By Nick Wadhams and Nafeesa Syeed | Bloomberg
- Cyber coordinator helped negotiate 2015 pact with China
- Office will be merged into bureau handling economic affairs
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is shutting down an office that coordinates cyber issues with other countries, according to two people familiar with the plan, in a move that critics said will diminish the U.S. voice in confronting hackers.
The Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, established under President Barack Obama in 2011, will be folded into the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, according to the people, who asked not to be identified in advance of an announcement. The coordinator will no longer report directly to the secretary of state, going instead through the bureau’s chain of command as Tillerson pushes ahead with a department-wide reorganization, they said.
“Laws and requirements pertaining to cyber security vary from country to country, however, the importance of this issue has been internationally recognized. International cooperation with regards to cyber security is particularly important given the cyber threats that currently face not only private entities and individuals, but also governments. Cyber security must remain a focus of not only individuals and businesses, but of the federal government, no matter what office or department is responsible for it.”