US unveils first international cyber security strategy

The Obama Admin has laid out plans for international cooperation in making the Internet more secure.

Updated: May 17, 2011, 18:14 PM IST

Washington: The Obama Administration has laid out plans for international cooperation in making the Internet more secure and has said that it will strike back to
any hostile attack in cyberspace.

According to the policy document, the United States will, along with other nations, encourage responsible behavior and oppose those who would seek to disrupt networks and systems, thereby dissuading and deterring malicious actors, while reserving the right to defend these vital national assets as necessary and appropriate.

The White House made it clear the US would use its military might to strike back if it would come under a cyberattack that threatened national security.

"When warranted, the United States will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country. We reserve the right to use all necessary means
? diplomatic, informational, military, and economic as appropriate and consistent with applicable international law, in order to defend our Nation, our allies, our partners, and
our interests," the policy document said.

"In so doing, we will exhaust all options before military force whenever we can; will carefully weigh the costs and risks of action against the costs of inaction; and will
act in a way that reflects our values and strengthens our legitimacy, seeking broad international support whenever possible," it said.

The administration said it ensure that citizens everywhere have the freedom to express themselves online.

The plan emerges as international leaders are struggling to improve cooperation on global cybercrime and set guidelines for Internet oversight.

The US Attorney General Eric Holder said, "With the unveiling of this strategy, we are signaling that nearly a decade since the approval of the Budapest Convention on
Cybercrime, a new era of global collaboration, engagement and vigilance has begun." As per this new strategy, listed out in a 30-pagedocument, the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said the US will work internationally to promote open, interoperable,
secure, and reliable information and communications infrastructure that supports international trade and commerce, strengthens international security, and fosters free
expression and innovation.

The United States, she said, is committed to ensuring that the internet remains open, secure, and free, not only for the two billion people who are now online, but for the
billions more who will be online in the years ahead.

"What they are able to do in cyberspace, whether they can exchange ideas and opinions openly, freely explore the subjects of their choosing, stay safe from cyber criminals,
and engage in professional and personal activities online, confident that doing so will remain private and secure, depends a great deal on the policies that we will adopt
together," Clinton said.

"The US International Strategy for Cyberspace will foster deeper, more effective collaboration among international partners, government, nongovernment and private
sector entities, as well as individuals, families and communities. All of these play a role in creating a more secure cyberspace," said the Homeland Security Secretary,
Janet Napolitano.

"To achieve our vision, the United States will build an international environment that ensures global networks are open to new innovations, interoperable the world over, secure enough to support people`s work, and reliable enough to earn
their trust. To achieve it, we will build and sustain an environment in which norms of responsible behaviour guide states` actions, sustain partnerships, and support the rule of
law," said Howard Schmidt, the White House Cyber Security Chief.