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U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

02/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/23/2021 13:26

McCaul, Meeks, Gallagher, Langevin, Kinzinger, Keating Reintroduce the Cyber Diplomacy Act

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Washington, DC - House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), and Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and Bill Keating (D-MA) reintroduced the Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2021. This bill will ensure the State Department opens the Office of International Cyberspace Policy to advocate our democratic ideals in the global cyberspace.

'The United States must lead the way in creating a free and secure internet global space to stop authoritarian regimes, like those in Russia and China, from censoring the truth. The State Department must have the necessary resources and abilities to push back against any malign activities from our adversaries. This is a bipartisan bill because promoting freedom and democratic ideals isn't a Republican issue or a Democrat issue - it's an American issue,' said Lead Republican McCaul.

'The State Department needs to be better prepared to advance America's international interests in cyber policy, and that's exactly what the Cyber Diplomacy Act will do. Our allies and adversaries are prioritizing international engagement to set the standards and rules that govern how the internet is structured and used. The United States has always been a leader in this space, helping to ensure an open, interoperable, and secure internet, but we need to redouble our efforts to ensure we are not left behind,' said Chairman Meeks.

'The State Department is on the frontlines of our efforts to promote our values in cyberspace. It's critical we ensure the department has the structure in place to achieve this mission,' said Rep. Gallagher. 'The Cyber Diplomacy Act is an important, bipartisan step towards achieving this goal, and will help keep Americans, our interests, and our critical infrastructure safe in the 21st century.'

'The Cyberspace Solarium Commission made clear that we need a whole-of-government approach that prioritizes diplomacy to strengthen our cybersecurity and confront the wide array of threats we face,' said Langevin, a member of the Solarium Commission and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems. 'Establishing a Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy at the State Department will help shape and strengthen cyber norms and bolster the United States' leadership on the global stage. I'm pleased to join my colleagues to advance needed cyber policy that will help build the layered cyber deterrence that will keep Americans and our systems secure.'

'Freedom of speech and information on the internet are both essential in promoting democracy and human rights around the world. Unfortunately, these tools are under assault by the Russian Federation, the People's Republic of China, and other malign actors. As such, the United States must act,'saidCongressman Kinzinger. 'I'm proud to re-introduce this legislation with Ranking Member McCaul, Chairman Meeks, and my other colleagues who are leaders on these issues. Only through a coordinated effort will we push back against Russian misinformation and China's attempts to stifle democracy in Hong Kong.'

'Cyber attacks and targeted misinformation are some of the most significant ways that our enemies can undermine democracies,' said Congressman Bill Keating, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment, and Cyber. 'The Cyber Diplomacy Act will provide a stronger partnership with our international allies so that we can combat cyber attacks and other issues in cyber with a unified approach. This includes promoting our shared values of the rule of law, privacy, human rights, and freedom of expression. Our world is too dependent on cyber activities to allow bad actors to go unchecked.'

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