The Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2019 requires the President and various federal agencies to develop a strategy for the US and its international partners to provide and maximize security regarding 5G communication technologies. The strategy, to be termed the Secure Next Generation Mobile Communications Strategy, will include plans for:
- Ensuring that 5G communication technology within the US is secure;
- Assisting the US’s strategic partners in securing 5G networks in the interest of US national defense;
- Protecting the competitiveness of private US companies;
- Protecting the privacy of US citizens; and
- Protecting the integrity of standards setting bodies from political influence.
Specific elements necessary in the strategy include, among others:
- Identifying domestic and international trusted suppliers of 5G technologies, and investigating whether security gaps exist in international supply chains for such equipment.
- Creating diplomatic plans to coordinate sharing security and risk information of 5G technologies with other trusted allies and strategic partners.
- Identifying network vulnerabilities and security risks in addition to equipment security concerns.
- Identifying economic and national security benefits of using 5G networks.
The bill requires that the strategy cannot propose federalizing 5G technologies (i.e., placing them under federal government control.) The strategy will be unclassified but can contain a classified annex if necessary. The Executive Office of the President will submit the strategy to various Congressional committees and will soon thereafter brief Congress on how to implement the strategy. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will have responsibility for long-term strategy implementation.
5G technology provides wireless internet and data transfer to devices within a network. Wireless transmission of data requires shared use of the electromagnetic spectrum. 5G will be faster and more efficient at transmitting data through spectrum than current broadband networks, and is intended to make cell phone, internet, and device connections faster and more powerful.