What is the Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2023?
The Abraham Accords were a series of agreements signed in 2020 between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and later Sudan and Morocco. These accords aimed to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and the participating Arab nations, leading to increased cooperation in various sectors, such as trade, tourism, technology, and security.
While the Abraham Accords did not explicitly focus on cybersecurity, the normalization of relations between these countries have now facilitated collaboration in this domain. Increased diplomatic ties often lead to enhanced information sharing, joint exercises, and cooperation in cybersecurity measures to combat shared threats and vulnerabilities.
Recently, a bipartisan group of senators have introduced a bill to enhance cybersecurity cooperation between the US Department of Homeland Security and Abraham Accords countries Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco.
The new legislation, which has a good chance of passing based on the early support that it has received across party lines, looks to enhance partnerships between the US and the Abraham Accords countries to support defensive measures against cyber threats from countries like Iran, Indonesia, and other malicious actors that have targeted critical infrastructure and ransomware attack.
The Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2023 is co-sponsored by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). These Senators sit on the Abraham Accords Committee in the upper chamber of congress.
The unveiling of the Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2023 follows the February 2023 announcement from the US Department of Homeland Security that it would see to expand its cooperation with the Abraham Accords countries to include new cybersecurity measures.
The new legislation authorizes enhanced information-sharing in real time, expands technical assistance to respond to cyber, and will initiate new joint cybersecurity training and exercises.
"At a time when Iran and other hostile cyber actors are those targeting the United States and Abraham Accords countries with malicious cyberattacks, this bipartisan legislation will help strengthen our collective cybersecurity defenses against shared threats," according to Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev).
NY's Sen. Gillibrand says the bill "would increase civil cybersecurity cooperation, strengthen our ability to protect critical infrastructure, and enable greater security in the region."
The Bill would have to pass through both chambers of congress before being forwarded to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.