Skip to main content

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen Delivers Remarks at the Disruptive Technology Protection Network Summit


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

I would like to welcome you all to the Department of Justice.

I want to first thank you all for being here today as we kick off this very important effort.

I especially want to express my deepest appreciation to our esteemed colleagues from the Republic of Korea and Japan. We are honored by your presence and your commitment to our common efforts.

We are very excited to join with you here today and share more about the work we are doing with the Disruptive Technology Strike Force. We also look forward to hearing from – and learning from – you about your efforts to stop technology from unlawfully being transferred out of your borders.

Our partnership could not come at a more critical time. As the Deputy Attorney General alluded to in her remarks, the national security threats we face today are urgent and unprecedented.

I want to spend a few moments this morning talking about this threat.

Countries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are persistent in their efforts to get their hands on critical emerging technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum, hypersonics, advanced computing and biosciences.

These are revolutionary innovations posed to improve lives around the world. But these disruptive capabilities of these technologies pose real dangers in the hands of our adversaries.

These are the tools that can enhance the military capabilities of hostile countries, even ones that provide strategic advantages over democratic nations. Russia wants technology to improve cruise missile communications and electronic weapons systems to advance the Kremlin’s unjust war in Ukraine.

I was in Kyiv last fall and saw firsthand the weapons being used against the Ukrainians and the damage they can inflict on innocent people. For the Ukrainians we met with, stopping the illicit flow of technology is an essential component of their ability to defend their homeland.

Russia is not the only malign actor at issue. Iran has developed missiles, unmanned aerial systems and related technologies. It shares these tools with rogue nation-states, terrorist groups and militant proxies – this behavior threatens peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond.

Iran’s recent unprecedented attack on Israel using hundreds of drones and missiles is just one reminder of the menacing potential uses of advanced technology.

And we know that China is often at the center of efforts to facilitate the theft of trade secrets and sensitive technologies from other nations – things like software and hardware technology used in AI and autonomous systems.

These technologies can be used to engage in mass surveillance, stifle dissent or suppress those who speak out against the government – including dissident populations living abroad.

The reality is that, in the wrong hands, these technologies risk reshaping the balance of power between free nations and authoritarians.

We created the Strike Force to counter these threats, bringing together prosecutors and agents from across the government to join forces on a common cause: stopping hostile regimes from obtaining technology that has the potential to upend the world order.

But we can’t do it alone. This is a global problem, and it demands a global response.

Our partnership with the Republic of Korea and Japan, and the partnership of other like-minded nations, is critical to our ability to succeed. That’s why we are proud to join forces with you and launching here today the Disruptive Technology Protection Network.

By coming together and supporting each other’s effort – through enhanced information sharing and law enforcement cooperation – we can meet these threats head on.

Thank you for being here today and for your continued partnership in this critical work.        

Export Control
National Security
Updated April 26, 2024