Donald Trump is calling on former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani to be his Silicon Valley whisperer.
The president-elect's transition team said Thursday that Giuliani would be helping shape Trump's cybersecurity efforts by reaching out to corporate leaders and tech experts, and gathering them together for a series of meetings. The former mayor will also be advising Trump's team on cybersecurity issues, which the president-elect has vowed to fix.
Giuliani likely won't get deep in the cybersecurity weeds himself. Trump is looking to hear about challenges that companies are facing and how they deal with them.
"The answer to cybersecurity is going to be found in the private sector," Giuliani told Fox News on Thursday. "The idea is to bring together corporate leaders and their technological people. The president will meet with them on an ongoing basis."
(For more on Giuliani's thoughts about cybersecurity, check out his conversation with CNET sister site TechRepublic at CES last week.)
Giuliani was a confidante of Trump during the presidential campaign. For a while, he was under consideration for a high-level position, including attorney general and secretary of state.
Cybersecurity has become a critical issue for Trump. Last week, US intelligence agencies said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "unprecedented" hacking and propaganda campaigns leading up to the 2016 elections. And over the last few years, widespread activity by a range of hackers has exposed the personal information of private citizens, the revealing photographs of Hollywood celebrities and the trade secrets of businesses large and small.
Trump's cyberdefenses are expected to be headed up by, among others, Rep. Mike Pompeo and Sen. Dan Coats, whom the president-elect has appointed as CIA director and National Intelligence director, respectively. During a press conference Wednesday, Trump criticized the US government for having "the worst" cybersecurity and promised delivery of a report on US cybersecurity vulnerabilities within 90 days.
In November, Giuliani told Fox News in November he'd "love to become the person that comes up with a solution to cybersecurity." He's been the cybersecurity chair for the Greenberg Traurig law firm since last January. Prior to that, Giuliani had been New York City's mayor, a US associate attorney general and chief of the office's narcotics unit.
He'll serve as a bridge between Trump's administration and these tech companies, similar to the role PayPal founder Peter Thiel played during the president-elect's transition.
Giuliani will have a tough task ahead of him. Trump has been at odds with the tech community during his rise to the White House, with tech workers vowing not to build a Muslim tracking database and penning open letters calling him a "disaster for innovation."