The Filthy Hypocrisy of America’s “Clean” China-Free Internet

The Trump administration wants to keep other countries from weaponizing technology the way the U.S. and its allies already have.

The Intercept
Date: August 6 2020
By: Sam Biddle

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AFP via Getty Images

THE STATE DEPARTMENT has a new vision for a “clean” internet, by which it means a China-free internet. This new ethno-exclusive network “is the Trump Administration’s comprehensive approach to guarding our citizens’ privacy and our companies’ most sensitive information,” by ensuring that China won’t be able to do a litany of subversive and violative things with technology that the U.S. and its allies have engaged in for years. As a policy document it’s nonsensical, but as a moral document, a piece of codified hypocrisy, it’s crystal clear: If there’s going to be a world-spanning surveillance state, it better be made in the USA.

A statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo includes a five-pronged plan for beating back Red China’s attempts to siphon and abuse your data: Working to keep Chinese phone carriers (presumably compromised by Beijing) out of U.S. markets, to have privacy-violating Chinese apps kicked off American app stores, to remove U.S. apps from app stores run by Chinese companies, to keep U.S. citizens’ data off of Chinese cloud servers “accessible to our foreign adversaries,” and to ensure that the undersea cables that ferry internet signals between continents aren’t secretly tapped by eavesdropping Chinese intelligence services.

The real question, even more than how could any of this practically be accomplished by State Department diktat, is: Why should anyone in the world take the initiative seriously? How can any network fondled for decades by American spy agencies be considered clean? The absolute gall of the United States in condemning “apps [that] threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation” is just slightly too stunning to be laughable. Without exception, the United States engages in every one of these practices and violates every single one of these bullet pointed virtues of a Clean Internet. Where do we get off?    [FULL  STORY]

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