Telecom, Cable Industries Outline Priorities for Cybersecurity Bill in Letter

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By Paul Barbagallo  

The cable, telecommunications, and wireless industries sent a letter to Senate and House leaders Feb. 29 outlining their priorities for cybersecurity legislation.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association, US Telecom Association, and CTIA-The Wireless Association—the largest trade groups representing cable operators, phone companies, and wireless carriers—said any legislation should rely on public-private partnerships, rather than overly proscriptive regulations.

“We agree with Congress that ensuring the security of cyberspace is a national imperative,” the associations wrote, “and we share the goal of promoting a national framework for cybersecurity that enhances our economic and national security posture.” But, they added, “essential to that framework is ensuring that critical infrastructure providers retain the freedom to implement all measures available to them to secure their networks and systems.”

Broadly, the groups offered six key recommendations to Congress: (1) Avoid “top-down” regulations; (2) ensure that providers have the tools they need to detect and respond to cyber threats; (3) recognize that broadband cyber-defense efforts should include the “full ecosystem”; (4) improve the federal government's own cybersecurity “posture”; (5) promote innovation and investment in cybersecurity; and (5) lead consumer education efforts.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he would like to begin moving a cybersecurity bill during the weeks leading up to the next recess that begins March 31.

The letter is online at http://www.ustelecom.org/sites/default/files/documents/Cyber_Jt_Assn_letter_022912.pdf.