Why it Matters. The establishment of the bureau and plans for a new envoy to oversee critical and emerging technology come after a series of significant hack attacks and other online crimes, notably ransomware assaults on U.S. infrastructure.
Details. Blinken said in a memo to staff that following congressional approval, the new envoy and the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy "provide us with greater leadership and accountability to drive the diplomatic agenda within the interagency and abroad," per AFP.
- State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a briefing later Monday that the new Senate-confirmed ambassador-at-large would "lead the immediate technology diplomacy agenda with our allies, partners, and across the range of multilateral fora."
- The envoy would focus on "three key areas: international cyberspace security, international digital policy and digital freedom."
- Some $590 million had been paid by victims of ransomware attacks in the first six months of this year amid a surge in cybercrime, according to a Treasury Department report released earlier this month.