US Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy Officially Launches

The United States Department of State has announced that the newly created Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP) has officially launched.

The State Department’s press release on the milestone called the new office a “key piece of” [US Secretary of State] Blinken’s modernization agenda.” The CDP agency will be tasked with addressing national security issues related to cyberspace, as well as exploring economic opportunities and evaluating “implications for American values ‚Äč‚Äčassociated with cyberspace, digital technologies, and digital policy.”

Internally, the CDP will consist of three “policy units” that will cover the three tent pole areas of interest. These include the International Cyberspace Security Unit, the International Information and Communications Policy Unit and the Digital Freedom Unit.

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The agency will be headed by a Senate-confirmed individual with the title of “Ambassador in General,” reflecting the diplomatic slant of the CDP’s mandate. Until the first person to fill the role is confirmed, the CDP will be led by Jennifer Bachus, a “Senior Foreign Service career member.” She will be permanent deputy assistant secretary of the CDP bureau and in the meantime as a senior bureau officer.

The leadership of the three internal units includes Michele Markoff as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Cyberspace Security, Stephen Anderson as Deputy Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Information and Communications Policy, and Blake Peterson as Acting Coordinator for Digital Freedom.

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This is the latest effort by the US federal government to bring an agency together around concerns related to digital policy and cyberspace. Efforts have been ongoing since the Obama administration, but reached a dark age until late in the Trump administration, when a last-minute attempt was made to create the then-Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies (CSET) agency. .

The new CDP office is expected to start with a staff of about 100 people. That number is likely to expand later if it is successful in its mission to help the federal government better navigate the rapidly changing digital landscape.


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