Warner & Thune Announce 6 New Bipartisan Co-Sponsors for Their Bill to Tackle National Security Threats From Foreign Tech
Mar 17 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and John Thune (R-SD), ranking member of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband, announced six new bipartisan co-sponsors for the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, legislation that will comprehensively address the ongoing threat posed by technology from foreign adversaries by better empowering the Department of Commerce to review, prevent, and mitigate information communications and technology transactions that pose undue risk to our national security.
U.S. Sens. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have signed on to the bill in the last week. This announcement brings the total number of cosponsors to 18 – nine Democrats and nine Republicans. The legislation has also been endorsed by the White House.
“We are pleased by the growing support for our sensible, bipartisan bill to establish a comprehensive, risk-based approach to tackle technology threats from countries like China and Russia,” said Sens. Warner and Thune.
The Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act would:
- Require the Secretary of Commerce to establish procedures to identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, and mitigate transactions involving information and communications technology products in which any foreign adversary has any interest and poses undue or unacceptable risk to national security;
- Prioritize evaluation of information communications and technology products used in critical infrastructure, integral to telecommunications products, or pertaining to a range of defined emerging, foundational, and disruptive technologies with serious national security implications;
- Ensure comprehensive actions to address risks of untrusted foreign information communications and technology products by requiring the Secretary to take up consideration of concerning activity identified by other government entities;
- Educate the public and business community about the threat by requiring the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate with the Director of National Intelligence to provide declassified information on how transactions denied or otherwise mitigated posed undue or unacceptable risk.
“The technology challenges that we face require a strong approach to protect Americans online from our foreign adversaries,” said Sen. Luján. “I’m proud to co-sponsor the bipartisan RESTRICT Act to improve the federal government’s capabilities to address growing technology threats to our national security.”
“Beyond the piecemeal attempts we have seen in the past, the RESTRICT Act provides a holistic approach to dealing with current and emerging technologies emanating from our foreign adversaries that pose an undue risk to the national security of our country. I was proud to join my colleagues on Day One of this legislation, which establishes a clear plan to address these risks and threats,” Sen. Capito said.
“As a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, America’s national security is one of my top priorities,” said Sen. Kaine. “That’s why I’m proud to cosponsor the RESTRICT Act. This comprehensive legislation would help address 21st century technological threats posed by foreign adversaries, who may seek to manipulate Americans’ personal data, or track U.S. military personnel, assets, or their families, among other dangerous steps. There is bipartisan agreement on the need to counter these threats and it’s time to turn that agreement into action.”
“Digital security is national security, and much like foreign purchases of land in the U.S., we ought to carefully scrutinize the technology products we use daily and store our personal data. This bill will establish a process to quickly identify and respond to foreign technology while making the public aware of the real threats they face,” said Sen. Cramer.
“The risks are unacceptable—foreign powers exploiting tech platforms like TikTok and Huawei to undercut our national security must be stopped,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “The reasons for passing the RESTRICT Act are real and urgent—preventing espionage and privacy invasion. This bipartisan measure should command broad support.”
A two-page summary of the bill is available here. A copy of the bill text is available here.