In December, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued Executive Order No. 22-10 prohibiting the use of TikTok on state-owned devices and networks citing the need to safeguard the security and privacy of Kansans’ data. Also in need of safeguarding is the sensitive information held by the state agencies that purchased more than $3 million worth of restricted Chinese technology in recent years, as revealed by China Tech Threat’s (CTT) research.
As detailed in our Fact Sheet, between 2016 and 2022, Kansas spent $3,626,106 on risky Chinese technology from Lexmark and Lenovo, manufacturers already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to their connection to the Chinese government and military. Used by the Legislature, the Office of the Bank Commissioner, the State Highway Patrol and Department of Corrections, as well as colleges and universities, this technology exposes legislative data, confidential state and citizens’ information, and proprietary research to possible theft by the Chinese government.
China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law obligates Lexmark and Lenovo to cooperate with any Chinese government directive to hand over information in their possession; therefore, 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.)
CTT will continue to monitor Kansas’ efforts to protect the security and privacy of its data. We recommend legislators in the Sunflower State follow the 17 states taking action to ban state agencies from purchasing and deploying Chinese technology to prevent the exposure of their confidential information to China. These efforts include South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signing SB 189 into law in March, Idaho Governor Brad Little signing HB 294 and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signing HB 1789 in April, and, most recently, on May 1 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signing SB 477.
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