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By Jimmy H. Koo
There is a need for more technical expertise by lawmakers in Congress to address increasing privacy and security issues raised by internet-connected devices, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) told Bloomberg BNA in a video interview.
As one of only four members of Congress with a computer science degree, Lieu said he is working to make “cybersecurity one of the top priorities” for the U.S.
In March 2016, Lieu pushed to invest $3 billion to fund President Barack Obama’s proposed Information Technology Modernization Fund, but the proposed amendment was rejected by the House Budget Committee.
“At first if you don’t succeed, try, try again,” Lieu said.
Following the Budget Committee’s rejection of the proposal, Lieu worked with Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) to introduce legislation to help agencies modernize cybersecurity systems, he said. The Modernizing Government Technology Act passed the House by voice vote Sept. 22.
In addition to upgrading cybersecurity measures for legacy government IT systems, it is essential to make sure that other internet-connected devices, including connected cars, aren’t compromised, Lieu said. If cars get hacked, they can be weaponized to harm and even kill people, Lieu said.
In January, Lieu introduced the Security and Privacy in Your Car Study Act (SPY Car Study Act) with Congressman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.). The bill seeks to ensure that cybersecurity for connected vehicles keeps pace with the technological advances by working . The SPY Car Study Act calls for working with all stakeholders to set standards on how to regulate cybersecurity in vehicles, Lieu said.
Wilson said in a recent video interview with Bloomberg BNA that the bill seeks to collect information from “all conceivable parties.”
Beyond connected cars, Lieu said he is worried about the cybersecurity threats raised by ubiquitous internet connectivity. Lieu referred to an October 2016 distributed denial-of-service attack that used internet-connected consumer devices to disrupt internet service across the U.S.
“It’s the Wild West out there in terms of the internet of things,” Lieu said.
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The video interview is available at https://www.bna.com/congressman-ted-lieu-m57982084853/.
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