U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell Comments on 5G Cybersecurity Strategy

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, called for doing what is necessary to maintain America’s competitive advantage in 5G to continue to grow our digital economy and protect our national security. She called for implementing a comprehensive strategy to secure 5G technology from state-sponsored bad actors.

“I’m all in for 5G, but in the push for 5G, we need to make sure we’re not blind to some of the very important policy issues,” said Cantwell during the hearing. “Put simply, 5G networks must be secure, and that starts with having a 5G strategy that focuses on shoring up our defense against hackers and state-sponsored actors.”

In her opening remarks, Cantwell outlined the next steps needed to implement a comprehensive 5G cybersecurity strategy and maintain global leadership:

  • The Trump administration must provide Congress with a real, quantifiable 5G security threat assessment.
  • The United States must be certain there is a secure supply chain backing up 5G networks.
  • The United States must take a hard look at whether to ban foreign bad actors from the 5G supply chain.

Cantwell also highlighted the need to work with international partners to protect the 5G supply line and prevent state-sponsored espionage.

“I know that there are state-sponsored actors who have hacked our networks, and I want all of us to work more closely together to call out, on an international basis, those wrong actors, and work together to try to prevent them in a broader coalition,” she said.

When fully deployed, 5G technology will increase mobile internet speeds by up to 20x over current 4G technology, according to Qualcomm. And the benefits of 5G are not limited to mobile devices. 5G will enable economic growth and be a platform for change in areas like driverless cars, energy consumption, artificial intelligence, city planning, climate research, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and how we all access and consume information.

“If we roll up our sleeves, get serious about the cyber issues, and continue to make the right investments in the innovation economy and the race to win in 5G, the United States will do very, very well,” said Cantwell.

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