Capito offers bill to establish new cybersecurity policy development office

Bipartisan legislation offered by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) would establish the federal Office of Policy Development and Cybersecurity within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

“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.”

Sen. Capito on Oct. 7 cosponsored the NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act, S. 2979, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) to refocus the NTIA’s Office for Policy Analysis and Development on cybersecurity and policy development.

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, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Capito’s office.

“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,” said Sen. Capito.

Additionally, the newly created office would provide guidance for implementing cybersecurity and privacy measures for internet and telecommunication companies; promote collaboration between security research and industry; prevent and mitigate software vulnerabilities in communications networks; and remove barriers for implementing and investing in cybersecurity for communications and software providers, the summary says.

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