Mission and History
About the “CSC 2.0” Project
Congress created the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC) in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 to “develop a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace against cyber attacks of significant consequences.” CSC operated successfully for three years, publishing its flagship report in March 2020 and subsequent white papers. While the congressional mandate ended in December 2021, the work must continue. The CSC 2.0 project was created to support continued efforts to implement outstanding CSC recommendations, provide annual assessments of the implementation of CSC recommendation, and conduct research and analysis on several outstanding cybersecurity issues identified by the CSC during its tenure.
When Congress created the CSC, lawmakers expressed deep concern about the inability of the United States to defend its interests in cyberspace. The Commission sought to rectify this problem by providing both a strategic approach and specific recommendations on how to better organize the U.S. government to succeed in the cyber domain, improve collaboration between the public and private sectors so that industry can better protect itself, and coordinate with U.S. allies to strengthen norms in cyberspace and attribute and punish those that violate them.
In the two years following the publication of its groundbreaking report in March 2020, the CSC had significant success with the inclusion of more than two-thirds of its legislative recommendations in the FY2021 and 2022 National Defense Authorization Acts and other legislation. In fact, of the Commission’s original 82 recommendations for Congress and the Executive Branch, 80 percent have already been implemented or are on track for implementation. Six subsequent CSC white papers have produced additional recommendations, which are also being implemented.
The Commission has long recognized, however, that the initial implementation of a legislative or policy fix is not the same as success in deterring U.S. adversaries and advancing U.S. national security and national interests in cyberspace. The Commission’s mandate from Congress may have sunset in December 2021, but the work must continue.
CSC 2.0 Project Leadership and Organization
CSC co-chairs Sen Angus King and Rep Mike Gallagher serve as co-chairs of the CSC 2.0 project and all nine remaining CSC Commissioners are continuing their commitment to the mission by serving with CSC 2.0. The CSC 2.0 project is housed at the Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation (CCTI) at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a 501(c)3. CSC Commissioners and CSC 2.0 advisors Samantha Ravich (FDD), Suzanne Spaulding (Center for Strategic and International Studies), and Frank Cilluffo (McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security at Auburn University) will advise and guide research and analysis efforts in the CSC 2.0 work plan. RADM (ret.) Mark Montgomery, former CSC executive director, directs the work of CSC 2.0.
The Work Plan for the CSC 2.0 Project
The CSC 2.0 project will preserve the legacy of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and continue the work to implement its recommendations. Specifically, the project will:
- Conduct and publish an Annual Assessment of legislative/executive progress on CSC recommendations
- Conduct research and analysis related to outstanding CSC recommendations
- Represent CSC positions/policy recommendations at conferences, panels, hearings
Additionally, the project will conduct research and analysis and develop policy proposals in five issue areas:
- Cybersecurity in the Water/Wastewater Sector
- Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Development
- Continuity of the Economy Planning
- Cybersecurity in the Maritime Transport System Sector
- Cybersecurity in the Healthcare Sector
Finally, a key task of the CSC 2.0 project will be maintaining this website, www.cybersolarium.org, to house, and make easily accessible, the CSC’s work products.