House Foreign Affairs Leaves Cyber Diplomacy Act Largely Untouched

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The House Foreign Affairs Committee marked up the Cyber Diplomacy Act yesterday, signaling the overall approval of the legislation by the committee.

The markups by the committee were mostly technical adjustments, such as editing word choice. Ranking Member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, made the largest change – which was still relatively minor – which called for editing of the list of topics that the Government Accountability Office would investigate for a report it would later present to the committee.

The bipartisan bill would establish an Office of International Cyberspace Policy, which would be led by a president-appointed Ambassador for Cyberspace. The legislation also creates principles for an international cyberspace policy, touching upon human rights issues and combatting cyber-theft efforts.

The issue of a cyber bureau within the State Department has gained steam in recent months – a State Department official noted in late February that the department is already preparing to create a cyber bureau.

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