We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network.Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
The Clean Network program is the Trump Administration’s comprehensive approach to safeguarding the nation’s assets including citizens’ privacy and companies’ most sensitive information from aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party.
The Clean Network addresses the long-term threat to data privacy, security, human rights and principled collaboration posed to the free world from authoritarian malign actors. The Clean Network is rooted in internationally accepted digital trust standards. It represents the execution of a multi-year, all-of-government, enduring strategy, built on a coalition of trusted partners, and based on rapidly changing technology and economics of global markets.
Digital Trust Standards
In May 2020, at the request of the Department of State, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) assembled a group of 25 experts from Asian, European, and U.S. companies and research centers to develop criteria to assess the trustworthiness of telecommunications equipment suppliers. These Criteria for Security and Trust in Telecommunications Networks and Services complement the work of the Prague Proposals and the European Union’s 5G Toolbox. They offer governments and network owners or operators an additional tool to use to determine trustworthiness and security.
In May 2019, government officials from more than 30 countries across the globe, alongside representatives from the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and industry, participated in discussions regarding the important national security, economic, and commercial considerations that must be part of each country’s evaluation of 5G vendors. The resulting Prague Proposals on 5G security published by the Czech conference chair serve as a set of recommendations and principles for nations to consider as they design, construct, and administer their 5G infrastructure.
Clean Network Lines of Effort
On August 5, 2020, Secretary Pompeo announced the expansion of the Clean Network program:
To ensure that 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.
To remove untrusted applications from U.S. mobile app stores. PRC apps threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, censor content, and spread propaganda and disinformation. Americans’ most sensitive personal and business information must be protected on their mobile phones from exploitation and theft for the CCP’s benefit.
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.
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, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent.
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.
On April 29, 2020, Secretary Pompeo announced that the U.S. Department of State will begin requiring a Clean Path for all 5G network traffic entering and exiting U.S. diplomatic facilities.
The 5G Clean Path is an end-to-end communication path that does not use any transmission, control, computing, or storage equipment from untrusted IT vendors, such as Huawei and ZTE, which are required to comply with directives of the Chinese Communist Party.
The 5G Clean Path embodies the highest standards of security against untrusted, high-risk vendors’ ability to disrupt, manipulate or deny services to private citizens, financial institutions, or critical infrastructure.
Untrusted IT vendors will have no access to U.S. State Department systems. We will follow the letter of the law to ensure that we have a clean path for all 5G network traffic coming into all of our facilities. Period. We will keep doing all we can to keep our critical data and our networks safe from the Chinese Communist Party.
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
5G Clean Countries and Clean Telcos
Many countries are choosing to allow only trusted vendors in their 5G networks. Examples include the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, and Latvia. Greece has agreed to use Ericsson, rather than Huawei, to develop its 5G infrastructure.
Some of the largest telecom companies around the globe are also becoming “Clean Telcos.” Orange in France, Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and O2 in the United Kingdom are rejecting doing business with tools of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state, like Huawei. The big three telecommunications companies in Canada have decided to partner with Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, because public opinion was overwhelmingly against allowing Huawei to build Canada’s 5G networks.
The Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki stated, “Poland believes the construction of our 5G Clean Path network is a prerequisite for EU strategic technological sovereignty. That is why we must keep it secure at all costs and we are a 5G Clean Country. To protect our 5G network from potential wrongdoers it is necessary that all European entrepreneurs maintain clean production lines and a 5G Clean Path, free from potential industrial espionage. Demanding that 5G Clean Standards are observed with regard to 5G technology is a step towards building a fairer globalized world.”
European Commissioner Thierry Breton remarked on the clean EU 5G toolbox, “The European Union with all member states developed a 5G cybersecurity toolbox defining the criteria and clear measures to avoid the use of ‘high-risk suppliers.’ The toolbox adds that member states have identified certain non-EU countries with state-backed actors as a serious cyber threat to their national interest. The European 5G suppliers are likely to meet these criteria. It will serve as a reference for the telco operators’ board of directors who have to make the decision on 5G suppliers. If they choose a ‘high-risk 5G supplier,’ the board members may be liable if something happens.”
Oracle CEO Safra Catz said, “Oracle shares the vision of secure, trusted and resilient 5G applications and networks. Grounded in our commitment to develop the most secure telecommunications and infrastructure products and services for our customers, we are proud to support the Clean Network initiative and provide Clean Network solutions.”Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins said, “Cisco supports a fair, free, and open Internet. After all, our founding mission is to connect everyone and everything. Human rights have long been integrated into how Cisco works with our trusted supply chain partners as we build the next generation of intelligent, intuitive, secure advanced wired and wireless networks, including Optical, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 networks. The Clean Network Initiative is bringing needed attention to these issues.”
Telefónica states in its Digital Manifesto that “security is paramount,” and its CEO and Chairman José María Álvarez-Pallete López recently declared, “Telefónica is proud to be a 5G Clean Path company. Telefónica Spain and O2 (UK) are fully clean networks, and Telefónica Deutschland (Germany) and Vivo (Brazil) will be in the near future without equipment from any untrusted vendors.”
CEO Jun Sawada of Japan’s NTT states, “The safety and security of our customers and their personal information is our top priority. In this context, the statement by US government regarding 5G Clean Network is consistent with our position. That is why we are glad to be appreciated as a 5G Clean Telecommunications company and are committed to only using trusted vendors in our 5G networks in Japan and as we expand our business around the world.”
Rakuten Chairman and CEO and Rakuten Mobile CEO Mickey Mikitani said, “Rakuten Mobile’s network is built on a fundamental commitment to being highly secure, highly agile and highly affordable, all at the same time. The security of our world-first end-to-end cloud-native network infrastructure starts with trusted partners and clean hardware and software components. We are proud to be recognized as a US State Department 5G Clean Telecommunications company.”
One Communication CEO Emil Georgakiev said “5G networks will play a critical role in the lives of individuals and business, with any malfunction of infrastructure or leakage of data having a devastating impact on society. That’s why One Communication continues to show its commitment to the highest standards of network security for our customers and our partners by using only trusted equipment. We are proud to be a 5G Clean Path partner.”
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said, “VMware is pleased to provide support for Clean Path and its intent to create end-to-end 5G infrastructure that is open, secure, programmable, reliable, and software-driven. Safety and security should be the goal of everybody globally who is serious about building the best and safest possible telecommunications infrastructure for 5G, 6G, and beyond.”
KDDI Corporation President, Makoto Takahashi said, “Creating a secure and trusted 5G network is one of our top priorities, and KDDI is focused on protecting our network, our customers’ personal data, privacy, and human rights. We are pleased to be named as a 5G Clean Telecommunications company by the U.S. State Department and look forward to working together with partners to create a trusted 5G network infrastructure in Japan.”
SoftBank Corp. CEO Ken Miyuachi said, “SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) is pleased to be recognized as a 5G Clean Telecommunications company by the U.S. Department of State. SoftBank Corp. believes telecommunication networks are an important part of social infrastructure, and that they will play a crucial role in transforming people’s lives and industry in the 5G era. Accordingly, SoftBank Corp. is committed to providing services that are both convenient and secure to all of its customers. SoftBank Corp. fully supports the Clean Network initiative of the U.S. Department of State, and will endeavor to build out 5G Clean Networks that use secure equipment from trusted network vendors.”
NEC Corporation President and CEO Takashi Niino said, “NEC is dedicated to developing and deploying innovative, reliable technologies in a manner consistent with our AI and Human Rights Principles. We are committed to working with trusted partners who share our values and vision for building open, secure global networks that help create a more digitally inclusive world. As a trusted supplier of 5G Open RAN solutions and one of the world’s top undersea cable vendors, we are proud to support the Clean Network initiative.”
The founder and owner of Polsat group Zygmunt Solarz stated, “Plus is committed to protecting our customers’ privacy. 5G security is our top priority, which is why Plus will only use trusted vendors in our 5G network. Plus supports the Clean Network initiative, and is proud to be a Clean telecommunications company.”
Fujitsu Limited CEO Takahito Tokita said, “Fujitsu has a longstanding heritage as a trusted vendor providing network equipment, software, and services that are safe and secure. In the emerging 5G world, secure and trusted networks will be instrumental in driving the digital transformation that will create a multitude of benefits for our customers, the economy, and society. For our part, Fujitsu will continue to support our customers by designing, building, operating, and maintaining trusted 5G Clean Networks. We commend the Department of State’s Clean Network Initiative.”
Reliance Jio President Matthew Oommen said, “We believe that the communications infrastructure, network, platforms, and devices that we have deployed as Jio’s Digital Fabric are essential components to our nation’s security and safeguards our users. Data privacy, integrity, and security are core to Jio’s selection of partners and technology, as well as our zero trust network design and operations. We continue to execute on our plan leveraging open, disaggregated, distributed, and elastic cloud native solutions that are interconnected over secure API’s, enabling inherent scalability and security. Already recognized a clean network, we stay committed to the Clean Network initiative and look forward to continuing to collaborate with trusted partners and nations who share this vision of a secure, open, and interconnected future.”