House Foreign Affairs Members Introduce Cyber Diplomacy Act

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The chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs have introduced H.R. 739, the Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2019, which would establish an Ambassador for Cyberspace in the State Department.

The bipartisan bill would establish an Office of International Cyberspace Policy, led by an Ambassador for Cyberspace appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The bill also establishes principles for an international cyberspace policy, including human rights and opposing cyber-enabled theft. And it encourages the President to enter into agreements with other countries that advance these principles.

Sponsored by Reps. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., chairman of the committee, and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the ranking member, the bill follows up on similar efforts in the last congress. A previous version of the bill passed the House in January 2018 and advanced through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in June, but did not receive a vote in the full Senate.

“In the face of growing cyber threats from foreign adversaries, this legislation ensures that the State Department will lead global efforts to develop cyber security norms and reject authoritarian attempts to undermine internet freedoms,” said Engel.

“The United States must lead the way in promoting a secure and free Internet and reject China and Russia’s authoritarian attempts to impose state control over the global cyber commons,” said McCaul.

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