Senate Commerce Marks Up Three Technology Bills

Three targeted bills are sent to the full Senate to address a range of technology issues.  

First things first, if you would like to receive my Technology Policy Update, email me. You can find some of these Updates from 2019 and 2020 here.

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee marked up a number of technology related bills at a 20 May executive session:

  • The “Identifying Outputs of Generative Adversarial Networks (IOGAN) Act” (S. 2904), which was amended twice before being reported out with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and another amendment changing the substitute. Broadly speaking, this bill would task the National Science Foundation with sponsoring and funding research into how to detect and prevent deep fakes through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • The “Cybersecurity Competitions to Yield Better Efforts to Research the Latest Exceptionally Advanced Problems (CYBER LEAP) Act of 2020” (S. 3712) would require the Department of Commerce to conduct “grand challenges” for:
    • Building more resilient  systems  that measurably and exponentially raise adversary costs  of carrying out common cyber attacks
    • Empowering the people of the United States with an appropriate and measurably sufficient level of digital literacy to make safe and secure decisions online.
    • Developing a cybersecurity workforce with measurable skills to protect and maintain information systems.
    • Advancing cybersecurity efforts in response to emerging  technology, such as artificial intelligence, quantum science, and next generation communications technologies.
    • Maintaining a high sense of usability while improving the security and safety of online  activity of individuals in the United States.
    • Reducing cybersecurity risks to Federal networks and systems, and improving the response of Federal agencies to cybersecurity incidents on such networks and systems.
  • The “Spectrum IT Modernization Act of 2020” (S. 3717) requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to “submit to Congress a report that contains the plan of the NTIA to modernize and automate the infrastructure of the NTIA relating to managing the use of Federal spectrum by covered agencies so as to more efficiently manage that use” within 8 months of enactment. This bill could require agencies such as the Department of Defense to modernize any such IT used to manage federal spectrum.

In December, the House sent the Senate a bill related to the IOGAN Act also named the “Identifying Outputs of Generative Adversarial Networks Act” (H.R.4355) that “directs  the  NSF to  support  research  on  manipulated  or  synthesized  content  and  information  security,  including  fundamental  research  on  digital  media  forensic  tools,  social  and  behavioral  research,  and  research  awards  coordinated  with  other  federal  agencies  and  programs.” Consequently, it is possible a compromise bill passes this year.

Neither of the other bills have companion House legislation.

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