Chinese Technology Puts Maryland’s Data At Risk Of Chinese Surveillance And Collection

Late last year, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a directive prohibiting the executive branch from using and downloading certain Chinese and Russian-influenced products and platforms due to cybersecurity risks they pose. Also presenting a cybersecurity risk is the more than $60,000 worth of risky Chinese technology purchased by the state in recent years. 

China Tech Threat’s (CTT) research reveals that between 2019 and 2020, the state of Maryland spent $61,402 on dangerous technology manufactured by Lexmark, as detailed in our fact sheet. All purchases were by the Department of Health, putting Marylanders’ personal and confidential health data at risk of Chinese surveillance. 

Lexmark, along with others, is already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to its connections to the Chinese government and military. (Read more about Lexmark, Lenovo and three other dangerous Chinese government-owned tech manufacturers in our May briefing paper.)

To fully protect its data and infrastructure from cyber espionage by the People’s Republic of China, Maryland’s legislature can enact laws and regulations to restrict purchases from Chinese-owned or operated tech manufacturers. Specific efforts legislators in the Old Line State can mirror include those of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem who signed SB 189 into law in March, Idaho Governor Brad Little who signed HB 294 and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders who signed HB 1789 in April, and, most recently, on May 1 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb who signed SB 477. CTT encourages the state to revisit this issue in the next legislative session. 

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