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

THE HILL, MAGGIE MILLER

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (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.

Spanberger is spearheading the bill with co-sponsors that include Reps. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), and Elise Stefanik (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 Cornyn(R-Texas), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Richard Burr (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 Trump 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. 

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