“We issued a joint statement with the EU on the synergies between the Clean Network and the EU 5G Clean Toolbox. Since adoption of the Toolbox meets the criteria for being part of the Clean Network, the two work well together. NATO’s Deputy Secretary General has also emphasized the importance of having a 5G Clean NATO Network. I was glad to hear that.”
– Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, 10/14/20
“The 5G Toolbox serves as a reference for telco operators’ board of directors, who are required to make the decision on 5G suppliers. If they choose a high-risk 5G supplier and something happens, the board members may be liable.”
– EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, 9/30/20
It is important to have a secure 5G Clean NATO Network, which is non-fractured, because the Alliance is only as strong as its weakest link.
– NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, 9/30/20
“Countries and companies are terrified of China’s retaliation. The CCP cannot retaliate against everyone. That is where the EU comes in, the Transatlantic Alliance comes in, NATO comes in. The bottom line is the tide has turned. Countries and companies now understand that the central issue is not about technology, but TRUST.”
– Under Secretary of State Keith Krach, 10/1/20
“It’s good news that Berlin soon will address the security risk posed by the CCP telecom giant.”
– The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, A Huawei Turning Point, 10/4/20
Since Secretary of State Pompeo announced the Clean Network and the European Union launched its EU 5G Clean Toolbox earlier this year, 40 Clean Countries, and 50 Clean Telcos, including the largest telcos like Reliance Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK in Korea, NTT in Japan, Hrvatski in Croatia, Tele2 in Estonia, Cosmote in Greece, Three in Ireland, LMT in Latvia, Ziggo in the Netherlands, Plus in Poland, TDC in Denmark, O2 in the United Kingdom, Singtel, Starhub, and M1in Singapore and all the major telcos in Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, U.S., and Taiwan have joined the Clean Network. Industry leading companies like Oracle, HP, Reliance Jio, NEC, Fujitsu, Cisco, NTT, SoftBank and VMware have also joined the Clean Network and have rejected doing business with tools of the CCP’s surveillance state, like Huawei, which has .
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton along with Under Secretary Keith Krach integrated the EU 5G Clean Toolbox as part of the Clean Network and issued a joint statement highlighting their commitment to shared principles on 5G security and the synergies between the EU 5G Clean Toolbox and the Clean Network. NATO Deputy Secretary General Geoana has also emphasized the need for a secure 5G Clean NATO Network and noted that 25 of the 30 NATO Allies have committed to being Clean Countries.
Now 25 NATO Allies have committed to being Clean Countries on both sides of the Atlantic, and joined the wave toward allowing only trusted vendors in their 5G networks.
Between September 21 and October 4, 2020, Under Secretary of State Keith Krach visited eight European countries, including EU and NATO headquarters, to discuss the growing momentum toward clean 5G infrastructure and the goal of building a Transatlantic Clean Network.
After extensive consultations with government officials and private sector CEOs across Europe, it is now undeniable—the Transatlantic Alliance is in sync on 5G security.
The Clean Network and the EU 5G Clean Toolbox have paved the way toward protecting citizens’ privacy, companies’ intellectual property, and countries’ national security from aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party and its surveillance and data collection tools, such as Huawei.
Key Transatlantic Clean Network Developments
- European Union: Under Secretary Keith Krach and EU Commissioner Thierry Breton issued a joint statement highlighting their commitment to shared principles on clean 5G security and the synergies between the Clean Network and the EU 5G Clean Toolbox. They urged all stakeholders to carefully assess the long-term impact of allowing “high-risk” suppliers access—directly or indirectly—to their 5G networks when building their telecommunications infrastructure and services. The Toolbox serves as a reference for EU telco operators’ board of directors, who are required to make the decision on 5G suppliers. Commissioner Breton emphasized that if they choose a high-risk 5G supplier and a breach occurs, the board members may be liable.
Under Secretary Keith Krach and Commissioner Breton encouraged all countries to join the Clean Network by adopting the EU 5G Clean Toolbox, or by developing regulations or standards that result in the inclusion of only trusted suppliers in their 5G networks. The Toolbox further defines the criteria and gives clear measures to avoid the use of “high-risk” suppliers in the network, including the Radio Access Network.
- NATO: NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana emphasized the importance of having a secure 5G Clean NATO Network, which is non-fractured, because the Alliance is only as strong as its weakest link. It is critical—during peacetime and wartime—to ensure that NATO Allies’ civilian 5G infrastructure is secure, and avoid the situation where some NATO Allies use trusted suppliers and others—“high-risk” suppliers. Deputy Secretary General Geoana noted that 25 NATO countries have committed to being Clean Countries. He praised the U.S.-EU joint statement on the synergies between the Clean Network and the EU 5G Clean Toolbox.
- Germany: Committed to implementing the EU 5G Clean Toolbox. German news reports revealed that government regulation is in progress to exclude “high-risk” 5G suppliers.
- Luxembourg: All telecommunication companies are now Clean Telcos.
- Belgium: As reported by Reuters, “Huawei ousted from heart of EU as Nokia wins Belgian 5G contracts.” Belgium is now a Clean Country.
- Estonia: Under Secretary Krach met with Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid and Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu. They conveyed Estonia’s firm commitment to implementing the EU 5G Clean Toolbox and welcomed the 5G Clean Path initiative.
Foreign Minister Reinsalu and Under Secretary Krach agreed on the importance of using trusted vendors to ensure that next-generation technologies, data, and intellectual property are protected from theft and manipulation by malign actors. They emphasized their shared vision for requiring an end-to-end, 5G-standalone communications path for the U.S. diplomatic facilities that do not use any transmission, control, computing, or storage equipment from untrusted vendors. Foreign Minister Reinsalu stated that Estonia sees the 5G Clean Path initiative as part of the continuation of the work of promoting the implementation of the Prague Proposals and the best practices of security in digital development, which Estonia shares.
- Austria: Under Secretary Krach and Austrian Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger discussed elevating the already-strong U.S.-Austria partnership to the next level in multiple areas of economic collaboration by safeguarding 5G from “high-risk” vendors through the Clean Network and the EU 5G Clean Toolbox, ensuring clean labor practices, and building and financing quality infrastructure projects certified by the Blue Dot Network.
- Spain: Committed to implementing the EU 5G Clean Toolbox.
- Portugal: Committed to implementing the EU 5G Clean Toolbox.
- Slovak Republic: Committed to signing a Joint Declaration on 5G Security.
- Slovenia: Signed a Joint Declaration on 5G Security.
- Albania: During a joint press conference with Under Secretary Krach, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama stated, “Albania sees its role in the region not just as a constructive role in building peace and strengthening dialogue, but as a proactive role in the 5G Clean Path.” In addition to Albania’s commitment to 5G Clean Path, Under Secretary Krach and Albania’s Finance Minister Anila Denaj signed a Memorandum of Economic Cooperation, laying the foundation to a Memorandum of Understanding on 5G security.
- Financial Times, 9/30/20: “Germany crackdown set to exclude Huawei from 5G rollout”
- The Wall Street Journal, 10/4/20: “Berlin has decided soon to address the security risks that the Chinese telecom giant poses to German security. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet is reportedly preparing legislation that could gradually reduce cooperation with Huawei as the main supplier of 5G networks in Germany. While the bill does not seek to ban the company altogether, it would lead to the Chinese company being cut off from German networks.”
- Handelsblatt, 10/1/20: “Chinese 5G providers are not trustworthy in the context of the current political conditions in China – it is as simple as that.”
- Reuters, 10/9/20: “Huawei ousted from heart of EU as Nokia wins Belgian 5G contracts. It is home to NATO and the EU and has been 100% reliant on Chinese vendors for its radio networks—and people working at were making mobile phone calls on these networks.”
- Aguajero, 10/2/20: “Spain is going in the ‘right direction’…it will exclude high-risk providers.”
- Radio 5, Spain, 10/2/20: “The U.S. has succeeded in getting major EU countries to agree to prevent Huawei from being in charge of implementing 5G in their territories.”
- Expresso, Portugal, 10/3/20: “Portugal will have a law that obliges telecommunications brands to prove they are safe.”
- Gazeta Shqiptare, 10/3/20: “Albania has joined the wave of Clean 5G.”
The 5G tide has turned in Europe as the Transatlantic Alliance is securing its most sensitive information from malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party and its surveillance state. The vast majority of EU, NATO, and other European countries are now united in the Transatlantic Clean Network. The United States calls on all our friends and partners to safeguard their national security by joining the Clean Network momentum.
Get more information on The Clean Network: https://2017-2021.state.gov/the-clean-network/
Read the Statement on the Importance of the EU and U.S. Partnership for Security Telecommunications Infrastructure by Under Secretary Keith Krach and EU Commissioner Thierry Breton: https://2017-2021.state.gov/statement-on-the-importance-of-the-eu-and-u-s-partnership-for-security-telecommunications-infrastructure/
Find out more about American economic diplomacy, headed by Under Secretary of State Keith Krach: https://2017-2021.state.gov/bureaus-offices/under-secretary-for-economic-growth-energy-and-the-environment/