NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act would redesignate the Office as well as outline responsibilities of an Associate Administrator
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Shelley Moore Capito introduced the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act, a bipartisan bill to refocus the NTIA’s Office for Policy Analysis and Development on cybersecurity. The office would be renamed the Office for Policy Development and Cybersecurity to better align with the office’s 21st century mission of helping secure the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
In recent years the NTIA has increasingly adapted to better reflect the rising importance of cybersecurity to our critical infrastructure and daily functions. Hickenlooper and Capito’s bill would codify, strengthen and provide Congressional guidance to NTIA’s ongoing cybersecurity activities
“Cybersecurity is essential to our national security, and so is updating our agencies and departments to reflect our new reality,” said Hickenlooper.
“American consumers are the ones who are hurt most by cyberattacks and breaches of private data,” Capito said. “As technology and the telecommunications industry continues to advance, unfortunately, so do the threats from hackers and bad actors. This bipartisan legislation takes necessary, proactive steps to develop cybersecurity guidance, identify potential vulnerabilities, and promote collaboration between the public and private sectors, all with the ultimate goal of protecting consumers.”
“On behalf of NTCA, and our nearly 850 community based broadband providers, I congratulate and thank Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) for introducing the NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Development Act. In addition to important cybersecurity collaboration and mitigation provisions, this legislation is intended to develop guidance and support for internet and telecommunications companies – specifically providing assistance to small and rural providers. Cyberthreats are unfortunately a way of life in the internet age, making it all the more important that critical infrastructure providers have guidance and tools available to help mitigate these risks. This is why NTCA developed its CyberShare initiative to help with such efforts, offering a cyber threat information sharing and dissemination platform for smaller broadband operators. We look forward therefore to engaging further with Senators Hickenlooper and Capito as this legislation moves forward,” said Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association
“Ensuring a strong public-private partnership for promoting digital security is becoming increasingly vital as American critical infrastructure faces an expanding cyber threat landscape. We welcome Senators Hickenlooper and Capito’s bipartisan approach to giving clear congressional direction for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s important role in supporting cybersecurity best practices in the internet and telecommunications industries,” said Arthur Sidney, vice president of public policy, Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA).
“I thank Senators Hickenlooper and Capito for introducing the NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Development Act, which will provide important guidance and support for internet and telecommunications companies implementing cybersecurity and privacy best practices. This legislation provides resources for tailored technical assistance from the federal government to manage cybersecurity risks and best practices, and specifically engages with small and rural carriers to further strengthen America’s critical infrastructure. I thank the Senators for their focus on this important issue and look forward to continued work to help ensure competitive carriers have every tool available to protect their networks and customers,”Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) President & CEO Steven K. Berry
In the House a companion bill has been introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), and Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) .
Full text of the bill is available HERE.
The redesignated office would be led by an Associate Administrator and be responsible for:
- Developing cybersecurity policy as it relates to telecommunications, the internet, consumer software services, and public media;
- Creating guidance and support for implementing cybersecurity and privacy measures for internet and telecommunication companies;
- Promoting collaboration between security research and industry;
- Preventing and mitigating future software vulnerabilities in communications networks;
- Removing barriers for implementing, understanding, and investing in cybersecurity for communications and software providers; and
- Providing technical assistance on cybersecurity practices to small and rural communications service providers.