BOSTON- State Representative Shawn Dooley (R- Norfolk) has filed legislation (HD.1470) that would prevent the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from procuring, contracting, or subcontracting with any company that is supported by the government of a country determined to have a “Non-Market Economy”. Dooley filed the legislation over security concerns from the Pentagon and security experts as well as recent actions by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro).
“The Commonwealth should not be doing business with government sponsored, bad actors that undercut competition only to gain a foothold in our market, so that they can exploit us. It’s almost weekly that there is a revelation by our intelligence community of Chinese corporate espionage against the United States. We should be doing all that we can to protect our commuters from a cyber attack that puts our transportation infrastructure or sensitive personal information at risk.” Dooley said.
The bill would prohibit the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) from doing further business with CRRC MA, which is currently manufacturing new subway cars for Boston’s Orange Line in China; and assembling them in Springfield before putting them into service. The Metro in Washington D.C. recently added safeguards to its request for proposals, which would require winning bidders to have software and hardware inspected by third parties.
“I don’t think any resident of the Commonwealth thinks it is a good idea to let the Chinese government play such a substantial role in building or developing our critical infrastructure” Dooley said.
United States Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia as well as Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland recently urged the Metro to take stronger steps to prevent the transit authority from purchasing subway cars from China that would allow the Chinese government to spy. The letter says that subway cars are vulnerable to “hacking or other forms of interference.” The letter follows other bipartisan efforts aimed at preventing the Chinese cyber threat. Senator Mark Warner is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“It’s great to see Congressional leaders acting in a bipartisan fashion to address this dangerous threat, and I hope we can do the same on Beacon Hill.” Dooley added.