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U.S. Senator Katie Britt Introduces Legislation Addressing Agricultural Cybersecurity and Foreign Ownership Concern | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware | #hacking | #aihp

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), serving as the ranking member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, has recently collaborated with her colleagues in introducing significant legislation aimed at addressing two critical issues—foreign adversaries’ increasing ownership of American land and the escalating cyber threats to the nation’s crucial agricultural sector.

In her statement, Senator Britt emphasized the vital link between food security and national security. She pointed out the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as the most significant geopolitical and national security threat, stressing the importance of protecting American farmland from adversaries to ensure a reliable food supply for generations.

The first piece of legislation introduced is the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act, led by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). This bill focuses on strengthening cybersecurity measures for the agriculture and food critical infrastructure sectors. The key provisions of the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act include:

1. Directing the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct biennial studies on the cybersecurity threat to the agriculture and food sectors.
2. Conducting an annual cross-sector crisis simulation exercise for food-related cyber emergencies or disruptions, involving coordination with relevant government agencies.

Supported by notable organizations such as the American Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, this legislation seeks to fortify the nation’s resilience against cyber threats to the agricultural industry.

Senator Britt, along with Senators Pete Ricketts (R-Nebr.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.), stands as a cosponsor of the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act.

In addition to this, Senator Britt has joined Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in introducing the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) Improvements Act of 2024. This legislation aims to enhance the USDA’s processes for combatting foreign ownership of American agricultural land by adversaries. Key provisions of the AFIDA Improvements Act include:

1. Requiring a memorandum of understanding between USDA and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) for data sharing.
2. Updating the USDA’s handbook for collecting AFIDA data.
3. Developing an online AFIDA submission system and public database, with a clear timeline for implementation.

Senator Britt’s bipartisan efforts on the AFIDA Improvements Act have garnered support from Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), John Fetterman (D-Penn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

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