DOJ establishes Cyber-Digital Task Force to address cyberthreats

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The Office of the Attorney General at the Department of Justice established a Cyber-Digital Task Force Feb. 16 to study how federal law enforcement can address the "malicious use of technology."

The task force will evaluate and develop strategies to combat threats such as efforts to interfere with critical infrastructure and U.S. elections, use of the internet to "spread violent ideologies and to recruit followers," and the "weaponizing" of consumer devices.

"While computers, smart devices and other chip-enabled machines — as well as the networks that connect them — have enriched our lives and have driven our economy, the malign use of these technologies harms our government, victimizes consumers and businesses and endangers public safety and national security," reads an Attorney General memorandum released Feb. 16.

The Cyber-Digital Task Force will comprise representatives from the Criminal Division, the National Security Division, the Office of Legal Policy, the Office of the CIO and the FBI, among other agencies. The Deputy Attorney General will appoint a senior DOJ official to chair the task force.

The task force's first assignment will be to compile an initial report on the DOJ's current "cyber-related activities." The report, which will also comprise an initial set of recommendations, is due to the Attorney General no later than June 30.

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