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US Congress Debating IoT Assessment Bill

By Ken Briodagh

A bill recently passed the US House of Representatives, and is now in committee in the Senate, that will, if passed, direct the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study and submit to Congress a report on the state of the internet-connected devices industry in the United States.

The bill, H.R.6032 – SMART (State of Modern Application, Research, and Trends) IoT Act, was introduced in June by Ohio Republican Rep. Robert E. Latta, and its scope is only one of study at this point.

It would call for the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study over the course of a year from enactment on the state of the internet-connected devices industry (commonly known as the “Internet of Things”) in the United States and in conducting the study, the Secretary must run the survey through outreach to participating entities, including industry sectors that develop internet-connected devices, public-private partnerships focused on promoting the adoption and use of internet-connected devices, industry-based standards bodies.

The results should determine the status of the industry-based mandatory or voluntary standards and a description of the ways entities or industry sectors develop, use, or promote the use of internet-connected devices. It also will develop, if passed by the Senate as-is, a comprehensive list of Federal agencies with jurisdiction over the entities and industry sectors identified under paragraph, and identify with which Federal agencies each entity or industry sector interacts. Also, all interagency activities, such as working groups or other coordinated efforts should be identified.

Other goals include looking at what jurisdiction and regulations are already in place through the Federal government, and what resources are available for users to use in evaluating IoT options.

Finally, the report has to include the Secretary of Commerce’s recommendations for growth of the United States economy through the secure advancement of internet-connected devices.

It should be noted that there will be no additional funds allocated for implementing this study.

Joe Lea, VP of Product, Armis, said that he hopes security will be a key feature of the study, if it goes forward. “IoT security has become a lightning rod issue. While the federal government on its own may not be the right body to regulate IoT standards, we can’t leave it to the manufacturers,” Armis said. “Businesses are motivated by profit margins. Left to regulate themselves, there wouldn’t be notable progress in security. The right approach for the government at this point is to partner with an industry body, like a MITRE, NIST, or CIS that is already doing the heavy lifting in researching and establishing IoT standards.”


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Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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