Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Review - HR 3386 Introduced - Smart Cities and Communities Act

Back in May Rep DelBene introduced HR 3386, the Smart Cities and Communities Act of 2021. The bill enhances the Federal Government coordination and outreach with respect to smart city or community technologies. It includes the formation of a federal cybersecurity working group and five cybersecurity ‘in passing’ mentions in four sections of the bill.

Section 202 requires the Department of Commerce to “convene a multistakeholder working group, to be known as the “Cybersecurity Working Group”, to develop tools for communities to use to evaluate the cybersecurity of smart city or community technologies.” The DOC will consider appointing individuals to the Working Group including:

• Representatives of consumer groups and civil liberties organizations,

• Representatives of small units of local government, as determined by the Secretary,

• Representatives of large units of local government, as determined by the Secretary,

• Manufacturers of smart city or community devices, equipment, and software,

• Individuals with expertise in communications networks,

• Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials,

• Individuals with other expertise necessary to carry out the duties of the Working Group, and

• Such representatives of the Council as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

The Working Group will:

• Leverage and build on previous activities carried out by the Department of Commerce relating to Internet of Things (IoT) technology,

• Develop tools for communities to evaluate the cybersecurity of smart city or community technology being considered by the communities for adoption in those communities,

• Develop tools for communities to protect against cybersecurity threats relevant to the technology the community has chosen to adopt, and

• Submit to the Council a report that describes the findings of the Working Group.

Additionally, the Working Group will assess whether IoT cybersecurity standards should exist and if they should be voluntary or mandatory.

Moving Forward

While DelBene is not a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the lead committee of the three committees to which this bill was assigned for consideration, one of her two cosponsors {Rep Clarke (D,NY)} is a member, so it is possible that this bill could be considered in Committee. I do not see anything in the bill that should engender any organized opposition to the bill. If it is considered in Committee, I would expect to see at least some level of bipartisan support for the bill.

The stronger the bipartisan support for this bill the more likely it will be to be considered on the floor of the House under the suspension of the rules process. If there is not strong bipartisan support, I do not see the Leadership brining the bill to the floor.

For a more detailed review of the bills provisions, including looking at each of the ‘cybersecurity in passing’ mentions, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required.

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