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NCTA Backs Rockefeller Cybersecurity Bill

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association joined
in a letter Monday supporting the cybersecurity bill introduced by Sen. Jay
Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and ranking
member John Thune (R-S.D.).

"We applaud your bipartisan efforts and appreciate that
your legislation avoids a prescriptive regulatory regime that does not fit the
constantly evolving cyber threat environment and, in our view, would not
improve cybersecurity," the group said.

NCTA, joined by CTIA: The Wireless Association and US
Telecom, praised the fact that the bill, while putting the National Institute
of Standards and Technology's role in developing cybersecurity standards for
government and industry data protection, also makes clear those standards are

The bill also calls for education and research, which
industry is fine with as well. "The research and development, education
and workforce, and awareness and preparedness titles of your bill are important
elements as the nation improves its cyber defenses," they wrote.

But they also pushed Congress to pass legislation -- backed
by House Republicans -- that allow for more sharing of cyberthreat info among
stakeholders and with the government, including liability protections for the
results of that sharing, including threat "neutralizing" actions.

They said those should respect privacy and civil liberties,
which is an issue Rockefeller has with the CISPA legislation, which focuses on
cyberthreat info sharing and liability protection. In response to that bill's
passage in April, he called those protections "insufficient."

Rockefeller said at a hearing last week that
some of those issues are not within his committee's purview, a point NCTA and
the others acknowledged in the letter. "We recognize that these matters
are largely outside the scope of the Commerce Committee's jurisdiction and will
continue to work with you and the appropriate committees on these issues."