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Governor Signs Three Bills Restricting Chinese Influence in Florida

The Florida Channel via WTSP

Florida - Monday May 8, 2023: Governor DeSantis Monday signed three bills restricting members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from buying land in Florida, banning Tic Tok and other foreign owned apps from all state computer devices and networks, and a third measure banning state schools from accepting gifts from foreign countries of concern.

“Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party,” said Governor DeSantis in a news release. “I’m proud to sign this legislation to stop the purchase of our farmland and land near our military bases and critical infrastructure by Chinese agents, to stop sensitive digital data from being stored in China, and to stop CCP influence in our education system from grade school to grad school. We are following through on our commitment to crack down on Communist China.”

SB 264 would bar any member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from purchasing Florida agricultural land, or land near a military installation, or near any critical infrastructure. However Chinese citizens with non-tourist visas would still be allowed to buy single parcels, under two acres, as long as the land is located at least five miles from military installations. It also amends certain electronic health record statutes to ensure that health records are physically stored in the continental U.S., U.S. territories, or Canada.

SB 258 bans Tic Tock and other apps from foreign countries of concern from all state computer devices and networks. It expands on the Governor's September 2022 executive order directing the state Department of Management Services to create a list of prohibited social-media applications that it considers security risks and to block access on state-owned wireless networks.

SB 846 banning state colleges and universities and their employees from accepting gifts from foreign countries of concern. It also would restrict them from entering into agreements with their counterparts in foreign countries of concern.

The foreign countries of concern include China, Afghanistan, Burma, Eritrea, India, Iran, Nigeria, and North Korea.

All three measures take effect on July 1.