The Clean Network

Keith Krach


Data privacy and human rights were two of the big priorities for Keith during his White House Tenure, with a special focus on what he calls, "The China Challenge." Want a look into Keith's brilliant business mind? Look no further.


Data privacy and human rights were two of the big priorities for Keith during his White House Tenure, with a special focus on what he calls, “The China Challenge.” Want a look into Keith’s brilliant business mind? Look no further.


At the State Department, you worked tirelessly to create what was known as The Clean Network. This was an alliance of democracies and companies around the world tackling threats to data privacy and human rights, an alliance really designed to combat authoritarianism. This was a new idea with a huge mission. Where did that greater purpose come from?

Keith Krach

You know, it was interesting because I got asked on my Senate confirmation meeting, because they knew that I was going to be responsible for the China challenge. And they said, "Keith, what would your strategy be?" And I said, "My strategy would be about harnessing the three big areas of US competitive advantage. And that is, first of all, further strengthen our relationship with our allies and our friends. It's one of the most powerful strategic assets the United States has. Second is leveraging the resources and innovation in the private sector. And the third thing is amplifying the moral high ground of democratic values." I think we're all free traders, but when somebody comes in the market and doesn't play by the rules, the market is no longer free. So you have to do something about it. So The Clean Network was about building an alliance of like-minded countries, companies, and civil societies that operate by a set of trust principles, which are in essence democratic values, as things like integrity, transparency, reciprocity, respect for rule of law, respect for property of all kinds, respect for sovereignty of nations, respect for the planet, respect for labor, respect for human rights. This is for all areas of economic collaboration, and it was tremendously successful. It actually went against the grain of a little bit of the philosophy of America First because we were building these coalitions.

There's really three objectives with it. The first one was to defeat Chinese Communist Party's master plan of controlling 5G communications. That was a big deal, that was Huawei. That was huge. And we did. They had 91 5G contracts around the world, a year later after we got done they had about a dozen. The second one was to create a model for computing that would be repeatable, duplicatable, that could be applied to multiple sectors. And the third objective was to build a beachhead, that could be applied to all these different areas. And as a matter of fact, we did it. We took it beyond 5G communications. We applied it to cloud computing, we applied it to apps, we applied it to underwater cable, we actually applied it to clean infrastructure with clean financing, to counter the One Belt One Road, also in the area of clean energy with clean minerals. I think it was the first government led initiative that actually proved that China Inc. can be beaten and expose their biggest weakness, and that is nobody trusts them.