Just this month, two members of the House Homeland Security Committee continued the warnings over specific security and privacy threats posed by emerging Chinese tech companies. And now research shows the State of Washington is has emerged as a new risk center with neary $9 million spent on restricted Chinese government-owned technology, including risky purchases by the Washington State Legislature and Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
We are still seeing one of the largest threats come from state governments continuing to purchase U.S. military-restricted equipment. This includes buying products from Lenovo and Lexmark, Chinese-owned companies that have 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 Washington has spent,a total of almost $9 million on Lenovo and Lexmark products in recent years giving the Chinese government access and control over all data on these products used to maintain personal and sensitive records of Washingtonians across the state.
Read our full Washington FOIA report here:
The use of restricted Chinese government-owned technology vendors by these agencies endangers Washington’s personal and financial information. Most notably, our report found that the Washington State Legislature which It has access to a wide range of information and maintains data that affects all Washingtonians, has spent more than $1 million on Lenovo equipment. The Department of Enterprise Services, which manages many business and operational services that state agencies and municipal governments need to deliver public service, including lease management, accounting, human resources, and risk management has spent more than $1.5 million on Lenovo equipment. Finally, The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is a diverse state agency dedicated to the safety, health, and security of Washington’s 3.3 million workers. This work gives the agency access to health records, financial compensation records and other sensitive information belonging to a wide range of Washingtonians. L&I have spent over $3 million on Lexmark equipment.
This bipartisan issue affects all Americans and we urge state and federal officials to work together to take action against these risky purchases and prevent Lenovo and Lexmark products from being used or purchased.