National Security Institute Publishes New Law and Policy Paper as part of NSI 2020: “Promoting 5G and Future Technology Development by Supporting Global Standards”

December 10, 2020
Contact: Grant Haver


National Security Institute Publishes New Law and Policy Paper as part of NSI 2020:
“Promoting 5G and Future Technology Development by Supporting Global Standards”


Arlington, VA –Today, the National Security Institute (NSI) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School published its latest Law and Policy Paper, “Promoting 5G and Future Technology Development by Supporting Global Standards” by NSI Senior Fellow Megan Brown as part of its Technology Innovation and American National Security project.


This Law and Policy Paper focuses policymakers’ attention on the benefits and fragility of standards development organizations in 5G by:


  • Describing domestic and global standards work that has been critical to decades of global interoperability and is building the foundation for 5G and future technology.
  • Identifying where policymakers should be more cautious when supporting increased government influence in global standards work.
  • Arguing that the United States should support and expand private participation in key global standards bodies, but not insert the government as a gatekeeper or in a directive role.
  • Proposing actionable recommendations that can help U.S. policymakers develop sensible policy that supports — rather than undermines — global standards work.


Ms. Brown said “standards development organizations are key to global innovation and open markets.  Fears of Chinese influence in standards bodies should not lead the U.S. to emulate their industrial policy or national control of technology.”  She continued, “I wrote this paper because it is important that policymakers consider key differences in relevant standards bodies, to be able to make smart policy that supports U.S. innovation at home and private leadership abroad.  Federal law has long promoted voluntary consensus based global standards as a superior alternative to prescriptive federal regulation.  Concerns about geopolitical influences in tech standards bodies should be assessed and addressed by government with the input of the private sector.”


“Megan Brown’s paper published today by NSI reminds us of the importance of considering the business implications of American economic and national security policy,” said Jamil N. Jaffer, Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute at GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School. “There is no question that we must confront the very real threat that China poses to American economic and national security, and that we must takes steps now to address Chinese efforts to manipulate international standards bodies to their ends; we just should make sure we do so in a manner that is consistent with our broader interests as well.” said Jaffer.


Click here to read this Law and Policy Paper.

Megan Brown’s bio can be found here.


About the Technology, Innovation, and American National Security: Preserving U.S. Leadership in a New Decade
This project will explore what the U.S. should do to ensure its global economic and political leadership, including how the U.S. government and private sector might work together to respond to national security threats and economic competition while promoting innovation.

We expect papers associated with this project to drive a serious debate on technology and national security, informed by the work of NSI’s authors and experts providing key insights and actionable recommendations.


About NSI 2020
NSI 2020 is a year-long project that will focus on two of America’s most pressing national security challenges: the rise of China and preserving U.S. technology innovation leadership.   NSI 2020 will feature a series of events, papers, and policy engagements centered on these two imperative challenges over the next year.


About the National Security Institute
The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.


About George Mason
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.


About the Scalia Law School
The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.