In 2020 and 2021, Louisiana policymakers passed two laws that banned all state government agencies and publicly funded educational institutions from buying information and communications technology and services covered under Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act. Despite these commendable efforts, the state’s data is still vulnerable due to purchases of dangerous Chinese technology.
Although minimal, the $41,241 Louisiana spent on technology from Lexmark and Lenovo between 2019 and 2023 opens the door to intrusion by the government of China. These manufacturers have already been restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connection to the Chinese government and military, yet Louisiana’s Office of the Attorney General and Office of Technology Services are among the agencies that made these purchases, according to China Tech Threat’s (CTT) fact sheet. Any data exposed to this dangerous technology is vulnerable. (Read more about Lexmark, Lenovo and three other dangerous Chinese government-owned tech manufacturers in our May briefing paper.)
While we continue to monitor the threats to Louisiana’s data, we hope legislators in the Pelican State build on their progress and eliminate all risky Chinese technology, not just manufacturers covered by Section 889. They can follow the 17 states taking action to ban state agencies from purchasing and deploying Chinese technology, including 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.
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