U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission: International Cooperation Critical to Securing Our Digital Future

Lillehammer, Norway – The U.S. Embassy Oslo Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Richard H. Riley, told cybersecurity experts gathered at the Lillehammer Security Festival on August 27 that a safe and secure Internet is a requirement for national and international security, our economic growth, and our democracies and freedom.  Mr. Riley emphasized that cyber security must be addressed through international cooperation.  For more than a decade, the United States, with partners like Norway, has been working to promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace.

Said Mr. Riley: “We have seen growing consensus around key elements of an international cyber stability framework to ensure that cyberspace is not some lawless ‘Wild West,’ but rather a place where there are clear expectations for responsible state conduct.  The framework for responsible State behavior in cyberspace has three elements: First, affirmation that existing international law applies to state behavior in cyberspace. We already have effective legal constructs in place and do not need new legal instruments; second, adherence to certain non-binding norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace during peacetime; and third, the development and implementation of practical confidence-building measures to reduce the risk of conflict in cyberspace.”

Mr. Riley highlighted U.S. concerns that authoritarian regimes and other malign actors are using the Internet and emerging technologies as tools for repression and to disrupt legitimate political processes.

“Our democratic values and institutions are also under direct attack through digitally enabled means.  As we saw in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election and similar efforts at foreign malign influence in democracies across the globe, the legitimacy of our political institutions and cohesion of our society are in the cross hairs of our adversaries.”