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Governor Reeves signs Bills strengthening state cybersecurity and countering Chinese technological threats

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Gov. Reeves signs HB 1029
Gov. Reeves signs HB 1029 (screenshot from press conference broadcast - 2022)

Governor Tate Reeves on Tuesday announced that he signed two bills which strengthen the state of Mississippi’s cybersecurity efforts and counter Chinese technological threats.

Governor Reeves signed Senate Bill 2853 which prohibits state agencies from purchasing small, unarmed aircraft systems or drones manufactured by foreign entities, including China.

Additionally, he signed Senate Bill 2140 which strengthens the network security of the Mississippi government.

“The Chinese Communist Party is not a friend to Mississippi or the United States,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “They want to exploit vulnerabilities in technology to harm our country and our citizens. We’re not going to let that happen in Mississippi, and that’s why I signed these two bills. It’s time for our country to wake up and recognize the existential threat that the Chinese Communist Party and other bad actors around the world pose to Americans. We’re putting the safety of Mississippians first, and if that means you can’t use TikTok and other compromised technology on state devices or purchase drones made in China, so be it.”

Concerns have been raised about how Chinese-owned drone companies have potentially stored and/or transferred data that could potentially be accessed by the Chinese Communist Party and other adversarial foreign government entities.

Senate Bill 2140 creates the National Security on State Devices and Networks Act which restricts the download, access, or use of prohibited technologies on state-operated networks.

The Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services will be responsible for establishing the restrictions and will maintain an updated and publicly available list of the prohibited technologies on its website.

Senate Bill 2853 can be read in full here.

Senate Bill 2140 can be read in full here.

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