Critical Infrastructure Security, Threat Management

Forbidden Chinese tech still purchased by many US state, local governments

Despite the prohibition of purchasing Chinese tech equipment and services under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, at least 1,681 state and local government organizations across the U.S. violated such a ban from 2015 to 2021, according to The Register. Measures aimed at limiting foreign information and communications technology and services procurement as a result of their threat to national security have only been implemented in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Vermont, and Louisiana, but loopholes in some of the policies could still allow the use of prohibited tech from Huawei, ZTE, and other Chinese firms in government networks, a report from Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology revealed. Even though purchases of such technologies and services only totaled nearly $45.2 million, the potential risk is significant, noted researchers. "State and local governments must take foreign technology threats seriously even if they do not face the same risks as federal agencies like [Department of Defense]. Even if governments are not targeted directly, the ICTS they deploy might be used to compromise nearby critical infrastructure," said the report.

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