East Africa Workshop To Address Cyber Security

July 22, 2011
Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center

I'm very excited to be en route to Nairobi for the East Africa Workshop on Cyberspace Security from Monday to Wednesday next week. Terrific government, academic, and private sector experts from the United States and East Africa will be leading workshop discussions over three days. Our co-host, the Government of Kenya, has been a great partner in the lead-up to this conference, and I especially want to thank Minister Poghisio and Permanent Secretary Ndemo for their leadership.

Cyberspace security is a foreign policy priority for the United States. As Secretary Clinton mentioned at the recent release of President Obama's International Strategy for Cyberspace, the Internet is a global network, and we believe that each country must have the means to protect its digital infrastructure. In addition, the United States seeks to build close partnerships with countries who share the goal of open, interoperable, secure, and reliable networks.

The tremendous increase in connectivity in East Africa today can enable innovation and economic development for years to come. This increased connectivity also brings significant challenges and it is essential that countries work together on this global concern. I'm pleased that mobile cellular security and mobile money transactions are key pieces of our event's agenda. African citizens and companies have been at the forefront of some amazing wireless applications, and it is terrific that these topics are part of the conversation.

I'm also excited that rule of law and freedom of expression are on the agenda. Internet freedom keenly interests the State Department and, in particular, Secretary Clinton. The United States believes that Internet freedom is a critical part of the foundation for the open, interoperable, secure, and reliable cyberspace that will be the most beneficial for all economies and individuals. No country wants to miss out on the amazing opportunity afforded by the internet and cyberspace. Innovation in cyberspace is happening at a breakneck pace. In order to effectively secure those cyber networks, while still enabling future innovation and economic growth, we need to continue to encourage these kinds of regional conversations. The next few days are going to be interesting.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter to see how the discussions are progressing.


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