State Dept. Reverses Course, Plans to Launch Cyber and Digital Economy Bureau

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to launch a new cyberspace and digital economy bureau, seemingly reversing course under congressional pressure after he shuttered the department’s cyber coordinator’s office in August.

Tillerson announced plans for the new bureau in a letter to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., delivered in the middle of a Tuesday hearing on cyber diplomacy issues. Among the witnesses testifying at that hearing was the department’s ousted cyber coordinator Chris Painter.

The new bureau “would cohesively unify the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues and the Bureau of Economic Affairs’ Office of International Communications and Information Policy,” a State Department spokesperson said.

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