Our Ambassador to Cyberspace

Bill Would Create State Department Cybersecurity Coordinator

By , April 12, 2010.
Our Ambassador to Cyberspace

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egislation introduced in the Senate Monday would, figuratively speaking, create a United States ambassador to cyberspace.

The International Cyberspace and Cybersecurity Coordination Act of 2010 would authorize the creation of a senior coordinator at the State Department with the rank of ambassador at large, according to a statement issued by its sponsors, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D.-Mass., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D.-N.Y.

"This bill is the first step to better organize U.S. efforts to develop a coordinated strategic approach to international cyberspace and cybersecurity issues by designating a single diplomat responsible for U.S. cyber policy overseas," Kerry said in the statement.

The senior coordinator would be the principal adviser to the secretary of state on international cyberspace and cybersecurity issues and provide strategic direction for federal government policy and programs aimed at addressing cyberspace and cybersecurity issues abroad.

The sponsors said the legislation would ensure the development of a clear and coordinated strategy for international cyber engagement, including the potential negotiation of a multilateral framework to provide internationally acceptable principles to prevent cyberwarfare.

Gillibrand said this measure meshes with another bill she introduced last month., the International Cybercrime Reporting and Cooperation Act, which would use financial incentives to get foreign nations to combat cybercriminals. "Our legislation will make America safer by making our cyber diplomacy more robust, and coordinating with our partners in the international community," she said in a statement.

One of President Obama's cybersecurity priorities in his Cyberspace Policy Initiative outlined last May is to develop a coordinated, international response to global cyber threats.

The Kerry-Gillibrand bill is the latest of a growing number of cybersecurity bills before Congress.

Follow Eric Chabrow on Twitter: @GovInfoSecurity

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