| WASHINGTON, June 12
WASHINGTON, June 12 The top U.S. telecom
regulator on Thursday asked phone, cable and other companies to
step up and show measurable actions they take to protect
communications networks from cyber attacks and hold themselves
accountable without new regulations.
In his first major speech devoted fully to cybersecurity,
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler urged the
private sector to "step up to assume new responsibility and
market accountability for managing cyber risks" before the FCC
takes a regulatory approach to the problem.
"The private sector-led effort must be more dynamic than
traditional regulation and more measurably effective than
blindly trusting the market or voluntary best practices to
defend our country," Wheeler said in a speech at the American
Enterprise Institute, a public policy group.
"We believe in a new regulatory paradigm where the
commission relies on industry and the market first while
preserving other options if that approach is unsuccessful."
Improving protections of U.S. critical infrastructure like
communications networks and the electric grid has been a
priority for the Obama administration, but security experts
continue to worry about the reluctance of many corporate leaders
to spend more money on improving defenses.
The FCC, whose oversight includes major wireless and
Internet providers, has in the past tried to adopt industry-wide
minimum cybersecurity standards but faced resistance from large
communications companies as the private sector broadly has
resisted U.S. efforts to set new standards.
Wheeler, at the FCC's helm since November, has reignited the
effort, making his first plea for the private sector to step in
a speech at the cable industry trade show in April.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh, editing by Ros Krasny and Tom