ICYMI: Rep. Crawford Leads Panel Discussion on Managing the Cyber, CI and Emerging Technological Threats to Agriculture in Little Rock

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov)

ICYMI: Rep. Crawford Leads Panel Discussion on Managing the Cyber, CI and Emerging Technological Threats to Agriculture in Little Rock
10/6/2022

Little Rock, AR – Thursday, October 6th, Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01), member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), continued the House Intelligence Committee’s Beyond the SCIF Series with his panel “Countering Foreign Malign Influence While Protecting Civil Liberties” at the Forge Institute’s 2022 Cyber Summit. 

Crawford also has introduced several pieces of legislation to protect our nation’s agriculture sector from foreign espionage. Most recently, he introduced the Promoting American Safety and Security (PASS) Act with Rep. Elise Stefanik. The PASS Act would establish the Secretary of Agriculture as a member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) and create a black list of countries restricted from carrying out any merger, acquisition, or takeover that could result in foreign control of a U.S. agricultural company.

What was discussed

  • How to protect U.S. agriculture from cyberattacks like what was recently seen with the JBS in May of 2021.
  • The government’s role in safeguarding our food supply from cyberthreats and what a public-private relationship might look like.
  • How threats are changing as agriculture production becomes more digital. 
  • China’s growing influence in other nations and the dangers it creates for the U.S.

Notable Quotes

” [China is] taking our technology and employing it around the world, which is why our influence in other regions is so important. We are limited in our ability to combat threats because China is offering more to other nations.”

-Matt Bunch, Tyson Foods Sr. Director Information Security & Cyber

“We have to encourage [agriculture producers] to have better awareness of the products they’re using and to read the fine print. We also need to provide options. We need to continue to invest in manufacturing here so they have affordable and safe technology to use.”

-Matt Bunch, Tyson Foods Sr. Director Information Security & Cyber

“When we tried to warn some leaders in an African country of the dangers of doing business with China, their response was, ‘I can’t eat democracy.’”

-Ed You, National Counterintelligence Officer for Emerging & Disruptive Technologies, National Counterintelligence and Security Center at ODNI

With new technology comes new vulnerabilities. Practices like precision agriculture and the increased use of satellite imagery for data collection, while good for production, create a new dependency on technology that leaves farmers more vulnerable to threats like cyberattacks.”

-Rep. Crawford, senior member of the House Intelligence and Agriculture Committees

Panel Speakers:

  • Congressman Rick Crawford, senior member of the House Intelligence and Agriculture Committees
  • Matt Bunch, Tyson Foods Sr. Director Information Security & Cyber
  • Ed You, National Counterintelligence Officer for Emerging & Disruptive Technologies, National Counterintelligence and Security Center at ODNI

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