Securing the Internet of Things: A conversation with Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) - AEI

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Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

Event Summary

On Thursday, AEI hosted Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) for a discussion on their Cyber Shield Act and efforts to improve Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity.

Sen. Markey opened by saying the new era of IoT technologies would bring an untold number of new and useful devices online but that the number of cybersecurity threats could create an “Internet of Threats” as well. He explained that the Cyber Shield Act would create product labels that identify IoT devices that meet strong cybersecurity standards, giving consumers better information about the security of technologies they purchase.

Rep. Lieu discussed his view that Congress should take a light-touch approach on technology issues because innovation moves faster than legislatures can. He explained that the voluntary program established by their proposed legislation would not be punitive and would rely on a commission of diverse experts to set standards.

An expert panel then discussed ways that an IoT cybersecurity seal program could be implemented. They discussed the legal challenge of determining who is liable in cybersecurity incidents, explained why government mandates would be counterproductive, and agreed that improving the overall security of the IoT ecosystem would be a pressing need moving forward.

—Matt Au

Event Description

The Internet of Things (IoT) is defining the next wave of internet innovation, as tens of billions of devices ranging from smart speakers to appliances, industrial sensors, geolocation tags, cars, cameras, and medical devices are connected to the internet. Analysts have predicted the economic impact of IoT technologies will grow to hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars in the next decade, but cybersecurity concerns have also mounted in recent years due to high-profile security incidents, the increasing popularity of internet-connected devices, and the connected nature of the IoT itself.

Join AEI for remarks from Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) on their Cyber Shield Act and efforts to improve the cybersecurity of IoT devices. Remarks will be followed by a discussion with AEI’s Shane Tews and a panel discussion on the role of government and the best ways to improve IoT safety and security in the future.

Join the conversation on social media with @AEI on Twitter and Facebook.

This event will not be livestreamed.


11:45 AM

12:00 PM
Shane Tews, AEI

12:05 PM
Edward J. Markey, US Senate (D-MA)

12:10 PM
Ted Lieu, US House of Representatives (D-CA)

12:15 PM
Ted Lieu, US House of Representatives (D-CA)
Edward J. Markey, US Senate (D-MA)
Shane Tews, AEI

12:25 PM

12:30 PM
Panel discussion

Chris Calabrese, Center for Democracy & Technology
Rena Mears, DLA Piper
Robert Stien, InterDigital Inc.

Shane Tews, AEI

1:00 PM

1:15 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Amanda Ager at [email protected], 202.862.4877.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Chris Calabrese is the vice president for policy at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), where he oversees CDT’s policy portfolio. He has long been an advocate for privacy protections, internet openness, limits on government surveillance, and the responsible use of new technologies. He has testified before Congress and appeared in many media outlets, including CBS, Fox News, and National Public Radio, discussing technology and privacy issues. He has also been quoted in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Associated Press. The Hill named him one of Washington’s top lobbyists in 2012 and 2013. He also sits on the Consumer Advisory Committee of the Federal Communications Commission. Before joining CDT, Mr. Calabrese served as legislative counsel at the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In that role, he led the office’s advocacy efforts related to privacy. His key areas of focus included limiting location tracking by police, safeguarding electronic communications and individual users’ internet surfing habits, and regulating new surveillance technologies. Before becoming a lobbyist, he also helped lead several national ACLU campaigns, including opposing state implementation of the Real ID Act and ending law enforcement’s use of commercial databases and data mining as part of the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange Program. Before joining the ACLU, Mr. Calabrese served as the legal counsel to Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Linda J. Melconian. He is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Ted Lieu is a US representative for California’s 33rd Congressional District. He serves on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Information Technology. He also serves as an assistant whip for the Democratic Caucus and president of the 114th Democratic freshman class. He is one of only four computer science majors currently serving in Congress. Rep. Lieu is a former active-duty officer in the US Air Force and currently serves as a colonel in the reserves. After serving active duty, he worked with the law firm Munger, Tolles, & Olson as a litigator and joined the legal office at UBS Financial Services.

Edward J. Markey is a US senator representing Massachusetts. As a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, he has worked on various telecommunications, technology, and privacy issues. He also serves on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Before this role, Sen. Markey was a US representative for Massachusetts for 37 years. In the House, he served for 20 years as chair of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, where he fostered the growth of many new information technologies. Sen. Markey attended Boston College and Boston College Law School and served in the US Army Reserve.

Rena Mears is a principal at DLA Piper. She has more than 25 years of experience advising global companies in financial services, hospitality, technology, pharma, biotechnology and consumer products on data risk, privacy, cybersecurity and information security matters. She has worked closely with boards and senior management to evaluate data risk and deploy effective risk-mitigation strategies. She has also helped organizations design and implement the effective operational programs, processes, and controls required to comply with the legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements affecting companies operating in complex regulatory environments. Before joining DLA Piper, Ms. Mears was the national and global leader of Deloitte’s privacy and data-protection services and the managing director at a leading US law firm. She has a B.A. from the University of Albuquerque and an M.B.A. from Auburn University.

Robert Stien is the vice president of government relations and regulatory affairs at InterDigital Inc. He has more than 15 years of experience in law, government, and the telecommunications and technology industries. Most recently, he served as vice president and general counsel for Artemis Strategies, advising Fortune 500 companies on government relations and strategic communications. Before Artemis, he was director of congressional affairs for SAP America, where he worked closely with senior executives and government officials to address US policies and regulations of interest to SAP and developed relationships with key industry associations and coalitions. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Stien served as a counsel to Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he gained extensive experience in the workings of government and in key policy issues. He received his law degree from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida.

Shane Tews is a visiting fellow at AEI, where she works primarily on cybersecurity and internet governance issues. She is also president of Logan Circle Strategies, where she focuses on information and communication technology and cybersecurity policy issues. Previously, Ms. Tews managed internet security and digital commerce issues as vice president of global policy for Verisign Inc. She began her career in the George H. W. Bush White House as a deputy associate director in the Office of Cabinet Affairs and later moved to Capitol Hill as a legislative director for a member of Congress. She is currently vice chair of the board of directors of the Internet Education Foundation and co-chair of the Internet Governance Forum USA. Ms. Tews studied communications at Arizona State University and American University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis on communications and political science.

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