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 SpanbergerGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 BrooksDemocrat Christina Hale and Republican Victoria Spartz to face off in House race in Indiana Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries The Hill's Campaign Report: More Republican women are running for House seats MORE (R-Ind.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyHouse holds first-ever proxy votes during pandemic Dozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House House members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes MORE (R-Fla.), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinOvernight Defense: Trump's move to use military in US sparks backlash | Defense officials take heat | Air Force head calls Floyd's death 'a national tragedy' Democrats blast Trump's use of military against protests Gun control group rolls out House endorsements MORE (D-Mich.), and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikBipartisan House bill seeks to improve pandemic preparedness The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says supporting small business single most important thing we should do now; Teva's Brendan O'Grady says U.S. should stockpile strategic reserve in drugs like Strategic Oil Reserve House GOP to launch China probes beyond COVID-19 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 CornynCalls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress GOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters Houston police chief responds to Trump advice on protests: 'Keep your mouth shut' MORE (R-Texas), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump asserts his power over Republicans Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks MORE (D-Va.), and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTrump asserts his power over Republicans FISA 'reform': Groundhog Day edition Rubio: Coronavirus conspiracy theories could be used in foreign election misinformation campaigns 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 TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? 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.