In January, Mississippi State Auditor Shad White warned in the Sun Herald that government offices in his state “may be buying dangerous Chinese technology.” A recent China Tech Threat (CTT) analysis confirms there is cause for concern within findings that show Mississippi spent more than $400,000 on dangerous technology from Lexmark and Lenovo between 2018 and 2022.
As detailed in the fact sheet here, this dangerous technology restricted by the federal government is being used in state agencies including the Division of Medicaid, the Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court. Personal health and medical data, as well as highly sensitive judicial and financial information, are made vulnerable to Chinese espionage by the use of this untrustworthy technology by manufacturers already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connection to the Chinese government and military. The CTT analysis provides detailed background on Lexmark, Lenovo and two other dangerous Chinese government-owned tech manufacturers and the threats they pose.
Mississippi residents should be thankful their legislators are heeding Mr. White’s warnings. Lawmakers in the state have introduced bills to help safeguard state infrastructure and information against the national security threats posed by unsafe Chinese technology. Specifically, Sen. Angela Burks-Hill sponsored Senate Bill 2046, an act to prohibit technology-related equipment manufactured within the borders of hostile foreign nations, the People’s Republic of China being among them.
With this bill, Mississippi is one of nearly a dozen states taking action to ban state agencies from purchasing and deploying Chinese technology to prevent the exposure of government and citizens’ sensitive information to the Chinese government. States yet to take action should mimic Sen. Burks-Hill’s efforts and the efforts of other state lawmakers across the country working to bolster their states’ defenses against threats posed by dangerous Chinese technology.