US calls for global cyber security plan

While administration officials did not single out any countries in announcing the strategy, several officials said privately that the hope was that the initiative would prod China and Russia into allowing more Internet freedom, cracking down on intellectual property theft and enacting stricter laws to protect computer users’ privacy.

“The effort to build trust in the cyberspace realm is one which should be pushed in capitals around the world,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who will soon be taking over as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China.

The strategy calls for officials from the State Department, the Pentagon, the Justice Department, the Commerce Department and the Department of Homeland Security to work with their counterparts around the world to come up with standards aimed at preventing theft of private information and ensuring Internet freedom. A fact sheet released by the White House also promised that the US would respond to attempted hacking “as we would to any other threat to our country.”

Attorney General Eric H Holder Jr called it a “historic strategy,” adding that “the 21st-century threats that we now face to both our national and international security really have no borders.”

Last week the administration released the domestic component of its new computer security strategy, increasing and clarifying the penalties for computer crimes, and giving the domestic security agency a clear mandate for the protection of the government’s own networks.

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