Telcos Tout New Self-Reg-Centric Cybersecurity Bill

USTelecom, AT&T, CTIA on board with new bill
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Telcos Thursday came out in support of a Republican-backed cybersecurity bill that emphasizes self-regulation in concert with government info sharing and coordination.

USTelecom President Walter McCormick Jr. said his association backed the bill. "Our members believe there is a critical need to enhance the partnerships between government and industry in securing cyberspace by creating a legal environment more conducive to the sharing of information between private entities and the federal government and by improving the government's own cybersecurity posture," he said in a statement. "We can support the bill introduced [Thursday] because it pursues those objectives without creating new bureaucracies or regulatory mandates that would erode, rather than enhance, the ability of network providers to provide nimble and effective responses to cyber threats, and because it recognizes the responsibility of all players in the broadband ecosystem to play a responsible role in those partnerships. The bill's enhanced criminal penalties and cybersecurity research and development title, which have bipartisan support, also are welcome provisions."

"We commend the Senators for introducing the Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information, and Technology Act, and for their leadership in addressing a critically important issue for the U.S. economy," said AT&T executive VP Tim McKone. "Successfully combating cyber threats ensures businesses can operate on the Internet and consumers can do their business online safely and securely. Cybersecurity is a complex challenge, requiring a collective and collaborative effort from everyone in the Internet industry and government."

"[The bill]...provides a blueprint CTIA can support as the Senate begins its discussion about how to enhance America's cyber-defenses, said Jot Carpenter, CTIA's VP of government affairs. "While the bill would help improve the nation's cybersecurity capabilities, it also avoids the creation of new regulatory obligations and thereby helps to ensure that America's wireless industry retains the flexibility and freedom it needs to innovate and continue to be an engine for economic growth."


NCTA Backs House Cybersecurity Bills

Argue they will provide "flexible and adaptable" policy that relies on industry best practices rather than prescriptive government rules that will be outdated before they can be enforced