Justice Dept. Expands Cybercrime Reach into Southeast Asia

The Justice Department is broadening its overseas efforts against cybercrime, for the first time stationing a legal adviser in Malaysia to help ensure that Southeast Asian countries have the laws and tools to fight hackers.

The position is intended to shore up international partnerships against a type of crime that's without geographic borders and is often carried out by overseas hackers who elude American prosecution.

Officials say they see stronger foreign cybercrime laws as essential if other countries hope to address the problem, especially given the obstacles U.S. officials often face in locating, extraditing and convicting overseas hackers.

The post is funded by the State Department and lasts for a year, though Justice Department officials hope to expand the initiative to other parts of the world if it proves successful.

"It's a region of the world where there's a high level of sophistication with technology" where cyber criminals can set up "and prey on others in the world," Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, said in an interview with The Associated Press. She was scheduled to discuss the move in a speech Friday in Rhode Island.

On Thursday, the Justice Department said Malaysian authorities had detained a citizen of Kosovo on a U.S. provisional arrest warrant. The man is alleged to have provided material support to the Islamic State group and committed computer hacking and identity theft violations in conjunction with the theft and release of personally identifiable information of U.S. service members and federal employees.

The new Justice Department post in Malaysia is occupied by Thomas Dougherty, who spent years as a Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor. He already has met with officials from Vietnam to discuss potential improvements to that country's penal code and has reviewed cases with Malaysian officials.

He'll also be a point of contact for coordinating...

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Justice Dept. Expands Cybercrime Reach into Southeast Asia

The Justice Department is broadening its overseas efforts against cybercrime, for the first time stationing a legal adviser in Malaysia to help ensure that Southeast Asian countries have the laws and tools to fight hackers.

The position is intended to shore up international partnerships against a type of crime that's without geographic borders and is often carried out by overseas hackers who elude American prosecution.

Officials say they see stronger foreign cybercrime laws as essential if other countries hope to address the problem, especially given the obstacles U.S. officials often face in locating, extraditing and convicting overseas hackers.

The post is funded by the State Department and lasts for a year, though Justice Department officials hope to expand the initiative to other parts of the world if it proves successful.

"It's a region of the world where there's a high level of sophistication with technology" where cyber criminals can set up "and prey on others in the world," Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, said in an interview with The Associated Press. She was scheduled to discuss the move in a speech Friday in Rhode Island.

On Thursday, the Justice Department said Malaysian authorities had detained a citizen of Kosovo on a U.S. provisional arrest warrant. The man is alleged to have provided material support to the Islamic State group and committed computer hacking and identity theft violations in conjunction with the theft and release of personally identifiable information of U.S. service members and federal employees.

The new Justice Department post in Malaysia is occupied by Thomas Dougherty, who spent years as a Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor. He already has met with officials from Vietnam to discuss potential improvements to that country's penal code and has reviewed cases with Malaysian officials.

He'll also be a point of contact for coordinating...

Comments are closed.