Objective 2.1: Protect National Security

The Justice Department investigates, disrupts, and prosecutes threats to America’s national and economic security, both from hostile foreign nations and from insider threats.  These threats include not just traditional espionage efforts, but also foreign influence operations, economic espionage, and critical infrastructure attacks.  In response to these wide-ranging threats, the Department, together with counterintelligence partners and other federal law enforcement, seeks to identify the potential assets targeted, engage the entities who possess those assets, and protect them.

Strategy 1: Combat Foreign Malign Influence
Agents of foreign governments sometimes pursue goals that are at odds with the interests of the United States.  The effective and efficient enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and related laws is critical to facilitate transparency about foreign influence efforts and to support our democracy.  This transparency helps ensure informed decisionmaking – on the part of government, the private sector, and the public.  The Department remains steadfast in its commitment to preventing malign influence and to ensuring that our government is not improperly influenced by foreign governments.

Strategy 2: Counter Foreign Espionage
Hostile activities that threaten our national assets are no longer conducted exclusively by state actors, nor do they primarily target government secrets.  Hostile foreign actors can include criminal organizations targeting non-government information; academic researchers receiving U.S. government funding who accept offers of money and prestige to benefit foreign governments; or corporations profiting from evading export controls and sanctions.  The Department will investigate and prosecute crimes sponsored by hostile governments and their agents and will align its capabilities, tools, and resources with those across the federal government to meet and counter these threats.

Strategy 3: Prevent the Theft of Technology and Intellectual Property
Hostile foreign actors use espionage tools and tactics against U.S. companies, academic and research institutions, and American workers to steal critical and emerging technologies and intellectual property.  Such thefts could cause harm to our national security and our economic security.  The Department will leverage the broadest set of tools to prevent losses.  In addition, the Department will work with other federal agencies, state and local partners, foreign partners, and the private sector to proactively disrupt the theft of U.S. assets.  Finally, we will publicize charges and prosecutions to heighten public awareness and deter future threats.

Strategy 4: Protect Sensitive Assets
The U.S. must protect its national security and economic prosperity, including key technologies, supply chains, critical infrastructure, and private information about Americans.  The Department seeks to strike a balance between the nation’s open investment environment and the potential risks to national security posed by such investments.  The Department actively participates in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States; chairs the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (also known as Team Telecom); and conducts and participates in national security reviews of transactions that pose supply chain risks to information and communications technology and services.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Number of counterintelligence program disruptions or dismantlements
  • Percent of prosecutions brought against defendants engaged in (a) hostile activities against national assets, (b) intelligence gathering, or (c) export violations that are favorably resolved
  • Percent of Department-led foreign investment cases that were adjudicated favorably

Contributing DOJ Components: CRM, NSD, USAO, FBI, JMD 

Updated June 21, 2022