Thursday, August 09, 2012

DOJ National Security Division Pursuing Cyber Espionage

I just read Justice Department trains prosecutors to combat cyber espionage by Sari Horowitz, writing for the Washington Post. The article makes several interesting points:

Confronting a growing threat to national security, the Justice Department has begun training hundreds of prosecutors to combat and prosecute cyber espionage and related crimes, according to senior department officials.

The new training is part of a major overhaul following an internal review that pinpointed gaps in the department’s ability to identify and respond to potential terrorist attacks over the Internet and to the rapidly growing crime of cyber espionage, the officials said, describing it for the first time.

In recent weeks, Justice has begun training more than 300 lawyers in Washington and nearly 100 more across the county in the legal and technical skills needed to confront the increase in cyber threats to national security...

Under the reorganization, teams of specialized lawyers within NSD in Washington will work with other agencies, the military and companies facing cyber intrusions. They will develop protocols for the intelligence community and federal agents in how to deal with private companies that are victims of cyber attacks. The issues revolve around how to build possible prosecutions within guidelines covering information sharing, privacy and civil liberties.

At least one prosecutor in each of the 94 U.S. attorney’s offices around the country has been designated and will be trained to gather evidence and prosecute cyber espionage and similar Internet-related cases.

This is very interesting if the focus is truly on cyber espionage cases. DOJ persecutes physical espionage cases routinely (albeit with difficulty due to the nature of the laws). Cyber espionage cases are almost never pursued. Working with private companies will be key to this problem, and that aspect is mentioned specifically in the article.

Let's see what happens!

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