chapter  2
29 Pages

US policy

From cyber incidents to national emergencies
ByGreg Austin

The chapter traces the evolution of US policy over roughly two decades since the Hart Rudman Commission set up in 1999, leading to the recommendation in early 2001 (before the September 11 terrorist attacks) for a Homeland Security Agency. After the attacks, the newly created Department of Homeland Security took on new national level responsibilities for cyber security to protect critical infrastructure. The chapter details the emergence in more recent years of the concept of a nationally “significant cyber incident”, the development of detailed plans for such incidents (2016), and the declaration four times in four years and one month (2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019) of a national emergency in cyberspace by successive presidents of different political parties. The chapter outlines the persistent difficulties the country has faced in matching its preparedness to its escalating view of the threats. This gap and the resulting insecurity have pushed the United States to challenge the viability of global regimes for telecommunications, trans-border investment, and technology transfer.