US State Department Publishes the US International Cyberspace & Digital Policy Strategy

WASHINGTON– May 6 2024 –The US State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy released its US International Cyberspace & Digital Policy Strategy.  The Strategy document seeks to build “digital solidarity” and foster democratic values-based and rights-respecting policies via shared mechanisms that will help maintain an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet as well as trusted cross-border data flows.

The Strategy calls for:

  • The joint development, harmonization, and mutual recognition of rights-respecting approaches to data governance and digital trade through mechanisms such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, the Digital Transformation with Africa initiative (DTA), the G7, OECD, TTC, and the Quad.
  • The trusted free flow of data and an open Internet with strong and effective protections for individuals’ human rights and privacy and measures to preserve governments’ abilities to enforce laws and advance policies in the public interest.
  • Addressing legitimate concerns about data privacy can be addressed through protective mechanisms that follow the data while at the same time facilitate cross-border data flows and strengthen global cooperation among enforcement authorities.
  • Promoting data transfer mechanisms that improve interoperability between different data privacy regimes, including in the EU-US Data Privacy Framework; the OECD Declaration on Trusted Government Access to Data Held by the Private Sector; and “Data Free Flows with Trust.”
  • Advancing the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) Forum alongside Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan, by offering a data privacy certification backed by relevant authorities that facilitates data flows by promoting interoperable, enforceable data protection standards.
  • Continued work clarifying application of the CLOUD Act and negotiation of bilateral agreements under it.

The GDA welcomes the State Department’s support for a proactive whole-of-government approach to addressing cross-border data policy challenges around the world. We also strongly support State’s efforts to help close the digital divide, given that 2.6 billion people still do not have access to the Internet, leaving a third of the world unconnected and disproportionately affecting women in low-income countries, 80 percent of whom do not use the Internet.

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