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External Engagement

External Engagement

Photo of John C. DemersAs Assistant Attorney General for National Security, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the National Security Division’s external engagement website.


At NSD, our top priority is combating threats to our national security and imposing costs on those who seek to harm our nation. But we cannot do it alone. Whether we are confronting a cyber attack, economic espionage, weapons proliferation, or terrorism, working with the private sector is an important part of our strategy to protect our national assets.


For this reason, in 2015, the National Security Division announced an outreach initiative to build relationships between National Security Division and the private sector and to educate the public about emerging national security threats.

Our outreach efforts have spanned a wide range of sectors across the economy, from the agricultural, medical, and technology sectors, to critical infrastructure, financial institutions, the defense industrial base, and national labs and universities. Through these efforts, we have met with hundreds of executives, general counsels, and other corporate representatives to discuss the unique challenges companies face in today’s elevated threat environment. Our program aims to raise public awareness about the nature and severity of national security threats and to strengthen public-private partnerships to confront those threats.


This cooperation has been indispensable to all of our national security cyber cases, which have exposed malicious hackers backed by their governments operating around the world. Whether it was our 2014 charges against five members of China’s People’s Liberation Army for economic espionage, or the 2016 indictment of Iranian hackers for denial of service attacks on U.S. banks, or most recently our charges against Russian FSB officers and criminal hackers for the 2014 theft of information about at least 500 million Yahoo! accounts, each of those landmark cases was possible only because the victims in those cases cooperated with investigators and prosecutors at the Department of Justice.


In the physical world outside cooperation by victim companies has resulted in successful prosecution of company insiders for stealing trade secrets, from the formula for the color white to genetically programmed rice seeds.


On this website, you will more information about NSD’s programs and ways to connect and engage. I encourage you to browse this site and learn more about the resources available to you and the role you play in defending the nation from national security threats. If you have any questions, or would like more information about NSD’s outreach initiatives, please contact us at


John C. Demers
Assistant Attorney General for National Security

Economic Espionage

Economic espionage and the theft of trade secrets are serious threats to our nation’s security and economic prosperity.   Because U.S. companies are among the world’s most innovative and successful, they are heavily targeted by foreign governments and other entities who wish to bypass time-consuming and expensive research and development by stealing valuable proprietary technologies, production methods, and other trade secret information that can provide an edge in the international marketplace. 

Economic espionage takes a number of forms.  In recent years, U.S. companies have increasingly experienced the loss of proprietary information through cyber intrusions, but our adversaries employ multi-faceted campaigns, including the use of corporate insiders, seemingly beneficial joint ventures or other business relationships, and even theft through physical security breaches or “dumpster diving.”  No economic sector is immune from the economic espionage threat, and even small- and medium-sized companies can be victimized. 

DOJ is addressing the threat by leveraging the full range of options available to the U.S. government to impose costs on the adversaries that engage in such crime.  If you believe you or your company has been the victim of economic espionage, please review this checklist and contact your local FBI office.

Export Controls/Sanctions

Adversaries of the United States are engaged in an aggressive campaign to acquire superior technologies and commodities that are developed, manufactured and controlled in, and by, the United States. Such acquisitions – when conducted in contravention of U.S. law and policy – undermine the national and economic security of the United States. The threat our nation confronts increasingly consists not only of unlawful shipments and deliveries of physical commodities and equipment, but also the theft by cyber-enabled means of export-controlled technology and technical data. Thwarting these unlawful efforts is one of NSD’s top priorities.  Working in partnership with other U.S. government stakeholders, and our foreign government counterparts, NSD utilizes an “all-tools” approach to prevent and combat the unlawful export of commodities, technologies, and services, as well as to block trade and transactions with sanctioned countries and designated individuals and entities.

As the owners of export-controlled technologies, the private sector plays a key role in the enforcement of U.S. export control and sanctions laws.  By helping law enforcement better understand critical technologies and by reporting suspicious activity, law enforcement and the private sector can work collectively to safeguard U.S. technology. 

Cyber Reporting

The investigation, disruption, and deterrence of national security cyber threats are among the highest priorities of NSD.  This priority comes from a recognition that network defense alone is not enough to counter the threat.  As NSD and its U.S. government partners seek to impose costs on the adversary, partnership and collaboration with the private sector is crucial. In many cases, in order to take advantage of the full breadth of resources available to the U.S. government to mitigate the effects of an intrusion or attack, determine attribution, and disrupt and deter future intrusions or attacks, victims must notify law enforcement when incidents occur and provide information that will assist in a subsequent investigation. Working together and sharing information before, during, and after a cyber attack can benefit not only the victim company, but other similarly situated entities and the nation as a whole. For more information on DOJ Cyber Outreach, please email To contact one of our attorneys, email

Countering Violent Extremism

As part of our commitment to protecting public safety, the National Security Division works with United States Attorney’s Offices and law enforcement around the country to prevent terrorism by disrupting plots and prosecuting terrorism offenses.  U.S. Attorneys also routinely engage with local communities on a wide range of issues, and many communities have expressed an interest in developing initiatives to build resilience against those attempting to recruit and radicalize their young people.  Some localities have begun building multidisciplinary intervention programs designed to redirect individuals who may be on a path toward violent extremism.  DOJ supports these community-led efforts by convening interested parties, sharing best practices, and assisting communities in identifying resources and other assistance to support interventions.   

NSD also works with other government components in engaging private-sector companies and non-governmental organizations who have offered to assist in efforts to counter violent extremist recruiting.  Many technology companies are already taking steps to address terrorist messaging on their platforms, and NSD has organized events to bring together a range of actors to discuss existing threats and to provide a forum for non-governmental groups to increase their collaboration on messaging campaigns and other efforts to address violent extremism.

General Information - National Security Division

Matthew G. Olsen
Assistant Attorney General for National Security


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