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Measures to Strengthen EAS Security in the Offing

- FCC Chair Circulates Potential Agenda

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel is teeing up a proposed rulemaking to strengthen the security of the Emergency Alert System and its wireless counterpart, identifying four goals to ensure that equipment and systems are routinely updated and to combat potential fraudulent alerts.

If her fellow commissioners agree, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would seek comment on:

  • Ways to improve the operational readiness of the Emergency Alert System, including the amount of time that broadcasters, cable providers, and other EAS participants may operate before repairing defective EAS equipment;
  • Requiring EAS participants to report compromises of their EAS equipment;
  • Requiring EAS participants and the wireless providers that participate in Wireless Emergency Alerts to annually certify to having a cybersecurity risk management plan in place, and to employ sufficient security measures to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their respective alerting systems; and
  • Requiring wireless providers to take steps to ensure that only valid alerts are displayed on consumer devices.

Broadcasters proudly continue to serve as the backbone of the nation’s emergency communications system, and organizations like TAB and many other state broadcast associations that are deeply involved in ensuring EAS is functioning effectively will be equally engaged in this rulemaking endeavor.

Nonetheless, it is vitally important to ensure that any costs to EAS participants – of money and time – are minimal and well justified.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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