Langevin, Bipartisan Cybersecurity Leaders Release United States Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report

Mar 11, 2020 Issues: Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, and a commissioner on the United States Cyberspace Solarium Commission, today joined his fellow commissioners to unveil a landmark policy framework that will enhance the United States’ defenses against cyber threats and help mitigate vulnerabilities. The Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report outlines recommendations for reforms to organize government more effectively, promote international accountability, and strengthen collaboration around cybersecurity.

"As co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, I've underscored the need for comprehensive cybersecurity policy to protect American citizens and interests for more than a decade. I'm honored that Speaker Pelosi appointed me to the Solarium Commission, and I’m proud of the report and recommendations that we put forward after more than a year of hard work. Our strategy of layered cyber deterrence will provide solid guidance for transformational reforms to safeguard the government, critical infrastructure, and private networks, and maintain our nation’s edge as a leader in cyberspace,” said Langevin.

In September 2018, then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed Langevin to the Commission, which was created by the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. Inspired by the original Project Solarium set into motion by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to develop strategy to counter the Soviet Union, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission crafted its report after extensive interviews, discussions, and collaboration among policymakers and cybersecurity experts.

“Rapid technological advances across the globe have revolutionized the way we communicate, do business, and even accomplish daily tasks,” continued Langevin. “But as we become more interconnected, the federal government has struggled to keep pace with the everchanging technology landscape resulting in a void in comprehensive cyberspace policy to deter and confront the unique threats we face in this domain. This report is a clear call to action highlighting specific steps we can take to make America safer.”

Key recommendations in the report include creating a House Permanent Select Committee and a Senate Select Committees on Cybersecurity, establishing a Senate-confirmed National Cyber Director at the White House with policy and budgetary authority, and strengthening the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the federal agency charged with protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure against cyber threats.

From deliberate attempts to undermine our elections to devastating cyber incidents targeting towns and cities, malicious actors have been emboldened by our lack of strong cybersecurity policy,” continued Langevin. “It is time for a new strategy that will make our nation more resilient for years to come. Our charge in drafting this report was to prevent a cyber event of significant national consequence, and we know that the short- and long-term recommendations we crafted will better position us to realize the promise of the Internet, while avoiding its perils. The sooner our recommendations are implemented, the better positioned the country will be to prevent and respond to incidents that can disrupt the American way of life.”

Additional recommendations include creating a Bureau of Cyber Statistics to collect data that could be used to develop quantifiable metrics around cybersecurity, codifying the concept of “Systemically Important Critical Infrastructure” to ensure the full support of the federal government for vital systems and assets that underly national critical functions, and increasing accountability tied to norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace through international engagement and cooperation.

“I thank Commission Co-chairs Senator Angus King, Jr. and Representative Mike Gallagher for their leadership on this important project and all the commission members and staff involved,” concluded Langevin. “It has been a privilege to work alongside such a talented group to advocate for meaningful policy. Your commitment to this effort has set us on a path to make our nation more secure.”

Congressman Langevin is one of four legislative commissioners, along with Senator Angus King, Jr. (I-ME), Senator Benjamin E. “Ben” Sasse (R-NE), and Congressman Michael J. “Mike” Gallagher (R-WI). The other commissioners are:

  • David L. Norquist, Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • David Pekoske, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration and former Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Andrew Hallman, former Principal Executive within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence performing the duties of the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
  • Christopher Wray, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Frank J. Cilluffo, Director of Auburn University’s Charles D. McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security
  • Thomas A. “Tom” Fanning, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Company
  • John C. “Chris” Inglis, U.S. Naval Academy Looker Professor for Cyber Security Studies and Former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency
  • Patrick J. Murphy, Former Acting Secretary and Under Secretary of the U.S. Army and Former Congressman for Pennsylvania’s Eighth District
  • Samantha F. Ravich, Chair of the Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Suzanne E. Spaulding, Senior Advisor for Homeland Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Former Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security