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10/05/2020 Source:  Council on Foreign Relations
Author: David P. Fidler 1 min read

The Clean Network Program: Digital Age Echoes of the “Long Telegram”?

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The U.S. State Department’s Clean Network program, created in response to China’s expanding capabilities in cyberspace, recalls the the warning George Kennan gave about the Soviet Union in his famous “long telegram” in 1946.

The Clean Network Program: Digital Age Echoes of the “Long Telegram”?
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool via Reuters

In August, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched the Clean Network program —“the Trump administration’s comprehensive approach to guarding our citizens’ privacy and our companies’ most sensitive information from aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party.” In addition to the 5G Clean Path initiative announced in April on securing 5G networks for U.S. diplomatic facilities, the program includes five more “lines of effort” to counter China’s influence in U.S. telecommunication networks, mobile app stores, software apps, cloud computing, and undersea cables. The State Department claimed in August that over thirty countries are participating along with leading telecommunication companies around the world.

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