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Monday, April 22nd, 2024

Rep. Duncan proposes new office to oversee NTIA cybersecurity efforts

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With the introduction of new legislation last week, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) has proposed the creation of the Office of Policy Development and Cybersecurity (OPDC) within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to advance national cybersecurity efforts.

“Today, we are taking the step of codifying in law the actions of the NTIA cybersecurity office,” Duncan said after introducing the NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act. “While this agency has acted to try to educate stakeholders on ways to protect their systems against the cyber-crimes of adversaries, they will be more effective with clear direction from Congress rather than just the administrative mandate they have had up until now.”

Duncan’s legislation met bipartisan backing, thanks to U.S. Reps. Susan Wild (D-PA) and John Curtis (R-UT). It would officially create the OPDC and lay out the parameters for its operation. It comes when growing cyberattacks on national infrastructure, from both state-sponsored and private criminal interests.

“Bolstering our efforts to counter cybersecurity threats is of critical importance, particularly as bad actors around the world relentlessly work to hack into American homes, businesses, and government offices with dangerous ransomware attacks,” Wild said. “The vulnerabilities that these attacks expose are enormous, from revealing financial information about American families to potentially shutting down operations at American companies. This bipartisan legislation gives the National Telecommunications and Information Administration the legal tools it needs to more effectively and aggressively combat this growing threat and keep Americans safe, and I’m proud to be leading this effort alongside Congressman Duncan and Congressman Curtis.”

The OPDC would take over cybersecurity policy from the NTIA, which has been in operation since 1978. It serves as the president’s chief advisor for telecommunications policies that affect the industry’s economic and technological advancement and regulation.