Achieving an Open, Interoperable, Reliable, and Secure Cyberspace

May 18, 2011
Secretary Clinton Speaks at International Strategy for Cyberspace Rollout

On Monday, I had the great pleasure of attending the Obama Administration's launch of the International Strategy for Cyberspace, where Secretary Clinton delivered keynote remarks. This strategy document, the first of its kind, promotes a principled framework for our government's cyberspace engagement internationally. The State Department has been leading on this kind of engagement for decades -- ever since telecom networks began to carry significant security, economic, and human rights implications beyond our borders. Telecom and the Internet have merged to become one hugely significant global communications network and the State Department recognizes these issues as foreign policy priorities -- indeed, as the Secretary said yesterday, as a foreign policy imperative. My office, which was formed earlier this year, is tasked with more efficiently and effectively coordinating U.S. cyber policies internationally to achieve our country's chief cyber goal -- that is, an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure cyberspace.

How will we achieve this? This Strategy provides a great foundation. We will start by leveraging the existing efforts of State Department experts on cyber crime, Internet governance, Internet freedom, international cyber stability, and other issues in one coordinated effort. We will also work directly with our posts overseas to improve awareness and increase reporting on cyber issues. Just last week, we sent guidance to our embassies around the world asking them to deliver the strategy to foreign governments. In addition, we will work closely with our colleagues across the executive branch to more effectively merge our domestic priorities and our international opportunities in order to drive policy forward. And, of course, we will be heavily engaging with our colleagues in the private sector, academia, civil society, and other sectors to help reinforce and provide feedback on our efforts. All of this will help us engage both bi-laterally and multi-laterally with countries around the globe, finding partners to join us in realizing a vision of the future of cyberspace that empowers and endures and where norms of responsible behavior guide states' actions. Building this global consensus can only be achieved, as the Secretary said, "through patient, persistent, and creative diplomacy."

Without a doubt, this will be a big task. We are at an inflection point for international cyber policy and the implications for our work are huge -- we could have the continued evolution of the open and global network we all rely on today or the slow de-evolution of this same network into an unreliable, overly censored, and untrustworthy system of national, or regional networks that don't communicate with each other. Our international partners don't want that. We don't want that. This will take a whole-of-government effort and a global plan. The International Strategy for Cyberspace gives us a terrific platform to bolster these efforts and the State Department is prepared to lead.

Related Content:Launching the U.S. International Strategy for Cyberspace



Shepherd H.
Kansas, USA
May 19, 2011

Shepherd H. in Kansas writes:

It is great the State Department is leaning forward by developing a Cyberspace Strategy. The military is quickly forming its Space and Cyber capacity. This strategy will enable the military to form a more tailored course of action to meet the objectives of the strategy.

Interestingly enough, I personally have a problem delineating how "sovereignty" plays into securing cyberspace. I suppose we are referring to the freedom of the government to use cyberspace as well as its allies. The problem I think lies in defining specific objectives to protecting private systems in the United States from both foreign and domestic cyber threats. In those cases, the border is based on affiliation within the net. Those affiliations go internationally. Therefore, National borders are somewhat irrelevant.


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