A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers sent a letter on Monday to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler asking how the FCC’s proposed rule on set-top boxes could affect cybersecurity.
The coalition included U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Tom Carper (D-DE), along with U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS).
The legislators asked Wheeler to provide information on safeguards included in the proposed rule to provide strong levels of cybersecurity while urging further attention to the issue.
“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,” the letter said. “Vulnerabilities in software and hardware can allow malicious actors to infect consumers’ devices and carry out cyberattacks. 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.”
Lawmakers also highlighted the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework and questioned how the FCC’s proposed rulemaking aligns with the framework’s recommended practices or how existing cable and satellite providers can adequately inventory devices attached to their networks.
The FCC has yet to respond to the letter.