White House releases new cyberspace strategy

The new policy pushes privacy, security and reliability as goals for the Internet

The US government will push for the protection of privacy and other fundamental freedoms in cyberspace and for other nations to support the free flow of information across the Internet, according to the nation's first comprehensive cyberspace strategy, released Monday.

The 30-page strategy, released by the White House, focuses the US government's efforts on promoting an open, interoperable, secure and reliable Internet.

"The United States will work internationally to promote an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable information and communications infrastructure that supports international trade and commerce, strengthens international security, and fosters free expression and innovation," the strategy reads. "To achieve that goal, we will build and sustain an environment in which norms of responsible behavior guide states' actions, sustain partnerships, and support the rule of law in cyberspace."

Cyberspace needs to be open to new innovation, secure enough to support people's work and reliable enough to earn their trust, said John Brennan, President Barack Obama's domestic security advisor.

"To our international guests, the president's message here is clear," Brennan said during a White House unveiling of the strategy. "If you seek an Internet that has all the same benefits of today, and fewer risks, you have a partner in the United States. If you want to see a world where more countries have access to these technologies, where people can use them without compromising their safety, privacy, or their rights of free expression, you have a partner in the United States."

The U.S. can't ensure the privacy and security of Internet users by itself, added Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state. Those protections depend "a great deal on the policies we will adopt together," she said to foreign leaders.

Clinton's Department of State has focused on Internet freedom as a main policy goal, but the new strategy ties together several issues facing the Internet, she said.

The Internet provides great opportunity for communication, but it also "gives governments new tools for clamping down on dissent," Clinton said. "And while the Internet creates new economic opportunities for people on every point of the development spectrum, it also gives criminals new opportunities to steal personal data and intellectual property."

In the strategy, the U.S. government seeks to expand the opportunities the Internet provides, while "sharpening our response to deal with the threats and the problems and the disputes that are part of cyberspace," Clinton added.

The new strategy is an attempt to build consensus about Internet policy, but not a prescription telling other nations how to develop their own views of cyberspace, Clinton said.

Several groups praised the new strategy. The new document describes the fundamental values that underlie US policies and gives a guide to US agencies as they create their own Internet strategies, said the Center for Democracy and Technology, a digital rights group.

"By putting these principles forward, the Administration has invited civil society and the world at large to hold the government accountable to the principles it has articulated," CDT President Leslie Harris said in a statement. "As is the case with any document of this breadth, some principles outlined in the strategy will sometimes come into conflict -- one measure of who we are as a nation will be how those conflicts are resolved."

The Information Technology Industry Council, a trade group, said the strategy is the "correct path" forward because it balances U.S. economic goals with its diplomatic and national security priorities. US leadership is critical for an international consensus on Internet policy, the group said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the US government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationBarack Obamahillary clintonCenter for Democracy and TechnologyU.S. White HouseU.S. Department of StateLeslie HarrisJohn BrennanInformation Technology Industry Council

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?