US National Cyber Security Strategy Moves On

The US Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, part of the State Department foreign policy establishment, is developing a new strategy for international cooperation against cyber threats. Development of the strategy comes as technologies such as AI and Machine Learning (ML) become more prevalent across the world and countries compete for technological and regulatory leadership.

At a Cyber Security Summit held earlier this month, the ambassador responsible for Cyberspace & Digital Policy, Nathaniel Fick, announced that “We will definitely have a draft circulating inside of government this fall... We hope to have the product out in the world, obviously, as quickly as possible.”

When asked about the approach the US must take to lead in AI technology, Fisk said the State Department does not “intend for our approach to AI to be as laissez-faire as our approach was on some earlier generations of technology, the stakes are too high.” He also made it clear that the United States is remaining committed to helping lead the way in technology innovation through important global partnerships. “The bottom line is, the US has to show up and we have to engage more or less everywhere.”

The State Department's strategy will build on the National Cybersecurity Strategy released by the White House in May. That document notably held up “international partnerships” as one of its five principles, or “pillars.” 

Sub-themes called for the US to build coalitions to counter cyber threats, strengthen friendly countries’ capabilities for cyber defense, and defend complex, globe-spanning supply chains for technology. “The Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy leads and coordinates the Department’s work on cyberspace and digital diplomacy to encourage responsible state behavior in cyberspace and advance policies that protect the integrity and security of the infrastructure of the Internet, serve US interests, promote competitiveness, and uphold democratic values." 

Fick also emphasised the importance of public-private partnerships as a necessity to advance the cyber security agenda of the US government. “I am a big proponent of finding ways to cross-pollinate between these worlds … as people think about the arc of their career, give a little time to public service.”

The new strategy will address the national security challenges, economic opportunities, and values considerations presented by cyberspace, digital technologies, and digital policy and promotes standards and norms that are fair, transparent, and support US values. 

What’s coming out won’t stray from those foundations, but it will build on it. “It is by definition a somewhat derivative document. .. but at the same time, we do think there is some conceptual new ground to break." Fick said.

US State Dept:   Billington Cyber Summit:   White House:   Breaking Defense:    Silicon:   Meritalk:

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