Kristi Noem bans telecommunications contracts in South Dakota with six 'evil' countries

Countries listed in Friday's executive order are China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Cuba and

Updated: January 21, 2023 - 6:31am

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem banned the state from engaging in telecommunications contracts with six foreign countries she said were "evil."

The countries listed in Friday's executive order are China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela.

"Countries including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have engaged in increasingly aggressive cyber attacks on United States assets including Iranian financially-motivated ransomware operations, Russian phishing attempts, Chinese targeted extractions of corporate data, cyber attacks on crucial ports since 2013 and the cyber and physical targeting of electric grid stations in Washington, North Carolina and other states in late 2022," Noem said in her executive order.

State contracts would also require a clause that states contractors are not associated with the 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 order takes effect in five days.

Noem was the first governor to ban TikTok from state-owned devices, citing the company's ties to China's Communist Party. Kentucky is the latest state to ban the social media app.

The app is used by more than 1 billion people around the world, according to Wallaroo Media.