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The U.S. Department of State (often referred to as the State Department), is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the U.S. government, similar to foreign ministries, foreign offices, ministries of external relations, etc. in other countries.
The Department of State has a variety of duties relating to cyberspace. For example, it is responsible for the formulation, coordination, and oversight of foreign policy related to international communications and information policy, including exercising primary authority for the determination of U.S. positions and the conduct of U.S. participation in negotiations with foreign governments and international bodies. It is also responsible for coordination and oversight with respect to all major science and technology agreements.
In addition, under the 2003 National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, the Department of State is to lead federal efforts to enhance international cybersecurity cooperation. Under HSPD-7, the Department is also to work collaboratively with DHS in efforts to secure cyberspace. Further, according to officials, the department has a role in CNCI efforts and the activities of the International Sub-IPC. Department officials further stated that the department focuses on engaging countries, bilaterally and multilaterally, on a range of cyberspace issues.
To fulfill the department’s lead responsibility, a number of Department of State entities are given roles:
- The Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, International Communications and Information Policy (EEB/CIP), is responsible for international telecommunications and information policy.
- The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), Office of Cyber Affairs, is responsible for providing intelligence analysis and coordinating international outreach on cybersecurity issues.
- The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is responsible for coordinating policy and programs to combat cybercrime.
- The Office of European Security and Political Affairs (EUR/RPM) develops and coordinates policy on U.S. security interests in Europe.
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