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Hill Seeks FCC Info on Set-Top Cybersecurity

The chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees have asked FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to explain whether and how the commission took cybersecurity into account when coming up with its set-top proposal.

The FCC's Democratic majority voted Feb. 19 to propose requiring MVPDs to make their programming streams and set-top data available to third parties.

In a letter to Wheeler, the legislators pointed to the voluntary NIST Cybersecurity Framework, saying it was "unclear" how some of the FCC proposals aligned with those recommended practices or how MVPDs can monitor them on third-party devices attached to their networks.

They did not take aim at the proposal but asked for information to better understand how and whether the FCC took the NIST protections into account.

For example, they asked how the proposal insures that third-party device manufacturers and software developers are providing adequate security and whether it addresses the potential economic harms to content creators and network infrastructure from cyberattacks.

They gave the FCC until June 10 to weigh in.

The letter was dated the same day that reply comments are due to the FCC on the proposal.

Signing on to the letter were Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee; Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Del.), ranking member; Rep. Michael McCaul  (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), ranking member.