A relatively large Conservative victory returned Prime Minister Johnson to office in the UK yesterday. Despite concerns about the Tories' commitment to Brexit, Britain's tech sector has, the Telegraph argues, reason to be reassured by the party's announced policies on technology, business, and innovation.
A bill to improve the security of the US power grid advanced in the US House of Representatives Wednesday with strong bipartisan support. The Securing Energy Infrastructure Act was successfully added to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which, GovInfo Security reports, passed the House by a 377 to 48 vote. The Act creates a two-year pilot program to enhance grid security as well as establishing interagency working groups that would pool Federal, state, and local security resources and information.
A second bill intended to improve the cybersecurity of the grid was introduced into the US Senate this week. According to the Hill, the proposed law would grant the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) subpoena authorities designed to enable it to obtain information about infrastructure vulnerabilities. The bill's sponsors, Senators Johnson (Republican from Wisconsin) and Hassan (Democrat from New Hampshire), expect bipartisan support in the House as well.
General James L. Jones, (US Marine Corps, retired) wrote in the Atlantic Council's New Atlanticist this week that the realities of 5G rollout may amount to another "Sputnik moment" for the United States. Jones, who had been President Obama's National Security Advisor, thinks that domination of 5G networks by Chinese hardware providers, especially Huawei, would be the decisive entering wedge of China's displacement of the US as the world's premier economic and military power. 5G would not be as dramatic a moment as Sputnik, however, and so Jones calls for clear US leadership to inspire resistance to Chinese domination, and to respond with appropriate measures. The response to Sputnik of course was the space program, and it's unclear what a 5G moonshot might actually look like.
Sputnik or not, 5G is arriving swiftly. Verizon has announced that its first 5G network is up and running at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Newport News is one of the principal US warship building yards.
The US Defense Authorization Bill for 2020 is in conference. As it stands now, Inside Defense reports, the bill would limit the Commerce Secretary's authority to remove Huawei from the Government's Entity List, the instrument that proscribes certain foreign companies from doing specified kinds of business in the US.