This weekend, President Joe Biden expressed that his administration is ready for “extreme competition” with China. This is a welcomed approach as China Tech Threat continues to report on the danger of Chinese cyber threats to the US.
One of the largest threats comes from state governments continuing to purchase U.S. military-restricted equipment. This includes buying products from Lenovo, a Chinese-owned company that has been restricted by multiple military and intelligence agencies in the U.S. and around the globe because of security deficiencies.
Through a FOIA request, we found that New Hampshire has spent almost $1 million on Lenovo products and $8,000 on Lexmark products, in recent years giving the Chinese government having access and control over all data on their products used to maintain personal and sensitive records of New Hampshire residents.
Read our full New Hampshire FOIA report here:
The use of restricted Chinese government-owned technology vendors by these agencies endangers New Hampshire’s personal and financial information. With its purpose of coordinating all technology resources in the executive branch, the Department of Information Technology has access to data that potentially impacts every New Hampshire resident. It has spent almost over $600,000 on Lenovo equipment. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is the largest agency in the state and holds data including private health records such, mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse records. It has almost $150,000 on Lenovo equipment. The New Hampshire Department of Education, which has spent more than $60,000 on Lenovo equipment, maintains data about students and educators, including test scores, grades, eligibility for free/reduced meals, teacher certifications, and other personal information.
State and federal officials serving New Hampshire should work together to take action against these risky purchases. Both Gary Lunetta, Director of Procurement Contracting, and Denis Goulet, Chief Information Officer, can work within the state government to prevent Lenovo products from being used or purchased.
Further, New Hampshire’s Senators Shaheen and Hassan have been leaders in countering the China threat. Sen. Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, has been outspoken about working domestically to counter China’s rise and ensure that the US is well prepared to fight against aggression. Moreover, Senator Hassan has also led policy to confront China’s rise across the world, most recently introducing legislation that would require the U.S. to partner with allies in order to “counter China’s aggression.”
This bipartisan issue affects all Americans. We urge those who can act to do so and we hope that our elected officials, who work to protect user privacy, will resolve this increasingly concerning threat.