House Dems push FCC to adopt stronger cybersecurity measures

House Dems push FCC to adopt stronger cybersecurity measures
© Greg Nash

House Democrats on Thursday introduced a slew of bills aimed at making the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) strengthen its cybersecurity policies.

The three bills being pushed by the minority members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee would require the FCC to adopt rules to protect communications networks, set up an interagency panel to handle cybersecurity investigations and require Internet of Things devices to have certified cybersecurity standards.

"Our networks and devices are the hub of our digital lives,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), the committee’s top Democrat, said in a statement.

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“They can make our lives better and our economy stronger, but only when they are secure. I commend my Democratic colleagues for proposing new approaches to protecting consumers from the growing barrage of cyberattacks, especially from state-funded actors. These bills would ensure that Americans do not have to choose between innovation and security."

It appears unlikely that the bills will be viewed favorably by congressional Republicans or GOP FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

On Wednesday, the commission decided on a party-line vote to block a data security rule that was set to go into effect on Thursday. The rule would have required internet service providers to put in place “reasonable” protections for their consumers’ data.