AG Jeff Sessions Launches Cyber Task Force on Elections Interference

The group will be tasked with evaluating how the U.S. Department of Justice handles cyberthreats aimed at elections systems, as well as threats to infrastructure, violent propaganda and corporate theft.

by Denis Slattery, New York Daily News / February 20, 2018
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(TNS) —  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has established a cyber task force to evaluate and study efforts to interfere with U.S. elections, the Justice Department announced Tuesday,

The “Cyber-Digital Task Force” will evaluate how the department is fighting cyberthreats and how it could do so better.

Sessions said the task force will prioritize research on efforts to interfere with U.S. elections and also study attempts to hack into infrastructure, violent propaganda, and corporate theft.

The group will issue a report by the end of June.

The announcement comes days after special counsel Robert Mueller’s office charged more than a dozen Russian nationals with an elaborate plot to sow political discord and disrupt the 2016 election through false or misleading online activity.

A federal grand jury indicted 13 Russians and three Kremlin-linked companies, and charged them with a yearslong multimillion-dollar effort to meddle in the U.S. election and help President Donald Trump win the White House.

The U.S. intelligence community announced its assessment regarding the Russian campaign to influence the election in a report more than a year ago.

Intelligence leaders recently warned about Russia’s intentions to interfere in the 2018 elections.

Despite the dire warnings from officials, Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on Russia’s role in the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails and other efforts to influence the U.S. election.

He falsely claimed in an early Sunday morning Twitter post that he never rejected the notion that Russia interfered.

“I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer,’” Trump wrote. “The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia — it never did!”

©2018 New York Daily News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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