Amata co-sponsors legislation to counter Chinese cybersecurity threats

Photo: Aumua Amata/Twitter

U.S. Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata is highlighting the House passage of the Countering Untrusted Telecommunications Abroad Act or HR 1149, which she co-led with sponsor Rep Susan Wild, D-Pennsylvania. 

Their bipartisan bill passed with an emphatic vote of 410-8, and was sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

Amata was the sole original cosponsor upon introduction of the bill on 21 February with Rep Wild to ensure investigation and response to security vulnerabilities caused by Chinese telecommunications companies in U.S. embassies overseas and among U.S. defence allies. The bill establishes clear reporting and other requirements to counter vulnerabilities.

“This strong bipartisan support is encouraging, making clear that Congress is united in taking an important stand for national security,” said Congresswoman Amata. “Thank you especially to my friend Representative Wild for her leadership on this effort.”

Specifically, the Act takes critical steps to secure telecommunications infrastructure by requiring the State Department to report on U.S. collective defense allies using untrusted telecommunication equipment or services in their 5G networks, along with a report on telecommunications vulnerabilities in U.S. embassies overseas. It also directs the Secretary of State to identify key telecommunications infrastructure projects designed to promote U.S. national security. “This year, Congress is placing a stronger emphasis on awareness and countering of China’s strategic activities, including the Indo-Pacific region,” Amata said.