South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem on Friday signed an executive order banning the state from doing business with certain telecommunications companies owned or operated by “evil foreign governments.”
The order blocks business with companies associated with the governments of China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela, according to Noem’s office.
In addition, Noem’s office said the order, known as Executive Order 2023-02, requires that “every state contract contain a clause stating that the contractor is not owned, influenced by or affiliated with these countries.”
“It is critical that we protect South Dakotans from evil foreign governments,” Noem said after signing the order, which takes effect next week. “This order ensures that these countries cannot use telecommunications or government contracts to access critical state infrastructure and data.”
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“Maintaining the cybersecurity of the South Dakota state government is necessary to continue serving the citizens of South Dakota,” the order said. “The Chinese Communist Party has increasingly purchased vital farmland necessary for the country’s food independence and real estate near critical infrastructure, such as real estate near a military base in Grand Folks, North Dakota.”
In addition, the order stated that South Dakota is “home to critical infrastructure vital to national security” and that “cybersecurity vulnerabilities could have real-world consequences for South Dakota residents.”
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“Countries including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have engaged in increasingly aggressive cyberattacks against United States assets, including Iranian financially motivated ransomware operations, Russian phishing attempts, Chinese targeted corporate data extractions, cyber attacks at critical ports since 2013, and the cyber and physical attacks against power grid stations in Washington, North Carolina and other states by late 2022,” the order said.
Last November, Noem made headlines when she signed an executive order banning government agencies — or those contracting with them — from accessing the China-run social media app TikTok, and warning that the Chinese Communist Party is disclosing information from users to the public. rip it.
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“It’s outside of our networks. It’s blocked from our servers. Any state employee, anyone under contract with the State of South Dakota, anyone using one of our systems will no longer be able to download or use this app due to the national security threat that it is,” Noem told Fox News at the time.
Accessing the app will be a criminal offense, she said, and adding TikTok threatens the state of Mount Rushmore and the personal data of all South Dakotans and, by extension, Americans.
Fox News’ Charles Creitz contributed to this article.