Clinton Names NSC Official to Head State’s Cyber Efforts

State Dept. headquarters, Photo: visitingdc.com

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in a Washington speech on global Internet freedom Tuesday that former National Security Council Director Christopher Painter will head the department’s new cybersecurity post.

Clinton’s announcement came in a broad speech on Internet freedom, coming against the backdrop of “citizens using social networking sites run by Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. organize demonstrations spreading across the Mideast and North Africa,” Bloomberg reported.

She said the United States would help “people in oppressive Internet environments” get around filters and censors to access what she called the “21st century-the world’s town square, classroom, marketplace, coffee house and nightclub.”

The coordinator for cyber issues position was established through the department’s first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which was completed in December. While in the works for some time the findings of the review  were revealed shortly after the WikiLeaks disclosures rocked Washington.

According to Federal Times, Painter’s new duties will include responsibility for protecting ”the confidentiality of communications between and among governments,” exactly the kind of materials that made its way into WikiLeaks’ hands and onto the front pages of newspapers worldwide.

Clinton also said State would complete an international cybersecurity strategy to be released later this year, Federal Times reported.

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