This Week in Tech: Senate committee seeks to protect power grids, banks from cyberattacks

President Obama's cybersecurity order had directed NIST to lead this effort, and the framework of best practices and standards is due in October.

Over the past several months, NIST and the Homeland Security Department have hosted workshops across the country to solicit feedback from industry on cybersecurity best practices.

The hearing will also cover proposals to improve cybersecurity research and development and expand the training of skilled cyber professionals.

Rockefeller, the chairman of the Commerce Committee, considers cybersecurity a legacy issue, and he will be working hard to pass his cyber bill before he retires in 2014.

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a Tuesday morning hearing to conduct oversight of the Federal Communications Commission's upcoming spectrum auction.

Congress passed legislation last year authorizing the FCC to buy back the broadcast licenses of TV stations and auction them to cellphone carriers, which have been struggling to keep pace with the booming demand for wireless data.

Democrats want the FCC to set auction rules that boost competition in the wireless industry, while Republicans argue the agency should not favor any particular carriers.

Gary Epstein, the chairman of the Incentive Auction Task Force, will represent the FCC at the hearing.

Joan March of AT&T and Kathleen Ham of T-Mobile will present the wireless industry, while Rick Kaplan of the National Association of Broadcasters and Preston Padden, who is leading a coalition of TV stations looking to sell their licenses, will testify for the broadcasters. Harold Feld of Public Knowledge will represent the consumer advocacy groups.

Also on Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific will hold a hearing titled “Asia: The battleground for cybersecurity.”

Testifying at the hearing will be Phyllis Schneck, vice president and chief technology officer for McAfee’s public sector; Jim Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Karl Rauscher, chief technology officer and senior fellow at the EastWest Institute.

The Senate Commerce subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet will hold a Thursday morning hearing on the state of the wireline industry.

The subcommittee has previously held hearings on the state of the wireless and video industries. Possible topics include network resilience, rural broadband access and Universal Service Fund programs.

The House Judiciary subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet will hold the first of two hearings on copyright and technology on Thursday morning.

Mediaite and the Charles Koch Institute are sponsoring a discussion on “Privacy, Security, and the Digital Age” on Tuesday evening.

The speakers will be John Bolton of the American Enterprise Institute, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, Michael Nelson of Bloomberg Government, Tom Cochran of Atlantic Media and Adam Thierer of George Mason University.