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Designed to Prepare for Cyberattacks, a Panel Wraps Up Its Work


Seal of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

Congress originally set the commission’s termination for the end of 2020 but extended its work for an additional year.

Credit: Cyberspace Solarium Commission

A commission created by Congress to develop a more strategic approach to defending against cyberattacks turned out the lights on Tuesday, ending two and a half years of work on policy recommendations, legislative pushes and warnings about malware, ransomware and other threats.

When the Cyberspace Solarium Commission released its first recommendations in March 2020, after a year of research and writing, its members vowed that the panel would work differently from other blue ribbon Washington exercises. Senator Angus King, independent of Maine and a co-chairman of the commission, said the recommendations would not end up dusty on a shelf, like those drawn up by many other well-meaning panels.

The commission's name was based on the Eisenhower administration's Project Solarium, which developed new policies for the Cold War. Influential members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees led the commission, allowing its cybersecurity recommendations to be packaged as legislation included in one of the few policy bills that pass each year: the annual National Defense Authorization Act.

"This is an example of what I think was genius — and I can say that because it wasn't my idea — instead of just issuing a report with recommendations we handed the congressional committees fully drafted, finished legislation," Mr. King said.

From The New York Times
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