The acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission plans to “refocus and revitalize” the group that advises the FCC on improving the security, reliability and interoperability of U.S. communications systems. And she wants it to focus on 5G.
The group is called the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council or CSRIC. It is re-chartered every couple of years; the one that’s expected to start in September will be the eighth iteration.
But Jessica Rosenworcel clearly wants a fresh start. She said the commission will “reestablish” the group with an emphasis on 5G network security. Also, in the wake of security breaches that affected the communications sector, she will ask it to review software and cloud service vulnerabilities and to develop mitigation strategies.
And she wants to diversify the group’s membership “to include a broad variety of stakeholders, including representation from the FCC’s federal partners with similar interests.”
She said her goal is “refocusing and revitalizing” the CSRIC “for the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
“The damage from recent supply chain attacks, like the SolarWinds software breach, demonstrates our need for a coordinated, multifaceted and strategic approach to protecting our networks from all threats,” she said in an announcement.
Among topics that prior CSRICs have explored are emergency alerting, national security preparedness, duplication in National Weather Service alerts, security challenges in Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and Next Generation 911.
Members of the most recent group included agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FEMA and the National Weather Service; local police, fire and emergency management officials; media entities like iHeartMedia, Cox Communications and the Florida Association of Broadcasters; alerting entities including the AWARN Alliance; telecom companies like AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon; and internet and security companies like Verisign and SecuLore Solutions.
That group concluded its work in March. The next one will be chartered for two years. The FCC is inviting nominations for membership and a chairperson.
The agency said it is particularly interested in getting nominations from government agencies that have expertise in communications, public safety, emergency management and/or homeland security matters; communications service providers, including broadcasters; developers of software apps and systems for mobile and desktop computing; developers of mobile devices and new technologies; users of communications systems in business, health care, finance and other sectors; and consumer and community organizations including those representing groups with special communications needs.
Details are laid out in the public notice (PDF). Nominations are due by June 1 and will be taken by email, but if you are interested, be sure to read the details and requirements in the public notice first.