Media Contact: caroline.campbell@mail.house.gov

Washington D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced H.R. 739, the Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2019, to ensure American leadership on the world stage in keeping the Internet open, reliable and secure.

Ranking Member McCaul: “The threats to America’s security, economy, and the Internet itself are growing in cyberspace.  The United States must lead the way in promoting a secure and free Internet and reject China and Russia’s authoritarian attempts to impose state control over the global cyber commons. I am proud to sponsor the Cyber Diplomacy Act which elevates the State Department’s role in setting international cyber policy and strengthens our diplomatic tools.  By working with our foreign partners, this bipartisan legislation will globally promote a vibrant digital economy, multi-stakeholder Internet governance, and freedom online.”

Chairman Eliot Engel: “I’m glad to join Ranking Member McCaul to reintroduce the Cyber Diplomacy Act, which continues bipartisan work on the Foreign Affairs Committee to ensure American leadership on critical international issues will not be eroded. In the face of growing cyber threats from foreign adversaries, this legislation ensures that the State Department will lead global efforts to develop cyber security norms and reject authoritarian attempts to undermine internet freedoms.”

 

Specifically, the Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2019

  • Establishes a high-level Ambassador for Cyberspace to lead the State Department’s cyber diplomacy efforts and directs the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations to advance international cyberspace policy;
  • Creates a U.S. international cyber policy that advances democratic principles and rejects attempts by Russia and China to extort more control and censorship over the internet;
  • Specifies key objectives for implementing the strategy, including securing commitments on responsible state behavior, and requires regular updates to the strategy;
  • Promotes working with foreign governments to support the United States international cyberspace policy and establishes a congressional notification process for preexisting and future arrangements; and
  • Requires the State Department’s annual country report on human rights to include assessments related to internet freedoms.

###