Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced a plan on Wednesday dubbed the “Clean Network” program, which aims to guard the privacy of American citizens and companies from the Chinese Communist Party.
Pompeo also extended an offer for other nations and companies to join the United States’ effort, writing on Twitter, “The U.S. expands the Clean Network by launching 5 new Clean initiatives–Clean Carrier, Clean Store, Clean Apps, Clean Cloud & Clean Cable–to secure Americans’ most sensitive information from the CCP’s surveillance state. We call on freedom-loving nations and companies to join us.”
The U.S. expands the Clean Network by launching 5 new Clean initiatives–Clean Carrier, Clean Store, Clean Apps, Clean Cloud & Clean Cable–to secure Americans’ most sensitive information from the CCP’s surveillance state. We call on freedom-loving nations and companies to join us. pic.twitter.com/BQSk6YFt1M
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 5, 2020
The State Department outlined the five spheres in which the Clean Network seeks to take effect:
- Clean Carrier: To ensure untrusted People’s Republic of China (PRC) carriers are not connected with U.S. telecommunications networks. Such companies pose a danger to U.S. national security and should not provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States.
- Clean Store: To remove untrusted applications from U.S. mobile app stores. PRC apps threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation. American’s most sensitive personal and business information must be protected on their mobile phones from exploitation and theft for the CCP’s benefit.
- Clean Apps: To prevent untrusted PRC smartphone manufacturers from pre-installing – or otherwise making available for download – trusted apps on their apps store. Huawei, an arm of the PRC surveillance state, is trading on the innovations and reputations of leading U.S. and foreign companies. These companies should remove their apps from Huawei’s app store to ensure they are not partnering with a human rights abuser.
- Clean Cloud: To prevent U.S. citizens’ most sensitive personal information and our businesses’ most valuable intellectual property, including COVID-19 vaccine research, from being stored and processed on cloud-based systems accessible to our foreign adversaries through companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent.
- Clean Cable: To ensure the undersea cables connecting our country to the global internet are not subverted for intelligence gathering by the PRC at hyper scale. We will also work with foreign partners to ensure that undersea cables around the world aren’t similarly subject to compromise.
“Momentum for the Clean Network program is growing. More than thirty countries and territories are now Clean Countries, and many of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies are Clean [telecommunication companies]. All have committed to exclusively using trusted vendors in their Clean Networks,” the department said.
“The United States calls on our allies and partners in government and industry around the world to join the growing tide to secure our data from the CCP’s surveillance state and other malign entities. Building a Clean fortress around our citizens’ data will ensure all of our nations’ security.”
The Trump administration has dramatically started to increase its efforts to combat the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to steal intellectual property and to influence the United States.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a recent interview that the bureau has more than 2,000 active criminal investigations that trace back to the Chinese government, and that the bureau opens counterintelligence investigations that lead back to China every ten hours.
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