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Trump administration calls for broad ban on ‘untrusted’ Chinese apps like TikTok – CNET

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Angela Lang/CNET

The US Department of State unveiled on Wednesday the Clean Network program, calling it an effort to protect individual and corporate privacy, as well as sensitive information. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the program will guard against “aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party.”

Pompeo said the program had five elements to protect carrier networks and infrastructure in the US, which build on the Trump administration’s 5G Clean Path initiative announced in April. The program proposes vast updates to the way the internet is structured, with the goal of scrutinizing how undersea cables and cloud providers could be giving the Chinese government access to US data. It also seeks to remove popular US apps from Chinese phones made by Huawei and others, while urging US app stores not to offer apps from companies based in China.

Additionally, it urges the US Federal Communications Commission to revoke authority from a group of Chinese telcom providers to provide service in and out of the United States.

“We call on all freedom loving nations and companies to join a clean network,” Pompeo said during a press conference announcing the program Wednesday.

It’s unclear what legal authority the State Department will use to bring about the Clean Network program’s goals. The program appears to be a further alarm raised by the Trump administration about Chinese access to US data. The US department of Justice charged Chinese hackers for cyberattacks that aimed in part to steal research on a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Separately, Pompeo and Trump have both spoken on the need to take action on TikTok, an app made by Beijing-based company ByteDance that’s popular in the US.

The State Department didn’t immediately respond for a request for comment on how the new plan will affect TikTok, but Pompeo reiterated his stance that action needs to be taken to protect US TikTok users’ data. Microsoft and reportedly Apple are now both interested in buying up the TikTok app from ByteDance.

The five sections of the Clean Network program are:

  • Clean Store: Removing Chinese apps from US mobile app stores because they “threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation”
  • Clean Apps: Preventing Chinese phone makers from pre-installing or making available on their US app stores any Chinese apps
  • Clean Cloud: Preventing American data — “including COVID-19 vaccine research” — from being stored on cloud systems owned by Chinese companies, including Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent
  • Clean Carrier: Making sure Chinese carriers aren’t connected to US networks due to national security concerns
  • Clean Cable: Ensuring subsea internet cables aren’t being “subverted for intelligence gathering by the PRC at hyper scale,” referring to the Peoples Republic of China.

Pompeo specifically called out Huawei, calling the Chinese tech giant “an arm of the PRC surveillance state” in his announcement, adding that Huawei, “is trading on the innovations and reputations of leading US and foreign companies.”

He further urged US companies to “remove their apps from Huawei’s app store to ensure they are not partnering with a human rights abuser.”

TikTok said its US user data is stored in the US. “TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. Our content and moderation policies are led by our US-based team and are not influenced by any foreign government. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety,” a TikTok spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Huawei, Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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