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Photo: Justin Tierney/EyeEm via Getty Images

The idea that the United States needs a centralized, federal Department of Cybersecurity has long bounced around D.C.

The argument for a separate department is pretty simple. Cybersecurity is an issue of growing importance, and it's one that many other nations, including Israel and England, consolidate under one roof. But don't expect to see one anytime soon, said Suzanne Spaulding, former head of the Department of Homeland Security's National Protection and Programs Directorate (now called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency).

For one, the United States is, however, much bigger than either England or Israel (or both combined). And in a new paper for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Spaulding argues that a centralized system might weaken security for agencies and the organizations they protect.

  • "A significant piece of risk management is understanding the impact of cyberattacks to a business beyond its computer networks," said Spaulding. "Creating a cyber department, you separate IT people from missions people."
  • The Department of Homeland Security, she believes, is better equipped than a third-party agency to work on security standards for the critical infrastructure it is tasked with protecting.

The bottom line: Spaulding isn't saying that there's no use for centralized services. DHS provides many cybersecurity services across the government.

  • But granting regulatory or advisory authority to a new agency would sacrifice the institutional understanding the current agencies already have of their charges.

Go deeper

45 mins ago - Sports

China pulls Celtics games after Enes Kanter criticizes Xi Jinping

Celtics center Enes Kanter. Photo: Jim Michaud/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

China will no longer stream Boston Celtics games after center Enes Kanter called Chinese President Xi Jinping a "brutal dictator" in a social media post over the Chinese government's repressive policies in Tibet, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Kanter's criticism of Beijing has sparked another round of trouble for the NBA in China, one of its largest and most restrictive markets.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's new venture could be peak SPAC

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Former President Trump last night announced plans to launch a digital media network called "Truth Social," and said it would go public via a SPAC called Digital World Acquisition (Nasdaq: DWAC).

What to know: So far, this is a joke. The press release didn't contain even basic information, such as the new company's CEO. In fact, the only execs mentioned are Trump (as chairman) and veteran TV producer Scott St. John as head of a subscription streaming service.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tesla is outrunning the supply chain crunch

Expand chart
Data: FactSet and company release; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Tesla, citing a "structural shift" in demand for electric vehicles, reported its highest-ever quarterly profit of $1.6 billion and $13.8 billion in revenues despite supply chain problems.

The big picture: The company's third-quarter report says the chip shortage, port congestion and other woes have affected its factories but argues that "flexibility" and "ingenuity" are a counterweight.