Bill introduced to protect SNAP benefits against hackers, thieves

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, R-La., Ron Wyden, D-Or., and John Fetterman, D-Pa., are introducing a bill that would protect SNAP benefits against hackers and thieves.

The Enhanced Cybersecurity for SNAP Act will improve the security of electronic benefit cards and will protect families in need, according to a release.

“SNAP is supposed to help the person who is food insecure,” said Cassidy. “It is not supposed to help crooks who steal these benefits. This fights the crooks while preserving the benefits for those most in need.”

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According to a release, criminals have stolen millions of dollars in SNAP benefits by utilizing the lack of security of SNAP electronic benefit cards.

The Enhanced Cybersecurity for SNAP Act is administering the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reform their cybersecurity regulations to make sure SNAP benefits “cannot be easily stolen by criminals.”

The bill will require the USDA to give updated regulations requiring SNAP cards to feature anti-fraud technology and run a grant program for upgraded chip-capable payment machines in small stores, states will begin using chip-enabled SNAP cards within two years of the new regulations and states can offer several accessible, reliable, and mobile-friendly user interfaces to access EBT accounts, as well as offer families no-fee replacements of SNAP cards in three days or less, if their card is stolen or not working.

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