. Attorney's office community, the office of legal policy, the office of privacy and civil liberties, the office of the chief information officer, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service. Rosenstein can also invite representatives from other agencies and establish subcommittees.