The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blink, announced Monday that the State Department will establish a new office and representative to handle cyber policy, renewing itself amid alarm over the rise in hacker attacks.
In a memo to staff, Blinken said a review showed the need for structural changes to “how the State Department should adapt to the challenges of the 21st century.”
He announced plans, subject to congressional approval, to create an Office of Cyberspace and Digital Policy with a new special envoy for critical and emerging technology.
“This structure will provide us with greater leadership and responsibility to advance the diplomatic agenda within the inter-institutional framework and abroad,” Blinken wrote.
He anticipated he would provide more details in a speech Wednesday at the Foreign Service Institute, the State Department’s training center in suburban Washington.
State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the envoy will focus on “three key areas: international cyberspace security, international digital politics and digital freedom.”
The digital push comes amid growing concern about America’s need to prepare for protracted conflict and disruption on the cyber front.
Microsoft stated on Monday that a group of Russian hackers behind the massive SolarWinds cyberattacks last year was behind a new assault on US and European targets.
The alleged attack comes despite warnings from President Joe Biden in his June meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.