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New U.S. Cybersecurity Bureau Hopes to Help Shape Policy

by Chris Brook on Tuesday April 5, 2022

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The newly formed Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy aims to address the challenges of cyberspace with policy based on emerging technology.

A new State Department-led office designed to better analyze the national security challenges associated with cyberspace finally got off the ground this week.

The new office, the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, is key to the State Department's ongoing prioritization of cybersecurity.

A media note, published by the Department of State confirmed that the bureau began operations on Monday, about five months after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced his hope to establish the bureau.

Blinken outlined his plan for the group in a speech at the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in October and said the bureau would be integral to one of five pillars around modernizing American diplomacy.

"On cyberspace and emerging technologies, we have a major stake in shaping the digital revolution that’s happening around us and making sure that it serves our people, protects our interests, boosts our competitiveness, and upholds our values,” Blinken said at the time. “We want to prevent cyberattacks that put our people, our networks, companies, and critical infrastructure at risk."

“… we want to promote cooperation, advancing this agenda tech by tech, issue by issue, with democratic partners by our side,” he added.

To that end, the CDP bureau will include three policy units designed to incorporate emerging technologies into policy decisions: International Cyberspace Security, International Information and Communications Policy, and Digital Freedom.

Led by a Senate-confirmed Ambassador-at-Large, Jennifer Bachus, the bureau aims to hire upwards to 100 employees before the end of the year. Among its goals, the office says it hopes to promote democratic values, curb disinformation, and stop unauthorized surveillance and malicious cyberattacks.

It's the first time in years that the U.S. government has had something akin to a cyber diplomat in a higher-ranking position. The Trump administration eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator on the National Security Council back in 2018; Tom Bossert filled that role in his capacity as a homeland security adviser but was ousted shortly after John Bolton took over as a national security adviser in April 2018.

Tags:  Government

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