Reps Issa, DelBene want to teach Congress about the IoT

Maybe Congress isn’t the opposite of progress, at least this once: Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced yesterday that they’re forming a Congressional Caucus on the Internet of Things.

California’s Darrell Issa, a famously pro-Internet-freedom legislator who chairs the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, is teaming up with Suzan DelBene, a technology entrepreneur who represents the state of Washington.

The caucus will keep lawmakers abreast of the rapidly developing IoT industry, helping them understand the best ways to promote innovation and preparing them for the inevitable debates about privacy, spectrum management and other issues.

“It’s important that our laws keep up with technology,” Rep. DelBene said in the announcement. The goal of IoT regulation should be to “protect consumers while also enabling these new technologies to thrive,” she said.

With 50 billion connected devices anticipated by 2020, Congressional leaders will need to have “informed policy discussions about the government’s role in access and use of these devices,” Rep. Issa said.

Greater awareness of the importance of IoT technologies could also motivate Congress to take more decisive action on research, an area in which the U.S. government is being outshone by the European Union and the private sector.

Related: FTC and the IoT

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