A modified version of CISPA eventually passed the House in April, leaving privacy advocates with mixed feelings. The Center for Democracy and Technology, which was deeply involved with advocacy work on the bill, praised the version that emerged from the House for including added privacy protections, but warned of language that would provide for private-sector information to flow to the government intelligence community for unspecified national security purposes.
Though much of the debate around cybersecurity legislation has turned on the government's role in protecting private-sector networks, measures under consideration would also seek to streamline and improve the internal systems of departments and agencies. In a poll of federal CIOs and staffers, respondents identified cybersecurity as their chief concern, followed by budgeting constraints and issues associated with the labor force and deploying and managing mobile devices.
FCC Spectrum Auctions
In February, Congress granted the Federal Communications Commission the authority to conduct a new round of spectrum auctions. Wireless carriers, FCC leaders and others have long been calling for policy reforms to free up new capacity for mobile networks, which they say are struggling to keep pace with the surging demand for wireless data.
In September, the FCC initiated its long-awaited--and hotly debated--proposal for the so-called incentive auctions, through which television broadcasters will be encouraged to turn over their current spectrum licenses in exchange for a portion of the revenues generated from their resale.
The FCC has also been coordinating with other government agencies in a bid to reallocate federal spectrum for commercial broadband networks, and has moved ahead with a number of smaller measures to provision new spectrum to accommodate mobile data usage.