The US government suggested on Friday that Alphabet’s Google and Facebook parent Meta be granted permission to deploy an underwater cable line to accommodate rising Internet traffic from Asia.
The government pushed the FCC to award the businesses licenses to send and receive data via the existing 8,000-mile Pacific Light Cable Network. The United States, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong are all connected by an underwater fiber-optic cable system.
Nearly the majority of the world’s Internet data traffic is sent via undersea cables. Google has requested authorization to link to Taiwan, whereas Meta has requested permission to utilize the Philippines-to-United States part.
The firms agreed to safeguard the privacy and security of Americans’ personal information, notably against Chinese spy operations. Google and Meta’s idea scrapped a prior attempt to utilize the network’s cable to reach Beijing-controlled Hong Kong. Several US government authorities have advised that the initiative be halted in 2020.
Given China’s “sustained efforts to acquire the sensitive personal data of millions of US persons,” the Justice Department claimed the national security agreements with Google and Meta were necessary.
Google and the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Google stated that the data links will be required by 2020 to manage increased traffic between its data centers in Taiwan and the United States. The backbone of the Internet is made up of over 300 subsea cables that transmit 99 percent of all data traffic on the planet.
“Cable system increases Internet capacity” between the United States and the Philippines “to help people stay connected and share content,” says a Meta spokesperson.
According to the company, the cables are safe, and data is protected using modern encryption.
Google and Meta must do yearly risk evaluations of sensitive data, and they must be able to restrict or terminate data transmission on the cables within 24 hours, according to the agreements.