The U.S.’s Clean Network Initiative Leads Global Efforts Against the Chinese Communist Party
(Minghui.org) During a press conference on November 10, 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that nearly 50 nations and 170 telecommunication companies have signed up to the U.S.-led initiative, Clean Network—a program that aims to make communications networks, cloud-based systems, and mobile apps free from Chinese influence, such as by excluding Chinese tech giant Huawei from 5G networks.
According to the State Department’s website, 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.”
Secretary Pompeo said during the press conference that the 50 countries that have joined the initiative represent “nearly two thirds of the world’s GDP. It includes 27 of 30 NATO allies, 31 of 37 OECD members, 26 of 27 EU members, and 11 of 12 of the Three Seas nations.”
He added that “many of the world’s leading companies” and “170 telephone companies” are onboard.
In an earlier speech on July 23, 2020 titled “Communist China and the Free World’s Future,” Secretary Pompeo firmly pledged to work with Chinese people and “a new grouping of like-minded nations, a new alliance of democracies” to defeat the CCP’s totalitarian tyranny. It is not only upholding the international justice of beliefs and ideals, but also a technology and information warfare. The Clean Network prevents the CCP from infiltrating and forms a security fortress, which is even more urgent and critical.
The CCP has been using the “Great Firewall” within China to control Chinese people from visiting the international Internet and use big data to monitor and control Chinese people. Later, the CCP used the “Golden Shield Project,” a comprehensive surveillance system, such as facial recognition etc, to develop software to intercept information and escalate the monitoring of Chinese people.
“The Chinese government has been actively promoting its internet and cyber governance playbook in many developing countries, most recently by leveraging 5G connectivity and smart city projects along the digital silk road,” says Rebecca Arcesati, an analyst at Merics, a Berlin-based think-tank, in an interview with Financial Times.
The Financial Times also reported that Serbia is just one of many countries that have signed up to a Chinese-installed smart city package complete with surveillance cameras supplied by Hikvision, a company blacklisted by the US for suspected involvement in human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
In a Wall Street Journal article early October titled “China Uses the U.N. to Expand Its Surveillance Reach” by Hudson Institute researcher Claudia Rosett, it stated that the CCP uses the U.N. to collect big data globally, compete for the right to set new international standards and export its tyrannical model of censoring and monitoring the people.
The Wall Street Journal article said that “The geospatial center will be based in Deqing County, in Zhejiang province, home to a geospatial industrial park and host in 2018 of a U.N. World Geospatial Information Congress. The Big Data Institute will be less than an hour’s drive away, in Hangzhou. That’s also the home of the tech giant Alibaba Group.”
“The deepening relationship between the U.N. and billionaires in the U.S. and China is serving the Chinese Communist Party’s aspirations for global dominance.”
In another Wall Street Journal article titled “One Senator’s Strategy for Containing Chinese Technological Dominance” by Senator Mark Warner, the Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it stated that the CCP’s attempts to control the next generation of digital infrastructure are threatening the American values, such as transparency, the tolerance of different opinions and respect of human rights. “Chinese instead of American values will become embedded in the way the world uses technology.” said the article.
“Assembling dossiers has always been a feature of Leninist regimes. The material is used now, as before, to influence and intimidate, reward and blackmail, flatter and humiliate, divide and conquer.” “The Chinese Communist Party has reorganized its national strategy around harnessing that digital exhaust to expand the Party’s power and reach.” said Matt Pottinger, the US Deputy National Security Advisor in a speech titled “The Importance of Being Candid” on October 23, 2020.
“The company building these dossiers, Shenzhen Zhenhua Data Information Technology Co, supports what its CEO reportedly calls ‘psychological warfare.’ Zhenhua harvests and organizes public and private data about us for exploitation by its clients, which are organs of the Chinese security apparatus, according to its website.”
The CCP’s digital hegemony is not only about internet surveillance and data collection, and it has also reached into every aspect of people’s daily life, when people are exposed to pressing privacy infringement while playing video games or using social media.
In a Wall Street Journal article on October 28, 2020 “If You Play Video-games, China May Be Spying on You” by Dave Aitel, a former security expert in NSA and Jordan Schneider, researcher in CNAS, it stated, “Forget WeChat and TikTok. China’s hold on the global video-gaming market is the most pressing security vulnerability when it comes to Chinese consumer tech products.”
“Over the past 10 years, Chinese tech giant Tencent has invested in or outright acquired many of the world’s largest video-game companies.” “China is already using games to spread its soft power and collect data on U.S. citizens, as the current administration has highlighted. More insidiously, Beijing’s access to millions of gamers’ computers gives its spies an unrivaled opportunity to use games to conduct intelligence operations.”
“The same dynamics pushing Hollywood to hold its tongue on Beijing’s abuses will increasingly affect Western firms hoping to earn money from Chinese gamers.”
Freedom House noted in their annual report “Freedom on the Net” on October 14, 2020 that “For the sixth consecutive year, China was found to have the worst conditions for internet freedom.”
“With the onset of COVID-19, every component of the regime’s internet control apparatus—including automated censorship, high-tech surveillance, and large-scale arrests—was activated to stanch the spread of not just the virus but also unofficial information and criticism of the government.”
In the past, the CCP used scientific and technological means to strengthen the authoritarian system and restrain the people’s freedom of speech. Then it turned to the UN’s geospatial center and the big data research center to extend its censorship and surveillance of the public to overseas. Now, nations that are eager to expand the construction of 5G networks, and many people who are addicted to video games, are falling into the CCP’s red network trap without realizing it. Governments and parliaments around the world must be vigilant and strengthen the national security framework. The general public must also improve their information and communication security awareness to ensure that network freedom and basic human rights are not infiltrated and violated by the CCP.