With cyber threats on the rise, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has established a task force within the Justice Department to review the department’s current capabilities and needs in cyber security.

Sessions directed the Cyber-Digital Task Force to provide an initial report by June 30 on the department’s existing activities and for initial recommendations.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo: Department of Justice
Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo: Department of Justice

“The Internet has given us amazing 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,” he said in a statement. The task force will advise him “on the most effective ways that this department can confront these threats and keep the American people safe.”

Among the top threat areas and related strategies the task force will focus on are critical infrastructure, elections security, the use of the Internet for radicalization and messaging of “violent ideologies,” corporate, government and personal espionage, the use of technology to avoid law enforcement, and the use of computers and personal electronic devices to launch cyber-attacks, according to Sessions’ Feb. 16 memo establishing the task force. The Justice Department released the memo on Tuesday.

The memo says that the Deputy Attorney General will appoint a director of the task force, with membership from the Criminal and National Security Divisions, the offices of Community, Chief Information Officer, Legal Policy, and Privacy and Civil Liberties, the FBI, Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.