After knocking TikTok off of state devices in November, Gov. Kristi Noem is further restricting the South Dakota from doing business with what her office called “evil” foreign governments.
On Friday, Noem signed an executive order that would bar the state from executing contracts with “prohibited entities,” or any organization owned by a foreign government from China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia or Venezuela.
Noem’s order also prohibits the state from purchasing information or communication technology from an organization owned by the aforementioned countries or considered unsafe for the state’s cybersecurity systems by connection to the banned entities.
The order also requires any telecommunication company entering into a contract with the state to certify it is not owned by a “foreign national, a foreign parent entity, or foreign government” from the listed countries.
“It is critical that we protect South Dakotans from evil foreign governments,” Noem said in a press release. “This order ensures that these countries cannot leverage telecommunications or state contract procurements to gain access to crucial state infrastructure and data.”
The political sentiment of referring to foreign governments as “evil” or adversarial has been espoused by South Dakota legislators previously. In November. Rep. Dusty Johnson joined 129 House Republicans to sign a letter requesting the Government Accountability Office to review foreign investments in U.S. farmland. He referred to China as a “generational adversary” while speaking with Farm Forum and, later, during a dialogue with actors Chris Evans and Mark Kassen on their civic engagement app, “A Starting Point.”
President Joe Biden issued a limited ban in December that prohibits the federal government’s nearly 4 million employees from downloading TikTok on devices owned by its agencies, NBC News reported.
In November, Noem issued similar legislation blocking the download of TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned social media platform, from device used by state employees, contractors and agencies. So far, South Dakota and 26 other states have banned TikTok from state devices.
Source: Argus Leader