The Clean Network Program to Safeguard America’s Assets
Spearheaded by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, the Clean Network Initiative was launched to little fanfare in early August. These programs are rooted in internationally accepted digital trust standards and built upon the 5G Clean Path initiative, announced on April 29, 2020, to secure data traveling on 5G networks into U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas and within the United States.
It would mean no Chinese apps in US app stores, no US data stored on the Chinese cloud, and no US apps on Chinese smartphones.
The five new lines of effort for the Clean Network are as follows:
- 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 Telcos. All have committed to exclusively using trusted vendors in their Clean Networks.
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.