The Internet of Things and Cybersecurity

The recent passing of H.Res 847 ‘Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives about a national strategy for the Internet of Things to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment‘ is a significant one. Through this resolution, Congress is making progress towards development of a comprehensive strategy to encourage safe, new, technologies while fostering economic growth.

A key item within H.Res 847 recognizes the need to “implement reasonable privacy and cybersecurity practices and protect consumers’ personal information to increase confidence, trust, and acceptance of this emerging market”, but thus far cybersecurity practices for general consumers have remained firmly in the hands of private companies and has been generally considered as an abstract concept. Cybersecurity has long been a buzzword; but it has generally been removed from its context. The fact that the relationship between cybersecurity and the Internet of Things is now being explored indicates the growth of a broader understanding of cybersecurity as being enmeshed within the daily lives of individuals.

This understanding has been slow to build momentum. Agencies have consistently discussing IoT for several years, but it is only within the past two years that this topic has started gaining traction among members of Congress. For example, the following timeline drawn from voxgov shows the discussion of IoT in 2013.

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As of 2016, however, use of the term ‘internet of things’ is starting to gain some momentum among members of congress, and the contrast between what they are saying and what the agencies are saying has become less pronounced.

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By using voxgov to provide a window into the growing federal government conversation around the IoT and cybersecurity, users can interrogate U.S. Federal Government documents to gain new insight into the government conversation. Using the data presented above, for example, it is obvious that the IoT is increasingly becoming part of the cybersecurity discussion; a fact which is verified by the recent passing of H.Res.847 as well as through a review of recent releases related to IoT. Viewing the data in this way indicates a new trend: that Congress is beginning to contextualize cybersecurity as an everyday consideration – that it understands its context within the Internet of Things.


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