Department of Justice creates Cybersecurity Task Force

Elias Hubbard
February 21, 2018

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions pauses during a Public Safety Medal of Valor award ceremony at the East Room of the White House February 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.

The group comprises representatives from the Justice Department's Criminal and National Security divisions; offices of Legal Policy, Privacy and Civil Liberties, and Chief Information Officer; United States Attorney's Offices; and the ATF, FBI, DEA, and the U.S. Marshals Service, according to the announcement. Sessions stated the dangers of the internet and the "tools" it has provided criminals in interfering with the USA government.

"The Internet has given us unbelievable new tools that help us work, communicate, and participate in our economy, but these tools can also be exploited by criminals, terrorists, and enemy governments".

Much of the work Sessions described Tuesday is being done in other parts of the government and within the Justice Department, but the attorney general said the task force would "canvass" those efforts and identify "how federal law enforcement can more effectively" combat the threats.

Some security experts expressed skepticism about the task force, saying it lacked focus or a clear mission goal.

US intelligence officials have said Russian Federation believes it successfully undermined USA democracy in the 2016 presidential election and would try again.

The creation of the task force comes on the heels of Special Counsel Robert Muller's February 16 indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three organizations for conspiring to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the Russian cyber threat, and called Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between his campaign and Moscow a "witch hunt".

Mueller's inquiry into Russia's interference, meanwhile, is continuing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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