The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has released a Public Notice seeking comment on additional safeguards the Commission could adopt to protect the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) and Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) information that will be shared among state, federal, and Tribal nation agencies, pursuant to a March 2021 FCC Order. The March 2021 FCC Order permitted the exchange of this confidential information with state, federal, Tribal nation agencies to improve their situational awareness and ability to respond more rapidly to outages.
The Commission has already adopted the following safeguards: (1) providing read-only access to NORS and DIRS information; (2) limiting the number of users with access to the databases; (3) requiring special training for participating agencies; and (4) potentially terminating access to agencies that misuse or improperly disclose the NORS and DIRS information.
The Bureau seeks comment on some additional safeguards that have been proposed such as including a watermark on documents printed from the databases and placing headers and footers on each page alerting parties viewing the information that it is confidential. Comments on this Public Notice are due 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which has yet to occur.