Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced legislation Monday aimed at enhancing U.S. efforts to develop a coordinated international strategy for improving cybersecurity and curtailing cyber attacks.
The bill would require the appointment of a senior coordinator at the State Department who would hold the rank of "ambassador at large" and would be responsible for advising the secretary of State about international cybersecurity and Internet issues. The official would help coordinate diplomatic efforts to help improve international cooperation in tackling cyber attacks and require the federal government to develop a clear strategy for international engagement on cybersecurity by considering negotiating a "multilateral framework that would provide internationally acceptable principles to mitigate cyber warfare," according to a statement from Kerry.
"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," said Kerry, who also serves as chairman of the Commerce Communications Subcommittee.
Gillibrand introduced legislation in March with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would require the president to submit to Congress an annual report on U.S. efforts to combat cyber crime and assessing the cooperation of other countries in cracking down on cyber attacks. In Kerry's statement, Gillibrand noted, "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."