Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., introduced legislation that would revamp the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Office for Policy Analysis and Development to have a stronger focus on cybersecurity efforts.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act would rename the NTIA office to the Office for Policy Development and Cybersecurity, to better align with the office’s mission to secure the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. The renamed office would be led by an associate administrator.

“Cybersecurity is essential to our national security, and so is updating our agencies and departments to reflect our new reality,” Sen. Hickenlooper said in a press release.

The redesignated office would have a number of responsibilities, including developing cybersecurity policy as it relates to ICT and helping the implementation of cyber and privacy measures for ICT companies.

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Additionally, the office would work to mitigate and prevent software vulnerabilities in communications networks and provide “technical assistance on cybersecurity practices to small and rural communications service providers.”

“American consumers are the ones who are hurt most by cyberattacks and breaches of private data,” Sen. 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,” she said.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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