Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recently traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to deliver the keynote address at the 87th INTERPOL General Assembly.
The Deputy Attorney General’s remarks focused on the opportunities and challenges faced by law enforcement in the cyber age, and emphasized the need for member nations to uphold and advance the rule of law. Although the Internet “holds immeasurable promise as a repository of ideas, and as a forum for speech and commerce,” he stated, it also can be “exploited by wrongdoers” “to damage information systems, steal data, commit fraud, violate privacy, attack critical infrastructure, and sexually exploit children. They also launch misleading schemes to influence people’s opinions, seeking to foment division and disrupt democratic processes.” In light of the risks posed by “malicious actors [who] use the Internet for evil ends,” the Deputy Attorney General called out those nations—like Russia—that have refused to extradite cybercriminals and instead have recruited them to carry on their crimes safe from international criminal process.
Before an audience of more than 1,000 delegates from over 150 nations, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein promised that the United States would continue to “expose schemes to manipulate the extradition process” and “identify nations that routinely block the fair administration of justice and fail to act in good faith.” By doing so, he stated, nations around the world can ensure that “cyber criminals . . . find no safe haven, either on the dark web or within national borders.”
The Deputy Attorney General also highlighted “several prominent challenges to the rule of law” within INTERPOL and its member nations, including “the lawless attacks on Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Jamal Khashoggi” and “the disappearance of [former INTERPOL] President Meng Hongwei.” Such events, he said, “give rise to questions about whether our member countries abide by shared principles.” The Deputy Attorney General reminded INTERPOL member nations of their obligation to “support leaders and policies that promote international police coordination and preserve the rule of law—in practice, and not just in theory.”
Three days later, INTERPOL member nations answered the call when the General Assembly voted to elect Kim Jong Yang of South Korea as INTERPOL’s next president. The United States had strongly endorsed Mr. Kim in light of his commitment to upholding policies that advance international police coordination and preserve the rule of law.
In addition to delivering the keynote address, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein met with senior officials from INTERPOL and several member nations in attendance at the General Assembly to discuss opportunities for promoting cooperation between law enforcement partners and the pursuit of justice across international borders.
Prior to the Deputy Attorney General’s trip, teams from the United States and the UAE had completed the latest round of negotiations on a mutual legal assistance treaty between the two countries. Mutual legal assistance treaties allow generally for the United States and its treaty partner to quickly obtain evidence needed for important investigations and trials in both countries. If approved by both countries, this would be the first such treaty between the United States and a Gulf region nation. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein met with His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al-Baloushi, Director of International Cooperation, UAE Ministry of Justice, to discuss the next steps and other ongoing activities to maintain the robust and positive law enforcement relationship between the two countries.
While in the United Arab Emirates, the Deputy Attorney General met with United States Embassy staff, led by Charge d'Affaires Steve Bondy.
The Justice Department today announced its annual plan for making anticipated grant funding available this fiscal year to advance public safety activities and improve justice system outcomes. The Department is...