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Defending the Electoral College and the Constitution since 2009

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How states can protect critical infrastructure

Who has the most power to protect America’s critical infrastructure? State lawmakers and other state officials often have more power to protect American critical infrastructure than federal officials do. State governments can also act faster and have more local knowledge and expertise than agencies in Washington, DC. If we want to make America safe from foreign threats, states must act.

Modern connected technology creates a risk of foreign adversaries manipulating American infrastructure in a crisis—or to create a crisis. This could include sabotaging port facilities, shutting down cellular networks, or taking over law enforcement surveillance drones.

The first step for states is to identify current risks. What technology currently in use might allow “back door” access by foreign adversaries? What systems are dependent for parts and maintenance on overseas suppliers that are either controlled by foreign adversaries or could be shut down by them? What about ownership of agricultural land and other real estate?

In some of these areas, states must switch suppliers and replace compromised systems. They should work with private companies to ensure they understand and reduce the risks to state economies. And they must be vigilant as technologies change and global supply chains evolve.

In our connected world, states find themselves on the frontlines of potential conflicts. Thankfully, state governments can act to prepare for and reduce the threats to America’s security, prosperity, and freedom.