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Nebraska’s Contracts with Chinese Government-Owned Technology Vendors

Sensitive Personal and Financial Information is at Risk

Learn More about the Impact in Nebraska


The Problem

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


Who can take action?

Doug Carlson, Chief Procurement Officer, whose mission is to grow opportunity through more effective, more efficient, and customer-focused state government.” (Read more)

Ed Toner, Chief Information Officer, whose office was “created to assure a coordinated, efficient and cost-effective approach is taken on an enterprise level for the deployment of technology by Nebraska State Government.” (Read more

What actions have Congressional Leaders taken?

Senator Ben Sasse – A member of the Senate intelligence committee, Senator Sasse has been a leader in the fight against China’s rise as a threat. In a response to recent news of the NYSE delisting certain Chinese companies, Sasse said, “Chinese firms that reject fundamental transparency requirements and have ties to the Chinese military shouldn’t benefit from American investment.” (Read more on his efforts here)

Representative Adrian Smith – Rep. Smith has been outspoken about holding China accountable for its malign actions. He recently said, “China’s unfair technology transfer practices are a threat to American innovation.” (Read more on his efforts here)  

Analysis

Despite military and intelligence agency bans, the Nebraska State Government has spent nearly $94,000 on Lenovo products in the last five years. (See the State’s Freedom of Information Act request response here and our summary here.)


Select Vulnerabilities:

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

The Nebraska Department of Administrative Services’ mission is “to grow opportunity through more effective, more efficient, and customer-focused state government. Its core values include being transparent and acting ethically. It has spent more than $66,000 on Lenovo equipment used in its work to maintain data about Nebraskan’s financial records, addresses, insurance and pensions, is all work that involves sensitive personal information.

Other state agencies like the Department of Education, which holds private student and teacher data related to test scores, free meals and certifications, and the Game & Parks Commission all maintain extensive databases of all types of citizens throughout the state that are now at risk.