WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) has introduced H.R. 8356, the Combating University Research Theft Act, which would help prevent foreign nations from stealing intellectual property from American universities and research institutions.
The bill directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a task force within the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center focused on this threat. The task force will develop best practices and implement security protocols to combat the theft of American research data.
Read the bill here.
Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:
“American universities collect Federal monies through grants and conduct next-generation research, much of it highly sensitive and secret. Their research projects are under constant attack from foreign nations and independent hackers. Nation-states like China and Iran have proven themselves to be especially active on this front. This threat is not restricted to the cyber realm. Actual spies performing as students or visiting professors have been infiltrating American university research laboratories for years, and it’s a growing problem. We should be alert to these threats and take all necessary action to safeguard American intellectual property.”
Congressman Higgins and Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-AL) have also introduced the Countering China’s Theft of American Research & Innovation Act, which would strengthen visa security screening to identify and prevent individuals acting as intelligence collectors from entering the United States. More information on this legislation is available here.