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October 22, 2014

Tom Wheeler Talks Cybersecurity at AEI

480893371 445x295 Tom Wheeler Talks Cybersecurity at AEI

(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

The chairman of the FCC delved into cybersecurity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute today, suggesting a “new paradigm for cyber-readiness” from the private sector.

The “network ecosystem must step up to assume new responsibility and market accountability” for managing cyber-risks,” Chairman Tom Wheeler said.

“This new paradigm must be based on private sector innovation and the alignment of private interests in profit and return on investment with a public interest like public safety and national security,” he said at an AEI event on the future of cybersecurity.

In his view, this work by the private sector has to be “more dynamic” than regulation and also “more measurably effective” than “blindly trusting the market or voluntary best practices to defend our country.”

And he said it  has to be “real” and “meaningful” and actually work — and it it doesn’t, he raised the possibility of “alternatives.” He didn’t suggest any.

Wheeler’s remarks at a cable industry event in April also mentioned a new regulatory framework.

He said he’s directed staff to work around “central pillars” in cybersecurity, including information sharing:

We are examining the legal and practical barriers to effective sharing of information about cyber threats and vulnerabilities in the communications sector. In order to protect companies and consumers against malicious cyberattacks and intrusions, companies large and small within the communications sector must implement privacy-protective mechanisms to report cyber-threats to each other, and, where necessary, to government authorities.

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