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International Cybersecurity Strategy: Deterring Foreign Threats and Building Global Cyber Norms

Christopher Painter, the former State Department’s lead cyber diplomat, addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy on the continuing efforts of the United States in regards to cyber foreign policy efforts on May 25, 2016. These efforts mainly focus on promoting responsible state behavior in cyberspace and ultimately working toward stability in the cyber domain. Painter talks about the United State’s current cyber foreign policy specifically outlining the efforts guided by the President Obama’s, 2011 International Strategy for Cyberspace. The United State’s policy, based on President Obama’s framework, is based on three major principles. The first, and most important, is that cyberspace needs to be governed by international law, in times of peace and war. Painter notes that fortunately even countries like Russia and China, who hold alternative views on the internet and freedom of information, generally acknowledge that international law applies in cyberspace. The second principle is that state’s need to actively carry out their cyber operations responsibly in times of peace. This means that states must secure their own cyber systems to prevent from attacks, and also create protocols that will help mitigate potential international cyber conflicts. The final principle is that states must implement confidence building measures, or CBMs. These are number of different techniques, from transparency measures, to measures that combat specific cyber threat actors, and they can increase confidence and stability in the cyber domain. Keywords Stability, international law, cooperation, cybersecurity
Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee
Industry Focus: 
Information & Telecommunication
Internet & Cyberspace
United States