The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, International Cyberspace Security (CDP/ICS) unit, announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support and encourage the adoption and/or promulgation by partner nations of cybersecurity policies, legal frameworks, and standards consistent with the United States’ efforts to promote an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet.
- CDP/ICS’s goal with this project is to:
- understand the priorities or “drivers” of certain governments, particularly from the developing world, that find authoritarian models for cybersecurity related policies, legal/regulatory frameworks and technical standards more appealing, and
- initiate proactive and informed capacity building engagements with foreign assistance eligible foreign partners to advance alternative, yet practical approaches that ensure states can achieve their own national priorities and interests while also remaining consistent with the U.S. approach for an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet.
- This project will focus on the following areas:
- Understanding the challenge: What aspects of various domestic cybersecurity laws and policies are being exploited for authoritarian purposes? Which aspects of these approaches are most likely to be replicated internationally? What are the domestic or international drivers for governments that are likely to adopt similar approaches?
- Identifying the target audience: What approach can they use to identify foreign governments that are most at risk for emulating these or similar approaches? What are their unique priorities and/or the perceived challenges that would drive them to emulate policies or approaches of authoritarian governments? Which governments could be potential influencers or force-multipliers in U.S. efforts to encourage more progressive policies, particularly in the developing world?
- Countering the authoritarian narrative: Explore in detail and develop effective messaging on the downsides of authoritarian approaches to cybersecurity policies and frameworks as they have been implemented, including negative impacts on national security, economic growth, development, data flows, innovation, freedom online, etc.
- Identifying alternative models: Develop briefings on U.S. and likeminded models or approaches that could be considered as alternatives as states attempt to develop domestic legislative and policy solutions, linked to data and experiences that can demonstrate the advantages of open, democratic policies.
- Designing a program of engagement: Shape and implement a program of engagement (e.g., targeted outreach, awareness raising activities, technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning opportunities) that will influence target countries to adopt U.S. and likeminded approaches and better understand the downsides of authoritarian models.
- Award Ceiling: $1,000,000
- Award Floor: $0
- Activities should target foreign assistance eligible civilian government officials. Suggestions for beneficiaries of the cooperative agreement award may also be provided by the State Department and will be drawn from countries that:
- may be at particular risk for emulating certain legal or regulatory approaches similar to the cybersecurity policies of authoritarian governments (e.g., the People’s Republic of China); and/or
- could be force multipliers in the United States’ efforts to encourage more open and progressive cyber policy approaches (e.g., in countries that are actively developing their own laws and frameworks, particularly in the developing world). It is expected that the prospective grantee coordinates closely with CDP/ICS to appropriately target the support. All research and analysis products from this cooperative agreement, including an externally facing website, shall be made publicly available.
Priority Regions/Countries: Global
- CDP/ICS welcomes applications from U.S.-based non-profit/non-governmental organizations subject to section 501(c) (3) of the U.S. tax code; foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO); Public International Organizations; Foreign Public Organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses.
- Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process.
- Additionally, the Department of State prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=341048