FCC Chairman Offers Thoughts On Cybersecurity

By David Bruggeman
June 27, 2014

In remarks at the American Enterprise Institute on June 12, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined how he sees the Commission addressing cybersecurity.  While perhaps not the first government entity that comes to mind when thinking about cybersecurity, the FCC is concerned with the operations of networks, and would certainly be interested in keeping them secure.

Wheeler’s remarks were consistent with the approach outlined by the Obama Administration in its cybersecurity policies, including the 2013 Executive Order and the Cybersecurity Framework released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in response to that order.  While Wheeler did mention the new leadership and organization in the Commission responsible for cybersecurity, his remarks focused on the kind of collaborative, private-sector led approaches to cybersecurity encouraged by the Executive Order and the process that informed the Cybersecurity Framework.  He exhorted the commercial network ecosystem to assume new responsibility and accountability for managing cyber risks  He would like the Commission to encourage and support increased attention to network security, resorting to regulation only if increased private sector activity is not successful.  Wheeler considers the current activity insufficient to protect network cybsecurity but does not want to prescribe activity at the moment.