Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats

Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats
© Greg Nash

Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerCentrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote Vulnerable Democrats tell Pelosi COVID-19 compromise 'essential' Trump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report MORE (D-Va.) and five other bipartisan House members on Tuesday introduced a bill meant to protect U.S. telecommunications networks from national security threats from companies such as the Chinese firm Huawei.

The proposal calls for the creation of a national strategy to protect 5G wireless technology from security threats.

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The Secure 5G and Beyond Act would require the administration to create an “unclassified national strategy” to protect the U.S. consumers and allies from threats to 5G systems. This strategy would include language on ways to encourage research and development by U.S. companies around maintaining access to 5G for all Americans, and on protecting the “competitiveness” of U.S. companies, along with the privacy of American consumers, against foreign political influence.

Spanberger is spearheading the bill with co-sponsors that include Reps. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksBipartisan lawmakers call for broadband expansion to eliminate inequities The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, GOP allies prepare for SCOTUS nomination this week MORE (R-Ind.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyThe Hill's Convention Report: Democrats gear up for Day Two of convention The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill Pelosi to require masks on House floor MORE (R-Fla.), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinOvernight Defense: Congress recommends nuclear arms treaty be extended | Dems warn Turkey | Military's eighth COVID death identified Bipartisan congressional task force recommends extending nuclear treaty with Russia Wray: Racially motivated violent extremism makes up most of FBI's domestic terrorism cases MORE (D-Mich.), and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikWomen gain uneven footholds in Congress, state legislatures Republicans cast Trump as best choice for women The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Pence rips Biden as radical risk MORE (R-N.Y.). 

“The United States has long been responsible for the groundbreaking achievements of the digital age,” Spanberger said in a statement. “However, the growing prominence of 5G telecommunications systems in China and abroad, particularly through Huawei, should concern all Americans. To protect our national security and maintain our economic strength, we must build a nationwide gameplan to strengthen our mobile networks and protect the privacy of American families.”

A Senate version of the bill was introduced in March by Sens. John CornynJohn CornynBig donors fund state parties at record levels Trump, GOP aim to complete reshaping of federal judiciary Fears grow of chaotic election MORE (R-Texas), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump official releases unverified Russian intel on Clinton previously rejected by Senate panel FBI director casts doubt on concerns over mail-in voting fraud Democrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials MORE (D-Va.), and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs Rep. Mark Walker says he's been contacted about Liberty University vacancy MORE (R-N.C.). This legislation was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, where it has not yet seen action.

The introduction of the House version of the bill comes during a week when potential Chinese threats to 5G networks have been the focus of attention, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE signing an executive order banning U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment from any company deemed a national security risk.

The Commerce Department also formally added Huawei to its list of blacklisted trade groups last week, although issued a temporary license on Monday allowing U.S. companies to have “limited engagements” with Huawei for 90 days.