Evolution of American Cyber Security Policies

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-10-51-58

P. Sharikov (pasha.sharikov@gmail.com),
Institute for USA and Canada Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 2/3, Khlebnyi Per., Moscow, 121069, Russian Federation;
Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article is devoted to the evolution of the American national cyber security strategies during the two recent decades. Ever since the late 1990s, cyber security has become one of the top national security priorities. However, every presidential administration had different approaches to ensuring cyber security. Theoretically, every cyber threat has at least three elements, each of which has to be considered to work out a robust cyber security strategy: the source of attack, the target of attack and the means of attack. The W. J. Clinton administration prioritized cyber threats only by the end of 1990s, and the major agency responsible for cyber security was the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which meant that the government mostly countered criminal threats to commercial sector. G. W. Bush administration’s top national security priority was countering terrorism; hence, cyber security was integrated into most of the antiterrorist activities. National Security Strategy declared preventive action as a general approach to antiterrorist activities, which is why the government needed to collect and analyze a lot of personal data. The general government agency responsible for cyber security became Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the cyber security policies included many legislative initiatives comprising the USA PATRIOT Act, new Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA), etc. Barack Obama’s cyber security strategy was part of the globalist agenda aimed at building international partnerships, as opposed to the unipolar world (the strategy of a previous administration). The Obama administration made an effort to implement deterrence policies to counter cyber threats. The general agency to deter cyber threats was the new CYBERCOM, created as a part of STRATCOM. Obama administration had to adopt a lighter legislation regulating government control over information – for example Freedom Act. Donald Trump’s cyber security agenda includes the development of offensive cyber capabilities, as outlined in the White House and Department of Defense cyber security strategies. While the distinction between offence and defense in cyberspace is very vague, obviously Trump’s strategy is aimed at countering American adversaries. Russian-American relations are of special concern in this regard, because the new technologies are becoming a part of a new arms race. And while the traditional arms control regime is collapsing, it triggers a number of destabilizing trends in contemporary international relations.

Keywords: USA, cyber security policies, Donald Trump administration, Russian-American relations, information security, cyber security 


1. Arquilla J., Ronfeldt D. Cyberwar is Coming! Comparative Strategy, 1993, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 141-165.

2. Boys J.D. The Clinton administration’s development and implementation of cybersecurity strategy (1993–2001). Intelligence and National Security, 2018, no. 33(5), pp. 755-770. DOI:10.1080/02684527.2018.1449369

3. he National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. February 2003. Available at: https://www.nitrd.gov/cybersecurity/documents/NationalStrategytoSecureCyberspace2003.pdf (accessed 03.04.2019).

4. Rollins J., Henning A. C. Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative: Legal Authorities and Policy Considerations. Congressional Research Service Report (2009). Available at: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40427.pdf (accessed 03.04.2019).

5. National Security Strategy. September 2002. Available at: https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/nsc/nss/2002/ (accessed 14.06.2019).

6. Carter A.B., Dr. Perry W.J. Preventive Defense: A New Security Strategy for America. Washington, D.C, Brookings Institution Press, 1999. 256 p.

7. Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT Act) of 2001. Available at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ56/pdf/PLAW-107publ56.pdf (accessed 03.04.2019).

8. National Security Strategy. Washington DC. May 2010. Available at: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf (accessed 14.06.2019).

9. International Strategy for Cyberspace. Prosperity, Security, and Openness in a Networked World. Washington DC. May 2011. Available at: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/international_strategy_for_cyberspace.pdf (accessed 14.06.2019).

10. Howard T.D., Arimatéia da Cruz J. de. Stay the course: Why trump must build on Obama’s cybersecurity policy. Information Security Journal: A Global Perspective, 2017, no. 26(6), pp. 276-286. DOI:10.1080/19393555.2017.1385115

11. Libicki M. Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar. RAND Corporation, 2009. Available at: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG877.pdf (accessed 03.04.2019).

12. Chilton K., Weaver G. ‘Waging Deterrence in the Twenty-First Century’. Strategic Studies Quarterly, Spring 2009, vol. 3, iss. 1, pp. 31-42. Available at: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=A23Wize7ojw%3d&tabid=6292&portalid=10&mid=13502 (accessed 03.04.2019).

13. Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline over Monitoring Act (USA FREEDOM Act) of 2015. Available at: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-114publ23/pdf/PLAW-114publ23.pdf (accessed 03.04.2019).

14. Joint statement by the presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States of America on a new area of cooperation in confidence building. 2013. Available at: http://en.kremlin.ru/supplement/1479 (accessed 14.06.2019).

15. Bolton J. How Barack Obama is endangering our national sovereignty. New York, Encounter Books, 2010. 48 p.

16. Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Elevation of Cyber Command. August 18, 2017. Available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/08/18/statement-donald-j-trump-elevation-cyber-command (accessed 03.04.2019).

17. National Cyber Strategy of the United States of America. September 2018. Available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/National-Cyber-Strategy.pdf (accessed 03.04.2019).

18. Fung B. What you need to know about Trump’s meeting with tech CEOs. Washington Post, 19.06.2017. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/06/19/trump-is-meeting-with-silicon-valley-ceos-today-heres-what-you-need-to-know/?utm_term=.7b27debb519a (accessed 03.04.2019).

19. Summary. Department of Defense Cyber Strategy 2018. Available at: https://media.defense.gov/2018/Sep/18/2002041658/-1/-1/1/CYBER_STRATEGY_SUMMARY_FINAL.PDF (accessed 03.04.2019).

20. National Intelligence Strategy of the United States 2019. Washington DC, January 2019. Available at: https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/National_Intelligence_Strategy_2019.pdf (accessed 14.06.2019).

21. Coats D.R. Statement before the Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate, Open Hearing on Worldwide Threats. Available at: https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-dcoats-012919.pdf (accessed 14.06.2019).

22. Samaan J.-L. CYBER COMMAND. The RUSI Journal, 2010, no. 155(6), pp. 16-21. DOI:10.1080/03071847.2010.542664.

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Sharikov P. Evolution of American Cyber Security Policies. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 10, pp. 51-58. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-10-51-58

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 7
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The Supporting Structure of Global Security
  • Institutional Features of the Fourth Energy Transition
  • The Evolution of Modern German Christian Democracy
  • The Monarchies of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.