FOIA Request Reveals Louisianans’ Sensitive and Personal Information at Risk

We reported yesterday that over the past five years, New Mexico state agencies have purchased Chinese government-owned Lexmark and Lenovo products that have been banned by the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, putting citizens’ sensitive and personal information at risk. China Tech Threat has discovered similar threats in the state of Louisiana, as through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request it has been revealed that the state government has spent $1.1 million on Lenovo equipment in the last five years.

Link to our Louisiana FOIA report:

The Louisiana state agencies that have procured Lenovo products spans a wide variety of functions that directly affect government operations. For example, the Department of Administration, which handles a myriad of sensitive personal data including state budgets and payrolls, has spent $591,821.89 on Lenovo equipment. The State Board of Regents, which oversees the colleges and universities within the state, has spent $45,324.08 with Lenovo. In addition, an office listed as “unidentified on the FOIA response document has spent $211,904.04 on Lenovo products in the last 5 years.

See here for the full summary of purchases made by Louisiana.

The state leaders that make these decisions are not commonly in the public light but no less important. This includes state leaders State Procurement Director Paula Tregre and State CIO Richard Howze, whose work is imperative to state cybersecurity. Louisiana’s congressional leaders, including Representative Steve Scalise, Senator Bill Cassidy, Senator John Kennedy, and Representative Garrett Graves have been very vocal on the Chinese government technology threat and have called for greater accountability for Chinese-controlled companies. It is vital that they stand up for the data privacy of Louisianans and make their voice heard on this issue.