The Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP) will focus on three key areas — cyberspace security, digital freedom, and global information and communications policy, the State Department said as it unveiled the bureau.
Mr Blinken announced the idea of establishing the CDP bureau during an October 2021 speech detailing his State Department modernisation agenda.
“On cyberspace and emerging technologies, we have a major stake in shaping the digital revolution that’s happening around us and making sure that it serves our people, protects our interests, boosts our competitiveness, and upholds our values,” he said at the time.
“Hello world!” the CDP said on its new Twitter account.
The CDP is expected to have an ambassador-at-large confirmed by the US Senate. Senior official Jennifer Bachus will lead the bureau until an ambassador is confirmed.
“We want to prevent cyber attacks that put our people, our networks, companies, and critical infrastructure at risk. We want the internet to remain a transformative force for learning, for connection, for economic growth, not a tool of repression," Mr Blinken said in his 2021 speech.
Aside from geopolitical attacks, an endless cascade of online disinformation sometimes morphs into dangers that can cause physical harm. President Joe Biden last year said false Covid-19 information spreading on Facebook platforms was "killing people".
There are also concerns about online policies that harm people's privacy or democratic rights to organise.