New Mexico’s Legislators Should Follow Other States Prohibiting Purchases of Dangerous China Tech

In May, Microsoft warned that critical cyber infrastructure in government and communications organizations had been compromised by Chinese state-sponsored hackers. Not all cybersecurity threats come from hackers, though. China Tech Threat’s (CTT) research shows New Mexico spent over a million dollars on restricted Chinese technology in recent years, putting its data and digital infrastructure at risk of infiltration by the People’s Republic of China. 

CTT’s recent research shows that between 2018 and 2022, New Mexico spent $1,043,136 on restricted Chinese technology from Lenovo. Agencies tasked with safeguarding sensitive information that have purchased these products include the Administrative Hearings Office, Administrative Office of the Courts, as well as several District Attorneys’ offices. 

The sensitive and confidential judicial and administrative information they hold is vulnerable to PRC surveillance through this technology already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to its connection to the Chinese government and military. More information about Lexmark, Lenovo and two other dangerous Chinese government-owned tech manufacturers can be found in our May briefing paper. To protect its data and digital infrastructure, CTT urges New Mexico’s legislators to follow the examples of leaders in over a dozen states that have enacted legislation to ban state agencies from purchasing and deploying Chinese technology. These efforts include South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem who signed SB 189 into law in March, Idaho’s 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’s Governor Eric Holcomb who signed SB 477. Enacting similar legislation will bolster New Mexico’s defenses against infiltration by the PRC.

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