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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags John BrennanU.S. White HouseregulationsecurityLeslie HarrisU.S. Department of StateCenter for Democracy and TechnologygovernmentBarack Obamahillary clintonInformation Technology Industry Council

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?