Monday, March 6, 2023

Review - HR 1123 Introduced – Mobile Network Cybersecurity

Last month, Rep Eshoo (D,CA) introduced HR 1123, the Understanding Cybersecurity of Mobile Networks Act. The bill would require the Department of Commerce to prepare a report to Congress on that examines “the cybersecurity of mobile service networks and the vulnerability of such networks and mobile devices to cyberattacks and surveillance conducted by adversaries.” The bill authorizes $500,000 for the preparation of this report.

NOTE: The GPO print of this bill is now available.

Moving Forward

As I mentioned this morning, the House is scheduled to take up the bill tomorrow under the suspension of the rules process. This means that there will be limited debate, no floor amendments will be allowed, and a super majority will be required for passage. The House leadership generally schedules bills under this process when they expect there to be substantial bipartisan support for the bill. The bill was not taken up by the Energy and Commerce Committee to which it was assigned for consideration.

It is obvious that the House leadership considers this bill to be important enough to move the bill forward this quickly, and without committee consideration. It is unclear if the Senate will have the same appreciation of the bill’s import. This bill is not significant enough to be considered under regular order, but the leadership could attempt to bring it forward under the unanimous consent process.


With the increasing use of mobile network communications in geographically distributed control system, I am disappointed that the crafters of this legislation did not include specific mention of this technology in the scope of the report. I would have added a new paragraph in §2(b):

(8) An estimate and discussion about the prevalence of the use of mobile technology in geographically distributed control systems such as pipelines, power distribution systems, positive train control systems and traffic control systems, including the cybersecurity risks associated with that use.

For more details about this legislation, including additional commentary on the funding authorization and exempting 5G security issues, see my article at CFSN Detailed Analysis - - subscription required. 

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