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United States China Communications Networking The Internet Politics

Trans-Pacific Cable Plans Mired In US-China Geopolitical Rivalry 162

Posted by timothy
from the because-huawei-doesn't-respect-privacy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Attempts to build a new telecommunications cable between the US, New Zealand and Australia have become a nexus for the growing rivalry between the U.S. and China in the Pacific. The U.S. is reportedly creating a technology ring fence to match its military one and contain China's ambitions in the Pacific. The U.S. military could even help pay for any planned new cable to link its bases in American Samoa with its expanding military presence in Australia's Northern Territory. It has been made 'very clear' U.S. authorities would not allow significant Chinese investment in one cable project and it followed that they would not tolerate the use of Chinese gear in its construction. 'It was made very clear. These are cables connecting whole countries. These are very political things,' one insider said."
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Trans-Pacific Cable Plans Mired In US-China Geopolitical Rivalry

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  • by arcite (661011) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @12:17PM (#44911991)
    Submersible hunter-killer drones lie in wait to defend America's freedom cable and orbital defense platforms defend the space above from communist tyranny. Long live freedom's reign.
  • NSA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 21, 2013 @12:18PM (#44912001)

    Of course they need to lay NSA tapped cables.

    • Re:NSA (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 21, 2013 @12:27PM (#44912051)

      Makes one wonder if China's backdoors might conflict with the NSA installed backdoors.

      • so far, this ^ is the only comment worth reading :)

      • Nah, the Illuminati coordinates this sort off thing all the time.

      • IEEE 802 should set up a working group to write interoperability standards for communication backdoor systems.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      Remember those cut cables in Suez canal? This was US military/NSA operation.

    • Re:NSA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @01:48PM (#44912541)

      Of course they need to lay NSA tapped cables.

      Exactly.

      This is nothing to do with politics, just practicality.
      The NSA knows well just how much stuff can be gleaned from an under sea cable, so why would they want anyone else putting their equipment in place to tap into later? Too many taps spoils the surprise.

      When the US worries about Chinese routers and switches it is most likely that someone in government already has "un-detectable" back doors into US made switches, routers and software. When they worry and bluster in congress about Chinese Cellular transmitter equipment it is likely because they already have all the other manufacturers compromised.

      • While the NSA might have taps. Huawei certainly does. Here's the relevent part of a Defcon 20 presentation: DEF CON 20 - Hacking Redacted Routers [youtube.com].

        Huawei security is so bad that almost anybody could hack the things. Hell, the NSA probably uses these as the "easy" test when hiring hackers.

    • NSA tapped, but not Huawei tapped.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        "NSA on Tap". There's a product line in there somewhere - tshirts, mugs, doormats, etc.

  • toleration violation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 21, 2013 @12:24PM (#44912035)

    would not tolerate the use of Chinese gear in its construction.

    Given the USAs recent activities, maybe the use of USA companies and gear should also not be tolerated.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The US wants to be the only body involved who can spy on the traffic and perform man-in-the-middle attacks.

    It's stopping terrorism.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @12:26PM (#44912043) Homepage Journal

    Now if the rest of the world have a hint, they just need to use their own words

    It has been made 'very clear' (some country) authorities would not allow significant U.S. investment in one cable project and it followed that they would not tolerate the use of U.S. gear in its construction. 'It was made very clear. These are cables connecting whole countries. These are very political things,' one insider said."

    Brazil [slashdot.org] is already doing something of this, and more countries should follow.

    • by Dorianny (1847922)

      Now if the rest of the world have a hint, they just need to use their own words

      It has been made 'very clear' (some country) authorities would not allow significant U.S. investment in one cable project and it followed that they would not tolerate the use of U.S. gear in its construction. 'It was made very clear. These are cables connecting whole countries. These are very political things,' one insider said."

      Brazil [slashdot.org] is already doing something of this, and more countries should follow.

      Many Brazilians seem to think that the U.S spying is just an excuse to get social media sites to open offices and place their servers in Brazil where they could be pressured or even censored by the government.

    • Given that NZ is a willing partner in the "Five Eyes" SIGINT hoovering operation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKUSA_Agreement [wikipedia.org] , I'd imagine the yanks are pretty worried about losing access to a shit-load of data.
      I wonder if NZ will get any political currency from keeping The Commies at bay - free-trade agreement, anyone?

  • Of course! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jmc23 (2353706) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @12:27PM (#44912047) Journal
    The USA wants only their taps and backdoors working on those cables!
  • Flip it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @12:39PM (#44912115) Homepage

    China is building a cable across the Pacific, and American firms want to invest and use their equipment. Suddenly it sounds rational to disallow foreigners. How's that work?

    I get the idea that Americans just aren't allowed to do anything that's in their national interest. If the Chinese government (and that's what state-owned enterprises means) wants to invest and install their own equipment, then the Americans must allow them! The Chinese will install spyware on the cable? Oh, boo hoo you Americans will just have to take it because you're bad people and hurt puppies!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Everybody will just have to build their own transoceanic cables, with only their own equipment. The Chinese will send data down the Chinese cable and the Americans will send data down the American cable, but since neither wants to cooperate, the other end of the cable is not connected to anything, so the whole thing is an exercise in futility.

      The point of these cables is that there are several parties to the project who are going to use them. It is thus entirely unreasonable to insist on excluding one party

  • China and Russia must step up the game. I don't trust U.S gov in their ambitions to rule the world. They care less for the good of everyone, and more for securing their own place at the top.
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Saturday September 21, 2013 @01:44PM (#44912517) Homepage Journal

    the growing rivalry between the U.S. and China

    If anything the US and Chinese people have grown closer over the past decades; scratch that - for certain the US and Chinese people have grown closer over the past decades.

    Only a bunch of crazy old men claiming to represent the people could continually fuck this up. To them I say: "get out of the way."

  • American cable = NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, ICE spying
    China cable = PLA, Korea spying
  • <SARCASM>Because we can trust American hardware not to have NSA back doors, right?</SARCASM>

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  • What they are worried somebody else it going to be listening in on every conversation apart from them !

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @06:27PM (#44913897) Journal

    Who do you prefer listening into your communications? The US or China?

    Given the inherent malignity of state entities, which is the least-worst?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DNS-and-BIND (461968)

      The US, certainly. In China, Snowden would have been hunted down by internal security, given a quiet trial, and executed shortly thereafter and his organs harvested. In America not only was Snowden able to escape due to not having to go to a government office and get an exit visa for his passport (documenting where you're going, when, for how long, and showing airline tickets and hotel reservations, then the government will allow you to leave) but he was soundly cheered by many Americans.

      As a Westerner w

      • The US, certainly.

        How many Al Jazeera offices has the Chinese military bombed in the last 10 years? Has the PM of China personally called a third world dictator to keep a journalist imprisoned and tortured, like Obama did with Yemen?

        In America not only was Snowden able to escape due to not having to go to a government office and get an exit visa for his passport

        Nonsensical talking point. Getting an exit visa wouldn't have changed anything, because Snowden chose Hong Kong precisely because it wouldn't rai

    • Who do you prefer listening into your communications? The US or China?

      Given the inherent malignity of corporate entities, which is the least-worst?

      An alternative and eqally valid wording.

  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @09:32PM (#44914837)
    I am not sure I understand this story: why US has its word to say about who is connecting Australia and New Zaeland? Aren't theses territories sovereign nations?

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