White House officials yesterday unveiled a framework that aims to unify U.S. engagement with international partners on a range of cyber issues and respond to adversaries who use the Internet to launch attacks on the nation.
Presented in Washington, the International Strategy for Cyberspace not only outlines a vision for the future, but an agenda for realizing it, President Barack Obama wrote in the introduction of the plan. The new strategy also provides “context for our partners at home and abroad to understand our priorities,” he wrote, “and how we can come together to preserve the character of cyberspace and reduce the threats we face.”
The unveiling of the strategy signaled that nearly a decade since the approval of the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime, a new era of global collaboration, engagement and vigilance has begun, Attorney General Eric Holder said. The plan, he added, reinforces U.S. support for the Budapest Convention and for efforts to set the rule of law in cyberspace, as well as highlights the commitment to prevent terrorists and other criminals from abusing the Internet for misdeeds.
In addition to combining diplomacy, defense and development to promote a cyberspace open to innovation, the strategy says the nation will “protect its networks from terrorists, cyber criminals and states, and will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as it would to any other threat to the country.”
Because the commitment to defend citizens, allies and interests extends to wherever they are threatened, the report says, the United States will acknowledge and adapt to the military’s increasing need for reliable and secure networks, as well as expand cyberspace cooperation with allies and partners to strengthen collective security.
Global partnerships are already well underway. Over the past year, Defense Deputy Secretary William J. Lynn III said, DoD has worked with officials in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and NATO to boost cyber collaboration. However, “far greater levels of cooperation with more nations are needed if we are to stay ahead of the cyber threat,” Lynn added.
Echoing his sentiments on how no one entity can fully protect against the global cyber threats, Holder noted the necessity of working together.
“No single agency, company, community or country has access to all of the facts necessary to fully assess the nature of the threats that we face -““ or to adequately address them,” he said. ” Only by working together can we truly understand current problems and confront emerging challenges. Only by joining forces can we effectively fight back.”