Elements of U.S. Clean Network Initiative

Elements of U.S. Clean Network Initiative

State Department’s Krach Says ‘Clean Network’ Initiatives are Needed

In conversation with Bloomberg TV’s Kevin Cirilli, Keith Krach discusses the expansion of the U.S. Clean Network initiative. According to Krach, “it’s all about freedom vs. authoritarianism and keeping America’s data safe from CCP’s surveillance state.”

Krach: What we’re seeing, is alignment around the clean network, and that was the expansion that Secretary Pompeo announced today, and it’s freedom versus authoritarianism. What you saw with the expansion of the clean network is the launch of five new lines of effort to keep America’s data safe from CCP’s surveillance state. And it’s really an extension of the great one-way China firewall, where all data can come in. None can come out, but reciprocally, all the propaganda can go out, but nothing can come in. If you look at those five new lines of effort, the first one is clean carrier. And it’s an effort to ensure Chinese telecoms don’t provide international services between the U.S. and foreign destinations. The second is the clean store and the goal of the clean store is to remove untrusted PRC apps from U.S. app stores. And you’ve heard President Trump discuss the impending action on TikTok, and for good reason.  

Cirilli: From an economic perspective. And you and I talked about this before. From an economic perspective, we live in a global economy. We do so much in a world where, of course, Silicon Valley is increasingly doing business, not just with Asia, but also with Europe. So how does the United States balance the national security risks and the technological development and advancement? How should how should the C-suite be looking at that?  

Krach: Well, I think, you know, there’s a number of considerations. The first one is — and this is what we say to not just the CEOs in Silicon Valley, but all CEOs — and that is corporate responsibility is national security. And I think that’s really important. I think the other thing that you’re looking at with regard to the CCP in terms of some of our key apps, they won’t them into the country of China. And that’s what I mean by the great one way China Firewall. So it is, is putting reciprocity and transparency into practice. That’s really what it is. And, you know, we talk to these high-tech companies on a daily basis. You know, Kevin, I spent 30 years out there being a CEO.  

So, by the way, it is needed and it’s been needed for quite some time.  

Cirilli: Are you prepared and are you concerned at all about what Beijing’s response might be to this action taken today? 

Krach: Well, by the way, you know what? We’ve all experienced bullies in our life in some form or another. And when you confront a bully, it backs down. And by the way, it really backs down if you have your friends by your side. And you saw Secretary Pompeo do that with the UK, when they first began and said, hey, we’re going to reconsider that Huawei decision. You saw from Beijing the threat and HSBC pulling that 100 billion dollar investment in infrastructure. And that’s when Secretary Pompeo, you know, stepped up and said, we stand with our allies. We stand with the U.K. We’ll do what you need to stand up against that China bully. And that’s just the way it is. And by the way, that’s the 800 pound elephant in the room with all of these nations, with all these companies is China’s doctrine of seduce with money and reinforce with intimidation and retaliation. And I think the world is really tired of it.