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Secretary Locke Higlights Efforts to Bolster Cyber Security in the Commercial Arena

July 27, 2010
News Media Contact
Commerce Department

The U.S. Department of Commerce today hosted a full-day public symposium devoted to protecting the information of consumers and the commercial sector from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. The meeting is part of a broader effort to use the internet to foster innovation and economic growth. Organized by the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force, the event featured senior government and private-sector leaders in a wide-ranging discussion of issues, best practices, and strategies for responding to cyber threats. 

“The importance of cyber security can be summed up in one word: confidence. That’s what underpins everything we do on the Internet,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in his opening remarks at the event, held at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. “We are now developing a policy framework for innovation and working to strengthen the connective tissue of the Internet.”

Several high-level administration and Congressional officials addressed the symposium, including: U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski; U.S. Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt; U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra; and Commerce Department General Counsel Cameron Kerry.  Panel discussions featured senior officials from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, the Commerce Department and private-sector executives.

The Internet has become vitally important to U.S. innovation, prosperity, education, civic activity and cultural life as well as aspects of America’s national security. A top priority of the Department of Commerce is to ensure that the internet remains an open and trusted infrastructure, both for commercial entities and individuals.

The Department of Commerce is publishing a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on “Cybersecurity, Innovation, and Internet Policy.” The NOI appears in today’s electronic version and in the July 28 print edition of the Federal Register. The NOI examines the nexus between cyber security challenges in the commercial sector and innovation in the Internet economy.  The Notice of Inquiry seeks comments from all stakeholders, including the commercial, academic and civil society sectors, on measures to improve cyber security while sustaining innovation. After analyzing comments on this notice, the department intends to issue a report that will contribute to the Administration’s domestic and international policies and activities in advancing both cyber security and the Internet economy.

In pursuit of the priority to keep the internet open and trusted, Locke created the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force in April. Its mission is to identify leading policy challenges and to recommend possible solutions. The Task Force draws upon expertise across many bureaus at the Commerce Department, including those responsible for cyber security standards and best practices, information and communications policy, international trade, intellectual property, business advocacy and export control.