Pillars of The International Strategy for Cyberspace

Date: 04/21/2016 Description: Image of the world map criss-crossed with communication lines © iStock Photo

The internet has linked us all in a human chain that spans the globe, and the freedoms that we seek in the virtual square and public square are absolutely one and the same. So we need to each stand for an open, secure, and inclusive internet, and we each must work for the day when we are bound together not only by the humanity that ties us all together, but by the freedoms that for too long have been the province of too few. That’s our mission.

— Secretary John Kerry, Freedom Online Coalition Conference, Tallinn, Estonia, April 28, 2014


The Secretary’s Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues works to implement the International Strategy for Cyberspace, which outlines the U.S. vision for the future of cyberspace, and sets the agenda for partnering with other nations and peoples to realize it. As described in the International Strategy, the United States seeks a cyberspace environment that rewards innovation, empowers individuals, strengthens communities, builds better governments, expands accountability, safeguards fundamental freedoms, enhances personal privacy, and strengthens national and international security.


The State Department advances the goals laid out in the International Strategy with diplomatic and development engagement intended to:

Promote Norms and Build International Security: Build global consensus regarding responsible state behavior in cyberspace including the application of existing international law to enhance stability, ground national security policies, strengthen partnerships, and prevent misinterpretations that can lead to conflict.

Date: 04/21/2016 Description: U.S. flag keyboard key © iStock Photo

Fight Cybercrime: Enhance states’ ability to fight cybercrime, including promoting international cooperation and information sharing, and training for law enforcement, forensic specialists, jurists, and legislators.

Strengthen Internet Public Policy and Internet Governance: Develop policies that promote international standards and innovation; enhance security, reliability, and resiliency; extend collaboration and the rule of law; and promote inclusive Internet governance structures and institutions that include stakeholders from government, civil society, and the private sector and effectively serve the needs of all internet users.

Support Internet Freedom: Preserve and expand the Internet as an open, global space for free expression, and for organizing and interaction across the full range of human interests and endeavors; promote international consensus on the application of human rights in cyberspace; provide political and technical support for individuals facing internet repression; and encourage companies to adopt practices and policies that respect human rights online.

Perform Cybersecurity Due Diligence: Develop and strengthen relationships with other countries to improve global cybersecurity by enhancing domestic network defense, and incident management and recovery capabilities; increasing participation in existing regional and global cybersecurity structures; and cooperating in efforts to address threats of mutual concern.

Develop the Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Economic Growth: Expand ICT infrastructure, increase access to the Internet, and encourage the production of appealing and contextually relevant online content for local users as a means of catalyzing economic and social development.

We invite other states and peoples to join us in realizing the vision of prosperity, security, and openness in our networked world. We call on the private sector, civil society, and end-users to reinforce these efforts through partnership, awareness, and action.