House Passes Trio of 5G Security Bills

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Together, the measures aim to promote a safer rollout of the highly-anticipated, next-generation mobile networks.

The House of Representatives passed a trio of bipartisan bills this week aimed at securing 5G wireless networks and technologies. 

“The timing is particularly important given the increased risk of cyberattacks arising from the conflict with Iran,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, D-Pa., said in a joint statement regarding the bills’ passage. “All three of these bills are important for securing America’s wireless future, and we hope they won’t languish in the Senate.”

Here’s a look at what the tech- and security-focused telecommunications proposals ultimately aim to accomplish. 

Secure 5G and Beyond Act 

Introduced in May, the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2019 directs President Trump to consult with officials from the Federal Communications Commission, National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Homeland Security Department, as well as the National Intelligence Director and Defense Secretary, to create a comprehensive national strategy to secure next-generation mobile telecom systems and infrastructures. The “whole-of-government approach” would need to ensure competitiveness for U.S. companies and privacy for American consumers, and also support U.S. allies in maximizing the security of their own 5G efforts. Pallone and Doyle articulated their hopes that the bill “will force the Trump Administration to get serious about protecting Americans as 5G services are deployed.”

Promoting United States Wireless Leadership Act

This legislation calls on the assistant secretary for communications and information to take more deliberate actions that improve the United States’ participation in and representation across international standards-setting bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, or 3GPP, which develops protocols for mobile telephony. If enacted, the bill would require the assistant secretary to brief members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on a plan to boost America’s influence across the various standards-setting organizations. 

And A Push to Consider the Prague Proposals

The House also passed H. Res. 575, which urges any and all stakeholders to carefully consider the Prague Proposals—an international cybersecurity framework produced by representatives from 32 countries, the European Union and NATO at the 2019 Prague 5G Security Conference—before embarking on 5G deployments and procuring related products and services. The bill also encourages the president and federal agencies to promote trade and security policies on the international stage that jive with the internationally-agreed-upon proposals.