A new report by Bloomberg revealed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is planning to close an office that focuses on coming up with solutions with other countries on cybersecurity. He then plans to make the office into a bureau focused on economic issues.
The office is expected to be merged into State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, an organization in charge of economic diplomatic efforts that engages with nations on issues including trade, finance, telecommunications and internet policy, according to Bloomberg.
The Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues was first opened by the Obama administration in 2011.
Trump hasn’t seemed to care much about cybersecurity. But why would he? Russia helped him win the election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee.
Trump had a meeting with Vladimir Putin during the G-20 where he said he discussed cybersecurity with the Russian president.
A State Department official spoke with The Hill about the upcoming plans.
The official would not say whether closing the cyber office is under consideration.
“During this process, we are committed to ensuring the department is addressing such issues in the most effective and efficient way possible,” the official said. “We are not going to get ahead of any potential outcomes.”
Critics are saying that removing the cybersecurity office would go against the progress the U.S. has made on international cybersecurity engagement in recent years.
“It goes against everything we’ve been doing for the last decade,” James Lewis, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Hill.