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U.S. Digital Policy and Cyberspace Blueprint for Global Progressby@whitehouse
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U.S. Digital Policy and Cyberspace Blueprint for Global Progress

by The White HouseMay 13th, 2024
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Discover how the U.S. State Department's international cyberspace and digital policy strategy aims to advance global prosperity, enhance security, promote human rights, and tackle transnational challenges through digital solidarity and responsible technology governance. TLDR (Summary): The U.S. State Department's digital policy strategy focuses on fostering global digital solidarity, promoting cybersecurity, advancing human rights, and shaping international cyberspace governance to align with democratic values and technological innovation.
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You can jump to any part of the United States International Cyberspace & Digital Policy Strategy here. This part is 2 of 38.

Introduction

The United States seeks to work with allies, partners, and stakeholders across the globe to shape the design, development, governance, and use of cyberspace and digital technologies to advance economic prosperity and inclusion; enhance security and combat cybercrime; promote and protect the exercise of human rights, democracy, and the rule of the law; and address transnational challenges. The United States believes in the critical role that the responsible uses of digital technologies and interconnected networks play in empowering people, and that an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet enables new solutions to global challenges. Autocratic states and other actors, however, have used cyber and digital tools to threaten international peace and stability, harm others, exert malign influence, and undermine the exercise of human rights. An innovative, rights-respecting international cyberspace and digital technology policy strategy is foundational to U.S. strategic, security, economic, and foreign policy interests.


Leadership in cyberspace, the digital economy, and emerging digital technologies is central to advancing the U.S. vision set forth in the October 2022 National Security Strategy (NSS) of a “free, open, secure, and prosperous world.” As the lead foreign policy agency for the United States, the Department of State is advancing the 2023 National Cybersecurity Strategy (NCS) and its objectives of forging international partnerships to build an open, resilient, defensible, and rights-respecting digital ecosystem. It is also strengthening the Strategy’s dual approach of 1) rebalancing responsibility for defending cyberspace onto the government and private sector organizations that are the most capable and best positioned to reduce risks and of 2) realigning incentives to favor long term investment in cybersecurity through diplomacy, partnerships, and information-sharing. This strategy will be complemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) forthcoming Digital Policy.


To advance the NSS and NCS, the Department of State, working with other federal agencies, has developed an international cyberspace and digital policy strategy focused on building broad digital solidarity through three guiding principles and four areas of action to be prioritized over the next three to five years.


Digital solidarity is a willingness to work together on shared goals, to help partners build capacity, and to provide mutual support.[1] Digital solidarity recognizes that all who use digital technologies in a rights-respecting manner are more secure, resilient, self-determining, and prosperous when we work together to shape the international environment and innovate at the technological edge. Central to the tenets of digital solidarity are efforts to support allies and partners, especially emerging economies, to fully seize the opportunities presented by new technologies and sustainably pursue their economic and development goals. Digital solidarity aligns U.S. national interests with those of our international partners through compatible approaches to technology governance, sustains strong partnerships with civil society and the private sector, and embraces cybersecurity resilience built on a diversity of products and services made by trusted technology vendors. It highlights the mutual support that the United States and its partners offer one another to counter and respond to malicious cyber operations, cybercrime, and other digital harms, and promotes cooperative efforts among states and civic actors to defend and advance human rights. In addition, the concept of digital solidarity rests on efforts to build digital and cyber capacity so that partners are not only better able to build a defensible and resilient digital ecosystem over the long term but are also able to respond and recover quickly when incidents that threaten security, safety, and rights happen. The actions and efforts of this strategy are intended to demonstrate and build digital solidarity with partners across the globe.


The Department of State, with interagency partners, will build digital solidarity through four areas of action, fundamentally supported by three principles:


  • First, the Department of State will pursue an affirmative vision for cyberspace and digital technologies focused on delivering the benefits of technology and grounded in international commitments and international law, including international human rights law. The United States is committed to working with allies and partners toward a future in which people around the world use digital technologies safely to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas online as they participate in free, open, and informed societies; access educational and economic opportunities in order to drive inclusive economic growth; and reliably receive critical services and information from their governments.


  • Second, the Department of State will integrate cybersecurity, sustainable development, and technological innovation throughout our approach. Cybersecurity, data security, and cyber-resilience are prerequisites for and enablers of economic growth and healthy civic spaces where citizens can exercise their rights; countries cannot build and support an innovative digital ecosystem that benefits everyone without first securing it.


  • in Third, the Department of State will implement a comprehensive policy approach that uses the appropriate tools of diplomacy and international statecraft across the entire digital ecosystem. This ecosystem includes but is not limited to hardware, software, protocols, technical standards, providers, operators, users, and supply chains spanning telecommunication networks, undersea cables, cloud computing, data centers, and satellite network infrastructure, operational technologies, applications, web platforms, and consumer technologies as well as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and other critical and emerging technologies. [2]


In line with these three principles, the Department of State will build digital solidarity through four areas of action, which flow from creating and governing digital ecosystems to defending against malicious actions and delivering assistance and building resilience:


  1. Promote, build, and maintain an open, inclusive, secure, and resilient digital ecosystem;


  2. Align rights-respecting approaches to digital and data governance with international partners;


  3. Advance responsible state behavior in cyberspace, and counter threats to cyberspace and critical infrastructure by building coalitions and engaging partners;


  4. Strengthen and build international partner digital and cyber capacity.


The Department of State will reinforce efforts to forge digital solidarity by its proactive participation in international, multilateral, and multistakeholder bodies where obligations, norms, standards, and principles are developed that impact cyberspace, digital, Internet, and technology issues. While progress in these venues can be slow and incremental – frequently as a function of their objectives—but a lack of U.S. leadership in international fora may allow adversaries to fill the void and shape the future of technology to the detriment of U.S. interests and values.


Nearly all foreign policy issues – from international security to democracy and human rights to global health and climate change – will be shaped by today’s investments in cyberspace and digital technology diplomacy. The Department of State will lead the interagency process to set, coordinate, and integrate cyber and digital technology diplomacy efforts to advance U.S. national interests and values over the next decade and beyond. The efficacy of U.S. efforts and related messaging, however, depends in part on consistency and action at home, both in policy and on execution. For example, U.S. technology companies are the leaders in the first wave of digitalization and are now pushing the innovative edge on AI systems. The United States, therefore, should be a leader in promoting accountability for technology platforms. We need to help lead the responsible design, development, governance, and use of the next wave of technologies in line with democratic values and respect for human rights.


The United States has great strengths that serve us in shaping the future of digital technologies: strong alliances and partnerships; the world’s most innovative technology companies; a transparent, inclusive, and enabling policy environment; and robust and engaged civil society and technical communities. The United States is mobilizing these resources to implement this affirmative and proactive international cyberspace and digital strategy.



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This post was originally published on May 6, 2024, by the U.S Department of State