House passes bipartisan bills to bolster network security and cyber literacy

The House on Wednesday passed three bipartisan bills aimed at bolstering network security and increasing cyber literacy across the country, after a difficult year marked by several major cybersecurity attacks.

The Understanding Mobile Network Cybersecurity Act, sponsored by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-California) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), was approved by a vote of 404 to 19. The bill would require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to investigate and report on cybersecurity vulnerabilities in mobile networks.

The second bill passed Wednesday, the American Cybersecurity Literacy Act, was approved by a vote of 408 to 17 and would require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to develop and deploy a cybersecurity literacy program to educate Americans on cyber risks.

The bill is bipartisan and primarily sponsored by Kinzinger.

The Senate Commerce Committee approved a supplemental version of the bill earlier this week, which is sponsored by the Senses. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (RS.D.).

The FUTURE Networks Act also passed the House on Wednesday, by a vote of 394 to 27, which would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create a sixth-generation (6G) wireless technology task force to examine vulnerabilities and potential benefits in the future. use of 6G technology.

It is sponsored by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Reps. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Lucy McBath (D-Ga.).

The three bills were approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this year ahead of the floor vote. Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (DN.J.) and Doyle jointly applauded the passage of the bills on Wednesday.

“Today the House came together to pass three critical bipartisan bills that seek to strengthen our telecommunications networks for a safer and more secure wireless future,” Pallone and Doyle said in a joint statement. “Together, these bills will promote the secure and thoughtful deployment of our next-generation 6G networks, provide Americans with the information and tools they need to protect themselves against cyberattacks, and improve the security of wireless networks in the face of attacks. increasing levels of cybersecurity on our critical infrastructure.”

“We salute the hard, bipartisan work that has gone into these bills and look forward to action from the Senate soon,” they added.

The bills passed as Congress continues to focus on approving cybersecurity-related legislation after a year that saw high-profile ransomware attacks on groups including Colonial Pipeline and JBS USA, and other major incidents like the SolarWinds hack linked to Russia.

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Kevin M. Risinger