U.S. Seeks Global Consensus for Open, Secure Cyberspace
By Stephen Kaufman
Washington - The Obama administration has unveiled an international strategy for cyberspace, outlining how it intends to promote an open and secure Internet that is available and interoperable around the world.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said May 16 that a global consensus is needed if the world is to enjoy an open, interoperable, secure and reliable cyberspace that supports business, strengthens global security and fosters free expression and innovation.
"We have to build a global consensus around a shared vision for the future of cyberspace, to make sure it serves rather than impedes the social, economic and political aspirations of people worldwide," Clinton said.
The 30-page strategy document outlines policy priorities the United States will pursue with the international community to promote its vision of cyberspace.
"We will build and sustain an environment in which norms of responsible behavior guide states' actions, sustain partnerships and support the rule of law in cyberspace," Clinton said, including respect for fundamental freedoms, privacy and private property rights, as well as interoperability and network stability.
The Internet and its continuing expansion provide both opportunities and challenges. The secretary noted that while it can empower people, it can also give governments new tools to use against dissenters.
While the Web can offer new economic opportunities, it also gives criminals new ways to steal personal data and intellectual property. It is a forum to encourage international communication and collaboration, but can also be a new terrain for conflict through cyberattacks and be used to organize terrorist operations, she said.
Therefore, "we seek to maximize the Internet's tremendous capacity to accelerate human progress while sharpening our response and our tools to deal with the threats and the problems and the disputes that are part of cyberspace," Clinton said.
The secretary said the State Department has appointed Chris Painter to serve as its first coordinator for cyber issues and take the lead on promoting the U.S. cyberspace strategy.
Clinton said U.S. officials will assimilate their different discussions on cybercrime, Internet freedom, network security and other issues in order to discuss them "in a coordinated, integrated fashion."
Cyberspace is transforming "before our very eyes," Clinton said. "Now we have to shape that transformation."
(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. )