Yesterday Rep. Lance (R,NJ) introduced H Res 195. This is a Sense of Congress resolution that describes the benefits of the expanded use of the internet of things (IOT) and resolves to foster the additional development of the technology.
In most ways this is similar to S Res 110 passed last month in the Senate. There are two major and one minor differences between the two resolutions. First the minor; the Senate version resolves “to incentivize the development of the Internet of Things” while the House version resolves “to encourage the development of the Internet of Things”. The first would cost money (probably in tax breaks); the second only hoorah cheers from the legislative sidelines.
The Lance version of the resolution adds an additional ‘whereas’ in the description of the benefits of IOT:
“Whereas the Internet of Things, through augmented data collection and process analyses, optimizes energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency and reducing usage and demand;”
Fortunately congressional rules do not require documentation to support their allegation of facts in these Sense of Congress resolutions. They only need to not raise serious objections from potential opponents.
Lance’s paean to IOT sings the same verses as Sen. Fischer, but he adds another to address my (I’m a blogger, I can make unsubstantiated claims as well as a congresscritter) complaints about Fischer’s failure to address cybersecurity issues:
“(5) to further innovation, economic growth, and ensure cybersecurity, the United States should only address discrete harms in the Internet of Things marketplace when identified pursuant to cost-benefit analysis revealing that governmental action is necessary;”
This is a Sense of Congress resolution not a piece of real legislation so I can hardly fault Lance for not proposing a specific regulatory scheme or even a legislative agenda to specifically address cybersecurity concerns about IOT. It would have been nice if he had exhorted IOT developers to include basic cybersecurity developmental tools in their crafting of IOT devices and software. Or at least expressed concerns about protecting privacy.
It will be interesting to see if Lance has enough pull in the Energy and Commerce Committee (he is a middle ranking member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee) to see the bill moved to the floor of the House. If it does, it will almost certainly pass as it contains no politically objectionable language.