The newly created Disruptive Technology Strike Force will be co-led by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s (DoJ) National Security Division, and Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod of the Commerce Department’s (DoC) Bureau of Industry and Security, the two organizations announced.

The DoJ and DoC strike force was created to combat growing cybersecurity threats by nation-state actors and other foreign entities who seek tactical advantage through the acquisition, use, and abuse of disruptive technology.

“The Disruptive Technology Strike Force takes aim at those who imperil our national security and the rule of law by illegally transferring sensitive technologies to foreign adversaries,” said DoJ’s Olsen.

He continued, “We must remain vigilant in enforcing export control laws, which defend military readiness, preserve our technological superiority over our adversaries, and help to protect human rights and democratic values.”

Olsen has held his leadership position as the assistant attorney general for National Security since 2021. He has served in various leadership positions at the DoJ for over two decades and helped establish the National Security Division in 2006.

Under the leadership of the DoJ’s National Security Division and the DoC’s Bureau of Industry and Security, the strike force will bring together experts throughout government – including the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and 14 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in 12 metropolitan regions across the country – to target illicit actors, strengthen supply chains, and protect critical technological assets from being acquired or used by nation-state adversaries.

“Advances in technology have the potential to alter the world’s balance of power,” said DoC’s Axelrod and the strike force’s co-chair alongside Olsen. “This strike force is designed to protect U.S. national security by preventing those sensitive technologies from being used for malign purposes.”

Olsen and Axelrod will work together to lead the strike force’s work on:

  • Investigating and prosecuting criminal violations of export laws;
  • Enhancing administrative enforcement of U.S. export controls;
  • Fostering partnerships with the private sector;
  • Leveraging international partnerships to coordinate law enforcement actions and disruption strategies;
  • Utilizing advanced data analytics and all-source intelligence to develop and build investigations;
  • Conducting regular trainings for field offices; and
  • Strengthening connectivity between the strike force and the Intelligence Community.
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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.