Thursday, July 15, 2004

Outage reports spur national security debate: "The Federal Communications Commission believes the public outage reports, required since the early 1990s, have helped to dramatically improve network quality. But the rule applies only to landline companies, an anachronistic loophole in this age of wireless phones and voice service from the cable company. So it would make sense to expand the rule to other communications companies, right? Not so fast.

"The FCC's proposal to make that change has met with strong opposition, not only from phone companies but also from the Department of Homeland Security, which contends that the outage reports could serve as blueprints for terrorists bent on wrecking U.S. communications systems. Homeland Security wants future reports to be filed with one of its own infrastructure-monitoring bodies, the Information Sharing and Analysis Center in the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications, and kept from public analysis. That appears to put Homeland Security at odds with New York City's telecommunications department, the National League of Cities and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, which have endorsed the FCC's plan."

Another instance of secrecy where there need be none. More than any other administration in my memory, the Bush II administration classifies everything it can, and fights any attempts to declassify.

These are publicly licensed and regulated services. We have a right to this information. Could the telcos be reluctant to provide the information, and have they unleashed their lobbyists to head off sensible regulation by the FCC?

No comments:

Post a Comment