Monitoring American Cyberspace Policy

The rest of the world is carefully watching the United States as it develops its cyber policies, said Robert Childs, chancellor of National Defense University’s iCollege. Speaking at AFA’s CyberFutures Conference outside of Washington, D.C., on Friday, Childs said iCollege officials started travelling the globe about two years to find out what other countries are doing in cyberspace and what type of collaboration is possible. Singapore, for example, begins cyber education in elementary school and carries it all the way through college, he said. “That’s what we need to do,” said Childs. Middle East nations, on the other hand, are particularly interested in control systems in computers that monitor the electric and water grids and dams, he said. Saudi Arabia’s head of cyber issues wrote in a recent article that Saudi officials derive the majority of their understanding from the American and European experience, explained Childs. The Saud cyber head “had read in detail” Pentagon pronouncements on cyber educational policy and international cyber policy, noted Childs. “The point to take away from here is that there are many countries that are taking the lead from the US on what we are doing in these areas. We are being followed very, very closely.”