Tuesday, March 21, 2023

HR 1345 Introduced – NTIA Cybersecurity Office

Earlier this month, Rep Curtis (R,UT) introduced HR 1345, the NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act. The bill would amend the NTIA Organization Act, adding a new §106, Office of Policy Development and Cybersecurity. The current Associate Administrator for Policy Analysis and Development at the NTIA would be redesignated as the position of Associate Administrator for Policy Development and Cybersecurity. The new organization would be responsible for overseeing and conducting “national communications and information policy analysis and development for the internet and communications technologies.”

While NTIA is generally considered to be have more of an IT focus on communication technology, it is clear that communications technology is as much about control of systems as it is about the information that transits those systems. This is reflected in the duties for the proposed new Associate Administrator which includes the following more operationally-focused cybersecurity responsibilities:

Advocate for policies that promote the security and resilience to cybersecurity incidents of communications networks while fostering innovation, including policies that promote secure communications network supply chains,

Present security of the digital economy and infrastructure and cybersecurity policy efforts before the Commission, Congress, and elsewhere,

Develop policies to accelerate innovation and commercialization with respect to advances in technological understanding of communications technologies, and

Provide public access to relevant data, research, and technical assistance on innovation and commercialization with respect to communications technologies, consistent with the protection of classified information.

Moving Forward

Curtis is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to which this bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there should be enough influence to see the bill considered in Committee. I do not see anything in the language of the bill that would engender any organized opposition. I suspect that there would be some level of bipartisan support for this bill going forward. It will be interesting to see how this bill fairs in the current anti-government focus of the Republican majority in the House.

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