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Cyberspace Solarium Disbands, to Reform as Nonprofit

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission terminated in late December 2021, with members reportedly planning to form a nonprofit that will continue efforts to develop and promote cybersecurity policy.

Front cover from Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report
The Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) terminated on Dec. 21, 2021, with members reportedly planning to continue efforts to develop and promote cybersecurity policy through a soon-to-be-formed nonprofit.

The FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) first established the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. The CSC was charged with proposing strategies and policies the U.S. government could take to counter major cybersecurity threats facing the nation. That work led to the CSC’s March 2020 report to Congress, detailing a variety of recommendations.

Although the commission was originally due to disband in late 2020, the FY 2021 NDAA reauthorized it. This time, the CSC was to monitor the governments’ progress in adopting its recommendations and to propose next steps. Those findings were packaged into an August 2021 report that found the federal government had adopted 22 percent of the CSC’s 82 recommendations and was progressing on track toward achieving another 57 percent of the items.

In an email to journalists, Matthew Felling, communications director for CSC co-chair Sen. Angus King, highlighted several key recommendations that had achieved enactment. Those included the establishment of a Cyber Response and Recovery Fund and creation of the Office of the National Cyber Director - currently held by Chris Inglis.

But the CSC was not reauthorized again, leaving the commission to sunset. CSC members intend to form a nonprofit to continue researching cybersecurity concerns and policy questions, commission executive director Mark Montgomery told the New York Times. Montgomery said he had secured the domain for use by the forthcoming nonprofit.