The Future Caucus Tackles Mobile Telecommunication Security
January 8, 2020
By a 413–3 vote on January 8, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2881, the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020. This bill was introduced by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7) and cosponsored by members on both sides of the aisle, including Congressional Future Caucus members Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), an original cosponsor, Seth Moulton (D-MA-6), Will Hurd (R-TX-23), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16).
By a 413–3 vote on January 8, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2881, the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020. This bill was introduced by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7) and cosponsored by members on both sides of the aisle, including Congressional Future Caucus members Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), an original cosponsor, Seth Moulton (D-MA-6), Will Hurd (R-TX-23), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16). This legislation requires the president to develop a strategy and implementation plan to ensure the security of next generation mobile telecommunications systems, infrastructure, and software in the United States and for our allies and strategic partners around the world.
The bill requires the president to consult with a variety of top-level advisors including the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and the Secretaries of State and Defense to develop a plan within 180 days that would ensure the security of fifth and future generation wireless communications systems and infrastructure. Additionally, the president will be required to work with allies to ensure their systems’ security, bolstering the competitiveness of American companies and further protecting the privacy of American consumers. The strategy and implementation plan as laid out in the legislative text must address, among other things:
- American national and economic security interests pertaining to 5G technology;
- Identification and assessment of potential threats to and vulnerabilities of the current American telecommunications infrastructure and system;
- A plan for diplomatic engagement with mutual defense allies and strategic partners to share risks, standards, and development findings; and
- A plan for engagement with private sector leaders in the United States on communications infrastructure status and development.
In a press release about the passage of the bill, Rep. Spanberger celebrated the broad base of support for the bill as well as the post-partisan nature of the subject, saying, “I’m encouraged that my bill passed with 11 Republican cosponsors and 16 Democratic cosponsors — showing that the long-term security of our telecommunications systems is not a partisan issue.” Other cosponsors cited the importance of the legislation in terms of the impact that 5G telecommunication will have on education, infrastructure, national security, and American competitiveness overseas. The need for strong and secure communications systems nationwide becomes more apparent daily. Facing novel threats and an increasingly uncertain geopolitical future, this bill would move the US further into a position of global leadership and prepare the nation for a new generation of economic and technological competition while powering prosperity at home.
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