Iowa

Looking for something else? Learn about

ColoradoGeorgia Idaho IndianaIowa Kansas KentuckyLouisianaNevadaNebraskaNew HampshireNew MexicoNew YorkNorth DakotaPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTexas UtahWashington

Iowa’s Contracts with Chinese Government-Owned Technology Vendors

Sensitive Personal and Financial Information is at Risk

Learn More about the Impact in Iowa


The Problem

Chinese government-owned technology manufacturers, including PC-giant Lenovo, have been banned by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to fears of information security. (Read the report)


Who can take action?

Allen Meyer, Chief Operations Officer, whose role is to “facilitate a procurement process that provides timely, cost-effective, high quality goods & services through cooperative and proactive purchasing practices.” (Read more)

Annette Dunn, Chief Information Officer, who has “the purpose of leading, directing, managing, coordinating, and providing accountability for the information technology resources of state government.” (Read more)

What actions have Congressional Leaders taken?

U.S. Senator Chuck GrassleyIowa Senator Chuck Grassley has been at the forefront of challenging China in Congress. He authored several key provisions in a major legislative package aimed at improving economic competition with China and holding its communist government accountable for predatory tactics that passed the Senate on June 8th, 2021. Of the bill Sen. Grassley  said, “The Chinese Communist Party has made no bones about its desire for global economic dominance through whatever means necessary. They’ve actively worked to buy up, influence, spy on and steal American innovation.” (Read more on his efforts here). 

U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson (IA-01)Rep. Hinson recently organized a letter to the Biden Administration urging them to stand against the Chinese Communist Party. She wrote, “While the United States is focused on encouraging multilateralism in the South China Sea, China continuously undermines these efforts, engages in malign and aggressive activity in the Indo-Pacific region, and commits egregious human rights atrocities. China shamelessly demonstrates a blatant disregard for human rights and a lack of respect for international diplomacy. (Read more on her efforts here).

Analysis

Despite military and intelligence agency bans, the Iowa State Government, including the Office of the Attorney General, has spent more than $1.6 million on Lenovo products in the last five years. (See the State’s data here, overall data here and our summary here.)


Select Vulnerabilities:

The use of banned Chinese government-owned technology vendors by these agencies endangers Iowa’s personal and financial information.

The Iowa Department of Transportation oversees critical infrastructure. Due to this, it is highly susceptible to cyberthreats as adversaries increasingly target state governments and infrastructure, yet, it has spent over $1 million dollars on Lenovo equipment in the last 5 years.

The Iowa Department of Education provides oversight to the state education system and employs about 220 employees. With repeated evidence of cyber attacks on academic institutions across the country, the Dept. of Education is extremely vulnerable. With this risk in mind, it is shocking to see that over the last five years, it  has spent almost $375,000 dollars on Lenovo equipment.