Wyoming

Looking for something else? Learn about

ColoradoGeorgia Idaho IndianaIowa Kansas KentuckyLouisianaNevadaNebraskaNew HampshireNew MexicoNew YorkNorth DakotaPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTexas UtahWashington

Wyoming’s Contracts with Chinese Government-Owned Technology Vendors

Sensitive Personal and Financial Information is at Risk

Learn More about the Impact in Wyoming


The Problem

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


Who can take action?

Mandy Gershmel, Senior Buyer at the Wyoming Department of Administration & Information, Procurement Section whose role is to “To lead through exceptional service, collaboration, and creative solutions” in purchasing. (Read more)

Tim Sheehan, Interim Director & Chief Information Officer, who “carries the mandate to guide IT through periods of creative destruction and disruptive innovation” (Read more)

What actions have Congressional Leaders taken?

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (WY)– Senator Barrasso has been outspoken on China’s predatory behaviour, particularly as it pertains to the country taking advantage of the international system. In August 2021, he lead a bill to end lending to China from the World Bank and Asian Development Banking saying “Our legislation ensures the Chinese Communist Party can no longer take advantage of these low-cost loans subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.” (Read more on his efforts here).

U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (WY) – Rep. Cheney has been a leading figure in the fight against Chinese technology aggression. She has cautioned a number of times against Chinese espionage saying “[the NDAA helps] protect against Chinese industrial espionage, helps us to be much more independent, our supply chains, and to protect our bases from the threat of Chinese espionage. We really need to make sure, across-the-board, we’re defending ourselves.” (Read more on her efforts here)

Analysis

Despite military and intelligence agency bans, the Wyoming State Government has spent more than $86,000 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 banned Chinese government-owned technology vendors by these agencies endangers Wyoming’s personal and financial information.

The Legislative Service Office was established to help legislators across the state. It’s Information Technology Section provides computer support for the LSO staff, the session staff and the legislator and oversees critical IT technology that is provided to Wyoming citizens working on highly sensitive cases and information. Due to this, it is highly susceptible to cyberthreats as adversaries increasingly target state governments, yet it has spent over $50,000 dollars on Lenovo equipment in the last 5 years.

The Wyoming State Treasurer’s office is tasked with “receiving, safeguarding, and investing all funds in the possession of the State for purposes of safekeeping or investment in a prudent manner.” The department’s access to large amounts of money and highly sensitive investment information should make it a security priority. However, it has spent almost $23,000 dollars on Lenovo equipment.

.