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Gov. Reeves approves bills aimed at strengthening Mississippi’s cybersecurity

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Governor Tate Reeves has signed two bills aimed at strengthening Mississippi’s cybersecurity efforts and countering Chinese technological threats.

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

He also signed SB 2140, or the National Security on State Devices and Networks Act, which restricts the download, access, or use of prohibited technologies on state-operated networks.

“The Chinese Communist Party is not a friend to Mississippi or the United States,” Reeves said. “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.”

Reeves attributed his decision to the rising concerns about how Chinese-owned drone companies have potentially stored and transferred data that could be accessed by the Chinese Communist Party and other foreign government entities.

“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,” Reeves stated. “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.”

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.

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