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State Department launches new cybersecurity bureau

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The State Department launched a new cybersecurity bureau on Monday meant to respond to the growing threat of cyber attacks.

A major focus of the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP) is to make digital protection a key part of U.S. foreign policy.

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“The CDP bureau includes three policy units: International Cyberspace Security, International Information and Communications Policy, and Digital Freedom,” said the State Department in a statement.

“I think it’s really significant when you have the State Department, which is the representative of the United States on the international forum, reorganize and orient itself around the future of digital policy,” said Alan Butler, Executive Director and President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). “They have a lot of work to do, and their coordinating function will be increasingly important because there’s not always uniformed views on these issues even within the U.S. federal government.”

Butler said while the new bureau will help improve U.S. cybersecurity protections, EPIC is pushing the federal government to do more and create a federal data protection agency as well.

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“Definitely a step in the right direction but it doesn’t finish the work,” said Butler. “There’s still a lot to do at the federal level.”

The State Department said Jennifer Bachus, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will run the new bureau temporarily until an Ambassador-at-Large is confirmed by the Senate.