The US wants to kill part of an 8,000 mile-long undersea cable linking Hong Kong with LA over China spying fears
Submarine cables offer Internet all over the world.
Getty / ullstein bild / Contributor
In 2016, Google and Facebook announced a new high-speed submarine cable connecting Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
The cable is now routed, but a DOJ committee has advised the FCC to refuse approval for the section of the cable in Hong Kong.
The committee fears that the Chinese government could bug the cable.
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The US government appears to be ready to slow a million dollar submarine cable project from Google and Facebook.
The cable is part of the Pacific Light Cable Network and was announced in 2016. Google said at the time that the cable would be 8,000 miles long, spanning the Pacific and connecting Los Angeles to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines. According to Google from 2016, 120 terabytes of data per second or 80 million HD video conference calls can be managed between LA and Hong Kong.
A Justice Department committee called Team Telecom has now advised the FCC to reject the part of the cable that connects Hong Kong for security reasons.
The committee is concerned that a cable to Hong Kong could be tapped by the Chinese government and is particularly concerned that a major investor in the cable is a Hong Kong-based company called Dr. Peng Ltd was the "fourth largest provider of telecommunications services in the People's Republic of China".
In a broader sense, the cable is said to help China make Hong Kong a pan-Asian Pacific telecommunication center, which means that US data is more likely to pass through Chinese infrastructure even if China wasn't its ultimate destination.
Fears of the US government have been heightened because "the PRC government has recently taken measures to remove Hong Kong's autonomy and take into account the possibility of PRC intelligence and security agencies being open in Hong Kong."
In May, China introduced extensive new Hong Kong legislation that opposed dissent and took away many of the region's semi-autonomous powers, leading to widespread protests.
Team Telecom said the parts connecting the United States to Taiwan and the Philippines should work.
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