Legislation introduced in the House this week by the co-chairs of the House High-Tech Caucus would order up some initial steps that could lead to the U.S. increasing its influence in creating international standards for internet of things (IoT) devices.

The bill – the IoT Standards Leadership Act – was introduced by Reps. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., and Mike McCaul, R-Texas.

The measure would direct the Commerce Department to conduct a study on: current U.S. involvement in international standards-setting processes; efforts by other countries to create IoT standards outside of international standards; how to support U.S. efforts in international standards-making; and “the extent to which international standards focus on prioritized, flexible, repeatable, performance-based, and cost-effective approaches to cyber hygiene and managing risk.”

The legislation also would seek recommendations on how to promote U.S. leadership in international IoT standards-setting, and discourage the development of country-specific standards.

“The U.S. must be a global leader in the IoT (Internet of Things) economy,” Matsui said in a press release. “The next generation of communications networks and IoT devices will offer transformative benefits for consumers and across industries. To harness that potential, it is critically important that the United States play a prominent role in international standards-setting for these technologies and networks.”

“As more of our consumer devices become connected to the internet, we also increase the threat of those devices being remotely monitored and controlled exposing Americans to great risk,” said McCaul. “To ensure American leadership and continued innovation in the future, it is essential that the United States maintains a leadership role in shaping a safer future for IoT devices at home and abroad.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.