United States Cybersecurity Policy
This article examines the American policy in the field of cybersecurity since the 1990s to the present. The article is based on the constructivist theory of international relations and takes as a basis the discourse analysis of cyber threats reflected in U.S. official documents and strategies. The construction and articulation of cyber threats are, in this case, the founding factors for the further formulation of cybersecurity policy. Changes in the discourse of cyber threats allow us to analyze the evolution of the American approach to cybersecurity, notably the weights in the documents followed the changes of the presidential administrations, but the main focus on the infrastructure and network security remained stable. However, with the development and dissemination of technologies cyberthreats had received social and then political dimension. In the mid-2000s appeared the international dimension of cybersecurity policy; it became clear that cyberspace is global, and for the safe and cost-effective use of the Internet it is necessary to build an international cybersecurity system. The discourse of cyber threats in American documents has undergone some changes. Their typology was expanded and detailed, the variety of potentially dangerous actors has increased, and possible rivals have become openly called at the interstate level. The article consists of three sections. The first analyzes the U.S. approaches to cybersecurity in the late 1990s-early 2000s, when the protection of internal computer systems and the unilateral nature of the policy in cyberspace dominated the views of the American political establishment. The next section is devoted to the period of the B. Obama administration, when international cooperation was put on the agenda, and cybersecurity policy started being implemented on the principles of multistakeholderism – the participation of all stakeholders, including business, to create a secure cyberspace. The last two sections consider the paradigm shift in the American vision of cybersecurity towards information security, an approach actively advocated at the international level by Russia, that took place after the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The scandal with the use of personal data of American users of Facebook for targeting election advertising and propaganda can become a trigger for consolidating the information focus of cybersecurity in the updated American policy.
cybersecurity; information security; ICT; United States; sovereignty; Internet governance; global governance; presidential elections.
Authors: Ilona Stadnik, Natalia Tsvetkova
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