State Department formally launches new cyber bureau

The State Department launched its new Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy on Monday in what it says is a modernization of the agency aimed at emerging technology issues in diplomacy.

A statement issued by the department said the bureau will address “the national security challenges, economic opportunities, and implications for U.S. values associated with cyberspace, digital technologies, and digital policy.”

It will consist of three policy units, including international cyberspace security, international information and communications policy, and digital freedom.

The bureau will eventually be led by a Senate-confirmed ambassador-at-large. Jennifer Bachus, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will serve as principal deputy assistant secretary, leading the bureau until an appointee is confirmed.

Other positions announced on Monday include Michele Markoff, who will serve as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Cyberspace Security, Stephen Anderson as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Information and Communications Policy, and Blake Peterson as Acting Digital Freedom Coordinator.

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the creation of the new bureau in October last year and said both the head of the new bureau and the new special envoy would report to Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for the first year.

The State Department said it will also focus on hiring individuals with science and technology expertise to address emerging threats.

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