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A logo for suspected-Russian hackers Fancy Bear from a security firm's promotional material, as seen in front of the German Parliament, which Russia is believed to have hacked. Photo: Sean Gallup / Getty

The Senate's version of the National Defense Authorization Act, passed Thursday afternoon, would create the Cyberspace Solarium Commission — a 13-person committee containing representatives from both elected branches of government and the private sector to suggest a concrete national policy for cyber warfare.

Why it matters: Senators like Ben Sasse (R-Neb.,) who drafted the Solarium language, and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have long argued that the U.S. needs a definitive cyber doctrine explaining what the U.S. responses will be to which types of cyber attacks and when cyber or physical engagement is necessary.

The background: The complaint predates the Trump administration — both the current president and Barack Obama argued that having no doctrine gives them greater flexibility.

  • The Solarium Commission's name is taken from President Eisenhower's commission to determine cold war strategy.

Go deeper

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

53 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

53 mins ago - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.