Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the implementation of the Clean Network Initiative, a strategy to avoid the risks posed by telecommunications service providers linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Pompeo mentioned in April that the State Department was working on the Clean Path project and is now expanding it with five lines of activity, according to an Aug. 5 press release.
The strategy seeks to protect both citizen and government data from being sent to the CCP, which ultimately would pose a national security risk, as he explained in a tweet.
“Chinese software companies doing business in the United States may be feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party. This poses a real national security risk. President Donald Trump has said, ‘Enough,'” tweeted Pompeo.
Chinese software companies doing business in the United States could be feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party. This represents a true national security risk. President @realDonaldTrump has said: enough. pic.twitter.com/qxWytPvtE7
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 6, 2020
One of the components seeks to prevent “unreliable” companies, dependent on the CCP, from providing international telecommunications services between the United States and other countries, this is the so-called Clean Carrier.
Another component of the Clean Network program, the so-called Clean Store, would remove unreliable applications, coming from the same source, from the U.S. application stores.
“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 explained, referring to the effects of the Clean Store application.
One more instance, the so-called Clean Apps, seeks to prevent CCP-related companies from pre-installing or inviting Americans to obtain their most popular applications, which would eventually make them complicit in violations of “the human rights of Huawei or the CCP’s monitoring apparatus,” the press release said.
A further component would exclude companies providing cloud storage such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent. Yet another would prevent the CCP from accessing information transferred through underwater cables to and from other international destinations.
Thus, these provisions would imply that the technology giants Apple and Google would eliminate from their respective platforms the applications created and supplied by companies of doubtful reliability, according to the parameters established by the State Department.
One of the big companies linked to the CCP is ByteDance, owner of the popular application TikTok, which is also on the list of banned applications in the United States. this is why they are negotiating its transfer to the multinational Microsoft, to prevent its disappearance in the country, according to South China Morning Post.
Likewise, Pompeo invited U.S. allies to join the Clean Network initiative, thus preventing the risks of their information being used by the CCP.
“We can’t allow that to continue. We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network,” Pompeo said.