Tillerson floats idea for new ‘cyber bureau’ at State

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (State Department/Flickr)

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wants to create a new “cyber bureau” at the department to build relationships with foreign governments and coordinate on international cybersecurity priorities, according to a letter sent Tuesday to the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The proposition first surfaced publicly during a committee hearing this week on the state of U.S. cyber diplomacy. Former State Department Cybersecurity Coordinator Christopher Painter and former Pentagon cybersecurity adviser Michael Sulmeyer criticized Tillerson for shuttering one such office, which Painter previously oversaw, last year during a myriad other cuts.

“The Department of State must be organized to lead diplomatic efforts related to all aspects of cyberspace,” says Tillerson’s letter to committee Chairman Edward Royce, R-Calif.

The Tillerson proposal would combine elements of the defunct Office of the Cybersecurity Coordinator and the current Bureau of Economic Affairs’ Office of International Communications and Information Policy to introduce a new “Bureau for Cyberspace and the Digital Economy.”

Read more about the proposed office on CyberScoop.

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Cybersecurity, Rex Tillerson, State Department
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