US AG creates a new 'Cybersecurity Task Force'

Its claimed intent is to study election interference and other internet threats.

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Aaron Bernstein / Reuters
Aaron Bernstein / Reuters

Days after the Mueller investigation revealed indictments against 13 Russian nationals for election tampering, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new Cybersecurity Task Force. Its marching orders are a bit vague -- "canvass the many ways that the Department is combatting the global cyber threat" -- but the AG's first ask is for it to investigate efforts to interfere with US elections and infrastructure.

Members of the task force will come from various Justice Department entities and could extend to include reps from other federal agencies. Other tasks on its to-do list cover recent headline-grabbing incidents like mass thefts of personal information, violent ideologies spreading and recruiting over the internet or using tech to stymie law enforcement and massive computer attacks.

It's difficult to guess what this group may achieve or identify as problems, but Sessions said in a statement that "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...At the Department of Justice, we take these threats seriously. That is why today I am ordering the creation of a Cyber-Digital Task Force to advise me on the most effective ways that this Department can confront these threats and keep the American people safe."

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