The White House on Tuesday applauded a group of Senators for introducing the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act that would give new powers to the US government to take action against technologies posing risk to the country, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Tuesday (local time). White House urged Congress to pass legislation and send it to the President’s desk.
Jake Sullivan said that the legislation will empower the US government to prevent certain governments from exploiting technology services operating in the United States in a way that poses risks to sensitive data of people and the country’s national security.
His statement comes after a group of senators led by senators Mark Warner and John Thune introduced the bill that will address the ongoing threat posed by technology from foreign adversaries by empowering the US Department of Commerce to review, prevent, and mitigate information communications and technology transactions that pose risk to national security like TikTok.
“We applaud the bipartisan group of Senators, led by Senators Warner and Thune, who today introduced the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act. This legislation would empower the United States government to prevent certain foreign governments from exploiting technology services operating in the United States in a way that poses risks to Americans’ sensitive data and our national security,” Sullivan said in a statement.
Sullivan noted that the bill presents a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the security and safety of Americans. He stressed that the legislation will provide the US government with new mechanisms to mitigate the national security risks posed by high-risk technology businesses operating in the country.
“Critically, it would strengthen our ability to address discrete risks posed by individual transactions, and systemic risks posed by certain classes of transactions involving countries of concern in sensitive technology sectors. This will help us address the threats we face today, and also prevent such risks from arising in the future,” Sullivan said in a statement.
He further said, “We look forward to continue working with both Democrats and Republicans on this bill, and urge Congress to act quickly to send it to the President’s desk.”
Earlier, Mark Warner in a statement said, “Today, the threat that everyone is talking about is TikTok, and how it could enable surveillance by the Chinese Communist Party, or facilitate the spread of malign influence campaigns in the U.S. Before TikTok, however, it was Huawei and ZTE, which threatened our nation’s telecommunications networks. And before that, it was Russia’s Kaspersky Lab, which threatened the security of government and corporate devices.”
Warner said that the US needs a comprehensive and risk-based approach that pro-actively tackles sources of dangerous technology before they gain a foothold in America. In the statement, he stated, “the RESTRICT Act establishes a risk-based process, tailored to the rapidly changing technology and threat environment, by directing the Department of Commerce to identify and mitigate foreign threats to information and communications technology products and services.”
“We need a comprehensive, risk-based approach that proactively tackles sources of potentially dangerous technology before they gain a foothold in America, so we aren’t playing Whac-A-Mole and scrambling to catch up once they’re already ubiquitous,” Warner said in a statement.
Meanwhile, US Senator John Thune said that Congress needs to stop taking a “piecemeal approach” with respect to technology from “adversarial nations that pose national security risks.”
“Our country needs a process in place to address these risks, which is why I’m pleased to work with Senator Warner to establish a holistic, methodical approach to address the threats posed by technology platforms like TikTok from foreign adversaries,” Thune said in a statement.
“This bipartisan legislation would take a necessary step to ensure consumers’ information and our communications technology infrastructure is secure,” he further said. (MILAP NEWS NETWORK)