Pompeo Expands Clean Network Initiative to Keep Americans’ Data Safe from China

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens to a question from a member of the media at the press briefing room of the State Department December 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. Secretary Pompeo discussed various topics including the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov …
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced the State Department is expanding its Clean Network initiative to keep Americans’ data safe from Chinese vendors looking to exploit the data.

He said there are five new lines of effort. The first is “Clean Carrier” — working to ensure that untrusted Chinese telecom companies do not provide international telecommunications services between the United States and foreign destinations.

“I join Attorney General Barr, [Defense] Secretary Esper, and Acting [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary Wolf in urging the [Federal Communications Commission] to revoke and terminate the authorizations of China Telecom and three other companies providing services to and from the United States,” he said.

The second is “Clean Store” — removing untrusted Chinese apps from U.S. app stores. “President Trump has mentioned impending action on TikTok, and for good reason. With parent companies based in China, apps like TikTok, WeChat, and others are significant threats to the personal data of American citizens, not to mention tools for CCP content censorship,” Pompeo said.

The third is “Clean Apps” — working to prevent Huawei and other untrusted vendors from pre-installing or making available for download the most popular U.S. apps. “We don’t want companies to be complicit in Huawei’s human rights abuses or the CCP’s surveillance apparatus,” he said.

The fourth is “Clean Cloud” — protecting Americans’ most sensitive personal information and American businesses’ most valuable intellectual property — including COVID-19 vaccine research — from being accessed on cloud-based systems run by Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent.

“The State Department will work closely with Commerce and other agencies to limit the ability of Chinese cloud service providers to collect, to store, and to process vast amounts of data and sensitive information here in the United States,” he said.

The fifth is “Clean Cable” — working to ensure that the CCP cannot compromise information carried by the undersea cables that connect the U.S. and others to the global internet.

“Huawei Marine significantly underbids other companies on multiple procurements to connect Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and Europe using Chinese state-backed underseas technology,” he said.

“We can’t allow that to continue. We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network,” he said.

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