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House OKs Bill to Reinstate State Dept Cyber Office

The House on Wednesday passed by a voice vote a bill that would put back a State Department office that works to facilitate negotiations on international cybersecurity policies, The Hill reported Wednesday.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-California) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-New York), the House panel’s ranking member, introduced in September the Cyber Diplomacy Act that seeks to create a new office of cyber issues that would advance collaboration with other countries to address cyber threats.

The office’s chief would be confirmed by the Senate and would serve as an ambassador on cybersecurity issues.

Nextgov also reported the proposed measure would establish international cyber norms in a push to prevent cyber attacks on energy plants and other critical infrastructure.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informed Congress in August 2017 of his plans to shut down the department’s cyber coordinator office led by White House veteran Chris Painter and transfer its functions to the agency’s economics bureau as part of a reorganization effort.

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