The Federal Communications Commission asked for nominations for its Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council.

The council is being rechartered for the sixth time and members will serve a two-year term. The FCC is looking for a chairperson and members for the council. The new members will start in early summer of 2017.

The council will discuss the reliability of communications systems and infrastructure, Internet protocol-based 911 systems, emergency alerting systems, and national security and emergency preparedness communications systems.

Applicants from Federal government, state and local government, and representatives of consumer organizations will be considered.

In the council’s last term, from 2015 to 2017, the 55 members made recommendations related to cybersecurity information sharing to the FCC. The council recommended in March that the FCC should consider how it wants to get involved in cybersecurity information sharing without overlapping with the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security. The council also said the FCC should host a private website in which government agencies can share cybersecurity information, and consider a grant program to fund the efforts needed for agencies to participate in cybersecurity information sharing.

In a Senate hearing in March, senators asked the FCC commissioners about the FCC’s role in the cybersecurity of Internet service providers and other media companies. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said that the FCC has a role in ensuring that broadband providers notify their customers in the event of a data breach. Commissioner Michael O’Rielly disagreed with the senator and members of the FCC’s council by saying that the FCC’s statutory role is limited in terms of data security issues, which makes it difficult to mandate cybersecurity policies for Internet service providers.

The next members of the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council will be able to continue these discussions about the FCC’s role in cybersecurity.


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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.