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Technology 10 August 2020

The Week in Internet News: U.S Wants China-Free ‘Clean’ Internet

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Scrubbing the Net: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he wants a “clean” Internet free of Chinese apps and network equipment, The Next Web reports. Pompeo also wants to keep U.S. cloud data away from Chinese companies and stop China from spying on traffic in undersea cables. Critics say Pompeo is trying to create a U.S. version of the Great Firewall of China. The Verge, meanwhile, says Pompeo’s announcement is “just bluster” for now.

NOTE: Please read the Internet Society’s statement on the U.S. Clean Network Program.

Trump vs. TikTok: In a related story, U.S. President Donald Trump has continued his fight against Chinese video app TikTok, recently issuing executive orders that would ban TikTok and fellow Chinese app WeChat in 45 days, CNet reports. Trump calls the use of these apps on U.S. devices a security problem, but he earlier gave TikTok time to sell to a more acceptable owner. Microsoft is interested in buying the video app.

Buy local: In yet another related story, the Economic Times reports that the use of locally made apps are surging after the Indian government took its own action against Chinese apps. In late June, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps over security concerns. Some Indian counterparts have gotten hundreds of thousands of downloads, and others have received new investments.

No law needed: An Australian spy agency and a federal police agency haven’t yet relied on a 2-year-old  law that requires companies to give them access to encrypted communications and devices, because they’ve gotten voluntary compliance, The Guardian says. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian federal police have “so far secured voluntary cooperation from tech and communications companies – even though there had been times when they had come close to issuing a compulsory notice.”

Cheaper Internet, please: The African Telecommunications Union is seeking cheaper Internet access in South Africa and other countries through better collaboration with over-the-top (OTT) communications service providers, Bizcommunity.com reports. The use of OTT services, typically referring to video services but may also include voice and other services, can reduce communications expenses for consumers and business users, the story says.

Join a global movement of people working to ensure governments don’t take away our strongest digital tools. Become an Internet Society member today.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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