Press Release

Kerry, Gillibrand Introduce Legislation To Strengthen America’s Cybersecurity Efforts

Apr 12, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today introduced legislation that will strengthen the ability of the United States to develop a clear and coordinated strategy for international cyberspace and cybersecurity policy.  The bill will create the framework for coordinating our efforts with other countries to defend against cyberattacks that threaten our power stations, telecommunications systems and financial markets.

 The International Cyberspace and Cybersecurity Coordination Act of 2010 will authorize the creation of a senior coordinator at the State Department, with the rank and status of Ambassador at Large. This person will be the principal advisor to the Secretary of State on international cyberspace and cybersecurity issues.  The coordinator will provide strategic direction for United States government policy and programs aimed at addressing cyberspace and cybersecurity issues overseas.  The bill will ensure the Administration develops a clear and coordinated strategy for international cyber engagement, including considering the utility of negotiating a multilateral framework that would provide internationally acceptable principles to mitigate cyberwarfare. 

“Just as the physical safety of America is under constant threat from those who would do us harm, we are also engaged in a battle over the control of information in cyberspace and need to build better defenses against potential attacks on our infrastructure,” said Chairman Kerry.  “We must do everything we can to forestall the possibility of cyberwarfare and create a multilateral framework that will persuade countries to cooperate on pressing cyber issues. This bill is the first step to better organize U.S. efforts to develop a coordinated strategic approach to international cyberspace and cybersecurity issues by designating a single diplomat responsible for U.S. cyber policy overseas.”

 “Cybersecurity must be a top priority for our national security,” Senator Gillibrand said. “If we’re going to protect our networks, our infrastructure, our economy and our families, we have to go after cyber criminals wherever they may be – and it must be an international effort. This legislation, which is part of the International Cybercrime Reporting and Cooperation Act I introduced last month, would ensure that America works with the governments of foreign countries to foster a global response to cyberattacks. Our legislation will make America safer by making our cyber diplomacy more robust, and coordinating with our partners in the international community.”