Cybersecurity Legislation Passes

The House and Senate have passed cybersecurity legislation that is meant to produce consistent guidelines on protecting information online under a partnership between government and the private sector.

The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 passed both House and Senate. The bill, formerly the Cybersecurity Act of 2013, was introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) more than a year ago (it is cosponsored by ranking member Sen. John Thune [R-S.D.]).

The bill, which was supported by a number of industry groups including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, CTIA, and USTelecom, 1) creates an industry-driven process for creating voluntary cybersecurity critical infrastructure standards, under the watchful eye of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), that will be "non-regulatory, non-prescriptive and technology neutral"; 2) coordinates and strengthens cybersecurity R&D; 3) boost cybersecurity education and awareness; and 4) "advances" technical standards.

The issue of cybersecurity has taken center stage in the media business in the weeks since hackers ran roughshod over Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer system. The hack has exposed reams of sensitive internal documents, and everything from emails to personal credit information and financials.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.