Norman Snodgrass: Now is not the time for Congress to undermine American technology and cybersecurity | columnists

The United States faces serious threats to our cybersecurity every day, from Russia’s recent attack on the Colonial pipeline last year to the attack on China’s SolarWinds, which took place a month later and remains the largest cybersecurity attack on America. US government servants in history.

Now is not the time for Congress to push through legislation that will undermine American technology and cybersecurity, and one such bill is Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Under the proposed legislation, major US technology companies would not be able to “restrict or impede a competing business user’s ability to access or interoperate with the same platform, operating system, or hardware or software features.” At a time when we cannot afford to weaken our cybersecurity infrastructure, this legislation is poised to not only increase our cybersecurity vulnerability, but also jeopardize US national security in the process.

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The national security implications of such a mandate are deeply concerning. By requiring major US technology companies to provide sensitive hardware and software information to other companies that may lack the same level of highly sophisticated security safeguards, this legislation inadvertently opens the door for hackers who They seek to inflict harm on the United States and could inadvertently allow our adversaries like Russia and China to exploit weaknesses in our nation’s infrastructure.

To make matters worse, the bill also allows for sideloading, which allows users to load apps directly from the Internet or from their phones, instead of using the well-established and trusted app stores offered by Google and Apple. The Google and Apple app stores have strict security requirements that apps must meet or risk being removed from the platform.

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As a result of sideloading, these security standards would be removed and users could be tricked into downloading dangerous apps that put their personal data, from credit card information to social security numbers, at risk. The result could be an increase in criminal networks creating malware and phishing schemes that defraud Minnesotans.

This legislation is also not a priority for ordinary Americans. A recent poll of 1,000 likely voters shows that 90% of respondents found it “concerning” that such legislation could make American consumers and national security “more vulnerable to cyberattacks.” Eighty-nine percent of voters also agreed that the bill could have unintended negative consequences, such as increased threats to US national security and the US losing its economic edge.

Elected leaders in Washington must protect, not undermine, the data security of American consumers and businesses. Senator Klobuchar’s misguided bill will make us less safe and our economy less prosperous. Given the important role America’s technology companies play in driving our economy and bolstering our national security, it is especially misguided legislation, particularly given today’s tense geopolitical environment.

Our leaders in Congress must recognize the deep flaws in this legislation and avoid making ourselves more vulnerable to our global adversaries.

Norman Snodgrass is a Gulf War veteran living in Brownsville.

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