US State Department opens cybersecurity policy bureau

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The US State Department this week launched an agency responsible for developing online defense and privacy-protection policies and direction as the Biden administration seeks to integrate cybersecurity into America’s foreign relations.  

“The last few years have made evident how vital cybersecurity and digital policy are to America’s national security,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP). “We’re in a contest over the rules, infrastructure, and standards that will define our digital future.” 

The CDP includes three policy units that will focus on international cyberspace security policy, international communications and information policy, and digital freedom, which the State Department says includes protecting privacy and information on the internet. The bureau, which will be overseen by a Senate-confirmed cyber ambassador, opened its doors at a time when physical warfare threatens to bleed over into cyberwarfare.

“In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a virtually endless cycle of threat campaigns and vulnerability disclosures, the timing of this announcement couldn’t be any better,” said Teddra Burgess, SVP for public sector at endpoint security firm Tanium, in an email to The Register.

Still, the agency faces challenges from inside the US and externally as it works to accomplish its expansive mission.

Global cybersecurity policy attempts

The primary CDP unit will focus on negotiating global cybersecurity policy, engaging with partners on threat management and operations, and capacity building.

“Particularly in working with nation states that are

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