ISPs Team Up On Cybersecurity Proposal

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has joined with the
chief telecom and wireless associations to propose a cybersecurity legislative
framework, including collecting "better data" on problems, partnering
with industry and consumer and business education.

In a letter Thursday to White House cybersecurity
coordinator Howard Schmidt, with copies to key lawmakers, the trio presented a
"consolidated" ISP position that
included considering consolidating responsibility over federal networks in a
single entity, providing incentives to the private sector in the form of tax
breaks, liability protection and other benefits for government-industry

And they argue that the government needs to include industry
experts from the beginning and not "wait until the last minute to bring
industry into the planning cycle."

High on their list of don'ts are: "Unfunded technical
mandates, rigid response requirements, and command‐and‐control
type governance structures in cyberspace." Another is "duplicative
and/or burdensome analytical and reporting requirements." They argue that
such requirements can slow response time and would be "unacceptable."

When it comes to defining critical infrastructure, the
government needs to work with operators, edge providers and others to come up
with that definition.

"It is not appropriate to have the government make the
"critical" determination on its own, nor is it appropriate to designate an
entire industry or network as being critical."

On the education front, they suggest government funding of a
k-12 cyber "beset practices" curriculum, as well as college level
education and a PR campaign about cyber-attackers.

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.