On April 29th, the Trump Administration announced the 5G Clean Path initiative, which is an effort to secure data traveling on 5G networks into U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas, as well as within the homeland.
An expansion to the 5G Clean Path initiative is the United States Clean Network program, which aims to guard U.S. citizens’ privacy and American companies most sensitive information from being compromised by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
On Wednesday of this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced five new lines of effort within the Clean Network program to protect America’s critical telecommunications and technology infrastructure.
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.
To date, more than thirty other countries and territories, as well as many of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies, fully grasp the threat posed by adversarial nations such as China and have committed to exclusively using trusted vendors in their Clean Networks.
For several weeks President Trump has threatened to ban the popular Chinese mobile application known as TikTok unless the app is acquired by a US company. On Thursday of this week, President Trump made his threats a reality by issuing two executive orders, one for TikTok, and the other for WeChat, calling the wide use of Chinese apps a "national emergency."
The President's actions came just hours after the Senate voted unanimously to bar ByteDance-owned TikTok from all government devices. The House voted on a similar bill last month. A final version combining the two bills will move to the President's desk to be signed into law.
It is important to note that it is not just the U.S. taking such action. In June, the government of India banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, including TikTok, WeChat and Helo, with no advance warning. India’s information technology ministry issued a statement saying that it had received reports that TikTok and other Chinese apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data.”
Australia and Japan are also considering similar actions, as are numerous European Union nations.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.