Cybersecurity: Senate bill would make international cooperation a priority

Senate legislation would encourage State Department to work for international cooperation, norms

A new Senate bill would encourage the secretary of state to work with other governments to further cooperation on cybersecurity and would require the secretary to submit a report to Congress about those efforts.

The legislation, introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on July 10, states the secretary should work with other governments to:

  • Develop cooperative activities.
  • Encourage international cooperation for improving cybersecurity.
  • Develop safeguards for privacy, freedom of speech and commercial transactions to be included in agreements or other cybersecurity activities.

The bill would require the secretary to submit a detailed report to congressional committees about actions taken to meet these goals in 270 days of the legislation’s enactment.

“Relevant international cybersecurity agreements focus only on issues relating to cyber crime and common operating standards, and have not been signed by certain countries from which cyberattacks may be launched,” the bill states.

The Obama administration’s cyberspace policy review, released in May, also emphasized the need for international cooperation to secure cyberspace.

"International norms are critical to establishing a secure and thriving digital infrastructure," the policy review states. "The United States needs to develop a strategy designed to shape the international environment and bring like-minded nations together on a host of issues, including acceptable norms regarding territorial jurisdiction, sovereign responsibility, and use of force."

The review recommended that the government develop positions for an international cybersecurity policy framework and strengthen its international partnerships related to cybersecurity.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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