The State Department has cut the ribbon on the Cyberspace and Digital Policy Office (CDP), which is now operational. The move makes cybersecurity a more formal focus of US foreign policy following a spate of attacks linked to Russia and China.
Foreign Minister Antony Blinken CDP in October. The office consists of three policy departments: International Cyberspace Security, International Information and Communication Policy and Digital Freedom.
The office is eventually headed by an Ambassador-at-Large, who requires Senate confirmation. Jennifer Bachus, an acting member of the Senior Foreign Service, heads the office on an acting basis as Senior Officer and Assistant Secretary-General.
The office could help the US address cybersecurity threats both itself and through partnerships with allies. A spate of major hacks have been attributed to Russian and Chinese state actors in recent years, including several (for which the Biden government in China was responsible). Others include , through which the US has sanctioned several Russian companies, individuals and entities.
In February, the agency’s FBI Director Christopher Wray conducted more than 2,000 active investigations related to thefts of US technology or information allegedly carried out by China. He claimed the country had a “massive, sophisticated hacking program larger than that of all other major nations combined.” Just before Russia invaded the country in February, it blamed a cyberattack on its websites.
President Biden issued an executive order last May designed to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity infrastructure. He in January with an EO that contained more specific instructions regarding the Department of Defense, intelligence and national security systems.
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