Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed legislation that will prohibit buyers from China and seven other “countries of concern” from buying agricultural land and land that is surrounding military bases. The bans will make it more difficult for foreign-based interests from China, Cuba, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or Venezuela to engage in espionage or influence operations within Florida’s borders.
“From server farms to farmland, the Communist Party of China has been worming its way into our nation’s data storage systems and buying up tracts of land near sensitive national security sites,” DeSantis said during a Sept. 22 press conference in Miami. “By prohibiting the purchase of lands, state contracts with Chinese technology firms, and the infiltration of CCP-affiliated groups such as Confucius Institutes, Florida is leading the way to protect our nation from international foes.”
Along with the ban on land purchases, DeSantis wants to ban funding for Florida universities by those from concerning countries. DeSantis issued an executive order that prohibits governmental agencies in Florida from procuring or using technology that are designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by companies or affiliated companies determined by federal or state government agencies to be owned, controlled by foreign countries of concern.
DeSantis also proposed legislation which would prohibit government entities in Florida from contracting with companies owned by, controlled by, or headquartered in those designated countries if the contract would provide access to Floridians’ personal information.
That proposed legislation includes a ban on renewing, bidding on or submitting a proposal for a contract that would give the bidder access to an individual’s name along with that person’s Social Security, driver’s license, financial account or insurance policy numbers, or with medical records.
Florida’s 2023 legislative session is slated to begin on March 7 and continue to May 5.