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Snippet: U.S. ‘Clean Network’ Campaign Attempts to Wall Off Chinese Hardware, Software, and Cloud Services ☇

Shared on August 11, 2020

Jane Li for Quartz (via Nick Heer):

Under the expanded initiative, which focuses on five areas, “untrusted” Chinese telecom carriers, apps, and cloud service providers including Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu will be prevented from storing or processing US user data, being downloaded from US app stores, or connected to the US telecom system. Moreover, Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei will be prevented from pre-installing or offering downloads of some US or foreign apps. Undersea cables that connect the US to the global internet will also be scrutinized by the US government.

While the announcement does not give a timeline of the initiative or explain whether it is compulsory for American entities to comply, the announcement is an escalation of the country’s efforts to divide the internet between China and the US. Most recently, the US has made a series of threats to ban Chinese apps including TikTok and WeChat, citing their threats to national security. TikTok will either have to be sold to a US company such as Microsoft, or face shutting down by the Sept. 15 deadline given by the White House. A growing number of US allies are also following suit in choosing to exclude Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei from their 5G networks.

Heer’s post on Pixel Envy gets at so much of the bullshit around these policies. While I can appreciate the national security aspect, how about we start at home first with our telecom carriers, apps, and cloud service providers? We have plenty of American companies involved with the whole process doing creepy, shady things with zero accountability. How many have taken a laissez-faire attitude about policing misinformation when the pandemic struck the United States?

We don’t have a useful, functioning FCC. Most of the people in our government have proven time and time again that they don’t understand technology as a whole. Plus, if China decides to respond to some of this useless posturing, it could have bad effects for American companies, but no one seems to think of the consequences there.

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