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Building Digital Solidarity: The US International Cyberspace & Digital Policy Strategy

Bola Ogbara
Bola Ogbara Connect on LinkedIn
2 min. read

The US International Cyberspace & Digital Policy Strategy will promote digital solidarity through international collaboration and standardized cybersecurity measures.

Building Digital Solidarity

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the release of a United States International Cyberspace & Digital Policy Strategy on May 6th, 2024, at the 33rd annual RSA conference. The strategy is part of the National Cybersecurity Strategy that was released in March of 2023, which emphasized the importance of international collaboration in creating a safer cyberspace.  


The main goal of the strategy is to build “digital solidarity”, which requires teamwork to help victims of cyberattacks, to help developing economies choose and set up secure technologies, and to build up stronger economies that will guide our technological futures. 


The strategy defines digital solidarity as a “willingness to work together on shared goals, to help partners build capacity, and to provide mutual support”, recognizing that teamwork between users of digital technology who respect others rights can improve international cyberspace. The Department of State says it will complete its mission in building digital solidarity by following three principles: 


  1. Promote a positive and helpful way of thinking about digital technology, based on agreements and rules that all countries follow, including human rights laws.
  2. Include protection against cyber attacks, making sure technology is helpful for the environment, and finding new ways to use technology throughout everything they do
  3. Use different ways to negotiate and make agreements with other countries about the digital world, to make sure everyone is safe online.


In addition to these principles, there are four areas of action, each with several lines of effort, that the department plans to follow in order to build digital solidarity: 


1. Encourage, create, and uphold a safe and strong online community that includes everyone:The State Department wants to secure and strengthen many means of communication, like telecommunications networks, cloud services, undersea cables, and satellite communications networks. They will also boost the effectiveness and accountability of the International Telecommunication Union.


2. Work with other countries to make sure everyone's rights are respected when it comes to managing digital information: The department will ensure that data is shared in a safe and trusted way, while also working to harmonize standards on technology use domestically and internationally. This process will involve multiple stakeholders and perspectives so that everyone’s rights will be respected. They plan to negotiate a protective treaty for victims of cybercrime, and find means of reducing information manipulation (a real concern with the advancement of AI). 


3. Move forward with behaving responsibly online as a country, and join forces with others to protect against cyber threats to important online systems: This part of the strategy is more dependent on international cooperation. The State Department will disrupt and strengthen defenses against harmful actions by states, while also assisting and supporting the allies and partners facing those malicious actions. They will also hold states responsible for irresponsible behavior, which will be possible with a growing coalition of nations willing to do so. Lastly, they will crackdown on cybercrime, protect democratic processes and institutions, and fight against the spread and misuse of spyware used for commercial purposes.


4. Boost and develop other countries' abilities in digital and cyber matters through collaboration: The final action in the strategy is the shortest, with only three lines of action. The department will assist in growing knowledge and skills in digital policies and regulations, strengthen their partners' abilities in cybersecurity, and create faster, more effective ways to provide digital and cybersecurity support.

This document is certainly monumental, but it’s not the only important update to the goals and principles outlined in the 2023 National Cyber Strategy. The Office of the National Cyber Directive (ONCD) has recently released a report on the US’s cybersecurity posture, in addition to a second version of the National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan. Both domestically and internationally, the United States is taking important steps to build a stronger and brighter digital future.