South Dakota Republican Gov. Christy Noem on Friday signed an executive order banning the state from doing business with certain telecommunications companies owned or operated by “nefarious foreign governments.”
According to Noam’s office, the order prohibits doing business with companies linked to the governments of China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela.
In addition, Noem’s office said the order, known as Executive Order 2023-02, requires that “every state contract include a clause certifying that the contractor is not affiliated with, influenced by, or associated with those states.” .”
“Protecting South Dakota from nefarious foreign governments is critical,” Noam said after signing the order, which will take effect next week. “The order ensures that these countries cannot use telecommunications or state contract procurement to gain access to critical national infrastructure and data.”
South Dakota governor bans state agencies from using TIKTOK, warns of security threats
“Maintaining the cybersecurity of South Dakota government is necessary to continue serving South Dakota citizens,” the order said. Examples include real estate near the Glen Forks military base in North Dakota.”
In addition, the order states that South Dakota is “home to critical infrastructure critical to national security” and that “a cybersecurity breach 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 on U.S. assets, including economically motivated ransomware operations in Iran, phishing attempts in Russia, and China’s targeted extraction of corporate data, cyberattacks on critical ports since 2013, and cyber and physical targets on power sites in Washington, North Carolina, and other states by the end of 2022,” the order states.
Noem made headlines last November when he signed an executive order banning state agencies — or those who contract with them — from access to the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, warning that the Chinese Communist Party was stealing users’ information.
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“It’s off our network. It’s blocked on our servers. Any state employee, anyone with a contract with the State of South Dakota, anyone using any of our systems will no longer be able to download or use this app because of national security There is a real threat,” Noam told Fox News at the time.
Accessing the app would constitute a criminal offense, she said, adding that TikTok poses a threat to the personal data of Mount Rushmore State and all South Dakotans, and by extension, Americans.
Fox News’ Charles Kretz contributed to this article.