May 23, 2016–The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee have asked FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to explain how the agency’s proposal for requiring video programming distributors to give third-party set-top box (STB) device and app makers access to consumer content and related information will affect cybersecurity.
“As more and more devices become directly connected to the Internet, it is imperative that they be developed with adequate levels of security in mind. Vulnerabilities in software and hardware can allow malicious actors to infect consumers’ devices and carry out cyberattacks,” Sens. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Tom Carper (D., Del.) and Reps. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) and Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.) wrote to Chairman Wheeler in a letter dated today.
“These attacks could allow criminals from across the globe to access networks and steal sensitive data. Further, without the right cybersecurity protections across networks, a vulnerable device could allow cybercriminals entry,” they said.
They raised a number of specific questions, including whether the FCC had considered the risk management approach in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework for critical infrastructure industries when it developed its STB proposals. “Does the proposed rulemaking address potential economic harm to content creators or businesses that may be impacted from the potential for cyberattacks or potential harm to infrastructure?” the lawmakers asked. —Lynn Stanton, firstname.lastname@example.org