The Obama Administration officially launched its international cybersecurity strategy in a White House event on Monday, May 16. The event was lead by Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan and Howard Schmidt, the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator. In addition, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, The Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, the Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn and Secretary Gary Locke of the Commerce Department participated as a unified sign of support.
Schmidt stated in his blog post, “The International Strategy is a historic policy document for the 21st Century — one that explains, for audiences at home and abroad, what the U.S. stands for internationally in cyberspace, and how we plan to build prosperity, enhance security, and safeguard openness in our increasingly networked world.”
This strategy depicts the goals of the Obama Administration to promote an open, interoperable, secure and reliable information and communications infrastructure that supports global commerce as well as strengthen international security, online freedom and innovation.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, “There is no one-size-fits all, straight-forward-route to that goal,” she further stated, “We have to build a global consensus around a shared vision to the future of cyberspace, to make sure it serves rather than impedes the social, economic and political aspirations of people worldwide.”
Clinton also shared seven key principles of the international strategic plan which consisted of economic engagement, protecting networks, law enforcement, military cooperation, multi-stakeholder Internet governance, international development and referencing to Internet freedom as the most important of all. Internet freedom is sure to be a major issue with some countries such as China, classifying the Internet as a national security entity and in some countries in North Africa and the Middle East from their practices during the recent uprising.
This plan marks the first time a single document has been presented to the public, representing the U.S. government’s position for cyberspace, which embraces defense, diplomacy and international development. It is a major demonstration of President Obama’s commitment to securing our digital infrastructure stemming from a statement he conveyed two years ago when he declared, “We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient.”
Deputy Secretary of Defense Lynn stated, “As the President’s strategy makes clear, the challenges we face in cyberspace are not amenable to narrow solutions. No single agency can tackle the required issues. No one nation can devise or enforce a sustainable solution.” He further added, “The challenge even extends beyond what governments can achieve alone. The private sector, both here and around the world, must be part of the solution. The international cyber strategy laid out by President Obama recognizes this complexity and the broad approach we must pursue to realize the revolutionary benefits of network technology.”
The publication of the U.S. International Strategy for Cyberspace is a monumental occurrence that should set in motion real dialog among nations to work together towards achieving a common objective on protecting commerce, individuals and ideas on the Internet.
Earlier this week, the Obama administration released a cybersecurity legislative agenda that assigned the Department of Homeland Security as the lead agency in protecting federal agencies and the critical IT infrastructure.