US State Department Launches Cyberspace and Digital Diplomacy Bureau

The US Department of State on Monday announced the creation of the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP).

The new entity was created to deal with national security challenges, but also with the implications of cyberspace and digital technologies and policies on US values.

The CDP bureau was created to lead and coordinate the Department’s cyberspace and digital diplomacy operations, to promote responsible cyberspace behavior and policies.

“The Bureau addresses the national security challenges, economic opportunities, and values considerations presented by cyberspace, digital technologies, and digital policy and promotes standards and norms that are fair, transparent, and support our values,” the Department of State notes.

Three policy units will be part of the CDP bureau, namely Digital Freedom, International Cyberspace Security, and International Information and Communications Policy.

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Jennifer Bachus, a senior Foreign Service officer, is now serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the bureau and will hold the position until an Ambassador-at-Large will be confirmed by the Senate to lead the CDP.

The bureau’s three units are led by Blake Peterson (Acting Digital Freedom Coordinator), Michele Markoff (Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Cyberspace Security), and Stephen Anderson (Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Information and Communications Policy).

During a press conference on Monday, Department of State spokesperson Ned Price explained that the new CDP bureau is broader and essentially different from the Bureau of Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies (CSET) that was announced in 2019 by the previous administration.

“[CDP] merges the security, the economics, the values aspects of cyberspace into a single bureau to ensure that we have an approach across these three realms that is integrated and coordinated and represents the values and the interests of our blended security, economic, and human rights interests,” Price said.

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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