WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) this week introduced the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act, a bill to refocus the NTIA’s Office for Policy Analysis and Development on cybersecurity and policy development.

“American consumers are the ones who are hurt most by cyberattacks and breaches of private data,” Senator Capito said. “As technology and the telecommunications industry continues to advance, unfortunately, so do the threats from hackers and bad actors. This bipartisan legislation takes necessary, proactive steps to develop cybersecurity guidance, identify potential vulnerabilities, and promote collaboration between the public and private sectors, all with the ultimate goal of protecting consumers.”

“Cybersecurity is essential to our national security, and so is updating our agencies and departments to reflect our new reality,” Senator Hickenlooper said.

The office would be renamed the Office for Policy Development and Cybersecurity to better align with the office’s 21st century mission of helping secure the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.

In recent years the NTIA has increasingly adapted to better reflect the rising importance of cybersecurity to our critical infrastructure and daily functions. Senators Capito and Hickenlooper’s bill would codify, strengthen, and provide Congressional guidance to NTIA’s ongoing cybersecurity activities  

The redesignated office would be led by an associate administrator and be responsible for:

  • Developing cybersecurity policy as it relates to telecommunications, the internet, consumer software services, and public media.

  • Creating guidance and support for implementing cybersecurity and privacy measures for internet and telecommunication companies.

  • Promoting collaboration between security research and industry.

  • Preventing and mitigating future software vulnerabilities in communications networks.

  • Removing barriers for implementing, understanding, and investing in cybersecurity for communications and software providers.

  • Providing technical assistance on cybersecurity practices to small and rural communications service providers.

The full text of the bill is available here.

# # #