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NCTA Backs House Cybersecurity Bills

National Cable & Telecommunications Association Tuesday joined with US
Telecom and CTIA: The Wireless Association to push for cybersecurity
legislation that emphasizes info sharing, liability protections for industry,
and more R&D over government-enforced security guidelines.

The same groups got together last week tooutline their basic cybersecurity principles, which generally dovetail with
Republican-backed House bills
that emphasize self-regulation.

In a letter to House leaders in advance of
scheduled House floor votes later this week on cybersecurity legislation,
NCTA and company again asked Congress to pass H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence
Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), adding their support for three other
related bills--H.R. 3834, Advancing America's Networking and Information
Technology Research and Development Act; H.R. 2096, the Cybersecurity
Enhancement Act of 2011; and  H.R. 4257, the Federal Information Security
Amendments Act.

Together, the cable and phone trade
associations argue the bills will provide a "flexible and adaptable"
cybersecurity policy that relies on industry best practices rather than
prescriptive government rules they say will be outdated before they can be

"Effective cybersecurity detection and
deterrence also requires the ongoing sharing of threat information between
government and infrastructure providers," they wrote. "The
communications industry has a long history of cooperative efforts on national
security matters. Legislation can greatly improve cybersecurity by removing
current legal barriers to information sharing and including appropriate
safeguards necessary for facilitating information sharing."

NCTA and company told House Speaker John
Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that industry and
government interests are aligned on cybersecurity, and said that they have
already taken "significant steps" to protect the security and privacy
of their customers, all without government regulation or "other legal

They did not mention it, but one of those
steps was the agreement by some of their biggest members last month to an FCC
voluntary cybersecurity regime for dealing with threats like onlinethreats including botnets and domain name hijacking.