March 03, 2015

Politico Pro interviews Jamie Barnett on FCC's 'new paradigm' for cybersecurity

2 min

Venable partner Jamie Barnett was interviewed in a March 3, 2015 Politico Pro article on an FCC report intended to outline a "new paradigm for cyber readiness." Last June, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urged telecom and internet providers to deal with cybersecurity risk like a regulatory requirement and warned that shortcomings could lead to actual regulations.

Commenting on the FCC report, Barnett said, "It may not necessarily provide the quantum leap forward." Missing from the FCC report is a way of measuring cybersecurity improvements, a mandate given to members of the working group who produced the report. "It is certainly not clear that there is a metric," said Barnett adding that Wheeler was "very clear that he wanted communications companies to have accountability for actually raising the cybersecurity game."

Despite the shortcomings in report, Barnett noted that it is still an accomplishment. "I would never want to indicate that [the report] isn't a great accomplishment, but I don't think that anybody would say, 'Oh, the CSRIC Working Group Four will absolutely change cybersecurity in the telecommunication sector,'" Barnett said. The report “answers the question of 'What can we get done,'" however, "The question that's not always posed is 'What should we do,'" Barnett added.

"The voluntary nature of this, and the fact that you've got industry groups come in…does have a tendency to make it not earth-shattering, paradigm-shifting type results," said Barnett. "You take the gains you can make."