FIRST IN MC: TECH MAKES NDAA ASKS — A tech trade group representing everyone from Apple to Zoom lobbied leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday to create a national cyber director, invest in cyber research and coronavirus-related cyber defenses and resist cybersecurity mandates on the design of cybersecurity products. TechNet suggested senators include those provisions and others in the annual defense authorization bill the panel was marking up Wednesday behind closed doors. SASC approved the measure later in the evening.
“Our approach to cybersecurity must focus on deterrence, modernization, and resilience, and we would encourage the Committee to strengthen U.S. cyber capabilities and invest more in cyber research and talent,” wrote Linda Moore, TechNet president and CEO. Creation of a national cyber director is the most prominent recommendation of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission; Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who chairs the Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee, had sought more information about the proposal in a letter to the commission.
TechNet encouraged senators to insert more cybersecurity and IT modernization funding for critical infrastructure like schools and hospitals that are contending with Covid-19; increase funding for science and technology in emerging fields like quantum computing and cybersecurity; and develop public and private initiatives to improve small-business cybersecurity. Other TechNet recommendations include endorsement of the Endless Frontier Act (S. 3832), a $100 billion remaking of the National Science Foundation and rejection of the notion of transferring oversight of non-federal spectrum from the FCC to DoD.