CDT: No Major Role in Cybersecurity for FCC
In comments filed today, CDT asked the Federal Communications Commission to take three guiding principles into account when drawing up its Cybersecurity Roadmap as part of the National Broadband Plan. First, CDT urged the Commission to recognize its own lack of open-ended jurisdiction over the Internet and to avoid taking a major role in enforcing private-sector security. Second, CDT suggested that if the FCC took any regulatory action it should only be done after extensive consultation with other governmental and industry stakeholders and preferable done via public/private forums. Third, CDT asked that any action taken by the FCC be done with transparency, so that consumers and industry have a full understanding of the facts and standards underlying any decisions.
The Commission has a clear and valuable role in cybersecurity. This role includes maintaining law enforcement access to communications under the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act and ensuring the continued operations of emergency services under the Enhance 911 Act; CDT encouraged the FCC's continued efforts in those areas. However, because many federal agencies have already laid claim to a cybersecurity role, we suggested the FCC could make a more substantive contribution by consulting with these agencies rather than by launching new initiatives.
We also cautioned that any broad-based assertion of regulatory power by the Commission could ultimately threaten the low barriers to entry for new Internet-based businesses and risk reducing the openness of the network.
CDT issued its comments in response to a Public Notice the Commission issued seeking comment on what its role should be in addressing critical cybersecurity threats. This Notice is the latest in a series of requests for public comment issued by the Commission in regard to the cybersecurity steps that may be required in order to ensure the success of the National Broadband Plan.