External Engagement

External Engagement

National Security Division External Engagement

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March 29, 2017

Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord discusses the importance of NSD outreach to the private sector.

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 NSD.outreach@usdoj.gov. To contact one of our attorneys, email NSCS_Watch@usdoj.gov.

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.


Mary B. McCord
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security


National Security Division

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