United States – Estonia Joint Statement on Secure Telecommunications Infrastructure

The text of the following statement was released by United States Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Mr. Keith Krach and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Mr. Urmas Reinsalu on the importance of secure telecommunications infrastructure.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu and Under Secretary Keith Krach emphasized the United States´ and Estonia´s strong commitment to shared principles on 5G security and internationally accepted digital trust standards that are rooted in the Clean Network. They discussed ways for further advancing their cooperation in securing critical telecommunications infrastructure and ensuring clean technology supply chains during the meeting on September 23, 2020 in Tallinn, Estonia.

As a global leader in digital governance, Estonia has been among the strongest advocates for secure telecommunications infrastructure, cybersecurity, and advancing the norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace. The U.S. has demonstrated similar commitment and leadership by Secretary Pompeo’s call for governments and companies to join the rapidly growing Clean Network which is a comprehensive approach to address the long-term threat to data privacy and security, built on a coalition of trusted partners.

Recognizing that 5G networks need to be constructed based on free and fair competition, transparency, and the rule of law, Estonia and the United States issued a Joint Declaration on 5G Security in November 2019.

Since then, both sides have worked to further these principles. Estonia and the United States have taken steps to implement strong domestic measures to enhance 5G security and protect personal and business data.

Additionally, Estonia and the United States have cooperated in international organizations and with other nations to advance their shared vision for developing digital societies in a secure and transparent manner. Both countries have been strong advocates for secure telecommunications infrastructure and cybersecurity. Estonia and the United State confirm their commitment to the cyber stability framework and continue working together in the UN and other fora on upholding existing international law as well as implementing norms of responsible state behavior and confidence-building measures. Recognizing the importance of security in the digital domain, both sides agreed to further their cooperation bilaterally, in regional formats as well as in international organizations.

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 our overseas facilities that do not use any transmission, control, computing, or storage equipment from untrusted vendors. As such, Minister Reinsalu welcomed the 5G Clean Path Initiative, announced by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on April 29, and stated that Estonia sees this 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.

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