White House Launches U.S. International Cyber Strategy

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2011 — White House offi­cials yes­ter­day launched a strat­e­gy that the admin­is­tra­tion says uni­fies U.S. engage­ment with inter­na­tion­al part­ners on a range of cyber issues for the first time.

The Inter­na­tion­al Strat­e­gy for Cyber­space was pre­sent­ed here by Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Eric H. Hold­er Jr., Com­merce Sec­re­tary Gary Locke, Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary Janet Napoli­tano and Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III.

“Cyber­space and the tech­nolo­gies that enable it allow peo­ple of every nation­al­i­ty, race, faith and point of view to com­mu­ni­cate, coop­er­ate and pros­per like nev­er before,” Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said in an intro­duc­tion to the report.

“Cit­i­zens across the globe,” he added, “are being empow­ered with infor­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies to help make their gov­ern­ments more open and respon­sive.”

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

In a May 16 White House blog post, White House cyber­se­cu­ri­ty coor­di­na­tor Howard A. Schmidt wrote that the inter­na­tion­al strat­e­gy is larg­er than any one depart­ment or agency.

“It is a strong foun­da­tion for the diverse activ­i­ties we will car­ry out across our entire gov­ern­ment,” he added. “It is about the prin­ci­ples that unite our nation, the vision that unites our pol­i­cy, and the pri­or­i­ties that unite our gov­ern­ment.”

The report says the Unit­ed States will:
— Com­bine diplo­ma­cy, defense and devel­op­ment to real­ize a future in which cyber­space is open to inno­va­tion, is inter­op­er­a­ble world­wide, and is secure and reli­able;
— Ensure through diplo­ma­cy that as many nations as pos­si­ble have access to the eco­nom­ic, social, polit­i­cal and secu­ri­ty ben­e­fits of cyber­space;
— Expand the ben­e­fits of a con­nect­ed world by offer­ing its tech­ni­cal resources and exper­tise through inter­na­tion­al devel­op­ment to help in build­ing and secur­ing dig­i­tal sys­tems;
— Pro­tect its net­works from ter­ror­ists, cyber crim­i­nals and states, and will respond to hos­tile acts in cyber­space as it would to any oth­er threat to the coun­try; and
— Encour­age pos­i­tive actions and dis­suade those who threat­en peace and sta­bil­i­ty in cyber­space with poli­cies that com­bine nation­al and inter­na­tion­al net­work resilience with vig­i­lance and response options.

The Unit­ed States reserves the right, the report adds, to use all nec­es­sary means — diplo­mat­ic, infor­ma­tion­al, mil­i­tary and eco­nom­ic — to defend the nation and its allies, part­ners and inter­ests, seek­ing broad inter­na­tion­al sup­port when­ev­er pos­si­ble. The military’s role in keep­ing its net­works secure will be fur­ther detailed in the Defense Department’s forth­com­ing Strat­e­gy for Oper­at­ing in Cyber­space, Lynn said.

Because the com­mit­ment to defend cit­i­zens, allies and inter­ests extends to wher­ev­er they are threat­ened, the report says, the Unit­ed States will:
— Rec­og­nize and adapt to the military’s increas­ing need for reli­able and secure net­works;
— Build and enhance exist­ing mil­i­tary alliances to con­front poten­tial threats in cyber­space; and
— Expand cyber­space coop­er­a­tion with allies and part­ners to increase col­lec­tive secu­ri­ty.

Over the past year, Lynn said, the Defense Depart­ment has worked with offi­cials in Aus­tralia, Cana­da, the Unit­ed King­dom and the NATO alliance to strength­en cyber part­ner­ships.

“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 new inter­na­tion­al strat­e­gy, Lynn said, “pro­vides a frame­work for how we can expand this coop­er­a­tion and estab­lish­es how net­work secu­ri­ty relates to oth­er cru­cial areas of part­ner­ship.”

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

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