Originally published: June 2, 2011
Last updated: June 2, 2011 - 8:07pm
Cyber security is now a diplomatic priority for the United States with Washington looking to build relationships to tackle information theft and reduce the risk of conflict, a senior official said.
State Department coordinator for cyber issues, Christopher Painter, said the United States faced a host of potential threats in cyberspace from freelance hackers to militants and potentially rival states. Diplomacy and policy was only just beginning to catch up with technology, he said. "It is clear that cyber security is now a policy imperative," he said. "It goes across governance issues, economic issues, military issues. The best course of action is to engage with countries and have a free and frank discussion. We're just at the beginning of this." Painter, appointed in April after working as senior director for cyber security policy at the White House, would not discuss recent security breaches nor say who he thought might be responsible. But it was clear issues needed to be addressed, he said.