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Last week, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), House Transportation Committee ranking member, sent a letter to both the Federal Communications Commission’s Chairman Tom Wheeler and the Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx targeting the dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology now being deployed in some cars.
Rep. DeFazio urged both agencies to “do what is in the greater public interest” by prioritizing DSRC safety features over the nation’s need for more unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum. Public Knowledge shares Rep. DeFazio’s concerns about privacy and cybersecurity, and believes that these issues must be addressed promptly to avoid consumer harm.
The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:
“Public Knowledge is glad that Rep. DeFazio shares our concern over the importance of cybersecurity and privacy in DSRC. As Rep. DeFazio has said, it will require both NHTSA and the FCC to work together to ensure DSRC is properly secure. Although NHTSA has jurisdiction over the life and safety features covered by its mandate, only the FCC can properly secure the full 75 MHz of spectrum allocated to DSRC for commercial and non-commercial use.
“We respectfully disagree with Rep. DeFazio on the need to allow DSRC to go forward before cybersecurity and privacy concerns are fully resolved. If the FCC does permit the car industry to move forward before securing DSRC from cyber vulnerabilities, it will be necessary to prevent units deployed without appropriate safeguards from creating a permanent security hole in the future vehicle-2-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-2-infrastructure (V2I) network. We look forward to working with Rep. DeFazio to ensure that any deployed DSRC does not become a trojan horse for hackers and identity thieves.”