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James Mattis Creates New Task Force to Secure DoD’s Critical Tech, Data

Defense Secretary James Mattis has formed a new task force that aims to protect the Pentagon’s critical technology, classified data and controlled unclassified information from expropriation and theft.

Mattis directs Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to name a director and deputy chief to oversee the Protecting Critical Technology Task Force, according to an Oct. 24 memo obtained by Inside Cybersecurity.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas Murphy will serve as PCTTF director until Shanahan names a permanent chief.

The director of the cross-functional task force will gather a team of personnel from the Defense Department and service branches and report to Shanahan and Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to provide recommendations and updates on progress and requirements.

Mattis will require the task force to launch 30-day and three-month sprints to address fundamental issues.

The office of the defense undersecretary for research and engineering will serve as the task force’s executive secretary.

Bloomberg reported that Mattis’ memo was drafted a week before the U.S. government sued a Chinese state-owned firm for conspiring to steal U.S.-based chip manufacturer Micron Technology’s trade secrets.

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