Lynn: Cyberspace Strategy to Build Coalition of Nations

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2011 — White House offi­cials released an inter­na­tion­al cyber­strat­e­gy here today that will help to build a “coali­tion of nations [with a] mutu­al inter­est in secur­ing cyber­space,” Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III said.

The event to launch the U.S. Inter­na­tion­al Strat­e­gy for Cyber­space also includ­ed remarks by Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Eric H. Hold­er Jr., Com­merce Sec­re­tary Gary Locke and Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary Janet Napolitano. 

“The strat­e­gy the pres­i­dent is releas­ing today pro­vides a frame­work for how we can expand this coop­er­a­tion and estab­lish­es how net­work secu­ri­ty relates to oth­er crit­i­cal areas of part­ner­ship,” Lynn said. 

Host­ing the event were John O. Bren­nan, assis­tant to the pres­i­dent for coun­tert­er­ror­ism and home­land secu­ri­ty, and Howard A. Schmidt, spe­cial assis­tant to the pres­i­dent and cyber­se­cu­ri­ty coordinator. 

Senior for­eign diplo­mats and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from indus­try, civ­il soci­ety and acad­e­mia also attend­ed. Clin­ton said the strategy’s sev­en key pol­i­cy pri­or­i­ties are eco­nom­ic engage­ment, cyber­se­cu­ri­ty, law enforce­ment, mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion, mul­ti­ple-stake­hold­er Inter­net gov­er­nance, devel­op­ment and Inter­net freedom. 

“We are see­ing cyber­space trans­form before our very eyes,” she said. “Now we must shape this transformation.” 

White House offi­cials released a state­ment that called the strat­e­gy a “first-of-its-kind pol­i­cy doc­u­ment [that] offers our com­pre­hen­sive vision for the future of inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion in cyber­space.” The report also out­lines the administration’s agen­da, the state­ment said, “for part­ner­ing with oth­er nations and peo­ples to ensure the pros­per­i­ty, secu­ri­ty and open­ness that we seek in our increas­ing­ly net­worked world.” Lynn said no one nation can devise or enforce a sus­tain­able solution. 

“It is hard to over­state the impor­tance of cyber­space to the Depart­ment of Defense or the need to engage our allies and part­ners to keep it secure,” he said. “Depart­ment of Defense net­works are probed mil­lions of times a day, and more than 100 for­eign intel­li­gence agen­cies have tried to pen­e­trate our net­works or those of our indus­tri­al part­ners.” Cyber threats are grow­ing more seri­ous and more preva­lent, Lynn added, and meet­ing them requires the coop­er­a­tion of nations, the pri­vate sec­tor and individuals. 

“Our mil­i­tary con­tin­ues to ensure that we can oper­ate with secure and reli­able net­works, he said, “and main­tain the capa­bil­i­ty to defend vital nation­al assets.” The Defense Department’s forth­com­ing Strat­e­gy for Oper­at­ing in Cyber­space, Lynn said, will detail the military’s role in keep­ing DOD net­works secure. 

“Just as our air defens­es are linked with those of our allies to pro­vide warn­ing of attack, so too must we share infor­ma­tion to pre­vent and, if nec­es­sary, respond to cyber intru­sions,” he added. 

Over the past year, DOD offi­cials have worked with coun­ter­parts in Aus­tralia, Cana­da, the Unit­ed King­dom and the NATO alliance to strength­en cyber part­ner­ships, Lynn said. “While our efforts are increas­ing­ly linked with many inter­na­tion­al part­ners,” he added, “far greater lev­els of coop­er­a­tion with more nations are need­ed if we are to stay ahead of the cyber threat.” 

The strat­e­gy that Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma released today, Lynn said, “pro­vides a frame­work for how we can expand this coop­er­a­tion and estab­lish­es how net­work secu­ri­ty relates to oth­er cru­cial areas of partnership.” 

Lynn said he is delight­ed to car­ry defense coop­er­a­tion for­ward in the cyber realm. “I look for­ward to work­ing close­ly in this effort with the depart­ments of State, Jus­tice, Com­merce and Home­land Secu­ri­ty under the lead­er­ship of Pres­i­dent Oba­ma,” he said. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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