Alabama’s action to mitigate threats posed by the People’s Republic of China with Senate passage of HB 379, the Alabama Property Protection Act, is an encouraging sign the state is taking the threats seriously. Next Alabama should join the growing list of states passing laws to prohibit the purchase of dangerous Chinese technology.
In a recent report, China Tech Threat revealed 40 U.S. state governments had entered into contracts to purchase millions of dollars’ worth of Lenovo and Lexmark products. These specific Chinese companies have been banned from U.S. military and national security networks due to their connections to the Chinese government and military. Yet they can access sensitive personal and financial information held by courts, police departments, election boards, education departments, children and family services, and other social service providers and agencies.
Despite Alabama having no current state contracts with these risky technology companies, the state is lacking legislation to ensure the safety and security of its data from the PRC. Alabama’s legislators should follow the 17 states taking action to ban state agencies from purchasing and deploying Chinese technology to prevent the exposure of government and citizens’ confidential information to the People’s Republic of China. These efforts include South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signing SB 189 into law in March, Idaho Governor Brad Little signing HB 294 and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signing HB 1789 in April, and, most recently, on May 1 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signing SB 477.
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