Recently, Microsoft warned that Chinese state-sponsored hackers infiltrated government and communications organizations’ critical cyber infrastructure. Hackers are not the only cyber security threat, however. China Tech Threat’s (CTT) research shows in the last five years Wyoming spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars on restricted Chinese technology, making its data and digital infrastructure vulnerable to Chinese surveillance and theft.
As outlined in our fact sheet, between 2018 and 2023, the state of Wyoming spent $247,723 on restricted Chinese technology from Lenovo, a manufacturer already restricted by U.S. military and intelligence agencies due to its connection to the Chinese government and military. Yet, this technology is being utilized in the State Treasurer’s Office and Legislative Service Office creating vulnerabilities in the security of residents’ confidential financial information and the state’s key legislative data. (More information about Lexmark, Lenovo and two other dangerous Chinese government-owned tech manufacturers can be found in our May briefing paper.)
The prohibition of future purchases of this technology is imperative to protect Wyoming’s confidential information from Chinese infiltration. Legislators in the state can look to a growing number of states that have enacted legislation to ban state agencies from purchasing and deploying Chinese technology to secure Wyoming’s cyber infrastructure and the data it’s entrusted to protect.
Examples of actions taken by state leaders that Wyoming’s legislators can model 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 help Wyoming safeguard its data. CTT will continue to monitor the state’s efforts toward this goal.
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