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 SpanbergerAssault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border 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 BrooksHouse Democrats target 2020 GOP incumbents in new ad The House Republicans and Democrats not seeking reelection in 2020 Mellman: Is the DCCC in successful chaos? MORE (R-Ind.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyOvernight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Farm Credit — Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez meet to heal Democratic rift Carbon tax shows new signs of life in Congress MORE (R-Fla.), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinMueller report fades from political conversation House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death Hillicon Valley: Capital One faces investigation over massive breach | DHS warns of cyber vulnerability in small aircraft | Senate bill would ban 'addictive' social media features MORE (D-Mich.), and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikRepublican lawmakers ask Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud-computing contract Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker 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 CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE (R-Texas), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Facebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (D-Va.), and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Trump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role Trump withdraws Ratcliffe as Intelligence pick 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 TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative 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.