IN RESPONSE: Don't trust the legislature to improve rural internet


A bill cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner passed the Senate on Wednesday, which would assemble a working group to report to Congress on how to better coordinate policies to enable the “internet of things.”

“This bill will improve coordination between the federal government and the technology industry and create opportunities for further deployment of secure IoT devices,” said Gardner in a statement.

The Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things, or DIGIT, Act predicts that approximately 125 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2030. The working group would determine how prepared federal agencies are to adopt technology related to the internet of things and keep it safe from cyberattacks.

The DIGIT Act does not address the application of the internet of things to U.S. intelligence gathering. In 2016, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress that “in the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials.”

A steering committee within the Department of Commerce would also guide the working group toward federal applications for the internet of things that could have public policy benefits. The group would report to Congress within 18 months after the bill’s enactment.

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