Governance

U.S. Unveils International Cyberspace And Digital Policy

The International Strategy consists of three guiding principles and four areas of action to carry the United States forward in its digital, cyber and tech diplomacy.

by Mihir Bagwe May 7, 2024 in Cyber Essentials, Cybersecurity News, Firewall Daily, Governance, Policy Updates Reading Time: 4 mins read 0

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivering the keynote at RSAC 2024 (Credit RSA)

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The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled an International and Digital Policy Strategy on Monday, outlining the Biden administration's plan to engage the global community on various technological security issues.

Blinken introduced this robust international cyber strategy while delivering a keynote at the RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco.

The strategic blueprint outlined in the latest strategy displayed the federal government's multifaceted approach to engaging the global community on a wide array of technological security issues, aiming to foster collaboration and cooperation among allies, partners and stakeholders worldwide.

What's at the Core of the International Cyberspace and Digital Policy Strategy

At the heart of the plan lies the concept of “digital solidarity,” characterized by mutual assistance to victims of malicious cyber activity and other digital harms.

Digital solidarity entails collaborating on shared goals, capacity building, and mutual support to enhance security, resilience, self-determination, and prosperity. Against the backdrop of ongoing cyberattacks targeting U.S. allies by foreign actors like Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, efforts focus on supporting allies and partners, particularly emerging economies, in harnessing the benefits of digital technologies while sustaining economic and development objectives.

The strategy emphasizes alignment with international partners on technology governance, fostering strong partnerships with civil society and the private sector, and promoting cybersecurity resilience through diverse products and services from trusted technology vendors.

Moreover, it underscores cooperative efforts to defend and advance human rights and build digital and cyber capacity for long-term resilience and responsiveness.

The Department of State, in collaboration with other federal agencies, will advance digital solidarity through four key areas of action supported by three guiding principles:

  1. Promoting an open, inclusive, secure, and resilient digital ecosystem.
  2. Aligning rights-respecting approaches to digital and data governance with international partners.
  3. Advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace and countering threats through coalition-building and engagement.
  4. Strengthening international partner digital and cyber capacity.

Efforts to forge digital solidarity will be reinforced by active participation in international fora to shape obligations, norms, standards, and principles impacting cyberspace and digital technology issues. Leadership in these venues is crucial to safeguarding U.S. interests and values in the evolving digital landscape.

Recognizing the significance of digital diplomacy, the Department of State will lead interagency efforts to coordinate cyber and digital technology diplomacy to advance U.S. national interests and values in the coming decade.

Cybersecurity Threats from Nation States

The strategy addresses the malign activities of nations such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, condemning their exploitative use of technology for nefarious purposes, including hacking and espionage campaigns. It highlights concerns about these countries' efforts to undermine international regulatory frameworks and undercut U.S. technology manufacturers through state-sponsored subsidies.

and operating in cyberspace now represent a specific threat to the economic and national security of countries around the world,” the said.

“Cybercrime and online fraud cause significant harm to economic development, with small- to medium-sized enterprises and financial service providers especially at risk. According to one estimate, the global cost of cybercrime is estimated to top $23 trillion in 2027.”

AI Technology Governance

The landscape of is intricate, as per the latest strategy. While systems offer promising avenues for societal progress, the complexities of geopolitics further compound the challenges and uncertainties in their regulation and management.

hold immense potential to drive knowledge expansion, boost prosperity, enhance productivity, and tackle pressing global issues. However, the rapid proliferation of AI technologies also presents substantial risks and ethical considerations.

These encompass a spectrum of concerns ranging from exacerbating inequality and economic instability to privacy breaches, discriminatory practices, and amplification of malicious cyber activities. Moreover, the dual-use nature of many AI applications poses challenges in ensuring that emerging technologies are not leveraged for nefarious purposes, including disinformation campaigns and military advancements lacking adequate human rights safeguards.

Balancing risks and rewards requires safeguarding democratic values, human rights, and fostering international collaboration to harness AI's benefits while mitigating destabilizing impacts.

The strategy also warns against complacency in critical technological domains, cautioning that failure to act could enable authoritarian states to shape the future of technology in a manner detrimental to U.S. interests and values.

By advocating for concerted efforts to uphold a rights-respecting, open, and secure cyberspace, the United States aims to advance a vision of global governance that safeguards democratic principles and promotes innovation and prosperity.

 

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