CCIA Whitepaper Identifies National Security Risks Posed By House Bills Targeting U.S. Tech Companies

BY Heather Greenfield
September 13, 2021

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association has released a white paper on the national security implications of several House-passed bills aimed at a handful of U.S. tech companies as they compete with foreign companies. These bills were introduced in June 2021 and were marked up without legislative hearings or input from stakeholders, particularly those with national security expertise. The white paper by King & Spalding on behalf of CCIA identifies national security risks to be further evaluated:

      • Enabling the misuse of U.S. data and intellectual property by foreign actors; 
      • Reducing the effectiveness of data streams to law enforcement; 
      • Weakening efforts to combat foreign influence and misinformation; 
      • Impeding the enforcement of robust cybersecurity policies; 
      • Giving foreign companies advantageous treatment or information without requiring reciprocity; 
      • Encouraging large foreign tech companies to maintain and develop a foothold in the U.S. technology economy and expand their capacity around the globe without being subject to the same requirements as large U.S.-based tech companies, and thereby
      • Undermining U.S. tech leadership

CCIA  has advocated for policies promoting competition in the tech industry since 1972. The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President Arthur Sidney:

“The bills would force U.S. tech companies to share information with and open their platforms to foreign competitors and sell off formerly integrated lines of business — but lets companies in Russia and China off the hook. Noting how these measures only took aim at U.S. tech companies, we were concerned whether this could impact U.S. competitiveness and U.S. national security. Because of King & Spalding’s deep national security expertise we turned to them to ascertain whether the U.S. economy and the U.S. position as a global leader in innovation are at risk. This report outlines the risks they have identified.

“Congress should engage its national security committees to solicit briefings and technical assistance from U.S. intelligence, counterintelligence, and foreign policy agencies to evaluate the risks before proceeding to approve these bills targeting the U.S. tech sector.

“It is ironic that earlier this year, the Senate passed legislation to bolster U.S. competitiveness and innovation in the tech domain vis-a-vis China and other foreign competitors and only a few months later, Congress is attempting to dismantle and chill innovation with these newly introduced bills, which themselves are not antitrust bills but instead amount to government-mandated industrial policy.”

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