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NCTA, Others Lay Out Preferred Cybersecurity Bill Ground Rules

As the House prepares to take up cybersecurity legislation
as early as next week, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association
has joined with CTIA and other associations to spell out for Congress their
baseline for any bill.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), NCTA et al. said that cybersecurity
legislation should: 1) Improve information sharing and liability protections;
2) ensure industry liability protection from lawsuits or government use of
information to regulate other activities; 3) more cybersecurity R&D; 4)
update information security laws and better secure government computers; 5)
increase public awareness of the threats and education about good cyber
"hygiene" and 6) increase public-private collaboration.

"Cyberthreats change so quickly that any legislation
must also protect the ability of the private sector to be fast and agile in the
detection, prevention, mitigation, and response to cyber-events that can have
national or global impact," they argued.

That means one of the elements that should not be in the
legislation is government-overseen cybersecurity standards for industry that
cable operators and others have argued would reduce that flexibility and be
ineffective against targets and technology that move faster than Congress can
legislative against.

"Policymakers should not complicate or duplicate
existing security-related industry standards with government-specific standards
and bureaucracies," they argue. Also joining in the letter were US
Telecom, the Telecom Industry Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and
associations representing the real estate, gas, railroad, chemical and banking