December 4, 2014 / 2:38 PM / 3 years ago

New U.S. cybersecurity prosecutor unit to focus on prevention

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department is creating a unit within the criminal division to advise on electronic surveillance in cyber investigations and work with the private sector to prevent online crime, an official said on Thursday.

The new unit, housed within the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property section, will work with law enforcement, the private sector, and Congress, said Leslie Caldwell, head of the department's criminal division.

"It is important that we address cyber threats on multiple fronts, with both a robust enforcement strategy as well as a broad prevention strategy," Caldwell said in prepared remarks before a cybercrime conference.

The announcement comes as Sony Pictures Entertainment is investigating a devastating hack that shut down its networks and led to the public release of sensitive personnel information.

Caldwell said the new unit would also help counter what she termed growing public distrust of law enforcement surveillance and high-tech investigative techniques.

Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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